Jennifer Hambrick


Originally released in O:JA&L in 2020, this haibun is included in Hambrick’s new book Joyride, now in release from Red Moon Press.

The Muse Standing by an Open Window by Hennie Niemann Jnr.

She jumps each time he makes a fist.  A patch of faded orange fire surrounds her.  Her eyes are inked kohl-black circles, her mouth a straight dark line.  A cross hangs from her neck.  She hides behind a veil of brown hair.  I saw her on a deck of cards, he tells the bartender, but it kinda feels good to have her around.

mellow evening
a mantis prays
in the river grass

The bartender looks for a moment, then nods and places a newly dried tiki glass on a shelf behind the bar.  Another soda and lime, Sir?  Or something stronger?

Nah, the man says, I don’t drink.


About the writer:
A multi-Pushcart Prize nominee, Jennifer Hambrick won the 2020 Stevens Poetry Manuscript Competition of the National Federation of State Poetry Societies for her free verse poetry collection In the High Weeds, won the 2020 Sheila-Na-Gig Press Poetry Prize, and won First Place in the 2018 Haiku Society of America Haibun Award Competition. Hambrick authored the poetry collections Joyride  (Red Moon Press) and Unscathed  (NightBallet Press), and hundreds of her free verse and Japanese short-form poems appear in publications around the world. She is a frequent recipient of poetry commissions and has received numerous awards for her poetry, including from Tokyo’s NHK World TV, Haiku Poets of Northern California, the Ohio Poetry Association, and others. An Ohio Arts Council Teaching Artist in creative writing, Hambrick is also a public radio host and producer, video producer, and web producer in Columbus.

Image: The Muse Standing by an Open Window by Hennie Niemann Jnr. Oil on linen. 127.5 x 55 cm. 2020. By free license.