Pushing the mop in a figure-eight, a custodian washes the floor. Waves build, crash against the front of his bucket as he rolls it on quiet castors across the tiles. Yellow A-frames warn, Caution: Wet Floor, while travelers rush past him, tracking in more dirt with wheeled suitcases, on their way to Bora Bora, the Bahamas, Tahiti.

evening break
stars unspool
across the sky

(Originally published in Genjuan International Haibun Contest, 2017, Honorable Mention)

13 Responses

  1. peggy Says:


  2. Mike Schoenburg I Says:

    I like the ‘unspool’ imagery!

    summer sky
    pillows on blue
    along the long trail~~~

  3. MaryJo Says:

    I enjoyed reading your haibun. It feels lonely to me, and alone, no one really cares that he is working hard as they roll their suitcases on their way to somewhere else.

    Stars unspool…beautiful, a splendid contrast to the prose.

  4. Sue Says:

    Love your imagery of stars unspooled, stars unspoiled…quiet aloneness with the universe.

  5. Dru Philippou Says:

    Thank you all for taking the time to read. I do appreciate all your comments. Dru

  6. Vandana Says:

    Beautiful!! Loved The the image you have created ?

  7. Dru Philippou Says:

    Thank you, Vandana.

  8. Alan Summers Says:

    Ah the constant cycle of cleaning only to have it all undone to be cleaned again. I'm also reminded of Sisyphus who was condemned to do the same thing over and over and over again.

    As someone who regularly washes dishes at home, and always was, from the age of six years onwards, I feel I am still washing those same dishes so many decades ago. :-)

    warm regards,


  9. Dru Philippou Says:

    Thank you very much for reading, Alan.

  10. seaviewwarrenpoint Says:

    Reminds me a bit of doing housework – seems that I just get the house back in order only for everyone to arrive back from work, school and college to wreck it all again!

    Nice work.


  11. Dru Philippou Says:

    Yes, and the custodian doesn't have to go far to relax from his labours. Peace and quietness are available to each of us at any time, any moment; we don't have to go rushing to exotic places. Just look up at the stars.

    Thank you for reading.

  12. ClaireRosilda Says:

    Having worked as a cleaner I can relate to this, making the ordinary extraordinary.. :)

  13. Dru Philippou Says:

    Yes, exactly. Thank you for reading.

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