an ekphrastic haibun inspired by
Bathers in The Forest, by August Renoir
At last! Back again at Totally Nude and Not Afraid Nudist Camp. Two weeks of freedom from the toil of work, the stench of the city, the constraint of clothes. Here in this secluded wooded glen, this tranquil pool, here where birds sing is perfect paradise. Here is where I can breathe.
"Henry! Stop that! You know the rules."
Look at Louise. She's put on some weight since last summer. Well, she's tall enough to carry a few more pounds. Janine and Marta are very close. Hmmmmm…I wonder. That's fine. If they're happy, that's what matters. Live and let live.
"Henry! I mean it. Quit that."
Wonder what young Paul is dreaming about so quiet over there. Girls? Getting rich? Wonder what the school board would think if they knew I was here.
"Miss Richmond, what did you do on your summer vacation?"
I could give them an earful. Those fudd-dudds would have a stroke.
"Henry! Enough! What's that? You say this is a nature camp and we should follow our nature? You should set a good example for the others, for young Paul. Observe the nature around you, think lofty thoughts and write a haiku. You'll feel better in the morning."
the heat of desire