Haibun


A few days ago, a good friend introduced me to Haibun poetry. Haibun has its origins in Japan where haiku also comes from. I confess, even after writing haiku for a few years now, and even publishing a haiku book, I have never heard of Haibun. I must be kind of sheltered, I guess. So I looked into it and I find it fascinating. There are some loose rules to writing haibun, and here is a link to an article about it. Here is another link with guidelines for writing haibun.

After a few attempts, I came up with this:

An Off Spring

On a stone step, in front of the green painted wooden door of an ancient crofters cottage sit a pair of old, worn work boots flecked with brown dirt. Irish brogue voices drifting from an open window framed with shutters of the same color, reflect the somber mood within. An elderly woman speaks of the garden, her voice parched with age, telling a young boy that the planting has gone badly. With the earth as dry as dust she suggests they may not have a good harvest in the autumn. With an “aye” here and there, the boy’s voice, reminiscent of many long forgotten summers agrees, but tells the woman to be patient, a rare quality in one so young. Suddenly, the door creaks open and the old woman appears, gray hair tied in a bun with fly-away wisps at her temples. The smell of a peat fire drifts outward into the air. Deliberately lifting each foot slowly, she places them into the old, cracked leather boots as a car drives by on the road, the occupant tooting its horn. Lifting her hand in greeting she tells the boy over her shoulder, to take money from the jar and walk to the village for some eggs, the last of which they had for breakfast. As she reaches for her hoe, the boy, red haired and blue eyed, now in the doorway, looks across the open fields. Dark clouds with sheets of rain above the mountains to the west, move toward them. The woman’s boots clump on the flagstones of the walk, laid down years ago by her long dead husband, as she moves for a closer look. As the first rain drops fall, they turn their faces to the sky, feeling the warm wetness trickle down their cheeks and praise the gods of wind and rain for their good fortune.

in darkness they wait
placed by old and caring hands
to sprout into life

I showed it to my friend and she liked it. I’m always interested in learning something new so I’m grateful for the opportunity she gave me. Haibun, from what I’ve learned is a combination of prose and poetry. The prose part should be very descriptive; telling a story or presenting an idea in such a way that the reader can really see what the writer is saying. You can see the cottage, and smell the peat fire. (If you’ve never smelled burning peat, you’re in for a real treat.) The haiku portion usually comes after the prose and should have something to do with the story line in the prose section. It can sum up what was said, or add to it, directly or vaguely. Haibun can be a single paragraph with one haiku or two or more paragraphs with a haiku between each. I broke a rule of haiku here by implying that seeds wait. Seeds cannot wait but hey, Western haiku, right? So this is my first attempt at haibun and I had fun with it so I think I’ll try some more.

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New Book

I have just sent the manuscript for my new book of haiku poetry to the publisher for review! Now comes the waiting. I hate waiting. I’m rather impulsive, and impatient. I try hard not to be, but it doesn’t always work. More to come!

Painting The Sky… Still More Haiku

haiku image
It has been a while since I posted haiku. I’ve been working on them steadily, posting them to Twitter and now, with some editing, they are here for your enjoyment. If you are unfamiliar with haiku, it all started in Japan. And there are rules to writing haiku, all of which I have broken. But it’s fun to write such a short poem while trying to confine it to the rules. I won’t go into all of them here but I’ll leave you this link to an article that explains it quite well. In reading and studying haiku I have found that rule breaking seems to be the norm for Western writers so I fit right in. Enjoy!
haiku in japanese characters

the old man’s eyes
tell a tale of lost love
mostly forgotten

painting the sky
my brush across the canvas
is blue today

a misty morning
shadows glide across the sky
birds in quiet flight
misty morning birds

perchance to grasp
golden drops of the sun
in a deep winter

lightning brings
the sound of thunder
summer storm

wet green fields
a light breeze
summer rain

mist over the fields
early morning sun
burns it away

forty shades of green
too much rain
the hay grows long

sunlight reflects
on ruffled water
wind in the trees

roosting in trees
web footed pelicans
water birds

stormy sky
rain and wind
natural beauty
stormy sky

geese fly above
with long shadows
upon the ground

wind blown trees
rippled water
all is well

black crows
against gray skies
thoughts roaming free

robin on a fence
announcing his opinion
to the world

rain falls
like tears
from a lonely sky

an eagle soars
to great heights
becomes the sky

trees waving
in high winds
stories to tell

meteor streaking
across the sky
a fond farewell
meteor

wind in the trees
speaks of things
better left unsaid

ancient willows
tossing out ideas
born on the wind

rain on the pavement
filling cracks
rivers

bare trees
grandfather’s ancient hands
reach for the sky

A Flock Of Haiku

crows

I saw a flock of turkeys in the field this morning and that had me thinking about what a group of haiku would be called. So I called it a “Flock Of Haiku.” The more I learn about writing Haiku, the more I like to write it. So here you go, A flock of new Haiku.

three male turkeys
spreading out their fans
asserting authority

sunset blue and orange
on a bare branch
a bluebird watches

from the lake
a haunting loon call
ghosts of spring

great blue heron
the fish and water
are one

open your mind
to find the path
meditation

turkeys and geese
feed in the field
an eagle flies searching

this intersection
of sight and sound
my mind

the milky way
bright pathway of stars
darkens the night

a loon calls
black against gray water
early morning

April 29th

So on the 29th of April, it is snowing in southern Minnesota. Not a ground covering freezing slippery snow but a wet, cold snow. The temp is about 34 degrees F which means that the rain is just turning to snow. It’s been doing this all day. So here is a Haiku for the day.

snowfall in the air
holds spring back another day
no sun for us yet

I can’t remember the last time I saw the sun, oh wait! I think it was Easter day. So it’s been more than a week since the sun shone on us poor pitiful cold southern Minnesota people. That’s what we get for living here I guess. I can tell you that when the sun does come back to us, the air will warm and the days will be beautiful. Minnesota is the best place in the world.