early this year, i discovered haibun (through a blog whose name i forgot, unfortunately).   it is a japanese form of writing which can but does not have to have all the following characteristics:

  • contains one or two haiku
  • tends to focus on everyday experience
  • somewhere between 100 and 300 words
  • descriptive
  • terse, poetic prose
  • slightly ironic
  • sensory impressions
  • sparse or no philosophical comment
  • more showing than telling
  • written in the present tense

more about haibun here.

this is the first haibun i wrote, when i was in hawaii.

inside, a fan brings cool breeze-air. outside, a slight wind does the trick, born on kealaloloa where the windmills live. the stark red ginger blossoms by the bamboo gate move slowly against their heavy leaves.

the writer sits inside, putting together words about air here and there, the world flowing through brain and fingers. this writer could also be outside, feet on the warm pavement, arms moving now in the sun, now in the shade. tickled by a gecko scrabbling over a wall, a dragonfly disappearing into the banana tree by the koi pond.

the writer still sits in the deep arm chair, connected to energy brought by a thin, black cord hiding its prongs in the north side of a stucco house.

the nene bird sings
songs i do not know. far gone
are the cloudy hills.

image by the shane

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