Memories of Summer—Haibun

Some of my best memories with my dad are us camping near a creek for the weekend and spending hours in and out of the water while he gets sunburned waiting to catch me and my brother as we jump off a rock into the deep water. Now that I am older, I am sure that he would rather have spent that time on the couch watching ‘The Wild Kingdom.” But these are the kind of sacrifices that we make for our kids. And there is something beautiful about watching your kids have fun. That is why I try to remember to humor my son when he asks me to go out in the yard with him to pick up sticks and pretend to fight off the invisible zombies. I no longer remember how to enjoy those kinds of games of pretend on my own, but I enjoy the enjoyment he gets out if it.

Yards are magical

Forests with swords, zombies, and

Your dad at your side.

This haibun started as a response to one written by David at Skeptic’s Kaddish. I wanted to write a line or two, but it got out of hand. You can check out his post here: https://skepticskaddish.com/2022/04/28/the-wind-or-the-waves/

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According to Word Craft Poetry, haibun is a Japanese poetic form that combines prose and haiku. If you would like to read more about haibun and other short poetry forms, check out Word Craft Poetry here: https://wordcraftpoetry.com/tanka-tuesday-poetry-cheat-sheet-for-tanka-tuesday-poetry-challenges/

Who Gets the Axe?–Haibun

Look, I understand the alure of quick, cheap, and fabricated emotional drama. I am a writer myself. I know what it means to force yourself to produce even when all your ideas are crap. But reality shows have to quit it with this high-tension exit to commercial break formula. I get it, you don’t want people to click away while you try to shill for things they don’t need.

But shows are trying to sneak Batcheloresque who-goes-and-who-stays ‘roses ceremonies’ at every commercial break. It has even bled over into shows that aren’t even competitions. I mean, how many more times am I going to be stuck watching a docuseries about modern American quilting circles where the voiceover says, “Will Aunt Gilda be able to successfully complete the cross-stitch in time? Tune back in after the commercial to find out!”

Axe in hand, farmer

Likes to watch geese guess who sees

Today’s chopping block.

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Haibun is a pairing of unadorned prose with haiku. The prose is often a paragraph from a personal journal or travel log. The Haiku is supposed to poetically illuminate the prose in some way without being a direct continuation of the prose.

A Storm Cloud Hanging–Haiku

A storm cloud hanging

Like a sandbag in the sky

Waiting for the drop.

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Haiku is a nature-based three line poem written in a short/long/short pattern. haiku have five syllables in the first line, seven in the second, and five in the third. There is usually a reference to season within the poem, and there is often a turn in the third line. Haiku do not need to be grammatically correct and do not require punctuation. All that being said, every single one of these rules have been ignored by one poet or another and any poem that is vividly written and short can be described as haiku.

For my own haiku, I tend to write them as sentences. Many people advise that you take out as many of the articles as possible, and I try to do that as long as it doesn’t confuse the meaning of the poem or disrupting the flow of the words. For example, I could have written the poem like this:

Storm cloud hanging

Sandbag in sky

Waiting for drop

And this is a good haiku, but it is no longer a grammatically correct sentence, and it no longer has a smooth flow. Honestly, it may even be a better haiku than the other version. Why don’t we just ignore the first one. This second version is my real haiku.