Updated: Aug 10
hosts: Reid Hepworth & Shalini Pattabiraman
poet of the month: Lorraine A Padden
10th August 2023
A Thursday Feature
Fasten your seatbelts! We are back for week 2 with Lorraine A Padden.
Lorraine, can you tell us a bit about your writing process? Do you write at home, at a desk, out in nature, at a certain time of the day, etc.?
I try to maintain a daily writing practice, and that often happens at home. I do write at a desk but prefer the couch with my laptop because our cat will come and sit next to me! I get outdoors a few times a week and I carry a haiku journal with me for those explorations. Its pages are not bound; the journal has a metal spine and comes with individual magnetic-edged paper pages so I can shuffle them around between draft poems, prompts, and other notes. It’s nerdy and I love it. Just in the last few months I’ve started to record poem bits and notes on my phone but I prefer pencil and paper….
The Bronco’s on and off the brakes so I ease up to leave more room between us. Some swerving each time the driver reaches over to tend to what I imagine must be an excited puppy in the passenger seat.
He pulls over to the curb so everyone behind him can make their way around.
the sound of marbles
Those curious dog ears suddenly become the tousled hair of a young boy cowering as Bronco lifts himself out of his seat and leans over with both hands.
hitting the floor
Upwelling - Haiku, Senryu, Tanka and Haibun by orraine A Padden, 2022, Red Moon Press
This is such a powerful haibun, Lorraine. Do you find it difficult writing about challenging subject matter? How do you know how much to put in and how much to leave out to allow the reader to fill in the gaps?
I wrote that piece shortly after witnessing that terrifying scene. I pulled into a gas station and the Bronco disappeared before I could get the license plate number. This was a very difficult haibun to write. I’ve experienced my own array of adverse childhood experiences, and I’ve practiced mindfulness meditation with incarcerated youth in Juvenile Hall with the hope of finding and offering moments of calm both to those children, and to myself. Trauma runs deep and it’s hard enough to step into a healing process in the aftermath. Throttle was a heartbreaking example of the moment of such damage happening in real time. In this particular piece, I wanted to invite the prose to provide narrative detail but then restrain the flow to allow the haiku to bear much of the emotional weight.
Try writing about something you have witnessed or experienced that made you feel uncomfortable, angry or helpless. Perhaps from a time when you didn’t have the voice or the opportunity to say anything. Please only write what you feel comfortable sharing.
1. Only two haibun per poet per prompt, and only one haibun in 24 hours. Please put your name and country of residence under your poem, it makes the editors' work easier. Thanks.
2. Share your best-polished pieces.
3. Please do not post something in a hurry or something you have just written.
Let it simmer for a while.
4. When poets give suggestions and if you agree to them - post your final edited version on top of your original version.
5. Don't forget to give feedback on others' poems.
We are delighted to open the comment thread for you to share your unpublished haibun (within 300 words) to be considered for inclusion in the haikuKATHA monthly journal.