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THE HAIBUN GALLERY : 12 May — a Thursday feature

Updated: May 12, 2022

hosts: Shobhana Kumar and Kala Ramesh


12th May

This month we'll be showcasing haibun written by Harriot West


Here is our second offering from Harriot West’s vast repertoire.


The Way Things Were


There she is on eBay—the doll mother never let me have—poor Barbie, dismissed in the house where I grew up as cheap, not for the plastic she was made of but for her perky in-your-face breasts.


sepia shadows

a young girl tugs

at her tee shirt



Previously published in Haibun Today 6:3


Here is another haibun from Harriot West. In the commentary on her second book, Shades of Absence, Ray Ramussen in this article below, writes of her remarkable ability to write powerful, short haibun. Brevity is an art that haijin are perhaps adept at mastering, but haibuneers like Harriot West have made the art of succinct writing stand out.



Here are some more links to her work:

Until One Day I Said Enough: Harriot West on Haibun, an interview by Jeffrey Woodward in Haibun Today (Volume 9, Number 1, March 2015)


Harriot West and Minimalist Haibun by Ray Rasmussen in Haibun Today (Volume 8, Number 4, December 2014)


For this week, we invite you to espouse the case of brevity. Eschew elaborate mentions. Try to see what you can do with limited words. How much can you say in how little? PLEASE NOTE:

1. Only two haibun per poet per prompt.

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. Post your final edited version on top of your original verse.

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 We are delighted to open the comment thread for you to share your unpublished haibun (within 300 words) to be considered for inclusion in haikuKATHA monthly journal.




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162 Comments


mona bedi
mona bedi
May 16, 2022

The Enso His face is charismatic and handsome. He has an aura about him. The salt and pepper hair suit him. Slowly he steps out of the car. I notice his shoes… one higher than the other. He has a limp. Polio was an epidemic in his time. deep autumn — pulling off the scab from an old scar


Feedback appreciated:)

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mona bedi
mona bedi
May 18, 2022
Replying to

Thanks Shobana… shall rework! Amazing suggestions.

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Reid Hepworth
Reid Hepworth
May 14, 2022

Funny Bone


The night grandpa invented a loudspeaker for his television set, we watched Monty Python’s Flying Circus, at a decibel guaranteed to damage eardrums.


crack of dawn

the quail perfects

it’s silly walk


Feedback appreciated. My goodness, haibun are hard!

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Reid Hepworth
Reid Hepworth
May 18, 2022
Replying to

Thank you so much, Shobhana! I’m so glad you liked it! I do not need the comma, thank you for pointing it out. I will remove it.

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lakshmi iyer
lakshmi iyer
May 14, 2022

Please let me know about the change in title if any. As of now, I am keeping

'Race'. If not, how about 'Once upon a Time', A Tiny Recall', 'At Home' or please suggest. Now, I have two more titles; thanks Kala..Get, Set, Teddy Go or One, Two and Three.


.

Race


I always wanted to be first, but I couldn't. Each time I tried, my wheezing would show up and I had to stay at home for almost a week. Father would write a letter to the principal. The same lines for the seventh time. This time I learnt a new word, 'convalescence'.


July rain ...

drops follow drops

on the windowpane


.

feedback please


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lakshmi iyer
lakshmi iyer
May 21, 2022
Replying to

Actually, i thought of


'One, Two and Three...'

Will this work? Your title is also sweet.

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Anju Kishore
Anju Kishore
May 14, 2022

Revision 2

(Thank you, Kala. A new haiku. Critique welcome with thanks.)


Small Voices


I crush the dried rose petal in my foot soak between my toes. A hint of a fragrance rises, and no more.


big city

warblers hit

a glass tower


*********************

Revision

Thanks to the kind feedback from Diana, Shobhana and Mona)


That Small Voice


I crush a dried rose petal in the foot soak between my toes. A hint of a fragrance rises, and no more.


warm dawn

the wind caught

in thorns


********************


That Small Voice


I crush the dried rose petal in my foot soak between my toes. A hint of a fragrance rises, and no more.


steaming dawn

no wind stops

b…


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Anju Kishore
Anju Kishore
Jun 01, 2022
Replying to

Hi Shobhana! So sorry that I missed this message from you. I happened to come across it now while looking for something else. Further to earlier feedback, the Haiku was changed. As for your query about the rose petal- some fancy foot salts come with artificially scented flower petals. They give out a fragrance. I hope the haibun looks a bit better now.

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Marcie Wessels
Marcie Wessels
May 13, 2022

Warriors


There’s caregiver in the room when we arrive, a beautiful Muslim woman wearing a bright floral hijab. She sits off to the side, quietly waiting, and listening for any request for comfort or aid.


While Janice and I chat with the kids, Jenny mostly dozes.


Toward the end of our visit, Jenny briefly wakes. She smiles when she notices that I’m wearing camo. “What’s with the Rambo shirt?”

warm and wide-open the eye of the doe in headlights

.


Warriors


There’s caregiver in the room when we arrive, a beautiful Muslim woman wearing a bright floral hijab. During our visit, she sits off to the side, quietly waiting, and listening.


While Janice and I chat with the kids, Jenny…


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Marcie Wessels
Marcie Wessels
May 14, 2022
Replying to

All of this feedback is very helpful. It would also be useful to me if you could tell me what you think this means. I wonder what message you take away. Thank you in advance for your thoughts.

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