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THE HAIBUN GALLERY: 12th January '23 — a Thursday feature

Updated: Jan 17, 2023

Hosts: Firdaus Parvez and Kala Ramesh

poet of the month: Glenn G. Coats

12th January 2023

Come to the Light

The hospital opens at five a.m. and we are early. I turn the car off and wait with my wife. She notices clumps of pansies that blur red and white; two tall cedars mark an entrance to a walkway. There are no vehicles coming or going in the parking lot. My wife asks me to hold her glasses. “I won’t be needing them,” she says as lights click on in the lobby.

early procedure

the ping of prayers

on a cell phone

I lay her raincoat on top of mine, tuck my wife’s identification cards into my shirt pocket. There is a picture on a waiting room wall, three large circles side by side, smaller circles float inside like bubbles. Some are clear, others distorted so they may not be circles at all. I look harder and sense three soccer balls, each in a different stage of coming apart at the seams.


a power beyond


My wife is in a yellow gown with a pattern of blue symbols. We both remember a two-piece bathing suit that was much the same color, a small sailboat gliding across a reservoir. She lifts her head to see the tubes in her arms. Doctors and nurses keep asking about her birthday as I kiss my wife good luck.

when all the dreams

are put on hold

spinal anesthesia

My knuckles are swollen and I can not twist my wedding ring back on. There is a permanent dent where it used to be. My wife can’t go on with the pain in every step. The perimeter of the house is too great a distance for her to travel, a strip of sand too great a barrier to cross in order to reach the sea. Something has to change.

between stars—

the point where talking


There are no guarantees or false promises. There may be minimal improvement in mobility but the pain will be diminished. In the weeks to come after the surgeries, pain will lift like a mist and vanish. The surgeon says my wife will feel as though she has wings and we will wait quietly by a window for her time to fly.

life of a mayfly

the breath it takes

to say I love you

* Contemporary Haibun Online, 2018

* A Synonym for Gone, Snapshot Press, 2021

We had the pleasure of asking Glenn a few questions and he graciously took the time to answer them. Here's the second one.


THG: What is your writing process?

GC: I write haiku wherever I am. I write them in response to what I am reading. I compose them in my head when I travel then scribble poems down in hotel rooms or at rest stops. I will stuff my wallet with scraps of haiku. Haibun are different process. They evolve more slowly. I will consider a beginning, a middle, and an end for several weeks, even longer, before writing anything down. I usually write the prose first then focus on the title and haiku which I consider equally important.

More about Glenn:

Glenn G. Coats lives with his wife Joan in Carolina Shores, North Carolina. They enjoy exploring the nearby waterways. Glenn’s haiku collection about rivers, Furrows of Snow, was published by Turtle Light Press in 2019. Glenn is the author of five haibun collections: Snow on the Lake, Beyond the Muted Trees (Pineola Press), Waking and Dream (Red Moon Press), Degrees of Acquaintance and A Synonym for Gone (Snapshot Press 2019, 2021).

Essays and Reviews:

Contemporary Haibun Online, Book Reviews by Glenn G. Coats

CHO April 20022, Review of Home and Away by Ruth Holzer

CHO August 2022, Review of Invisible Dictionary by Stuart Bartow

Haibun Today

HT March 2016, Essay on “Homeless in the Universe” by Bill Wyatt

HT December 2015, Essay on “A Change of Address” by Ken Jones

HT December 2012, Essay on “Honour and Glory” by Ken Jones

HT March 2011, Review of A Boy’s Seasons by Cor van den Heuvel

Your Challenge: Glenn is a skillful storyteller who uses vivid details to make you feel the story, but other than that look how beautifully he inserts the ku between the prose, rather than disturbing the flow of the prose they move the story forward, they're essential to the whole. He leaves hints for the reader to come to their own conclusions. "Implication" is the key here; show, don't tell. This one left me in tears. Tell us a story with this in mind; make sure your haiku deserves a place between the prose and moves the story forward. Leave us wanting for more. (You can write outside this challenge as well) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ As always, a good haibun will find its way into the next issue of our fabulous journal. Kala and I are eagerly looking forward to reading your haibun. Keith Polette is the MENTOR for THE HAIBUN GALLERY from 16 December 2022. Thank you, Keith PLEASE NOTE: 1. Only two haibun per poet per prompt. 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.


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118 commentaires

mona bedi
mona bedi
18 janv. 2023



It’s a perfect day. We have just landed in Goa. The weather is sunny. The ocean breeze is invigorating. All of a sudden I feel a wave of nothingness… as if nothing matters. The sun, blue skies, ebbing waves nor the togetherness makes me feel good. This wave of anxiety is baffling.. I know it’s from within me and not from my surroundings.

I am reminded of a quote by Marcus Aurelius : “Today I escaped from anxiety. Or no, I discarded it, because it was within me, in my own perceptions; not outside.”

summer rain—

the meandering path

of the mountain river

Feedback appreciated:)


is there a place for humour in haibun writing? so often life can be hilarious and we need to laugh. we are bombarded with tragedy

En réponse à

Great I am working on something


Kala Ramesh
Kala Ramesh
14 janv. 2023

Flipped the whole haibun!

Thanks to Bonnie's suggestions. Added them.

The Waterfall

When we were young, Father, a doctor by profession, was very fond of his wisecracks. He would say exactly one week after India got her independence on 15 August 1947, he lost his to this girl, pointing to my mother and before others could even react, he would laugh aloud, putting both guests and patients at ease as they joined in his mirth.

I am back in my parents' house. Rushed here on the same day I lost my father. And then I stayed on to keep mother company. It’s been four months now. Covid–19 and the never-ending lockdown take centre stage.

When talking about her marriage…

Vibha Malhotra
Vibha Malhotra
18 janv. 2023
En réponse à

I am working up courage to write my first haibun. Somehow the form intimidates me. Strange because I didn't feel this way when attempting my first tanka prose.

And then I read a piece like this and Kala's note that she has submitted it to various journals with no success. I see the warm, constructive comments and how graciously they have been accepted.

I can't say that my fear has vanished, but I definitely see a space where you can be vulnerable and a community that will help lift you up. This is rare. This is precious.

Very soon, I will post.

I love the final version of the haibun.


Membre inconnu
13 janv. 2023

Requiem Colours ( slightly revised )

Scraps of litter and dried up foliage skitter around it. Between the cracks of paving slabs this small pied object does not move. Despite strong gusts, it's just lying there motionless. I raise my hood to shield my gaze. ' The thing with feathers '. That fleeting skim. That flick of the tail. And then he's gone. Forever this time. 'Hope is...' No there is none. Not for that little bird, that little creature who'd graced the pavement outside the cafe and lifted my spirits so many times. I can't bear to look. I force myself to risk just one quick glance.

dropped ...

a piece of cellophane

gleams with sunlight

Requiem Colours (…

En réponse à

amazing how this edit has helped the ku


Kala Ramesh
Kala Ramesh
12 janv. 2023

I would like with each of your post - you give constructive feedback to at least two of the haibun posted here. Good indepth feedback, which helps the writer to understand how it is understood! Am I clear?!

Thank you. This is a nurturing forum and we need to help each other to polish our poems.

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