Updated: Dec 16, 2022
Hosts: Reid Hepworth and Shalini Pattabiraman Keith Polette is the MENTOR for THE HAIBUN GALLERY from 16 December 2022. Thank you, Keith.
15th December 2022
Today we bring you the third haibun in the series featuring Terri L. French.
Terri L. French
Redwoods, moss coated rocks, fiddlehead ferns. The pine needle path interrupted by protruding rocks. Just a whiff of sea brine. Down a mud-slick desire path into a cove of sand and rocks. Black monoliths rise from the swell. Seagull squawks muffled by the waves’ crescendo. Tentacles of bull kelp tangled in sargassum. Iridescent bubbles floating on spume.
And me, arms stretched wide, alone in the sand, breathless, shoes cast aside, toes digging deep enough to take root…head thrown back…one deep primal note sung to the sky.
at a first breath
Source: The Haiku Hecameron, edited by Scott Mason, 2020
R: For most poets, the natural world is our muse - we look to it for inspiration, for grounding, for solace. My grandmother used to say, “when you are sad, angry, or have something to process, go to the sea. It will never fail you.” My gran would often walk down to the beach, sit on a bench and stare into the Salish Sea until she was good and ready to return home. I learned from watching her and from spending time in nature, that it has an abundance of healing energy. So it's no surprise that this haibun called out to me. The prose itself is a sensory smorgasbord: visually, tactilely, olfactory, auditory. “Down a mud-slick desire path…” sigh. Could it get any better? Yes, indeed. And, once we are satiated with the ferns, seagulls and brine, Terry reins us into the present experience of the narrator…taking us on her primal journey…where really, one can only travel alone, so basic and instinctual that passengers are rarely invited. And then she caps it off with an exquisite ku. She cleverly leaves the door open for…hope, second chances, new beginnings. Rebirth. Brilliant.
Terri’s thoughts about Rebirth:
This is one of my favourites and I am happy Scott (Mason) chose it to be in this wonderful anthology. Travelling full-time in our RV all over has afforded me to see many parts of the country I never had. And doing so during the pandemic gave me an opportunity to strengthen my relationship with the natural world. I wrote this piece when we were in lockdown in northern California. We were the only people in our campground, other than essential transient workers, for fifty-six days. For an introverted poet this was heaven! The giant redwoods, banana slugs, skunk weed, the ocean waves, sea lions and seals. Truly, it was a time of rebirth for me.
For this prompt we would like you to explore whatever brings you peace, be it a place, a custom, an object. Show us, don’t tell, let us explore the harmonics with open minds.
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. 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.