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THE HAIBUN GALLERY: 16th November 2023 — Gavin Austin, featured poet

hosts: Firdaus Parvez & Kala Ramesh

A Thursday Feature.

poet of the month: Gavin Austin

16th November 2023



Gavin Austin lives in Sydney, Australia. His work has been widely published in anthologies and journals, and he has been recognised in literary competitions. In 2016, Gavin was awarded a Writing Fellow of the FAW NSW Inc., and was the Featured Poet in the January 2016 issue of cattails. Also, he was the Poet in Focus 57, Presence #72, March 2022. The Drifting Sands Special Feature, Girt by Sea was Gavin’s undertaking; a partnership of his photography and poetry from Australian writers. He currently has two published poetry collections: Shadow Play, Dragonwick, Aus., and changing light, Alba Publishing, UK. Gavin was shortlisted for a Touchstone Award 2022 for Individual Poem. He is currently completing a collection of haibun and haiku, which he hopes to publish late 2023. You can find Gavin in The Poet’s Hub Gavin Austin – Drifting Sands Haibun – Poet's Hub (drifting-sands-haibun.org)


We asked Gavin some questions and he has been kind in answering them.

THG:

4: Would you share some tips on editing?


I would say that we wear two hats. One as the writer, who allows the creative process to happen organically. The other is the editor’s hat. So, I write when I write, and edit when I edit. When we wear the editor’s hat, for me, it is an entirely different process. I read the work with analytical and critical eyes. So often we have repeated ourselves in some way. It may be because we don’t always trust the reader will take the point. I particularly find satisfaction in the process of editing and polishing the work. Making certain I have voiced the work as I want it. My writing comes from life experience, either my own, or from others, but I am always involved through close observation, or from an intimate knowledge. I know a reader will spot inauthenticity very quickly. Whereas something taken from a lived experience rings with truth. I spend time searching for just the right word to bring about the feeling I wish to convey. The right textures for the writing. And I always read the work aloud to myself, to discover any awkward phrasing.


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As we unfold the art of Gavin Austen's haibun, here's what we have for you today!

Gender bias is the tendency to give preferential treatment to one gender over another. It is a form of unconscious bias, which occurs when someone unconsciously attributes certain attitudes and stereotypes to a group of people.




Contained My father’s big hands are as ugly as the Sunday roast. Tentatively, I push my fork into the peas but avoid the meat. He watches, his eyes as cold as the blade of the knife he used to butcher the lamb. The rejected twin I’d helped to raise. “Eat!” he barks. School holidays begin, and we are warned not to build a treehouse in the old gum behind the hayshed. My older brother knows better. I am seven and follow without question. A dry branch cracks and gives way. I plummet to the summer-baked earth, breaking an arm. Thundering from the house, my father strikes my cheek with the back of his hand, grabs the neck of my shirt and bundles me onto the back seat of the car. "Boys don’t cry," he hisses, driving to the hospital. Stubbled jaw clenched, his eyes never leaving the road. old bucket rusted from the inside

contemporary haibun online #19.1, April 2023


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Important: Since we're swamped with submissions, and our editors are only human, mistakes can happen. Please, please, remember to put your name, followed by your country, below each poem, even after revisions. It helps our editors; they won't have to type it in, saving them from potential typos. Thanks a ton!


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Prompt: Gender bias is often a form of unconscious or implicit bias. It happens when someone unintentionally attributes certain attitudes and stereotypes to someone else.

When growing up, many times we've heard, "Boys don't cry" / "Girls are only to be seen and not heard."

We have endless gender bias issues in workplaces and in almost all walks of life. Do you have anything to say about such stereotyped judgemental behaviour and would you like to share them here?


Haibun outside this prompt can also be posted!


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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103 comentários


Jennifer Gurney
Jennifer Gurney
22 de nov. de 2023

#2 11-22-23


Kalamazoo --

the city where I come from

and where I am home


Last summer I stood across the street from the first childhood home that I can remember. It was the first time in forty years that I had stood in that spot, with home in my sights. My present-day self could still feel the cold against my nose, pressed against the glass of our neighbor’s front door. My very first memory. The lines of fifty nine and two blurred in that moment of coming home.


Jennifer Gurney, US


Curtir

Vidya Shankar
Vidya Shankar
22 de nov. de 2023

#1 (22/11/2023)


Edited version, thanks to @sangita kalarickal


Exposed!

All the news broadcasts run the same stories over and over again. I pause at one where the ticker keeps urging its viewers to stay tuned for a ladies special feature. For want of nothing better to do, I wait. A never-ending five minutes later, the story begins. The camera pans over a range of colorful stoles and scarves hanging in a shop display while the voiceover says, “Dupattas, the symbol of a woman’s modesty and decorum…”

in a dark corridor

the flaming tongues

of a trishula


__________________________________________________________________________________


Exposed!


The spreadsheet is relentless. I need a break. Picking up the television remote, I press the red button. A flicker...a blank...an…


Curtir
Vidya Shankar
Vidya Shankar
24 de nov. de 2023
Respondendo a

Thank you for your feedback, Sangita. I can see the two haibun now.

Curtir

Alfred Booth
Alfred Booth
22 de nov. de 2023

#1

**

Brotherhood

From the beginning, it was the A major of Mozart’s 23rd piano Concerto. The incredibly haunting second movement in f-sharp minor. The musical epitome of yin and yang. Then I knew my soul had chosen its raison d’être — melancholy. To spend a lifetime creating a spotlight for everything delicate lost after my birth. To eliminate grief.


waiting

I leave the door open

the courtyard’s cold air


**

[2023.22.11…a]


Alfred Booth

Lyon, France


(feedback welcome )

Curtir

K. Ramesh
K. Ramesh
21 de nov. de 2023

#1 edited (based on Vidya's suggestion)


Instead of a car


I bought an old camera

instead of a secondhand car.

Walking on the pavement

with a camera in hand

I can stop at any point

in time and take a picture,

say, of the endangered sparrow.

I can frame the snapshot and hang it on the wall.

Years later, someone in the family

may pull the frame out from

other things in the attic,

wipe the dust,

and see the sparrow again,

with a sense of awe.

empty nest...

a piece of blue cloth

deep in the hay


K Ramesh

Adyar, Chennai,


#1 22/11/24

Instead of a car


When money came

I didn't buy a secondhand car;

bought…


Curtir
K. Ramesh
K. Ramesh
24 de nov. de 2023
Respondendo a

Thank you Vidya for your suggestions. I have made some changes based on your inputs.

Curtir

Jennifer Gurney
Jennifer Gurney
21 de nov. de 2023

#1 11-21-23


touching down

my heart remembers--

waterfall of love


Each time I fly to see my dad and brother in NC, I get a tiny bit sucker punched with grief. My heart, forgetting the obvious, does a flip flop when we land, thinking I'll get to see my mom. And then, mere seconds later, reality returns. Even this time, when I reminded my heart before take off, it did it again. The silver lining is that for a few bright shining seconds, she is here again, if only in my imagination.


Jennifer Gurney, US

Curtir
Respondendo a

I like the prose a lot but I agree the haiku needs to be stronger - and maybe at the end. I think you can do either, but in this case something further might be best. Maybe something missing or passed on, like:


thanksgiving dinner

in mom’s old seat

my new husband


but of course you can go wherever you want.

Curtir
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