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THE HAIBUN GALLERY: 19th January '23 — a Thursday feature

Hosts: Firdaus Parvez and Kala Ramesh

poet of the month: Glenn G. Coats

19th January 2023

A Nest Under the Eaves

they grow together over time hemlocks

Twilight. The music of pots and pans, ring of knives and forks, shuffle of feet, the in and out of chairs. Most of the family gathers around the kitchen table—a few are still at work, one waitresses at a diner, another bottles milk at the dairy. The older girls talk about a boy on the bus who found trouble and enlisted in the army. Boys chatter about baseball tryouts, infield mix, the need to oil gloves.

To Dimitri and Anna who sit alone at the dining room table, their voices sound like birds all singing at once. They listen and sip their chowder. Dimitri crunches oyster crackers in his hands, sprinkles them like dust on his soup.

After the children clear away their places, Anna and Dimitri climb the steps up to their room. They undress, change into night clothes, then lie side by side where they talk in whispers about today and tomorrow. Their lights are off now. Voices ring around the house, hum like a fan as the grandparents slip into sleep.

from childhood until now tiger lilies

* Contemporary Haibun Online, January 2019

* Degrees of Acquaintance, Snapshot Press 2019

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


THG: Would you share some tips on editing?

GC: Menke Katz (Bitterroot Journal) was the first poetry editor who saw something in my work, and he was the first editor to offer me advice. With Menke, it was always the stripping away of excess words, the honing down until the bare bones of a poem remained. At first that was painful but in the end I came to see what Menke had in mind. Sometimes, I will put a new haibun aside for several months then look at it again with the aim of cutting all that is unnecessary. If you find a fellow poet to work with then you need to be open to his/her recommendations. I have been blessed with some great editors in my life.

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:

What a superb setting of scene. Nothing extraordinary about it; another day in the life of this family. But, how did this haibun make you feel? There's a bittersweet element in this piece that speaks to us. It brings back memories of my Grandparents watching my siblings and I, as we prattled on about our day; observing us and smiling. And what lovely one line haiku Glenn has written that give the sense of passing of time as the children grew up. This week let's write about how time changes us and our relationship with our loved ones. Let us step into your childhood home for a little while. Show it to us. 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


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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