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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.


Q3:

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


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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95 Comments


Final tweak:


4 am


The furnace has begun its work of heating up the house for the day. Rather than start the coffee, I nuke myself a mug of chamomile, close my eyes and sink into pre-dawn solitude.


darkness

beyond the kitchen window

great horned owl


First posted version:

4 am


The furnace has begun its work of heating up the house for the day. Rather than start the coffee, I nuke myself a mug of chamomile, close my eyes and sink into pre-dawn solitude.


from the darkness

beyond the kitchen window

great horned owl

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Replying to

hi Linda

IT is atmospheric and carries a lot of weight. I like the haibun very much. However, i would suggest you to consider taking out the last phrase 'into predawn solitude' as that is telling. You haiku shows the solitude inhabited by the speaker.


Although it is at some level ineteresting to use the word 'nuke'; imho, I would stay away from the language of violence in a piece of writing that is so thoughtfully meditative.

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I have reworked my Haibun of 6 days ago

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Firdaus Parvez
Firdaus Parvez
Jan 25, 2023
Replying to

I've replied

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mona bedi
mona bedi
Jan 20, 2023

Post #1


Revised thanks to Kala and Firdaus :


Middle class


It is just another summer day. Dad is rushing to work. Mom is cooking in the kitchen. My sister can’t find her socks and she is shouting at mom. In the confusion mom drops the porridge on the floor. Dad says he is leaving without breakfast. I hide behind the door with my dog, scared that I may get scolded. Soon everyone leaves for work or college. Mom suddenly breaks down. “I can’t keep everyone happy “ she says.


wilted roses

in her old diary —

silent rain


Middle class


It is just another summer day. Dad is rushing to work. Mom is cooking in the kitchen. My siste…


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mona bedi
mona bedi
Jan 26, 2023
Replying to

Thanks 😊

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haibun 2 critique please

edit 2 thanks to Fiirdaus


Passing it On

I was 20 years old when I wrote the letter. There were things that needed to be said. You needed to know your part. Mum shoved religion down his throat. Dad calling him out for the least offence. I suggested a little encouragement but...


Family meal times. Words swat my brother. We all sweat. Tears and raised voices from his bedroom. Dad hammering the good name into him.


The man grown now, the boy still hurting. He wounds me with words and silence.

the threat of his baton—

a dog walker

with no poop bags


edit 1thanks Diana Reid and Kala. i have reduced the prose considerably.

Passing…


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Reid Hepworth
Reid Hepworth
Jan 25, 2023
Replying to

I think your final revision is much smoother and reads well. It’s a hard piece.

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Unknown member
Jan 20, 2023

Many Cosmic Revolutions ( revised)


So yesterday was your birthday Nicholas Copernicus? 550 years since you took your first breath on planet earth. And now there's a crater on the moon named after you! Such a synchronicity, the way we saved an ancient sundial from the dump, its frost-edged gnomon all a sparkle like party glitter. And what a wonder, the way the low sun strikes an overturned steel bucket by the yew tree outside the window. A vision of the brightest candle I've ever seen.


songbird flown -

the hollowed coconut

spins deosil


note: deosil means in the sun's direction


Many Returns ( original)


So yesterday was your birthday Nicholas Copernicus? 550 years since you took your first breat…


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Unknown member
Jan 22, 2023
Replying to

Yes indeed. Firdaus suggested changing the title and a couple of phrasings in the prose. So I'm very grateful to her and now that my responses to her suggestions have been included in my revised version I'm even more pleased with the piece than I was before.


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