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THE HAIBUN GALLERY: 20th April '23 — a Thursday feature

Hosts: Reid Hepworth and Shalini Pattabiraman


poet of the month: Sean O'Connor


20th April, 2023


Welcome to week 3 of the series featuring Sean O’Connor.


RH: The Haibun Gallery has members who are brand new to haibun and those who have been writing for a long time. What advice would you give haibun writers to keep their writing fresh, and putting their work out into the world?


Sean:

Studiously read a lot of literature. Learn from all literary forms. Study books on the craft of writing and on how to edit your work. As the haiku form is a defining component of haibun, it is particularly important to develop the craft of composing them. Editing is not only a matter of ‘paring back’, it also involves knowing what to add to your writing. This is true for haiku too. The Japanese see the removal of a word or two from a haiku draft as an opportunity to add more to the poem. Be careful not to underwrite your haiku.

See the use of kigo, not as simply a reference to nature, but as a technique for injecting emotional resonance and atmosphere into a haiku. Write to the best of your ability and seek to extend that ability. Take the time to develop every piece you write to its maximum potential, regardless of how long that may take. Never rush to publication.

Above all, enjoy both reading and writing.


Reach

By a static lake, the God of Water says Reach. So I pick up a stone, hand-sized and round, made smooth by the constant caress of the Water God. Reaching back, tilting to the transfer of weight, the finding of fulcrum, eyes fix on the shadow-shape of an island, a holy place. Not a sound but an out-breath on swing of stone, arching high and away into darkness. The God of Water watches, waiting. Absorbed into the nothingness the soundless stone arcs unseen. I wait for a kerplunk that does not come. No rolling ripples reach my feet.

Into the forever waiting, almost inaudibly, the God of Water whispers, Look!

hidden, and revealed –

in the sway of bullrushes

tonight’s only star


Source: First published in The God of Bones, Alba Publishing, 2022

To see more about Sean O'Connor's writings visit: seanwriter.com

Reach – RH: You really bring the God of Water to life in this haibun. Your use of alliteration is lovely! I can imagine standing on that lakefront, listening for the kerplunk, listening for the voice of this God.

How important is the lived experience in writing believable haibun? Do you draw mostly from personal experiences with your writing?

Sean:

It is a widely held view that writers benefit from having a wide range of lived experience that they can bring to bear on their writing. However, not every experience we have is relevant to readers. It is unlikely that anyone would be interested in reading about what a writer had for breakfast. Furthermore, the notion of what constitutes human experience is a tricky one. For example, when we dream during our sleep our dreams are real experiences. Our experience of the world is filtered by our cultural life, our background, the symbolism we have internalised. Reality is not something we understand, per se. We intuit reality.

And reality is not frozen – it is in flux. One of the striking lessons I gained from working with haiku and haibun writers in Japan is that they do not see ‘a moment’ as being entirely in the present. The past is in the present. The future is too. I write this sentence at a particular point of time, yet you are reading it in, what for me now, is the future. Well-crafted haiku capture more than the present moment. They go beyond both our thinking and interpretations of experience. They operate at an intuitive level.

The notion of ‘personal experience’ is not very useful. It implies that our experiences are somehow unique. While we may have different specific experiences, we all share the same core experiences of being human. We all suffer pain, loss, joy and so on. Readers connect to writing on this basis. Writing is an act of empathy in which the writer is of no importance. This is why there are great works of literature that are admired and enjoyed over centuries despite us not knowing who wrote them.


Prompt:

For this week, we would like you to explore writing from a dream-state or conjure up something from deep within the depths of your imagination and see where your muse takes you.

The writer, Stephen King said, “In both writing and sleeping, we learn to be physically still at the same time we are encouraging our minds to unlock from the humdrum rational thinking of our daytime lives”. From On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

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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83 comentários


Susan Beth Furst
Susan Beth Furst
26 de abr. de 2023

#1

4/22


Purple Haze


There's a yellow sky over the mountain, and the wind is blowing up a storm. I call for Mr. Rick as I fasten the shutters over the front porch windows.


"That's a tornado sky if I've ever seen one," my crazy neighbor Shelva yells from across the street.


I turn and smile.


"Mr. Rick's been hanging around Zach Johnson's hen house again, you know. Anyway, if I were you I'd batten down the hatches, its going to be a rough one."


As I watch her peddle away, the wind whips against the old siding shaking the shutters loose. I call for Rick one more time and hightail it into the house.


Mr. Rick runs up the…


Curtir
Susan Furst
Susan Furst
27 de abr. de 2023
Respondendo a

Thanks!

:)

Curtir

mona bedi
mona bedi
25 de abr. de 2023

Post#2


Head trip


Dad is thirsty. I offer him a glass of water. As soon as I reach the fridge, a tiny hummingbird tells me “don’t give this stale water to daddy. Let’s get fresh water from a stream.” I follow the bird across pastures till we find a stream.

As soon as I bend to fill my jug with water, a brightly coloured kingfisher stops me.“ Wouldn’t it be better if you could get the water from the mountains?” I agree and all three of us amble along the green mountain till we reach the place where glaciers melt.

Filling up my vessel with water I am again stopped by a Himalayan bluetail. “Oh dear, this is not right…


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mona bedi
mona bedi
27 de abr. de 2023
Respondendo a

Thanks:)

Curtir

Vidya Shankar
Vidya Shankar
24 de abr. de 2023

Bellerophon


Mother has brought me to the market again, to her usual vendor who offers me a carrot every time we visit him. These market visits don’t charm me anymore. Mother seems not to notice that my mouth is drawn downwards or that I am dragging my feet. She holds my tiny right hand securely in her left so I cannot wander about the market on my own. I resign to the boredom of the same oranges and purples and greens when I notice a butterfly hovering over the vegetables.


“Mother, look,” I say, pointing an excited finger at the colourful delight. Mother doesn’t hear me. She is involved in animated bargaining. But the butterfly does. It flies towards me,…


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Vidya Shankar
Vidya Shankar
26 de abr. de 2023
Respondendo a

Thanks, Diana.

Curtir

i am stepping back for a little while and will be working on compiling a first collection.

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Shalini Pattabiraman
Shalini Pattabiraman
01 de mai. de 2023
Respondendo a

Wishing you good luck with the writing!

Curtir

Along the way


Some of us arrive early to seek out the tea shop that we’ll visit upon our return.

It’s 9.30 a.m In this sleepy village.

But, for the ring of a nearby shop doorbell and a lady giving an extra sparkle to already clean tables, the Main Street is empty.


Walking past a green edged with ancient trees and an assortment of period buildings, including two village pubs, we enter Saint Laurence church.


our footsteps

the length of the aisle

flooded with colour


late arrivals

we gather our thoughts

in the belfry


Chipping Ongar is a 15 minute journey by car from Blackmore. We park, then weave our way along a more busy high street, noting the group…


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Respondendo a

Much appreciate your input Susan. The journey is long, we’ll see where it ends. 😀

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