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THE HAIBUN GALLERY: 22nd December — a Thursday feature

Hosts: Reid Hepworth and Shalini Pattabiraman Keith Polette is the MENTOR for THE HAIBUN GALLERY from 16 December 2022. Thank you, Keith

22nd December 2022

Today we bring you week 4 of the series featuring Terri L. French. If you haven't figured out a pattern for my choices for the month of December, I will spell it out - all but one of the haibun chosen feature children. This is because I happen to think children are just about the coolest people on the planet. And as we near so many winter celebrations (Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, Christmas, Kwanza, New Years, etc.), it seemed fitting.

Terri L. French

Mishaps and Marbles

My little sister, Betty Ann, is a six-year-old accident just waiting to happen –and she happens a lot. She spills milk most every morning when she’s trying to pour it over her Cheerios. I offer to help, but of course she can do it by herself. And she does, all over the table and running onto the floor. The cat just stands under her chair ‘cuz’ he knows it's only a matter of time.

Last week, I found the snow globe I got for Christmas in a million pieces on my bedroom floor, little bits of fake snow and pieces of glass strewn from here to tarnation. I managed to save the little dog that looked like Mud and the boy pulling the tiny sled. I’d caught Betty Ann shaking it before, and I told her if she ever broke it, I’d shake her head ‘til her eyes fell out. I told her the cat would bat her eyeballs around the floor like marbles and she’d stumble around like Mamaw B without her spectacles.

I know that was ugly and it made her cry, but she went and shook it again, anyway. I really wanted to shake her head like I threatened. If her eyeballs did fall out, I could always claim it was an accident.

away in a manger

the baby Jesus wrapped

in yesterday’s news


Keepers a book of haibun

R: As the younger sibling in my family, I can’t imagine doing anything that would set my older brother on edge. Smile. I say that in jest, as I know that I was in pain in the backside more than once. And I do remember one childhood friend, whose older brother nailed her dolls to the top of the basement staircase and threw darts at them until they were unrecognisable. It's a sibling thing. It's what makes the world an interesting place and what makes families family. We sometimes torment one another, sometimes look out for each other, sometimes give each other the space to test our wings and fly.

From the first line of prose, Terri opens the porthole, preparing us for the gift that is Betty Ann. She then takes us on a tour of sibling dynamics. “...she happens a lot”...”but of course she can do it by herself”. The humour laced with frustration, the tenderness mixed with anger. And then she pulls us in, to the child in a manger, wrapped in yesterday’s news. What an image! Celebrations have come and gone, that little child in a manger, wrapped up for another year.

Tied with a nice bow, the title, the prose and the ku. Such a gift.

Terri’s thoughts about Mishaps and Marbles:

The poor kid, he really does try hard to be a good boy! Many of us have dealt with younger siblings who find a way to tap dance on our last nerve. I had a fascination with snow globes as a kid—still do—and I can see why this one was dear to JT’s heart with the likeness of he and his dog, Mud, encapsulated inside. But Betty Ann just couldn’t keep her sticky paws off of it. Can’t blame him for wanting to throttle her a bit. The haiku, again, brings in the religious element. The image of baby Jesus in yesterday’s news, put away until next Christmas. Peace on Earth, Good Will to Men (and kids) for a while anyway. . .ya just can’t be holy all the time.


For this week's prompt, we ask you to delve into the time capsule of your life and pull out a nugget that you feel comfortable sharing and bringing into the light. Think about a favourite gift you received, your biggest disappointment (mine was Sea Monkeys) or just let your imagination run and see where it takes you. Have fun!


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.


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93 comentarios

Vidya Shankar
Vidya Shankar
27 dic 2022

Here's my edited poem. Thanks to all who stopped by to read and comment. Sangita and Anju, I took your suggestions into consideration for this edit. They were valuable suggestions.


She was quite miffed by the low marks she got in her English papers. Her language skills were definitely not mediocre, she argued.

“Your compositions are too wordy but they don't contribute to a sufficient development of ideas. You need to groom your style. Examinations call for a disciplined approach.”

My advice didn’t go well with her. She assumed I was trying to curb her creative instincts and was vocal about it whenever she had an opportunity.

She is in a different school now. Because of me. Which is…

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Contestando a

Hi Vidya

I like the revisions. Here are some additional suggestions. Let me know if you are happy to incorporate these.

Vidya Shankar, India Bridges She was quite miffed by the low marks she got in her English papers. Her language skills were definitely not mediocre, she argued. “Your compositions are too wordy but they don't contribute to a sufficient development of ideas. You need to groom your style. Examinations call for a disciplined approach.” My advice didn’t go well with her. She assumed I was trying to curb her creative instincts and was vocal about it whenever she had an opportunity. Which is why I am surprised by her visit, especially because she has come looking for me, though she attends a…

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Martin Duguay
Martin Duguay
27 dic 2022

Well, it's certainly not like Terri's masterpiece, but it is a childhood memory about a boy and much more.


27 December 2022

Revised version: Many thanks to Reid, Diana, and Vidya for their suggestions.

The Escape Artist

The boy next door pleads with his mother and cries out in pain as she slaps him. She shouts herself hoarse then steps outside and slams the front door. Concerned, my mom calls the cops. By the time the police show up, the woman is all smiles and feigns surprise at seeing them on her doorstep. The officers ask to see the boy. He’s too afraid to say anything, and she’s too cunning to leave any marks.

midnight run

a Superboy T-shirt

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Contestando a

Hi Martin. Thank you for the compliment. I like your rewrite and the SuperBoy haiku caps it off well.

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Rupa Anand
Rupa Anand
25 dic 2022

Post 2 25/12/2022

Revised 1 ~ thanks to the gentle guidance of Shalini ~ feedback please

Dry Dock

full moon—

waves sl a pp ing sand

Tucking in the edges of my hair, she sees if both sides are balanced. Salt and pepper wisps fall to the floor. Gently talking of her Mom, who passed away a year ago, she asks, “Why don’t we sisters have our parents? Not even a mother-in-law. My son has no grandparents. Why?”

The anguish is palpable. The lady in the adjoining chair pats her shoulder while leaving, “There are those who have their parents and do not value them.”

Someone comes to sweep up the fallen hair. The floor, pristine again.

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Martin Duguay
Martin Duguay
27 dic 2022
Contestando a

I agree with Diana. Your prose is touching, and I like the link and shift of your haiku.

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24 dic 2022

Would love feedback 🙏🏻

Version 2 Thank you Reid and Anju for your feedback 🙏🏻


The Supernatural

I am getting sucked into the black abyss. Afraid of what lies at the bottom of the pit I close my eyes. Not knowing if there’s a bottom to this pit, I let out a scream.

“Your fever is getting worse. Here, have a spoonful of the medicine,” my father insists.

“But it tastes bitter and it makes me want to throw up,” I push his hand away. The medicine gets spilled onto the sheets. “You are one big Bhoot* ,” he walks away.

“You called me a Bhoot, I am not talking to you now ,” I shout. And…

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27 dic 2022
Contestando a

Thank you Anju for the detailed reading and feedback.

will incorporate 1 and 3.

you know what is a literal translation of how the conversation starts in Marathi sometimes, hence will keep it .

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23 dic 2022

My parents decided we were old enough to be left alone on New Years Eve. My siblings and I were naturals at finding trouble. We found that the Christmas tree was dry and the needles were easily removed by lightly touching them. We got containers and proceeded to remove every needle off the tree leaving a skeleton with all the decorations intact. We laughed ourselves silly and went to bed. I don’t remember what our parents did but I still giggle when I think of that tree.

locust’s [new ku]

eating the green

empty stalks remain

I am the oldest now [original]

shadows of the past

my stories to tell

new to writing haibun… comments welcome

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26 dic 2022
Contestando a

Thank you Reid I agree I think it needs to perk a bit! Intend to do that with my shahai as well… to close 🤗

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