hosts: Shalini Pattabiraman & Shobhana Kumar
The penultimate mile
We leave the car in an overcrowded parking lot. The final stretch to the temple is about a kilometer and a half. We leave our footwear in the car and start along the narrow path. After many decades, my city-bred feet are soon reminded of the sensations of walking over tiny pieces of gravel and sharp stones.
upslope trek -
cotton clouds skim past
We reach a signboard with directions to the river. Rough-cut stone steps lead to its sandy bed. Five months before the monsoon and the water is shallower than the descriptions I have read about the mighty river. We make our way to the edge of the water, fine sand grains on the soles of our feet and with the weight of an unbaked-mud urn heavy in our hands.
dawn breaks -
the meandering river
now carries your ashes
a pale gold sun
breaks past bare branches -
through the sky
(Genjuan International Haibun Contest – Honourable Mention, 2020)
Notice how two haiku are placed at the end of the prose passage. How do they link, leap and shift from one to another? What stands out for you in this haibun? Is it the river, the sand, the water? We all have memories aplenty of the Indian monsoon. Let that be your starting point—sheets of rain pouring down. What haibun can you bring forth?
We are delighted to open the comment thread for you to share your unpublished haibun (within 300 words) to be considered for inclusion in haikuKATHA monthly journal.