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THE HAIBUN GALLERY: 29th February 2024 — Dru Philippou, featured poet

hosts: Shalini Pattabiraman & Vidya Shankar

A Thursday Feature.

poet of the month: Dru Philippou

29th February 2024

This month we have the pleasure of featuring Dru Philippou, a multiple award winning writer with a strong and unique voice. 

Dru Philippou was born on the island of Cyprus, raised in London and currently lives in northern New Mexico, USA. She received her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Naropa University, Boulder, Colorado. She writes haiku, tanka, haibun, and tanka prose. An award winning poet, her work is widely published and anthologised. She has also written two featured creative essays regarding haiku "Haiku Geometry" and "HaikuHolograms" Her haibun "Afterlife" won first place in the Haiku Society of America’s 2021 Haibun Awards. Also, her haibun "Pilgrimage" won first place in 2023 in the same contest. In 2022, she published her first collection of poetry,  A Place to Land, a memoir written entirely in tanka prose. 

Dru Philippou


We sort through her clothing, much of it never worn, some with price tags still attached. Her boots and slippers, flats and heels spill out of the walk-in closet. They’re adorned with bows, with ribbons that wrap round the ankle, and even a stained-glass motif from Beauty and the Beast. Her American husband, born in Shanghai, explains that his wife didn’t have much as a child. But now her drawers are crammed with watches and costume jewelry, with dozens of beaded sequin purses in glittering gold, silver, and black, with opera glasses to match. Her luggage crowds his side of the closet: hard and soft sides, two-wheelers and spinners, suitcases and backpacks. On the top shelves, we find blue-winged Kewpie dolls, wrapped in the original tissue paper. In the bedroom, he reveals a carved red cinnabar lacquer snuff bottle, which he’d bought for her in China, and a hand-embroidered gown, a wedding gift from his godmother, Ai Ling Soong. Irreplaceable. 

tea grows cold. . .

he tells me again

how they first met

Source: Essentials

SP: Editing-how to cut, what is dear; how to identify what is not working; how to shape a first draft.

DP: With a first draft, I tend to include everything that feels relevant—I just write. I allow the work to sit for a while before returning to it again. Then I can easily determine what belongs and what doesn’t. Often, I don’t want to release a favorite line. A beautiful but unnecessary sentence can weaken the writing. Sometimes, I work on a piece for days and weeks, but it doesn’t pull together, and I put it aside and realize it’s a seed for something else. What is exciting for me is to allow the writing to travel where it wants to go, despite my initial intent. To allow each sentence to move the work forward toward its full realization. To allow the haibun to continue after its ending. To think about sound devices—assonance, consonance, alliteration, etc. Most importantly, read your work aloud and discover where the music is or where you stumble over words. 

Prompt: A haibun is such a versatile form, encouraging writers to experiment with different types of writing within its shape. For this week, we invite you to tell someone's story. 

As you plan this haibun, consider the framing of the character. Who is this character? What makes them interesting? How will you reveal something essential about them without writing a novel?

In his book, Consider This: Moments in My Writing Life After Which Everything Was Different, Chuck Palahnuik writes, “[A]void abstract verbs in favor of creating the circumstances that allow your reader to do the remembering, the believing, and the loving. You may not dictate emotion. Your job is to create the situation that generates the desired emotion in your reader.” 

Haibun outside this prompt is welcome too

Important: Since we're swamped with submissions, and our editors are only human, mistakes can happen. Please, please, remember to put your name, followed by your country, below each poem, even after revisions. It helps our editors; they won't have to type it in, saving them from potential typos. Thanks a ton!



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.


321 views76 comments


mona bedi
mona bedi
Mar 05

Post #2


Shooting star

The mirror is not hazy. She thinks it’s her complexion. Deciding to do something about it , she starts applying fairness creams and makeup. Going to college one day a young handsome boy stops her. “I have been admiring you for long . Please don’t wear makeup. Everyone loves your dusky skin.” he says.

star by star

the sky awakens

autumn wind

Feedback appreciated:)

Mona Bedi



When she was small she used to cut off her curly black hair with a scissors. Just snipping it here and there , whenever she felt like it.Being curly,they always fell in place or out of place, it never made a difference. She does that even now though she does  occasionally treat herself to a haircut at the beauty parlour. Her mom used to say that she developed this habit after reading 'Mill on the Floss' by Thomas Hardy. And it worried her at times. Little did she  realise that, like Maggi ,she was trying to break free of herself and everything that restrained her. Or perhaps that is what worried her.

Black curls 

sound of  clipped anguish 

taking flight.



mona bedi
mona bedi
Mar 04

Post #1



He is late for their twenty-fifth marriage anniversary party.


to the seven year itch —

changing winds

Feedback appreciated:)

Mona Bedi



Mar 04




Often I see her with lipstick on, in flowing floral ill fitting dresses. Hair disheveled sometimes, a bun with strands dangling everywhere around the face at times. Quite regularly she carries a bottle of cold drink and some packets of chips. This happens early, at about 7.30 in the morning when I pass by that area. She'll be right in the middle of the road looking lost. One look at her and it's obvious that there's something wrong with this girl in her mid-fifties. Someone told me her story about two years back. A story of betrayal. A story of hope.

sunflower field

that little seed waits

for liberty

Kalyanee Arandhara

Assam, India

Feedback most welcome


I am unable to get the entire post after I hit Publish....I mean the view more doesn't show...what am I doing wrong

Replying to

no dear I did not post.... I will try again later in the day

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