Hosts: Firdaus Parvez and Kala Ramesh
poet of the month: Bob Lucky
2nd March, 2023
Minutes of the First and Last Meeting of the Haiku Club of Bahrain
The British Club, Manama, Bahrain. President Salman Mahmood Hamad Al Mubarak called the meeting to order. Dress code was the topic for discussion. Should all women, Western and Muslim, wear hijab, shaila, or other head coverings to meetings? Agnes Moore pointed out the women were going to look “bloody ridiculous” in bikinis and headscarves at poolside meetings. Tala Al Yafi agreed. Richard Smith complained of the difficulty of writing haiku in Bahrain, noting in particular a clear lack of seasons. “I can never see my breath here, not even in January.” Nabeel Al Soofi added, “There is too much sand, too much fast cars.” Agnes noted that one has to drive all the way to Hamala just to see a “bloody camel.” Richard wanted to discuss ‘camel’ as a possible kigo, but everyone took Tala up on her offer to buy the first round at the pub, even Agnes, who made it clear she was only going to drink “bloody tea” and would leave if anyone started talking about the war in Iraq.
dusty sunset –
kids in the deep end
play Marco Polo
(Contemporary Haibun Online 3.3, Sept 2007; Contemporary Haibun #9, 2008; Dust of Summers: The Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku, 2008)
We had the pleasure of asking Bob a few questions and he graciously took the time to answer them. Here's the first.
THG: What gravitated you to start writing haibun?
Bob: I read Basho’s The Narrow Road to the Deep North when I was in high school, but I don’t think I was aware of the term haibun until decades later. I published my first haibun in Frogpond, Contemporary Haibun Online, and Haibun Today in 2007. I had been publishing haiku at the time and beginning to explore prose poetry. I was also addicted to travel. Haibun seemed an excellent way to combine those things. Of course, this observation is made in hindsight. The impetus to write haibun may well have been to experience haiku in a different way, to not be limited to three lines or one breath.
More about Bob:
Bob Lucky’s work has appeared in Rattle,MacQueen’s Quinterly, Otoliths, SurVision, Flash, Modern Haiku, The Other Bunny, Drifting Sands Haibun, Contemporary Haibun Online, Die Leere Mitte, and other journals.
His chapbook of haibun, tanka prose, and prose poems, Ethiopian Time (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2014), was an honorable mention in the Touchstone Book Awards. His chapbook Conversation Starters in a Language No One Speaks (SurVision Books, 2018) was a winner of the James Tate Poetry Prize in 2018. He is also the author most recently of a collection of prose poems, haibun, and senryu, My Thology: Not Always True But Always Truth (Cyberwit, 2019); and an e-chapbook, What I Say to You (proletaria.org, 2020).
He lives in Portugal.
Bob's haibun made me chuckle; I've been to Bahrain and can endorse some of those things. Your challenge this week is to bring humour to your poems. Take us on a journey perhaps and introduce us to odd/interesting people along the way. Kala and I look forward to meeting them. (You may also write outside of this challenge) Have fun!
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
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.