THE HAIBUN GALLERY 3 March — a Thursday feature

Updated: Mar 5

hosts: Shalini Pattabiraman & Shobhana Kumar

3rd March


You are dressed in the resplendence that only you can carry off. The sunrays from the western sky glide off your jewellery and hold my gaze. After a while, my gaze is broken and is led away to the pink silk umbrella with gold trimming.

festival in May-

elephants nod to the beat

of village drummers

That moment defined the word ‘majesty’ for me. Years later, when I saw you again after my travels across the seas and my inner journey through deserts, I had almost forgotten that word. You reminded me again.

a homing pigeon

on the temple roof -

I too must return

Yesterday they called me.

What does one say when an elephant dies? That he died? That he was a beautiful creature with superior intelligence and a spirit to match? That he had the grace of a hundred classical dancers when adorned in gold? That he worked untiringly, every day of his living life? That the urchins who teased him knew that he would drench them with water the next minute?

What does one say? That he had come as a boy of eight and grew up with his human cousins who talked to him in times of trouble? That he stood knowingly, nodding his large eyes - deep, sad? That we suspected he knew more of life than us all? That he ended an era graciously? Or that the chief priest at the temple had said, “Did you hear about him? The lucky creature is in His lap now!”

Or that he died?

sandalwood smoke ~

a Centaur rides

the night sky

Geethanjali Rajan


(Genjuan International Haibun Contest – Honourable Mention, 2016)

Turn this week’s prompt into fun, a lesson to remember, a happy memory or whatever you would like. This time, let’s go with experiences with animals. It could be your pet, a snake you found as you wandered in your garden, a rodent…allow your imagination to run riot.

And when you do, here are some links to works of Geethanjali Rajan. Here she explores the world of jisei, or death haiku. Go back to three weeks ago and look at the haibun we placed on the theme of death, grief and dying. Get to know the aesthetics of the Japanese way of life.

Here is a wonderful interaction with Christina Chin and Geethanjali:

Some more samples of her work are featured here:

To delve a little more into collaborative writing, explore this review of her work along with Sonam Chhoki here:

And some more:

We are delighted to open the comment thread for you to share your unpublished haibun (within 300 words) to be considered for inclusion in haikuKATHA monthly journal.


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