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THE HAIBUN GALLERY: 30th March '23 — a Thursday feature

Hosts: Firdaus Parvez and Kala Ramesh

poet of the month: Bob Lucky

30th March, 2023

The Dance Plague

fall colors

a jack-o-lantern’s

broken-toothed smile

For the last 24 years there’s been a block party on my street, the first Saturday of October to catch the fall spirit without being overwhelmed by Halloween goblins and their wanna-be costume-designer parents. I don’t want to sound like a grumpy old man, but over the years the quality of the music has been in a precipitous decline while the prices in the beer garden have steadily climbed. But the real news is the dance plague.

the burnt-sugar smell

from the cotton candy stand

a swarm of children

It began when Grandma Moses limped out of her basement apartment to shake a leg three years ago. She was soon joined by women her age and older who wobbled and jiggled into the evening. The following year a vocal and drunken contingent of revelers clamored for the old women to perform again although the dance was already in full swing a half block away. But now, some men had joined in, and several generations were represented. Who doesn’t enjoy watching a four-year old cop a few of Granny’s moves?

cool breeze

the twirl and shimmy

of leaves in sunlight

This year the dancing began before the MC could thank the sponsors of the block party and the crappy music had been cranked up. There hadn’t been anything like it since 1518 in Strasbourg. Even I fell into the rhythm of what many believed to be the last waltz, the end of the world. We were hoping, happy too.

first frost

the drip drip drip

of the faucet

(The Haibun Journal, April 2022)

We had the pleasure of asking Bob a few questions and he graciously took the time to answer them. Here's the final one. We thank him for his time and thoughts.


THG: Last but the most crucial to one's growth and understanding - how does one take rejections?

Bob: On the chin, I would like to say glibly, but there are times it does hurt. Long ago in the days of snail mail and IRCs, I received a rejection in my SASE. However, I had folded and crimped the manuscript in a way to tell if it had ever been unfolded and read. It had not, and I fired off a nasty letter to the editors, who rightly never responded. I now know from experience that editors are generally overwhelmed (and underpaid if paid at all). Who knows why they didn’t read my submission? But to obsess over a rejection is a waste of time better spent writing or revising.

To bring things into the digital age, there’s a haiku journal that used to regularly accept my work. I’m lucky to place a haiku there once a year now. Why? The stable of editors changed, and continually changes. My haiku don’t resonate with them, I suppose. I still submit on occasion, but it’s my responsibility as a writer to learn what journals and editors want or need (or don’t ever want to see). My point: Don’t take rejection personally.

There’s also the flip side of rejection: the acceptance of mediocre work. If you do this long enough, there are days when you read an old piece of yours and curse the editor who accepted it.

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 (, 2020).

He lives in Portugal.

Your Challenge:

Bob's haibun brought on a smile; haven't we been in such situations: sometimes fun, sometimes not. This week let's talk about music. Interpret it as you like. Relive some moments; take us down memory lane. Kala and I look forward to 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.


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.


279 views77 comments


I have done edit 3 on the Haibun magnetic attraction. Is it better? If you have time I would appreciate comments.


mona bedi
mona bedi
Apr 04, 2023

Post #1

Revised thanks to Diana , Reid and Florence:

A discordant night

A stray called Bhiku is the alpha male of our area. He leads the pack. It’s midnight and Bhiku starts his daily ritual of barking and running behind cars. The other strays follow and soon there is a cacophony of dog barks, like an orchestra gone wrong.

lonely night

the cricket’s song

now a lullaby

Feedback appreciated:)


A stray called Bhiku is the don of our area. He leads the pack. It’s midnight and Bhiku starts his daily ritual of barking and running behind cars. The other strays follow and soon there is a cacophony of dog barks, all like an orchestra gone wrong.

lonely night

Replying to

Hi Mona

Love the jux between the two different types of sounds.

A couple of things you could consider:

Night is close to the prose, so consider 'Discordance' as title.

Next the tense in your prose is not consistent. I have tweaked to make it consistent and removed the extra bits that are a kind of repetition in your prose.

Bhiku is the alpha male in our area. He leads the pack. It’s midnight. starts his daily ritual of barking and running behind cars. The other strays follow and soon there is a cacophony of dog barks, like an orchestra gone wrong.


A song without words

A pair of magpies moved into the big gum tree at the track’s edge. They are now a family of nine and dive-bomb me in the breeding season. I wear a big hat and sunglasses for protection. I’ve read that if you sing to them, they’ll accept you as part of their territory. I thought my rendition of “Aliza’s Aria” might do the trick. My voice bounced off the trunks, caught on the barbed wire then flung itself over the paddocks. The magpies seemed impressed and stopped what they were doing. They flew in from the fields and down from the branches to perch on the fence and listen as I walked by singing.



Replying to

Beautiful haibun Lorraine. Loved the development. You have spelt the Aria as 'Aliza's Aria' in the haibun. I am thinking that's the name of the child, right? Or did you intend to write the original 'Eliza's Aria'?


neena singh
neena singh
Apr 03, 2023

Thanks for sharing Bob’s Haibun and his views on rejections. ( we all have been there!). Great prompt too Firdaus.


#1 april 2

Owl Say!

Just answered the door again in my wizard bathrobe. I wonder what the postman thought of that.

winter wind under his breath wannabe muggles

comments welcome

mona bedi
mona bedi
Apr 04, 2023
Replying to

Loved it!

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