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THE HAIBUN GALLERY : 5 May — a Thursday feature

Updated: May 9, 2022

hosts: Shobhana Kumar and Kala Ramesh


5th May

This month we'll be showcasing haibun written by Harriot West


Here is our first offering from Harriot West’s vast repertoire.


Picking Sunflowers for Van Gogh


It’s not an easy task. For all his impasto and rough ways with the brush, he’s extraordinarily fussy about his flowers. And he hates it when they droop. Sometimes I see him gently cup a sagging bloom. So tenderly it’s easy to imagine him helping an old woman lug her panier up a rickety flight of stairs. I like him then. Despite how demanding he is to work for. Never a word of thanks. My hands stained with pollen, to say nothing of dust rags that look as though they’ve been steeped in saffron.


It’s a pity he isn’t fonder of roses. Except for those thorns. Lavender perhaps? I’d fancy that. Brushing my fingertips along the stalks, carrying their scent throughout the day, dreaming about a wild man with ginger hair and reckless ways.


heat wave

the honey bee’s

restless thrum


Harriot West

KYSO Flash Issue 6: Fall 2016

Ekphrastic Haibun Story: 146 words



Do you want to know more about the author?

Harriot West lives in Eugene, Oregon. She is a three-time winner of the Modern Haiku award for best haibun as well as a recipient of the Museum of Haiku Literature Award. Her first book, Into the Light (Mountains and Rivers Press, 2014), a collection of haibun and haiku, tied for first place in the 2015 Haiku Society of America’s Mildred Kanterman Book Awards. Her second book, Shades of Absence, a collection of haibun and tanka prose, was published in 2018 by Red Moon Press.

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What strikes you about Harriot’s work? What do you like about the manner in which the prose leaps from the title and then again forms a bridge between the title and the haiku? How does the author pick a thread or an idea from an artist’s masterpiece and then bring the conversation back to herself?


Can we invite you to write a haibun from a piece of art that you love or have drawn yourself?


We are delighted to open the comment thread for you to share your unpublished haibun (within 300 words) to be considered for inclusion in haikuKATHA monthly journal.


PLEASE NOTE: Only two haibun per poet per prompt. Share your best-polished pieces. Please do not post something in a hurry or something you have just written. Let it simmer for a while.




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145 Comments


Firdaus Parvez
Firdaus Parvez
May 11, 2022

Beautiful haibun! I’ve been missing out on all these lovely posts. Glad I stopped by. Inspiration has come knocking. :))

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Priti Aisola
Priti Aisola
May 11, 2022

A Seagull’s Long Call


Walking along the seawall in Vancouver one summer evening. Children are having fun in the small playground. There are some joggers, some brisk walkers, and a few dog lovers enjoying the sight of their pets running along a parallel walkway. A large family who have brought in their own foldable tables and chairs are enjoying an early supper.


Seated on a bench, an elderly woman gazes at the sea. And totally out of the blue, Friedrich’s painting, The Monk by the Sea, flashes before my mind’s eye. I know that, at the surface level, the two scenes have nothing in common.


I am at a temporary exposition of German Romantic painters in Paris.


A bare-headed monk…


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Priti Aisola
Priti Aisola
May 12, 2022
Replying to

Thank you so much for your thoughtful feedback and suggestions, Shobhana. Really appreciate this help. Will take up your first suggestion and share the revised version soon.

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Kala Ramesh
Kala Ramesh
May 11, 2022

Bridge Over a Lily Pond


I lean closer to the water lily — it’s just a daub of paint. I tell this to a man who has been painting water lilies day in and day out for the last 30 years. Daub and more daubs of paint all over the huge canvas. I shake my head. He points to the window — from his first-floor studio, I see the water lily garden.


After a long time, I turn back to his easel. The room is empty. I go down the wooden stairs and along the passage with paintings of Japanese women. When I reach the pond, Monet is in deep meditation. My reflection in the water merges with the reflection…



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shobhana kumar
shobhana kumar
May 12, 2022
Replying to

This is a beautiful piece of work, Kala. :)

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Unknown member
May 10, 2022

Has the number of haibun per prompt per poet been shortened from 3 to 2 now,Kala ? Last time you and I communicated about this you told me the limit was 3.

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Unknown member
May 11, 2022
Replying to

It's so kind of you to say that, Shalini. I appreciate your encouragement and inspiration .

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Kala Ramesh
Kala Ramesh
May 10, 2022

From Harriot:


Greetings all. I just want to say a huge thank you to Kala and the Triveni team for creating this wonderful site and for featuring my haibun this month. And thanks for the kind comments on my work…and more thanks and appreciation for all the haibun you’ve written this week. I’m sorry not to have time to comment on each one but I am so inspired by what I’ve read.

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Kala Ramesh
Kala Ramesh
May 10, 2022
Replying to

Thanks a ton, Harriot. When you get time, do drop in.

_()_

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