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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.


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We are delighted to open the comment thread for you to share your unpublished haibun (within 300 words) to be considered for inclusion in haikuKATHA monthly journal.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