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THE HAIBUN GALLERY: 6th July 2023 Kate MacQueen: Featured Haibuneer

Updated: Jul 7, 2023

hosts: Firdaus Parvez & Kala Ramesh

Important announcement: Reid Hepworth, has stepped down as editor of THG for personal reasons and Vidya Shankar has agreed to be the editor from this month onwards. THG wishes Reid the very best. Welcome, Vidya.


poet of the month: Kate MacQueen


6th July 2023

A Thursday Feature


Legerdemain


Things we knew but kept hidden. The endless bones of memory, fragmented, buried, reshaped, frost-heaved, turned. A trace, a mark, a stain to stumble on. A shoebox of remnants. A ledger of coordinates. The tectonics of divorce.


bleeding hearts

where we pruned hydrangeas

For Sale sign



Published in Contemporary Haibun Online, issue 19.1, 2023

You can find it here



Where the sun keeps shining


Long shadows of clouds stretch across mudflats at low tide. The sun glares white across a narrow winding channel. The airplane banks to the east, land drops away, and when we level out farmland rises up. The destined city is nowhere to be seen.


lost placemark

I choose uncertainty

and close the book



Published in Contemporary Haibun Online, issue 19.1, 2023

You can find it here



In a contingent space of possibility


a white-haired woman is writing the story of my life. She has no talent for this. The plot meanders, dialog stutters, scenes fracture. Unbound from ambition she renders me mute, the lines of my face eluded.


ebb tide

the sea breeze salts

tangled hair


Published in:

· Modern Haiku, volume 53.3, Autumn 2022

· contemporary haibun volume 18, edited by Rich Youmans, Red Moon Press, 2023


We're delighted to share Kate's beautiful haibun with you this month; let us know your thoughts. We asked her a few questions and she kindly took time out to answer them. Here's the first.


Q: Do you come from a literary background? What writers did you enjoy reading as a child? Did you write as a child?


Kate: I grew up in a post-WWII working class housing project in Western New York State. It was a largely Catholic community of Polish, Irish, and Italian descent. Dads worked in factories, moms stayed home, the streets were overflowing with children. It was decidedly not literary. But my dad read a bit and we had a small shelf of books at home, mostly Reader’s Digest Condensed Books and three old school literature textbooks. As a child I devoured those books. When I was old enough to access our small local library, I read whatever I could get my hands on. I can’t say I was passionate about any particular author as a child; I was passionate about reading. I was considered a weird kid. I started writing with purpose when I was around 10 or 11 years old. I mostly wrote poetry but one or two stories as well. I began keeping a diary where I wrote about things like beautiful sunsets. Since then, writing has been as necessary a part of my life as breathing.

Kate MacQueen is an anthropologist and public health researcher; much of her writing is published in scientific journals and is decidedly unpoetic. She began her haiku journey in the mid 1990s; since then, her short poems (haiku, senryu, haiga, tanka, haibun, tanka prose) have been curated by a variety of journals (Modern Haiku, The Heron’s Nest, Acorn, Prune Juice, Presence, Mayfly, Trash Panda Haiku, Rattle, and others) and anthologies (Snapshot Press Haiku Calendars, several Red Moon Press haiku and haibun anthologies, Haiku 2014 (Modern Haiku Press 2014), Nest Feathers (The Heron’s Nest Press 2015), Wishbone Moon (Jacar Press 2018), and The Best Small Fictions 2022 (Alternating Current Press, forthcoming). She illustrated two Haiku North America anthologies, Dandelion Wind edited by Michael Dylan Welch and Lenard D. Moore, 2008, and Sitting in the Sun edited by Michael Dylan Welch and Crystal Simone Smith, 2019. She is plotting retirement and compiling chapbooks.


Prompt for the week: Keep it short, sharp, and spicy! See how Kate's lovely haibun are quite short but they capture the moment really well. Think of an apple as a major event in your life, now cut it in half or quarter it. Pick one piece and write about it. The less said is more. Make your title count. Let the haiku take the prose forward. Or you can place the apple back into the fruit bowl and write outside this prompt. Whatever you decide to do, have fun! Kala and I look forward to reading (or eating) your haibun. [ Talking about apples; a concise apple pie recipe in a haibun would be delicious. Just saying :)) ]


***

PLEASE NOTE:

1. Only two haibun per poet per prompt, and only one haibun in 24 hours. 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.


Please note: In all forums - HAIKUsutradhar (for haiku & senryu), Tanka Take Home (for tanka, tanka-prose and tanka art) and The Haibun Gallery (for haibun) feedback is given only when asked. So if you want feedback, please say so at the end of your poem. Thank you :))


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.

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148 Comments


Reid Hepworth
Reid Hepworth
Jul 12, 2023

Revised: Thanks Susan and Bonnie for your input!

Trying out a gembun…


Laying in bed, I feel like I can take on the world…can fly.


gravity

how life

pulls you down


orignal:


Laying in bed, I feel like I can take on the world…can fly.


gravity

how life pulls you

down


feedback appreciated.

Like
Reid Hepworth
Reid Hepworth
Jul 13, 2023
Replying to

Ha! I did! I am always nervous about making my L3 longer than L2, but if you think it works…I will go for it! Thanks so much, Susan!

Like

Vidya Shankar
Vidya Shankar
Jul 11, 2023

Edited version. Thanks to @Firdaus Parvez , @Reid Hepworth , @Kala Ramesh , @dianawebb46 ,

@sangita kalarickalfor your feedback. Was very helpful. Also, changed the prose a bit because I seemed to have only telling in the original version.


Silhouette


Appa looked forward to Januarys when he would receive new diaries. The woody fragrance of crisp paper gave him great joy.


By February–March, he would visit me with the diaries in a bag — the off-white, lined pages as fresh and yearning to be used. Those were the years I did not think of myself as a writer.


brown leaves

beneath a hibiscus shrub

summer afternoon


_______________________________________________________________________

Silhouette


Appa never used diaries, yet he looked forward to Januarys when he…


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Vidya Shankar
Vidya Shankar
Jul 13, 2023
Replying to

Thank you for your feedback, @sangita kalarickal

I have made some changes to my prose now. Hope it reads better now.

Like

Firdaus Parvez
Firdaus Parvez
Jul 11, 2023

Trying a gembun

#1 11/07/23


she has ice-pick killer eyes


blue-grey sky

a fine day

to fall in love


Feedback welcome :)

Like
Firdaus Parvez
Firdaus Parvez
Jul 12, 2023
Replying to

Glad you think so. Thank you Diana :)

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Bonnie J Scherer
Bonnie J Scherer
Jul 10, 2023

Jul 10 #1 Feedback welcome. 🙂 Note: I’ve added “Razorbacks are slimy and fast-moving“ as the final sentence of the prose to better flesh out the story following feedback from Firdaus. Also, the ku is revised to show a concrete image.


𝗖𝗹𝗮𝗺𝗺𝘆 𝗙𝗶𝗻𝗴𝗲𝗿𝘀


Bucket and shovel at the ready.


Trudging along the beach dressed in hip waders and clunky boots, I see bubbles gurgling up through the murky sand.


Digging in from the beach side, I make my first mistake. Razorbacks are slimy and fast-moving.


slippery slope -

the gritty taste

of sand


Original ku:


slippery slopes -

a bit of grit and muscle

goes a long way

Like
Reid Hepworth
Reid Hepworth
Jul 12, 2023
Replying to

The revision works well for me, Bonnie.

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Bryan Rickert
Bryan Rickert
Jul 10, 2023

#1. (gembun) revised


In relationships why am I the one who is always in pain?


lightning strike

the fire

you lit in me


Original


When it comes to relationships why am I the one who is always in pain?


lightning strike

the fire

you lit in me


comments welcome

Like
Bryan Rickert
Bryan Rickert
Jul 12, 2023
Replying to

Thank you for your comments. It is greatly appreciated. I can completely understand shortening the introductory sentence a bit. As for the other rules, I get it, but I’ll have to agree with Susan that there should be flexibility for the sake of conveying this moment.

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