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THE HAIBUN GALLERY: 20th October — a Thursday feature

Hosts: Shalini Pattabiraman and Reid Hepworth

20th October 2022

Today we bring to you the third haibun in the series featuring Keith Polette.


Keith Polette

Looking for Marfa Lights


It is best to approach from the west on Hwy 90 with a full tank of gas and a slice of tres leches cake from L & J’s in El Paso, which you’ve kept in the cooler (in case you need a ready sacrifice). Lose your expectations and approach on a night when the stars have pulled up stakes. Keep track of the floaters in your eyes. Remember to speak softly to whatever is rumbling behind your strongest persona. This is how you can invite the light. Clean the windshield of its Pollack-painting of bugs and give away any loose change in your pockets.


night drive

when the only detour

is the moon


Avoid other light-lookers. They have gathered to see a spectacle, a Godot, or something like it. Remember, though, that the night sky is shaped like a bowler hat and that your shadow will lead you deeper into the desert of yourself. Light can only be found in the darkest place. Do not be troubled by the fact that some trees never spout leaves.


solo hitchhiking . . .

the long dark stretches

between friends


Recall your latest dream. Resist the temptation to shoehorn it into your daylight understanding. Don’t put your trust in easy repetitions. Rely on your fingertips; they can nose out the spirit in the dry earth. They can open your eyes.


oneiric adventure

a cathedral erupting

into night birds


Drive steadily, as if your car were in a trance. Play no music. Even if a wave of grief overcomes you, be steadfast, do not let up on the gas. When you’ve driven far enough, pull onto the shoulder of the road. Get out. Let the night settle around you like a dog circling before lying down. Stand with open arms. Let the light come like a love you lost long ago or a bone you are about to break.


in the distance

the coal-fire of a coyote’s eyes

burning through you



What can I say about this stunning haibun. A study of self, but using the second person narrative, I found the voice intriguing. I was absolutely moved by the use of space (pauses) between the sections and the way the piece unfolded to speak about darkness within us and how light is always the entrance to a better self.


Keith shares, 'I find it interesting and engaging when the “voice” in my writing shifts from first, to third, to second. The use of the second person voice often takes the form of an invitation or even a directive (which always reminds me of Robert Frost’s great poem “Directive”). And the spaces between the sections may be the manifestations of the idea of “ma” (in Japanese, “silence”), so that a kind of caesura links the prose sections, one that invites reflection and mediation.'


Prompt: On the occasion of Deepawali, I invite you to delve into the darkness that we inhabit and think about how light can be brought back into our lives. I want us to think about the relationship between darkness and light and consider why duality is synonymous with evil and goodness. What if how we read this duality in nature is misunderstood by all of us.


As always, a good haibun will find its way into the next issue of our fabulous journal. Reid and I are eagerly looking forward to reading your haibun.


PLEASE NOTE:

1. Only two haibun per poet per prompt.

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.



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180 comentários


Anju Kishore
Anju Kishore
23 de out. de 2022

Revision:

Kala, I have changed the title. Militance. Does this look better? Sounds telly to me. Maybe 'Ruin'? Back to 'Ashes'? 'Resistance'?(shalini) or Futilities? )


Futilities


A candle does not blaze into a fire unless the seeker loses his way in spite of the light and tosses his frustrations into the flame shelled shrine to dust the dust


*******************


Ashes A candle does not blaze into a fire unless the seeker loses his way in spite of the light and tosses his frustrations into the flame shelled shrine to dust the dust


Curtir
Anju Kishore
Anju Kishore
28 de out. de 2022
Respondendo a

Hi Shalini, thanks. Let me put it up along with the other possible titles. Titles are usually kind on me. But this time, it seems to be just out of my reach.

Curtir

Kala Ramesh
Kala Ramesh
23 de out. de 2022

Revised ...

Shalini, thanks.


The Waves

The raga plays repeatedly in your ears like the Omkara ringing in the cosmos, soft but clear. You pause and listen. Somewhere closer to you a puppy is yelping. You look around and see deep yearning staring you in the face. You get some dog food from the cupboard.


sunset quiet

trees absorb

all birdsong

You go back to listening to the raga being played on the bansuri by Pandit Pannalal Ghosh. How many years back this must have been recorded, yet still the notes are smooth and clear like morning rain on banana leaves. The steady pitter-patter turns into an inescapable rhythm that aids the music. When the music ends, your attention wavers…


Curtir
Kala Ramesh
Kala Ramesh
25 de out. de 2022
Respondendo a

Thank you so much for helping me to throw away my darlings :))))

Curtir

Membro desconhecido
22 de out. de 2022

Following the Scent ( a rewritten version of an earlier post )


A few assorted candles in different shapes and sizes. A small brass snuffer. A black velvet evening bag lined with satin and edged with a marcasite trim. All at the back of the drawer where her great great grandma left them. As winter looms she contemplates the prospect of many nights of power cuts, unclasps the bag, wondering how many secrets it holds within.


dust motes

a lit wick

flickers


Curtir
Shalini Pattabiraman
Shalini Pattabiraman
23 de out. de 2022
Respondendo a

Loved it Diana. Simple, yet tells such a powerful story of people and their experiences and how they make their way through despite the hardships.

Curtir

Kala Ramesh
Kala Ramesh
21 de out. de 2022

I again read the haibun - pausing at every opportunity the writing gives. This is a stunning haibun, Shalini, as you have rightly pointed out.

I love your thoughts on it and love what Keith has shared about this haibun. Thank you for making THE HAIBUN GALLERY so rich.

Curtir
Shalini Pattabiraman
Shalini Pattabiraman
23 de out. de 2022
Respondendo a

My pleasure. I was lucky to come across it. Keith's writing is indeed very special.

Curtir

Membro desconhecido
21 de out. de 2022

Pictures at an Exhibition ( revised )


Filtering through the stained glass saints of the old school chapel, it illuminates the surfaces of portland stone, moves across gouache snow of winter scenes, slants through skies caught by the brush when dawn came late and dusk too soon.


silence

a myriad glints

of sparrow song


Pictures at an Exhibition


Filtering through the stained glass saints of the old school chapel, it illuminates the surfaces of portland stone, moves across gouache snow of winter scenes, slants through skies caught by the brush when light was low.


silence

a myriad glints

of sparrow song


Curtir
Shalini Pattabiraman
Shalini Pattabiraman
25 de out. de 2022
Respondendo a

Hi Diana

Is it possible to replace 'it' with light? That will make the sentence clear.

Curtir
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