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THE HAIBUN GALLERY: 9 May 2024 — Cynthia Anderson, featured poet

hosts: Kala Ramesh & Firdaus Parvez

A Thursday Feature.

Mentor: Lorraine Haig

poet of the month: Cynthia Anderson

9 May 2024

Cynthia Anderson

Cynthia Anderson has published 13 poetry collections, most recently The Far Mountain (Wise Owl Publications, 2024), Arrival (Sheila-Na-Gig Editions, 2023), and Full Circle (Cholla Needles Press, 2022). Her poems appear frequently in journals and anthologies, and her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, and the Touchstone Awards. Cynthia is co-editor of the anthology A Bird Black As the Sun: California Poets on Crows & Ravens. She has lived in California for over 40 years.


Cynthia grew up in Connecticut and attended the University of Pennsylvania in 1974-75 as a Benjamin Franklin Scholar. She completed her B.A. in Literature at the College of Creative Studies, UC Santa Barbara, with an emphasis in poetry. Her senior honors thesis explored the poet George Oppen’s final book, Primitive. She spent her career as an editor and publications coordinator, retiring in 2015. After a lifetime of writing long form free verse, she took up short form poetry in earnest in 2020 and since then has garnered over 600 publication credits for her haiku, senryu, cherita, tanka, and haibun. Two of her haibun appeared in the Red Moon Contemporary Haibun anthologies: “Formerly Known as Ion” in Vol. 17 and “Facing the Music” in Vol. 19. Two of her haiku appeared in the Red Moon haiku anthologies for 2021 and 2023.

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Next Services 100 Miles


From nowhere to nowhere:

a straight ribbon of road, aimed

east and west through geologic

time. Rocks once under water.

Sand once solid rock. The rise

and fall of dust devils.



blasting jazz funk

to stay awake


Distant horizons, unforgiving

and unforgiven. On a tall pole,

hand-lettered signs tell how far

to Gallup, Anza, Kalamazoo.

Parallel to asphalt, long lines

of abandoned boxcars.


rite of passage

names spelled in stones

by the tracks


Come afternoon, a flood

of petrichor over creosote flats.

Clouds pile up, then let go,

clumps of graphite rain

streaking down, the runoff

dousing roadside datura.


black and white

the turkey vultures



Prune Juice #41, December 2023

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We are delighted to share Cynthia's haibun and grateful for her time and effort in answering our questions.

THG: How do you translate experience into writing?

Cynthia: Any memory, dream, or experience that persists in my thoughts becomes a candidate for my writing. The same is true of anything in the news or in conversation with others that catches my attention. I’ve learned that if I find myself thinking about something over and over, it wants to be written about.

Prompt for members:

Once again, Cynthia mesmerizes us with her vivid descriptions of the landscape as the narrator moves through it. I can see the dust devils and the circling vultures. I can hear the jazz as the harsh scenery rushes past. The 'beigeness' beckons. Here's the prompt word for the week: JOURNEY. Interpret it as you like. Have fun!

Haibun outside this prompt can also be posted!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Important: Since we're swamped with submissions, and our editors are only human, mistakes can happen. Please, please, remember to put your name, followed by your country, below each poem, even after revisions. It helps our editors; they won't have to type it in, saving them from potential typos. Thanks a ton!



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.


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#1 - 2024-05-14


Spring in Me

When, on my third birthday, I peeked in the soul of spring, it inhaled the gift of creativity in me, thus uniting with me, whereupon it borrowed frondescence from my eyes, materializing butterflies and bees from the parallel worlds.

In my mature years, I realized that spring (re)creates reality with my verses. When the petrichor handed me a baton of the new beginning, nature started breathing deeply and cured my asthma in a split second.

As I discovered secrets of the spring, it shared my thoughts and breathed with my breath. Cyclically moving from one dream to another, we healed the wounds of Mother Earth. When the merchant at the fair sold me…

Replying to

I love how you have portrayed spring. You've given it magical qualities. I have read it a few times, but each time the story became lost in the language. I think you need more concrete details. The title works and I like the haiku although it seems an extension of the prose.



I swear, I see her when I touched the light. I’m told, it was the wanting and the last vision I had all those years ago. Like when I spent two years denying that I have asthma, only to have the consultant open with my name in a stern manner and add, you have asthma.

post op…

I ask the nurse

to pinch me

Robert Kingston, UK

Replying to

Thank you, Lorraine.




The man knew he was old, and so were all his possessions, dog included, and that, put together, the collectivity was beyond repair, but he didn't know in what sequence they needed to leave.

the stuck

garbage van

empty tank

Dipankar Dasgupta


(Feedback welcome.)

Replying to

Some itinerary! Haha!




Tonight, a rocket is slowing to enter the moon’s orbit.  It will attempt to land a module on the far side of the moon - the side we can’t see, the side from which you don’t see us.  Because of the electromagnetic smog and satellite mega-constellations that surround our planet these days, the dark side is an ideal location for exploration of deep space. A lot human energy is being devoted to developing a habitable station there.

I shut down my phone and turn off my lamp. Of late, my bedroom’s too bright and too warm for a good night’s sleep.  The tree that shaded the roof and darkened the skylight died. The arborist said it was from ai…

Replying to

The dark side of the moon is a common phrase, predating the album. I didn’t have the album in mind but because it’s a modern classic, it’s an inevitable association. If you are interested you can read all the lyrics online.


#1.2 (thanks Linda and Lorraine)


A ride through farm country, the road winding with the river. The only tractor in sight looks like it hasn’t moved in years. It’s almost as if there are no people left. Just the brief appearance of a boy wearing a VR headset as he rides his bike the other way. I wonder how he navigates his amalgam of reality and fantasy. Am I an enemy to him? Has he just destroyed me with some futuristic weapon? Or is he a dreamer like me, repopulating the world with animals? Is his world also a world of foxes, woodchucks, raccoons and deer?

power lines . . .

the brief parallelism

of starlings




Replying to

Thank you, Dipankar.

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