Hosts: Firdaus Parvez and Kala Ramesh
poet of the month: Bob Lucky
9th March, 2023
Another gray morning. I sit in the easy chair and watch a Sunbird hang upside down and suck nectar from the Impatiens. The puppy whimpers in her sleep. As hard as I try, I can't ignore a stack of papers that need marking. What an idiot I was to assign Frost's “Mending Wall.” I can guess what I face. A manual on stone wall construction. A philosophical treatise on two sides to every argument. A manifesto against animal cruelty replete with disturbing polemic: if people didn't kill rabbits, they wouldn't have to die.
glimmer of sunlight
the smell of fresh bread rising
in the air
[Contemporary Haibun Online 6.4, Dec 2010; Contemporary Haibun #12, 2011]
Sing to Me, Bird,
and forgive me for not recognizing you. Species, subspecies, vernacular tag, all a blank to me now. After the naming is the un-naming. Slowly the pines and pecans and oaks and birches become generic forests, a place of light and shade, and memory goes deep into the woods to hibernate, or perhaps to die in a dream graveyard. Sing to me, Bird. I’ll whistle that tune all day for the rest of my life to remind myself to remember not to forget.
along the bank of the river the river
(Contemporary Haibun Online, April 2013; Contemporary Haibun #14, 2013)
We had the pleasure of asking Bob a few questions and he graciously took the time to answer them. Here's the second.
TTH: We would love to know what your writing process is.
Bob: I have no set writing process, just ever-changing routines. Like most writers, I have (had, I’m now retired) a day job and a family. For years I got up early to write before I went to work. Later, when my son was a teenager, I began writing in the evenings. Now I write in the afternoons after a nap.
I suppose you could say I have an erratic discipline. Whenever I sit down to write, I always write something, no matter how awful. And for days and weeks or even months I may rewrite and rewrite. Revision is my drug. But I also try to write something new every day if even no more than a sentence, a descriptive phrase, a snippet of overheard conversation.
More about Bob:
Bob Lucky’s work has appeared in Rattle,MacQueen’s Quinterly, Otoliths, SurVision, Flash, Modern Haiku, The Other Bunny, Drifting Sands Haibun, Contemporary Haibun Online, Die Leere Mitte, and other journals.
His chapbook of haibun, tanka prose, and prose poems, Ethiopian Time (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2014), was an honorable mention in the Touchstone Book Awards. His chapbook Conversation Starters in a Language No One Speaks (SurVision Books, 2018) was a winner of the James Tate Poetry Prize in 2018. He is also the author most recently of a collection of prose poems, haibun, and senryu, My Thology: Not Always True But Always Truth (Cyberwit, 2019); and an e-chapbook, What I Say to You (proletaria.org, 2020).
He lives in Portugal.
Bob's haibun made me smile; one was about the onerous task of marking assignments and drifted into humour, and the other was steeped in the memory of nature and so lovely. How do you feel about them? Let us know your thoughts. This week step outside your home and close your eyes then, note down all the sounds you can hear. Now write your haibun predominantly using sounds. (You may also write outside of this challenge) Have fun!
As always, a good haibun will find its way into the next issue of our fabulous journal. Kala and I are eagerly looking forward to reading your haibun.
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.