Spring haibun

Posted: April 12, 2014 in Poetry, Writing
Tags: , , ,

Dipping my toe into the haibun pond today.  Haibun is a combination of poetic prose and a haiku.  Hopefully I’m getting it right.

Earth is in upheaval. Spring flowers push mightily, forcing their way out of cold, dark soil; rejoicing, reaching for the sun (so far a pale disappointment but better than life in the world of Persephone and Hades.) Translucent green swathes incipient daffodils awaiting their rebirth. From under last year’s clinging leaves peek tips of green and varied colors, each day growing as if receiving infusions of bamboo hormones. Friends bring us a gift of pussy willows, a perfect paradox of the announcement of spring (though not green and no longer growing), a mixture of hard and soft for years to come.

Soft grey cat’s paws cling
Climbing woody stems in spring
Decorate my hearth

photo 1(43)-001



  1. Suzanne says:

    a beautiful evocation of spring.

  2. Particularly love the haiku part of your post… it really captured pussy willow for me and the sweetness of spring… loved your classical Hades reference too….lots here to ponder over.

    • Good morning (here), Valerie. Thanks for making the long trip from New Zealand to share a bit of spring with me. I’m happy it was worth the trip. 🙂


  3. Lovely janet, you’ve written a delightful haibun and an equally clever haiku, well done.

  4. M-R says:

    GORGEOUS photo !
    Does your enthusiasm for the high bun mean I’m going to find it everywhere now ?

    • No, you won’t find high buns everywhere, only at high tea. 🙂 I’d written the prose part of this and since I’ve had a few friends urging me to try this combination, I decided I’d work on a haiku. You’re always welcome to just read the first part and not the haiku, silly one.


      • M-R says:

        They were urging you because you’re good at it. I’m not sure what makes me so grumpy about these poetry pashes; but I suspect it has to do with the group mentality. I have never in my entire life been a team member, and am devoted to individualism. That’s all I can think of by way of explanation. I know I know: I’m a grumpy old bugger.

      • I’m an individualist, too, M.R., but if something I’m interested in doing has a group component, I might be fine with that, too. I took up haiku because I like trying to say much in few words (although my friends might think the opposite!) and with haibun and haiga, I like the challenge of combining a type of prose with poetry. I’ve been writing some haiku for a friend’s poetry month of haiku challenge and was thinking about putting a bunch of them on my blog one day. I’m afraid I might be responsible for your heart attack, though, so I haven’t done so yet. (sticking my tongue way out)

      • M-R says:

        I wouldn’t scream. I readily acknowledge that everyone will do what s/he wants, regardless of MY goddam opinion. 😉
        You know, the reason I appear to be a difficult old fart is that I speak my mind when most do not. This is not recommended for, say, someone wanting to build up adoring fans; but it does cut out an awful lot of chaff. Them wot can put up with it can usually see through me and recognize that I’m not as unpleasant as I often seem. Thank heavens for little Janets.:-D

      • Ahh, youse got plenty of fans, you old curmudgeon, and we all see through you, right into your gooey little heart!

      • M-R says:


  5. twittercat says:

    Beautiful photo, beautiful words

  6. menomama3 says:

    There is nothing springier than a pussy willow. A happy sight. Your description of spring is very pretty too!

    • I had some stalks for them for many years but when we moved, they weren’t going to move well. Friends from church has a bush/tree and were nice enough to share a bit of their bounty with me, so now I can enjoy them again.


  7. katieprior says:

    Beautiful picture and prose, very evocative of spring. 🙂

  8. aloha Janet. impressive first haibun write. i think you have the essence of haibun down. it looks fun and inviting, your spring. i like where the writing lead to with the gift from your neighbor. very cool. with an excellent image to go with the write. way fun. aloha.

    • Nice of you to say so, Rick. I have things yet to work on, especially understanding more about haibun form, but it was fun to get started on something new. I’m also happy when I can combine my writing and my photography as I don’t want to weight my blog too much either way.

      Have a great weekend,


      • ha. we all have more to work on. and with haibun (as with haiku) probably enough to last a life time. way fun on that. yes, i’ve found haiku and related forms are great for combing image and words. i suspect that has (at least something) to do with the asian way of writing and image-making being from the same brushstroke. we just have to work on our (english) version with a slightly different mind set. which is still fun and can be done, and why i think haiku and related forms are in many ways universal.

        fun on. aloha.

      • It’s fun, Rick, whether perfect or not. Good exercise for the brain.


  9. Beautiful. I just love the photo. 😀

  10. I haven’t tried this challenge. I think you have done well.

  11. storydivamg says:

    A word of warning–I’m waxing long-winded, if not particularly poetic, concerning form here. All thoughts are simply MHO.

    I find Asian poetry forms difficult. The concept of saying the most with the fewest words possible isn’t as easy as it looks when someone does it well. Concepts of two short phrases leading to a crux in the final phrase of a haiku also tend to allude me. While some of your Haiku can get wordy, you seem to have a knack for crafting a good turn on the final phrase. I think you’re using the Western understanding of Haiku with specific syllable counts, which is a valid and popular understanding of non-Asian poets.

    I like the photo you use for the inspiration. The prose portion here reads more Western than most Haibuns do, especially with the compound, complex sentences and use of parenthesis. It has merit as prose, but doesn’t really qualify strictly as a Haibun. I’d strongly recommend you check out the Haiku Society of America for some fine examples of Haiku. http://www.hsa-haiku.org/hendersonawards/henderson.htm They used to have some excellent Haibun examples over there as well, but I didn’t see any today.

    It’s always great so see a poet branching out.

    All my best,
    Marie Gail

    • Marie, thanks for taking the time to respond so thoroughly. I have to admit to not having done nearly enough studying before putting this out, so I’m ready for constructive criticism and got some from another friend who does lots of haibun and haiku. I’ll check out that link and look for others as well, then try to do better next time. 🙂



      • storydivamg says:

        Thanks for being so receptive, Janet. I try not to blather too much literary criticism on other people’s blogs, but it seemed as though you might be looking for some guidance. I’m not great at any Asian poetic forms myself and would refer to my 3-line poems as “American shorts” more than Haiku, but I have a bunch of poet friends who are heavily into Asian forms. In fact, I’ve even gotten sucked into about six different Haiku and Tanka Facebook groups. Maybe someday I’ll actually get the hang of it.

        All my best,
        Marie Gail

  12. Emilio Pasquale says:

    It’s not you, it’s me. I never liked poetry and I just can’t seem to get into haiku. So, please forgive me for not commenting on your writing. But your photo is gorgeous! The focus , the dof. Just perfect.