Haibun, Poetry by Sarah

Brief Chasms


Our need for exhilaration – a scare; a thrill; is truly, a human curiosity. We relish in leaving the sanctuary of contentment for moments of heart-stopping, adrenalin-fuelled terror. So much so, we even manufacture the rides. A spinning capsule twirling madly on its hinges; the gut-wrenching lurch of a rollercoaster car; even the jaws of a synthetic Jaws, reminds us that we are but one bolt away from death – the truest terror we as humans face. Once we arrive safely back on the shores, we spin the wheel again.

it’s human nature
to explore briefest chasms
between life and death


By Sarah ©2017

Prompt: Bikurgurl, 100 Word Wednesday – Week 41; and also, Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Heeding Haiku With Chèvrefeuille – October 18th, 2017

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Haibun, Month Of Mini Writing Challenges 2017, Poetry by Sarah

Amaltheia

Prompt: Sammi Cox, A Month Of Mini Writing Challenges, Day 20
Task: Write a poem in under 20 lines inspired by a myth, legend or fairy tale.

By Sarah


Image credit Ooberxandxdavie6

The warm honey glow of the late afternoon sun, was a contrast to the prickling cool of the mountain air on her skin. She climbed to her vantage point, high above the valleys. The ‘T-tree’ had been formed one night when Zeus’ lightning bolt had cleaved it in two – destroying the wine-red leaves of Autumn. The remaining limbs had sagged and sighed their defeat, for it was Winter now and the cornucopia were full for the cold months ahead. It was from here she loved to watch over the world below. The mountain goats were drawn here also and she liked to imagine it was because they were summoned by her power; taking their place beside her in the stars.

nourishing earth’s child
Amaltheia; Capricorn;
goat goddess endures.


By Sarah ©2017

Author’s note: In Greek mythology, Amaltheia is the she-goat Goddess who nourished Zeus as an…

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Haibun, Poetry by Sarah

The Larrikin


Image credit By Sarah ©2017

Unexpectedly you fly in. A true Aussie larrikin*, bursting into the party. Your costume for the festivities is brown and white, peppered with accessories of brilliant blue. You want to be seen, but not necessarily stand out. Your watchful gaze misses nothing; hawk-like eyes alert and piercing, scanning the room. You may be waiting for a friend. Or maybe, you are the friend they are waiting for. Suddenly you throw back your head and a peel of laughter erupts. A chuckling, joyful sound that makes us stop in our tracks, turn and see what is so funny. But before you can answer, you leave as suddenly as you arrived, already looking for the next party to crash.

majestic bird perched
on branch, you witness the world
gifting us your song

By Sarah ©2017


* larrikin (Australian/NZ slang) – a person with apparent disregard for convention; a maverick.

Author’s note: The Laughing Kookaburra is instantly recognisable in both plumage and voice. It is generally off-white below, faintly barred with dark brown, and brown on the back and wings. The tail is more rufous, broadly barred with black. There is a conspicuous dark brown eye-stripe through the face. It is one of the larger members of the kingfisher family and is native to Australia. They are used to interacting with humans and some can be quite tame.

Source: Birds in backyards

Prompt: Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge, #51 – gift and song

Haibun, Poetry by Sarah

Slipping

A hole has been burrowed into my core, and I have been scooped out. Damaged and broken, I cannot be whole. Surely, my heart will die, in those briefest moments, between dream and reality, when I become aware I am lost, and that I will never be again. Like smoke curling skyward, I slip through my desperately grasping fingers. I clutch at wisps of me, for this is all I have now.

in murky waters
malevolent fingers tear
unseen misery

By Sarah ©2017


Image credit Pixabay

Prompt: Daily Post Daily Prompt, express; and also, Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Heeding Haiku with Chèvrefeuille, September 13th 2017 – despair

Haibun, Poetry by Sarah

Linger


Image credit Don Naman

Author’s note: This is my first attempt at a “one-line Haibun” or “one-bun”, which is a “Free-style” haibun. It’s a haibun-form created by Jim Kacian. The “one-bun” is a haibun in just one line, title text and haiku combined in just one-line.

as the last few strums on the metallic strings reverberate around the stadium, the lead guitarist waits for the burgeoning cheers of the crowd; all appreciative fans

dying notes Linger on and on they echo ’round growing record sales

By Sarah ©2017

Prompt: Bikurgurl, 100 Word Wednesday, Week 34; Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Heeding Haiku With Chèvrefeuille, August 30th 2017 – growth one-bun*

Haibun, Poetry by Sarah

The Black


Image credit Laura Makabesku

The darkness had finally shown itself. Though she’d tried to keep it at bay, it had edged its way out. It had been a fluttering of feathers; tickling at her conscience. Then, an unfurling of wings, covering her hope. She tried to hold it close, clutching it to her breast. Tried to absorb it back into her soul, where all things secret lay. But it was too late; she was exposed for all to see and she was terrified. Rolling up her shadow and searching for light, she could find nothing, but the black. 


fallen from the light
the raven calls me again
shadows descending 


By Sarah ©2017


Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Photo Challenge #177; Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge #47 – light and shadow

Haibun, Poetry by Sarah

Everlasting Love

mechanics of time
wound the clocks of good fortune
the summer we met

Though many years have passed, I remember as if it were yesterday; the way you sat shyly, shrinking into the corner at the restaurant. It was a mutual friend’s birthday celebration, yet this was the first time we had crossed paths. I sidled up to you, sensing your discomfort, and tried to put you at ease. Conversation was surprisingly effortless and soon the evening had whittled away. The pink hues of sunrise letting us know it was time to part. We exchanged numbers and eight years later, it is still the best decision I ever made. The shy young man, now, my self-assured husband.

vows long since exchanged
our precious hearts now complete
everlasting love




Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Heeding Haiku With Chèvrefeuille, August 16th 2017 – everlasting love

Task: The challenge for this week is to create a haibun themed “everlasting love” and of course there are a few rules … your haibun can have about 500 words (including the haiku) and your haiku has to follow the classical rules as there are e.g. the use of a seasonword and the 5-7-5 syllables count.

Haibun, Poetry by Sarah

Amaltheia


Image credit Ooberxandxdavie6

The warm honey glow of the late afternoon sun, was a contrast to the prickling cool of the mountain air on her skin. She climbed to her vantage point, high above the valleys. The ‘T-tree’ had been formed one night when Zeus’ lightning bolt had cleaved it in two – destroying the wine-red leaves of Autumn. The remaining limbs had sagged and sighed their defeat, for it was Winter now and the cornucopia were full for the cold months ahead. It was from here she loved to watch over the world below. The mountain goats were drawn here also and she liked to imagine it was because they were summoned by her power; taking their place beside her in the stars.

nourishing earth’s child
Amaltheia; Capricorn;
goat goddess endures.


By Sarah ©2017

Author’s note: In Greek mythology, Amaltheia is the she-goat Goddess who nourished Zeus as an infant. In later years, Zeus broke off one of Her horns, which then became the cornucopia, providing sustenance for all earth’s creatures. Amaltheia’s themes are success, humor, reason, devotion and providence. Her symbols are goat, cornucopia and stars.  For Her diligence and service, Amaltheia was transformed into the constellation Capricorn, where She remains.

Source: Journeying to the Goddess


Image credit Journeying to the Goddess

Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Photo Challenge #176; Daily Post Daily Prompt, prickle; Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge, #46 – honey and wine


 

Haibun, Poetry by Sarah

Mid-Sentence


Image credit Matteo Pugliese

A hypervigilant state grips me. My brain is a flurry of activity; pre-empting, reacting, solving problems flying at me, and solving ones that aren’t. The pace is unrelenting and I yell, Come at me! But I’m too confident, too arrogant – thinking I can handle it. And soon I feel it. My hands don’t work quick enough. I can’t hold on. My feet seem glued to the pavement. I’m unable to take a step. I’m paralysed and going under. Surrounded by white noise, I fight against it. But I’ve turned against myself and I’m crippled mid-sentence.

emerging; gasping;
traitorous body holds back
sinking in quicksand


By Sarah ©2017

Author’s Note: Having suffered with anxiety for years, this art work really spoke to me and represented the epitome of a panic attack. I hope I have done justice describing what it feels like to be crippled with these terrible physical symptoms.

Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Heeding Haiku With Chèvrefeuille, August 2nd 2017 – Man In The Wall

Haibun, Poetry by Sarah

Demise

A vague sadness passed over me, as the choice presented itself again. I swilled the amber liquid in my glass, and wished, in an offhand way, that it was nepenthe; the sweet medicine of the soul. But my sallow skin, and the reappearance of terrible pangs, reminded me otherwise. Nonetheless, I savoured this, my fourth glass of the bitter, Neolithic drug. I had climbed too far, too soon and now it was either abdicate or perish…and I had chosen for my spectacular finale, both.

never to admit
defeat; choosing refuge in
eternal silence
 


By Sarah ©2017 



*nepenthe (noun) – A drug or drink, or the plant yielding it, mentioned by ancient writers as having the power to bring forgetfulness of sorrow or trouble. anything inducing a pleasurable sensation of forgetfulness, especially of sorrow or trouble

^abdicate(verb) – to renounce or relinquish a throne, right, power, claim, responsibility, or the like, especially in a formal manner 

Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Wordle #164; Daily Post Daily Prompt, Word: savour
Words used: climb, vague, sadness, perish, pangs, nepenthe, neolithic, four, offhand, reappear, sallow, abdicate 

Haibun, Poetry by Sarah

In The Balance


Image credit Alison Saar

Author’s note: This haibun is inspired by my Nanna and my pop. He died two years ago and she has survived him despite the odds, existing, not living in a nursing home. She speaks to me about how she sees him in her dreams and how he visits her often, encouraging her to join him…


She swings her legs up
and pumps them back down again
hands gripping the ropes

Holding tight, she moves back and forth, to help her see him in her mind. She pictures him trudging the fields and slashing his scithe. Mustering his beasts with a crack of the whip. Providing for their young family and protecting them. Always. She cooked for him and enjoyed it. Food was her way of saying thank you for looking after her – through the depression, the years beyond, and in the end, into old age, growing infirm together. Her parents had been right after all; it was a good match. She remembers how it is, and how it was, for 75 years of marriage. That’s all she has now he’s gone – constructing him over and over again with the minutiae and mundanity of their life; but all this is precious to her.

She moves back and forth
staff at the home don’t realise
she sees him in her mind

The nurse looks over and whispers to her colleague. Glancing surreptitiously at the 95 year old woman, they see her body gnarled and deformed with the withering of time. Her hands clawed, her legs crossed in atrophy. Lying helplessly in her padded chair, she gently rocks. They don’t see her, they only see the shell of who she once was. They don’t understand that the memories of him keep her in balance. They ease the torture of being trapped in that nursing home, waiting to die.

tired of rocking
my heart cannot bear you gone
when can I join you?


By Sarah ©2017


Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagarie, Photo Challenge #173

Haibun, Poetry by Sarah

Wishful Thinking


I gaze at the endless white, powdery sand. The coastline stretches for miles and the cerulean blue of the sea looks cool and inviting. A light breeze tussles with grasses in the sand dunes and seagulls try their luck with the families picnicking on the shoreline. The sun is shimmering on the water. I can almost feel my toes wiggling in the shallows, seeking purchase as the gentle waves lap over my ankles, teasing that they may drag me out to sea. I inhale and taste the salt on my tongue. I exhale and give a groan, because it’s all just wishful thinking. I look down at my list – still another 12 rooms to clean before the end of my shift. Sometimes I loathed working at the holiday resort.

a job to be done
not vacation time for some
the unsung hero

By Sarah ©2017

Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Heeding Haiku With Chèvrefeuille – July 5th, 2017, vacation

shallow

Haibun, Poetry by Sarah, Scribblings by Sarah

Love Breaks My Bones

I lay on the feathery bed, impatient; waiting; wanting. My body is swooning at the mere thought of you. I glance at the clock and wince with longing. It feels an age until you will be home. Time seems to go slower when you’re not around, and speed up in keeping with my heartbeat, when you are. I ache for you to be one with my skin. To feel what I feel, to know what I know, to dream what I dream for –  being so close as if we are one whole, complete only when together. We are a formidable team – loyal; strong; indestructible; cherished. You finally arrive home, and as I crush you into me, you whisper, “Love breaks my bones and I laugh”.

this flowering love
with laughter sees our flaws as
petals not yet thorns

 

By Sarah ©2017

Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Saturday’s Hunt-01 July 2017 and Sunday Writing Prompt – July 2, 2017, Love Flowers

Haibun

Summer Solstice 


fertile religion
honouring the pagan gods
in lengths of sunshine

Cast a circle; consecrate your space; call the quarters. Prepare your wooden pyre and watch it burn. Honour the earth as the Ancients did – surrounded by trees, connecting feet with dirt and raising hands to the wind, as one. It is time for celebrating, for today is Litha; Alban Heruin; Midsummer; known by all your names. Tomorrow, the light will fade into the dark, rich soil, in which life began and will return, when your fire burns out.

the wheel of the year
has turned once more
turning ever on

By Sarah ©2017


Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Heeding Haiku with Chèvrefueille
Summer Solstice Haibun, 100 words

Daily Post Daily Prompt, Word: circlewheel, soil 

Author’s Note: Acknowledgements to ThoughtCo for their information on How To Hold a Midsummer Night’s Fire Ritual.

Haibun, Haiku, Poetry by Sarah

Truth Fairy

on wings of whimsy
and magic, the fairy turns
ancient bone to gold

I lay in bed, barely able to contain my excitement. I squeezed my eyes shut, willing myself to sleep so that she may come! I pictured in my mind, a delicate pixie; fine-boned with pointed face. Her eyes would glitter with mischief and delight as she paid her clandestine visit. She wore cloth spun with gold thread and grew tiny gypsophila flowers in her hair.  I wondered if she brought with her a tiny pouch lined with velvet to carry away the old and leave her gift of gold.  I dreamed of all the ways I would spend my treasure. I heard the door open and pretended to be asleep. I squinted one eye to reveal a sliver; a glimpse of her true being. But what I saw instead was a monster. It was my mother’s hand reaching for the tooth and slipping a coin in its place.

magic has dissolved
as fairy wings turned to dust
the truth now exposed

By Sarah ©2017


Prompt: Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge, #35 fairy & magic

Haibun, Haiku, Poetry by Sarah

Animal Parade 

Take me to the clouds
Beyond the reach of this land
Spirit me away.

When I first opened my eyes, I saw glittering stars. A black abyss surrounding the diamonds in my mind. But as my cloudy eyes began to focus, I realised I was lying on the grass; a witness to the drifting white cumulus in a pale winter sky. As a young girl, I would often lie this way. Constructing a parade of elephants, dragons, birds and other creatures, slowly morphing from one to the next.  I tried to smile at the memory, but it hurt too much. That last hit had been hard; rattling my teeth and wobbling my brain. I had to leave him.

Take me to the clouds
Beyond the reach of his hands
My spirit now free.

By Sarah ©2017

Prompts: 

MLMM Heeding Haiku With Chèvrefeuille, May 24th 2017, Word: clouds

Daily Post Daily Prompt, Word: create (used synonym ‘constructing’)

Author’s note: This is my first attempt at Haibun (it’s a day of firsts today!). Thanks to Margaret Chula for her Guidelines for Writing Haibun in English. My haibun today follows the Haiku/Prose/Haiku structure and was inspired by Australia’s ongoing battle with violence against women/ family violence. I myself have been a victim and as a teacher, witness daily, the trauma of children living with family violence. We must do better.