Assembling Dreams

Photo by Richard Baxter

It came in a flat pack (we should have taken that as warning of what was to follow).

Patience was required for assembly, its urgency announced by toddler tears born of a skewed sense of time- what’s not immediate equates to eternity.

fresh deluge of tears

child’s grievances with time

freestyle wail won’t cease

I tried to distract him with a story and some songs, asking for nothing more than an exchange of the wailing for sound effects on cue, prompted by what Old MacDonald had on his farm. It seemed the only thing on the farm was a crying child.

mum’s fresh out of songs

old MacDonald combat style

eyi eyi…NO!

His dad cursed (in whispers drowned by tears) the parts strewn across the floor, pieces mass produced but requiring solo, manual, slow construction.

The tray was made of sturdy steel, coated a beautiful shade of red, resplendent in its replication of a time and style of yesteryear. The plastic tyres and impractical design (requiring fuming fumbling with minuscule fasteners) revealed it as a product of its age- for consumption by the masses and disposal on destruction.

Complete, at last! We ventured into the cool night air, for the debut expedition.

little red wagon

styled on whimsy, nostalgia

carrying fresh dreams

The wheels maneuvered easily over gravelly ground, with a very happy* toddler commandeering it, parents looking on in wonderment, spellbound by the boy and his red wagon.

fresh breeze heralds love

red hearts tumble like your wagon

boy, we like your style


Inspired by the two word prompt (style, fresh) from RonovanWrites’ Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge. To get more words on the page (then on the screen), this week I played around with a haibun! A first for me, and something I’ll definitely do more of. In my reading, I came across a site with some lovely examples of haibun:

*don’t let the serious  face fool you- he is happy. No tears, right? 🙂

48 thoughts on “Assembling Dreams

    1. Thanks Bob! I first became aware of the haibun after reading yours about the weekend you spent alone when you cooked up a feast with pork and chocolate. I’m now officially in love with the haibun- it gives depth and meaning to a haiku which can sometimes just be accidentally inspired by the limitations on the structure (of course I am talking just about my writing when I say that). I also had a bit more focus in writing these haiku than my attempts without the haibun.

      Yes, we should have known better than to reveal it just before dinner which meant having to take it away, settle him, eat, then go through it sll again.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ll likely write more haibun, but I have to (more or less) plan them out, unlike everything else I write, so the timing has to be right. Funny how that works. And yes, I think they can really add depth to haiku (and vice versa with regards to the prose portion).

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      2. I love the rituals in Japanese culture that elevate something as ordinary as a journal into a deliberate, mindful artform. Looking forward to reading more haibun from you! Like a behind-the-scenes or the-making-of, to accompany your poems 😊

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  1. I love how this one flows from essay form (is that the correct term) to prose and how the frustration of the child and the parents assembling it, and the reality of that flows into the kind of ethereal beauty of the toy. Some toys are like that though few and far between. I guess the classic red wagon might be one.

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    1. Thanks Marissa! Really love getting feedback from you! Yes, it’s called a haibun, new to me- I spent time reading about it before this attempt. It combines essay, prose, journal, or short story with haiku. I’ll do more of it with the weekly haiku prompts I’ve recently started on. You put it nicely about frustration flowing into the wagon’s beauty. Before baby, and way before even meeting my partner, I used to see that wagon in a toy shop and dream a little…

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      1. One of those old fashioned toys that never lose their charm. So funny because I saw the comment that proceeded mine and had no idea what a haibun was. I figured he left the ‘R’ out of hairbun! Ha, ha!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ha! Funny. I occasionally give ruben a man bun- mainly to keep food out of his hair – he seems to love getting porridge and yoghurt in there! Would have been funny if he had a bun in the pic hehe. My first thought when I saw ‘haibun’, incidentally in a comment in one of Robert’s posts, was that it was some kind of Chinese steamed bun 😂


    1. Thanks Derrick! I’ve really enjoyed doing the prompts and this style (haibun) was a nice challenge that I’ll do more of as time and inspiration permits. Have you ever written a haiku in response to Ronovan’s prompts?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting way you’ve presented your haibun. I’m only familiar with a single haiku connected with the prose style , but this is a wonderful way to present the steps in a story. Loved the title. Wonderful photo of your ‘happy’ child.

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    1. Thanks Olga, I really enjoyed writing this. My happy baby with the serious face really loves his wagon- being the first time playing with it in the pic, I think he was overwhelmed with the incredible new world it opened up. I wasn’t really familiar with haibun before reading up on it for this post. I came across examples with more than one haiku so I thought – why not? 😊 Do you write haiku? Are you a haibun practitioner?

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      1. You created a wonderfully, personal haibun. I enjoyed the read. Yes, I do write in the haiku style. Actually it’s become a joy in my life combined with photography. The haibun form is an interesting possibility for the future. Thanks for asking. Hope you have a lovely week.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks 🙂 Yes, means a lot to me. He is the little boy I imagined. His passenger is a puppet. A pack rat who we’ve named Breakfast Rat. He has his own story- both in how he came to being and also literally a story I wrote about him. I’ll maybe post it one of these days…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. haha okay, maybe. It was written for a 5 year old (a friend’s child) and there isn’t really a plot- just a whole lot of adventures Breakfast Rat goes on (with photographs of said adventures) until he eventually gets to the UK where they live. Long story, but Breakfast Rat never got collected from the Royal Mail depot after multiple reminders from Royal Mail and Me, so he got returned back and some years later, I had a baby who is now the custodian of BR 🙂

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