This bartender doesn’t like me. I used to enjoy reading great literature and could recite poetry…“what happens to a dream deferred?” – might still help me make enough of an impression that someone sitting at the bar won’t mind making up the coins I lack to pay for my beer.
sweet brown lacquered tones
shoulders elbows, eavesdroppers
ring marks – hops on grains
hops on trains, buses, and brains
fingerprints, the smell of coins.
This structure’s eye accepts light but not wind. Within the rectangle I cannot see my breath’s product. The floor resembles cork; our senses fill gaps in perception. Does one read emptiness with disdain or horror? The sun recedes. I fear ice in the trees, weight on my chest.
heaven’s clowns release their tears
sink! or swim time’s tide
silver trails depreciate,
mollusca’s retreat for one
Tanka inspired by Robert Okaji’s prose. Robert is a poet extraordinaire who blogs at O at the Edges. He is a beer connoisseur, foodie, sharp knife aficionado, and doesn’t take himself too seriously. Thanks so much for collaborating Bob! It was through reading this post on Bob’s blog a while back that I came across the haibun, beginning my love affair with the form.
Half a Haibun is an ongoing (and occasional) feature here at 10000hoursleft. A collaborative project with bloggers I admire- they write the prose that I then use as inspiration for a tanka or haiku. The intention being that together, we’ll create a whole; 2 halves converging to add a richness and complexity to one another, in the form of a haibun. Others in the series:
Half a Haibun 1: The Unhappy Wife (with K E Garland)
The two bedroom apartment and the job I had were because of Thom. We built a life together: eating breakfast, driving to work, eating lunch, returning home, eating dinner. His reliable presence smothered me.
But the alternative was to return home.
“Now, will you marry me?”
Why not, I thought.
love’s blind artisan
stokes furnace, raising ashes
thirst’s empty vessel
brimming in complicity
Madame Pele’s dormant wrath
Tanka inspired by an extract from The Unhappy Wife, by Dr K E Garland. The book is a fictionalised account of the real lives of 12 women who are/were in unhappy marriages, and includes an afterword by relationship coach Anita Charlot. The extract is from Chapter 4, capturing the world of one of the ‘voiceless’ wives. I am currently reading my paperback copy and loving the insight into the characters and unique circumstances that have caused the dysfunction in each relationship. Kathy has done a great job distilling the essence of her wives (as she calls them) and painting their unique shades of unhappiness in an engaging read. If you’d like to order yourself a copy, head to kegarland.com.
This is the first of an ongoing (and occasional) feature, called Half a Haibun. I look forward to getting stuck into this collaborative project, with bloggers I admire submitting prose that I will use as inspiration for a tanka or haiku. The intention being that together, we’ll create a whole; 2 halves converging to add a richness and complexity to one another, in the form of a haibun. Look out for more from December 2016 onward, as my November is all about THIS.
I have a haibun in the current issue of Contemporary Haibun Online! CHO is a quarterly journal dedicated to the form. I’ve relied on it for guidance and inspiration via the fine examples in the published works. It is really encouraging to find space for my writing outside the fairly subjective submission criteria here on 10000hoursleft, and even more so to be among the writers I have enjoyed reading on the site.
If the haibun seems familiar, that’s because I originally posted it with a tanka, here on this blog. Thanks Bob Lucky for the encouragement and challenge to give the prose a stronger poem which ultimately resulted in the haiku that got me over the line.