Tag Archives: haibun

Haiku Challenge – Day 44 Posting Challenge – Day45

I am still managing ten vaguely haiku-like verses a day.

My problem at the moment is tiredness and lack of subjects. I’m not able to much nature at the moment and crows, bare branches and yellow leaves can get boring in the end. If I’m bored it’s likely that readers will be bored too.

The haibun are not going ell either – I’ve written a few but can’t seem to edit and finish them.

It’s not easy finding the time to write as my normal quiet time is after 10 pm and at that time I’m mainly driving Number Two Son to work. Then I try working at midnight, fall asleep in the chair, wake cold, sleep badly, feel tired all the next day and feel guilty at my lack of achievement.

As for the posting challenge – I’m having to resort to quick posts to ensure I manage something each day. Short, quick posts like this one.

I must take stock of my life and my writing.

Off to take Number Two Son to work now.

Today at work we discussed starting a tribute band to take account of our various talents – and so OCD/C was born.

You have to write it like that to make it more obvious. We all laughed at it, though the customers mainly looked blank at us.

 

A Haibun about Editors

Editors

In my mind’s eye I see them sitting in their turrets, pale creatures with staring eyes, their unkempt hair laced with cobwebs.

Muttering, they read my submissions and slash at them with their editing quills, using ink mixed from the blood of kittens and the bitter tears of disappointed authors.

The rejection stings, but it does no lasting harm. Ten minutes later the urge to write a witty but insulting riposte has gone and the feeling of worthless failure has faded. In my mind’s eye I now see someone much more respectable and less likely to be cruel to kittens.

We need editors and as I mellow I begin to feel grateful for their efforts in running magazines. 

I start work on another submission, but I can’t quite shake the feeling that if I was to send a gift-wrapped unicorn it would turn into a donkey under the scrutiny of editors.

 

editor’s email

opened with hope

read with dismay

 

I don’t generally publish my own poetry and I will, later, write about my thoughts on self-publication, but I thought I’d give it a shot this time as this one is unlikely to be accepted. I like haibun – they are like writing a normal blog post and adding three short lines of poetry. You can add more, but I didn’t want to spoil you.

(Sorry about the double spacing in the haiku – I don’t seem to be able to get rid of it. Come to think of it, it’s actually a senryu not a haiku. Ah well…)

Grumpiness Level Rising

Interesting day.

After my first post I mooched round the house a bit and gathered the washing. I just managed to get the first two loads into dryers when a crowd formed. It was like a flash mob of people with bags of wet washing. Several of them scowled at me for my temerity in having two machines. I had three loads to do so I deliberately split the last load between the two washers and sat there looking smug to the bitter end.

I hate people who use the dryers without using a washer in the launderette.

I’m not keen on people who scowl at me either.

To be fair, they probably aren’t keen on me either.

Then it was off shopping. There were a lot of people in the shop who explored new and inventive ways of getting in my way.

I hate…etc…

They should be identified as children by their tendency to dawdle and sterilised. That way they might be able to get in my way but they won’t have a brood of useless children to help them in the activity

By this time I felt the need to sit in the car and write haiku.

Unfortunately I ended up writing a haibun about people getting in my way.

It didn’t help.

I feel the calming effect of Japanese poetry might be wearing off.

 

A Beautiful Morning

I picked Number Two Son up from work this morning. At 6.30 it was still dark. In fact at 7.00 it was still dark. A few weeks ago I witnessed a fine sunrise at this time and a month before that it was full daylight.

The year is clearly declining.

However, by the time he got to the car at 7.10 the sunrise was starting and after we’d driven a couple of miles it was forming a great backdrop to pictures of trees and electricity pylons as they rose from the early morning mist.

On the other side of the road a power station rose, massive and mysterious, from more mist. The mist of the Trent Valley is one of the under-rated sights of Britain.

I had my camera with me, but there was nowhere to stop.

This is a shame as I can’t share the glorious morning with you.

But it’s also a good thing, as these photographs rarely look as good as the real thing. I have, several times, cheapened my memories with photographs that don’t reflect the true beauty of the scene.

 

It’s very tempting to add a haiku to this and claim it as poetry. In the next post I will explain why I didn’t.

Ambushed by Haibun

The day started in an interesting fashion when, on the way to drop Julia at work, I noticed the car in front of us come to an abrupt halt.

“That,” I said to Julia, “looks like the Aygo just hit the car in front of it.”

 

Two cars collide

under leafless trees

red glass sparkles

 

At that point the reversing lights came on and it started to reverse towards us. Fortunately it stopped before hitting us, but ended up so close that we couldn’t pull out and go round.

The driver then spent what seemed like ages exchanging details with her victim. She also waved apologetically, though not usefully.

I’m hoping that tomorrow will have less to report about the journey to work.

 

(The three lines of crytic verse inserted into the middle of the post, in case you are wondering, might just qualify as a haiku, thus qualifying the whole post to be called a haibun. I am so cultured these days it’s almost painful.)

 

 

Back in the Game

You may recall me mentioning that I’d had a haiku accepted for publication two weeks ago.

You should do, I mentioned it enough.

I then sent a few off to another magazine. I thought several of them were better than the one that had been accepted, so I was quietly confident about getting another one accepted.

Unfortunately, I didn’t.

That happens, and alongside the quiet confidence I always try to keep a sense of reality. After all, if it was easy everyone would do it.

Anyway, not only did I get rejected, I was advised by the editor not to be downhearted because competion made it tough to get into the magazine.

I could live with that.

It was the next bit that twisted the knife. He advised me to read the magazine and write something suitable. Well, thanks to the internet I had been reading the magazine and I had thought that I’d submitted something suitable.

Apparantly not. Apparantly I had completely missed the point.

So I entered a deep depression and started an internal monologue telling me I was rubbish and should give up. This was possibly an over-reaction but we can’t all be well-balanced.

It was made worse by the realisation that I had set the bar high. Possibly too high. Stretching yourself is one thing, but arrogantly setting out to target the top magazines is embarrassing when it doesn’t work.

Rather than prolong the agony, I will just tell you that everything is fine now. I have read some articles about how to write better haiku, including some written by people who don’t know. Some of them even admit they don’t know. Some of them don’t admit it, but their haiku examples show it.

That’s the trouble with the internet – lots of words and lots of people who really should be disconnected.

I’ve actually written a couple of haiku that are probably better than the ones I had rejected, so it’s been a positive experience.

I’ve also had an email telling me I have just had two haibun accepted. Not just one, but two. And I had a pleasant note from the editor, which restored my faith in editors.

Looks like I may be on the right track after all.

 

 

 

Lack of Sleep and an Accidental Poem

After rising at 4.40 am yesterday I expected to sleep well last night. I didn’t.

First waking at 3am I was up again at 4.30, 5.30 and 7.30. Good bit of planning there – I missed 6.30 and slept through the alarm.

You’d have thought that after 60 years I’d have got the hang of sleeping, but it appears not.

As part of my cruise through poetry I now know that if I add a haiku to this post (and grandiloquently call the post an essay) it becomes a Japanese-style poem called a haibun.

Following on from yesterday’s condensed sonnet I’m going to condense another well known poem into haiku form. I originally tried to condense Daffodils, but it kept trying to turn itself into a Limerick. This one worked better. If I acknowledge a debt to John Keats it will reveal the base poem, even if the first line doesn’t.

mist and fruitfulness

poppies and the cider press

swallows gathering

It even falls into 5-7-5 format, even though I wasn’t aiming for it.