Tag Archives: poem

A Haibun

I’m watching TV and typing on my laptop. I am thus able to blog, watch TV and develop a Repetitive Strain Injury at the same time.

Currently, I’m pondering the question of haibun. Having spent ages labouring over villanelles and sonnets, and often discarding the malformed results, it seems like cheating to call a haibun a poem. It is, after all, only a few lines of text and up to seventeen syllables of haiku. The main challenge isn’t the poetry, it’s the brevity.

You could probably write a blog post, add a haiku and call the whole thing a haibun. In fact, I know you can, because that’s what I’m about to do.

 

waking stiff

too old to doze in chairs

another sign

 

 

 

 

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…)

Street Furniture (2)

I’ve been struggling for inspiration over the last week, though some days (such as the visit to Bakewell and day of the sunset) have been easier than others. Here are a few more pictures on the street furniture theme, following on from the first post of a few days ago. I’ve managed to fit in a post about a Senior Moment and 20 Questions since then.

Part of the problem has been a lack of photographs as I haven’t been getting about much. I also buried the camera a couple of days ago whilst decluttering. In the initial stages I seemed to do more cluttering…

The bin, which you may remember from a previous post, is quite dull, despite having a Litter section and a Recycling section, and I only took the picture because Julia spotted the squirrel.

The bin in the gallery below is from the village centre at Heckington – it was on the buried camera when I wanted it so didn’t get used when I wrote the last piece or the post about visiting the village.

 

There are ten waymarkers on the Pendle Witch Trail, with verses from Carol Ann Duffy. This one is in the grounds of Clitheroe Castle.

 

Next, we have more pillar boxes.

The Victorian one is in Stamford, the Edward VII in Orton Longueville, just outside Peterborough, and the one on the post is at Worston, at the foot of Pendle Hill. The final one is a George V box from the end of West View in Clitheroe – my family lived in West view in the time of George V and may well have used the box.

 

However, this doesn’t always work. If my family had lived in the village of Orton Longueville, just outside Peterborough, in the time of Edward VII (or Edward I of Scotland, as Tootlepedal will no doubt remind me) they would not have used that fine Edward VII  pillar box. It was only installed about 20 years ago, but they last a long time, and are often re-used.

Strangely, if you type “Edward I of Scotland” into Google you get information about Edward I of England, who was known as the Hammer of the Scots. This is not very sensitive, and I am not at all amused by this. Naughty Google!

That, it appears, is why current post boxes in Scotland have the Scottish crown on them. When some were installed in Scotland with E II R on them they were vandalised (one actually being blown up) by people who objected to the cypher, as the current Queen was the first Queen Elizabeth of Scotland – or E I R.

As an aside, we had three kings called Edward before we had Edward I, as the English number kings from William I in 1066. We just don’t complain every time we have a new Edward, or blow up post boxes.

England and Scotland have had the same monarch since 1603, when Elizabeth I died and James VI of Scotland became James I of England. You’d have thought the Scots would have  let it go by now, but as P. G. Wodehouse said: “It is never difficult to distinguish between  a Scotsman with a grievance and a ray of sunshine.”

It never rains, but it pours…

More pom-poms.

More dance rehearsals.

Creative differences with the big song.

Plus rain.

A visit from Social Services.

An accusing phone call from the Safeguarding Team.

Four weeks left and we are going to struggle to end on a high at this rate.

 

 

If that was a poem (and it could be, given the short lines and lack of rhyme) I’d call it Wet Wednesday Blues.

In fact, let’s have a go at that.

 

Wet Wednesday Blues

More pom-poms.

I wind wool in my sleep.

More dance rehearsals,

And rain on wet sheep.

Creative differences with the big song…

The sound of belly-dancing bells,

Give me dreams of being stalked by Santa.

If I had been a good boy, I would have presents, not 

A visit from Social Services

And an accusing phone call from the Safeguarding Team.

We are running out of luck,

But with just four weeks to go,

Do I give a fig?

 

I’ll be looking for at least one new career next year. Maybe I’ll cross poet off the list…

(Just to make it clear, we are in trouble for sorting something out ourselves and not involving Social Services and a ream of paper. Can’t really give much more detail – just to say that two weeks ago somebody not connected with the project made a remark that one of the group considered unacceptable and Julia sorted it out that day. It hasn’t happened again but it was reported to Social Services yesterday so they have to investigate.)