Traveling Through the Haibun

Guest blogger and poet Aimee Nezhukumatathil ties together baking, babies, and a primer on haibun on the Ploughshares blog. I first learned about (and tried my hand at) the Japanese poetic form from her workshop during my first year at Kundiman. The unique hybrid of dreamy prose and haiku easily allows room for fantasy, emotion, and mystery. I have a long way to go before I am natural at it, though.

One of the first haibuns I wrote is based on a dream (actually all of the haibuns I have written are based on dreams):

Wedding Day Haibun

Hills hiccuped out of water, the silt of hard work dropped from our shoes, washed into the tide and I almost floated across the top of it to the mossy bank ahead of us.  The ferry, a pair of small lips kissed us across.  Mist in tufts of dandelion gray cavorted like foals.  The song of their necks the song of their knees and bellies wove through the cleft of hills into the vale where you stood, dressed to match the trees, my grandfathers, where you requested, in your best sylvan speech, a story, knowing that when I arrived, dressed to match the moon, and engraved the galaxy with the trail of my steps, your hand would circle my waist, my wrist your jaw.  One and one becoming one forest and one moon twining together.  Absorbing making something new.

I have come through hills for you
Crossed the thin stream of desire
And found waiting for me a person like myself

I think when I finally make a successful haibun, I will celebrate with a zwetschgendatschi a la Gesine.

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