Haibun Monday: d’Verse Poetics

Today is Haibun Monday at D’Verse Poetics Pub. Bjorn and guest, Hamish Gunn, have given us the prompt to use one of two quotes from poet Khalil Gibran.  http://dversepoets.com/2015/10/05/haibun-monday-2/

 

Peaceful Dragon
Friendship is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity. Khalil Gibran

A cold, wet day in Kyoto. I did not want to be here but since I was, I decided to go to Ryoanji, a few blocks from the hotel where I was booked. Because it was cold winter rain, I took a taxi instead of walking. The taxi driver was happy I was American. I sat in the back seat for the few moments it took. Several times I caught his eye in the rear view mirror, he always smiled. When I got out of the taxi handing him money, he waved it away. “American. Stranger. Cold.”..I could not in honor leave money after that. I bowed deeply to him as he drove off.   I hoped he would look in his mirror and see.

I was alone on the viewing platform overlooking the dry garden. I stood looking in silent awe. On top of the wall was a row of sparrows. All fluffed out, eyes bright with curiosity, they watched this Western stranger move from one end of the platform to the other until I felt “right” and sat down. A few moments later, a young man came in and sat down close by. I glanced in curiosity and he smiled,. We sat there for an hour or so breathing in the perfume of the past, breathing out the steamy breath of the present. The breaths mingled with the cold air and became absorbed. The sparrows became restless, the air turned sweet. I knew that smell – snow! Soon snow flakes joined the rain. I sensed the young man was looking at me. He pointed up and around the garden – hatsuyuki – first snow, he said and sweetly smiled at the sky. It was time to go. Stiffly I began to rise and he put out his hand to help me. We walked in silence to the parking lot where I would summon another taxi. He motioned me to follow him and without fear, I did. With gentle courtesy he opened his car and brought out a thermos. He handed me the cap and poured hot tea into it. I sipped quickly, thawing. A taxi pulled in the lot, trolling. He hailed the taxi for me and put me in speaking to the driver. I gave the driver my hotel and was taken there. I paid him and went inside. I headed for a hot shower and room service.  I blessed my new friends who gave without asking.

First snow and sparrows –
Strangers become friends beside
The peaceful dragon.

free public domain Getty Images

free public domain Getty Images

63 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Suzanne
    Oct 05, 2015 @ 16:14:16

    I like the way your writing mirrors the gentle profound peace of the experience. The last line of your haiku is very powerful.

    Reply

  2. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Oct 05, 2015 @ 16:17:30

    I love the thought of sitting just watching the first snow.. how you feel connected across language barriers, with just the joy of that first snow falling… and those sparrows probably feeling less happy than you did. Such blissful friendship, where you just wonder how you could ever give back.

    Reply

  3. Bodhirose
    Oct 05, 2015 @ 16:40:12

    What a wonderful story. Sometimes when you least expect it something remarkable or memorable can happen…kind connection with a stranger and a blessing.

    Reply

  4. Cheryl-Lynn
    Oct 05, 2015 @ 17:37:26

    What a beautiful haibun…such a lovely story, mutually inhaling nature, and that first snow, we become children again, briefly, a smile comes onto our lips no matter how many winters we have lived…the first snow fall is magical. Your haiku is just stunning…love the image you have painted for the reader to truly see that moment you experienced.

    Reply

  5. Glenn Buttkus
    Oct 05, 2015 @ 19:09:12

    You simply excelled with this one; excellent poetic spiritual existential POV & prose, capped with a marvelous haiku. Nearly a perfect effort that kicks the butt off the prompt. Your personalized illustration relative to the quote is dead center wonderful.

    Reply

  6. Mary
    Oct 05, 2015 @ 20:09:57

    It is wonderful when there is an occasion where strangers can develop into friends!

    Reply

  7. Myrna
    Oct 05, 2015 @ 20:25:01

    What a tender story. I like that you consider them friends, because friendship can happen so quickly, then vanish. I enjoyed reading this so much. It brought me a sense of peace and hope.

    Reply

  8. Grace
    Oct 05, 2015 @ 21:05:54

    What a sight it must have been, to see and smell the first snow ~ Specially admire these lines: We sat there for an hour or so breathing in the perfume of the past, breathing out the steamy breath of the present.

    Love the haiku of first snow and sparrows ~ A cherished memories of friendship, thanks for sharing Toni ~

    Reply

  9. Snakypoet (Rosemary Nissen-Wade)
    Oct 06, 2015 @ 02:16:52

    Altogether lovely.

    Reply

  10. justjoyfulness
    Oct 06, 2015 @ 04:20:53

    Such peace and grace. Even brief meetings where souls touch can be called friendships, where nothing is expected and affection is given freely, even by sparrows who let us watch. Lovely!

    Reply

  11. Sumana Roy
    Oct 06, 2015 @ 04:34:08

    this is a piece of beauty and wonderful connection…first snow thawed by friendship…

    Reply

  12. Misky
    Oct 06, 2015 @ 05:19:46

    Completely captivating, right to the end.

    Reply

  13. thotpurge
    Oct 06, 2015 @ 05:38:01

    The kindness of strangers is so heart warming…so well described!

    Reply

  14. Let's CUT the Crap!
    Oct 06, 2015 @ 09:52:16

    Your attention to minute detail show refines your work. I love the peace and quiet you bring to your pieces. Much enjoyed. ❤ ❤

    Reply

  15. http://vivinfrance.wordpress.com
    Oct 06, 2015 @ 11:38:31

    That story is special, and I have a feeling it was true.

    Reply

  16. Pleasant Street
    Oct 06, 2015 @ 15:07:36

    I am so glad we conversed today. I thought I had read your haibun yesterday, but I had not. So I have been sitting with it now. I am just astounded by the peace you create with the words, with the evoking of the scene. I could feel the crisp air and the whole thing is just lovely in its restraint. We don’t take time like that anymore. If we did, we would know each other better, and create more beautiful moments like this.

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Oct 06, 2015 @ 15:14:14

      Thank you for these words. And times like this. I always take the time to read all the poems linked and the time to respond, if only to say thank you for kind words. I wish we all did that. Like you, I think it would make this big world smaller and bring us closer.

      Reply

      • Pleasant Street
        Oct 06, 2015 @ 15:19:24

        Very welcome. I eventually read everyone’s but yesterday life intervened and said the rest had to wait . ^_^
        Be well…thank you so much for the talk. Many things to contemplate and meditate on today.

        Reply

        • kanzensakura
          Oct 06, 2015 @ 15:24:25

          I wish a wonderful day for you. Life often intervenes. I frequently leave and come back later to read all the poems submitted!

          Reply

        • kanzensakura
          Oct 06, 2015 @ 16:09:37

          I hope you join us today. We have been given an amazing prompt for Poetics. I think you will like it.

          Reply

          • Pleasant Street
            Oct 06, 2015 @ 16:16:56

            Thanks for letting me know. That’s a neat prompt and I was going to nudge out of this one because I’m feeling blue. Do you know- I have another prompt to do today and it is also about gifts. That’s very interesting

            Reply

            • kanzensakura
              Oct 06, 2015 @ 16:19:57

              Hmmmm…now, isn’t that interesting? I was feeling a bit blue myself. But reading the prompt and the few poems already posted, I’m feeling much better now. I thought about this a bit because I always write in my head first. I think my haibun is a bit sentimental, but sometimes, I get that way! It’s a gift!!!! 😊

              Reply

  17. kelly
    Oct 06, 2015 @ 21:56:19

    What a lovely story… The kind that reinforces hope. If we only knew, sometimes, how much a kind gesture can mean.

    Reply

  18. Sherry Marr
    Oct 06, 2015 @ 22:30:36

    A beautiful story of courtesy and giving…..I especially love the haiku.

    Reply

  19. humbird
    Oct 09, 2015 @ 15:33:43

    I feel how this unexpected friendship warms up the hearts… how we, humans, always can find the common ground despite the differences….

    Reply

  20. Bastet
    Oct 11, 2015 @ 04:04:10

    Ah – this is a delightful haibun … I enjoyed the prose very much, so many lovely instances of human warmth creates a picture we rarely see anymore .. your haiku is exquisite.

    Reply

  21. macjam47
    Oct 13, 2015 @ 09:43:35

    A lovely haibun. The kindness of strangers who gave without being asked warmed my heart. Your haiku is beautiful.

    Reply

  22. petrujviljoen
    Oct 17, 2015 @ 08:10:43

    Thank you so much for introducing me to this. I actually got goose-flesh. I like that you went back to the hotel, had a shower and then room service – probably couldn’t bear the crowds and noise of restaurants after such an experience. Well done. All goes well I’ll clock in on Monday and try my hand.

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Oct 17, 2015 @ 10:23:44

      The next haibun Monday is Nov. 2 but you could also submit one on the next Open link night as well. For Poetics, no form is usually required, like with Bjorn’s prompt on the petroglyphs, a haibun could be submitted for Poetics as well. The calendar is on the d’Verse site to help people plan. I am doing the Poetics 19/20 with a Halloween theme which hopefully will be fun. The d’Verse team is a great crew with a lot of talent. Our Administrator, Bjorn, is very talented and nice person.

      Reply

      • petrujviljoen
        Oct 17, 2015 @ 12:24:23

        That gives me time to practice, since I’ve never written one before. I’ll diarize it. I follow Bjorn’s site so am aware of his work and now getting to know the others’ too.

        Reply

        • kanzensakura
          Oct 17, 2015 @ 12:37:07

          There are excellent sources on the internet for haibun how to. The first haibun Monday (the one before the one of mine you read, gave some excellent writing instructions. It is a varied form where you can use free verse for the prose portion. I prefer the compact haibun form which is less than 200 words, right prose with one haiku. I write traditional haiku rather than the modern style which I dislike. I did write a longer haibun, Gold Day, which had several haiku among the prose. November 16 I am doing an instructional talk for the d’Verse Pub on Japanese poetic talks which I hope will be interesting. My favorite poetic forms are haiku, tanka, and haibun. Like you, and others I am sure, much that is spiritual goes into my poems. It is interesting you are from South Africa. I know several engineers from South Africa. I hope you will continue to join us at d’Verse – we are a truly diverse crew.

          Reply

          • petrujviljoen
            Oct 18, 2015 @ 06:04:16

            I’ve been visiting the Contemporary Haibun Online site to read people’s work and the how of it. Some prose is longer than others. I’ll do a few and see what happens. The reason why I join sites like Dverse, the kickstart and interaction with other writers is good for one. There’s plenty debate about what a haiku should look like in the English language. A friend and fellow poet has no trouble with the 5-7-5 format and can churn them out fairly easily. I downloaded the scheduled dates on Dverse for planning which I’d like to take part in. Where in the world are you? I would imagine you’re an engineer yourself if you know a few from South Africa?

            Reply

            • kanzensakura
              Oct 18, 2015 @ 09:26:44

              I am retired as of last March but do a few short projects here and there for extra $$ and to keep my brain active.

              My thoughts on haiku are simply this: I don’t muck about with the contemporary mess. I don’t debate it either. A haiku is 5-7-5, has a seasonal word in the first line(kigo) and a cutting word (kireji) in the second. It is not about “me”, personal, and reflects not just nature/changing season. Anyone that writes such poems that does not stick to this, I will not comment they wrote a ” nice haiku” as others will. I will comment they wrote a nice senryu, if it is such, or a nice micro poem. Haiku has become, in my mind and others, a ubiquitous catch all for any micro poem. Haiku can be written in English with the same sense as in Japanese. My thought is this: we respect other poetic forms. We do not call a quatrain a quatrain if is it only 3line, we do not call a sonnet a sonnet if it does not follow the form. Therefore we should follow the same rules for haiku, senryu, tanka, etc and also show respect for the culture from which it came. We make much of respecting cultures in the poetic world yet many of us show lack of respect for the haiku. While it may be hard for Western cultures to understand such concepts of mono no aware, wabi sabi, or chinmouku, it can be done; or to understand Japan has 50+ words for rain. Sorry for the lecture but it is a passion for me and a deeply spiritual one. Like I said, I do not debate this. It is what it is and this old Southern girl would not have it otherwise. I love my haiku.

              Reply

              • petrujviljoen
                Oct 18, 2015 @ 09:52:25

                Gee, sorry she says! You’ve no idea how I appreciate your point of view. I’m an absolute beginner as far as any writing is concerned, let alone be an expert of haiku, yet I do have the sense that the original Japanese form is very applicable in English. You seem to count syllables phonetically and not how the word is spelled? Others believe the written syllables are the correct count. For instance ‘one’ is two syllables and not one? What’s your view on that?

                Reply

                • kanzensakura
                  Oct 18, 2015 @ 10:42:34

                  one, because it is not pronounced on-nay – is one syllable. Hibiscus – is hi-bis-cus. Oldly, gardenia is gar-den-ya. I look up in the dictionary to be sure. Sometimes us Southerners can drawl out things to be more than the syllable count of the word – four = fo-uh, lol. we also have different seasonal words. right now in this area, seasonal words would be turnip greens, field peas, pumpkins, fall festivals, Halloween, Thanksgiving, colored leaves – like red maple or golden oak. Often times, I write a haiku in Japanese and translate into English. Not everyone can do that but I have still seen many who write strictly in English accomplish the rhythm and spirit of haiku beautifully.

                  Reply

                  • petrujviljoen
                    Oct 18, 2015 @ 10:58:30

                    Thank you. I’ve been confused about it for a while and with all the debate about word counts and syllables as we said before I couldn’t find an answer. I’ll follow this one. Thanks for the chat. See you the 2nd November (I hope). Much regard. Petru

                    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Oct 17, 2015 @ 11:49:07

      And no, after the deep silence and gentle friendship, I truly wanted to continue to be alone. Thank you for liking this.

      Reply

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