Haibun Monday: 50 Shades of Rain

Hello. I am the Pubtender over at dVerse Poets Pub today, Monday. I am using as my prompt for the haibun, one of the more than 50 words the Japanese have for rain. That’s right, 50 words for rain – at least. They are seasonal, regard intensity, night or day rain, drizzle – you name it. Rain in all its many forms. I have chosen the word “kisame” which means the rain that drips down from tree branches. It is one of my favorite of the Japanese words. Come join us at dVerse to read more about the haibun and this haibun in particular. Or at least come and learn the words!

Summer was turning to fall. It was still hot but one could see the difference in the angle of the light. You had been gone for several months and I was learning to live on my own. It was raining and had been raining for several days. I stood under the old oak tree with my eyes closed, breathing deeply – listening to the rain falling around me. The sound as the soft rain tapped on the tree leaves and branches, the grass, the roof of the house – all was a steady soft shush of sound. Sometimes a bird called, lonely and distant. I pulled my katana to begin my forms. I swung the sword in the first form and noticed droplets of rain scattering from its edge as it sliced through the rain. Plop! On my forehead. I looked up and saw the droplets dripping from the leaves, sliding to the edge of the branch and drip drip driping down. I noticed then that around me, the trees and bushes were weeping. Drops of rain fell from them to the earth – tears I could not shed. I sheathed my katana and silently bowed to the weeping trees. They wept for me. I closed my eyes and felt the hot tears sliding down my cheeks. Like the trees, I wept silently. “Anata ga okonatte imasu” You are gone.  https://dversepoets.com/2016/06/20/haibun-monday-50-shades-of-rain/

rain drips silently
from branches – trees weep for
the ones left behind

getty images

getty images

49 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Nan Mykel
    Jun 20, 2016 @ 00:55:28

    Just excellent. So detailed and moody. I could smell the rain and the damp earth! The haiku reminded us of the sadness enveloping it all.


  2. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Jun 20, 2016 @ 14:13:13

    This is an exquisite haibun, I truly love the melancholy and the way the raindrops from the trees are like tears. The katana movements and the sound played like music, and the haiku crown it so well.


  3. Victoria C. Slotto
    Jun 20, 2016 @ 14:19:32

    Oh, this is so intensely poignant…how beautifully our lives intersect with nature, how well she expresses what we cannot.


    • kanzensakura
      Jun 20, 2016 @ 15:18:19

      Yes she certainly does. Kisame has always been a sad word to me because it truly does look like the foliage of plants are weeping. They helped me weep that day. I needed to.


  4. lillian
    Jun 20, 2016 @ 15:10:17

    Truly beautiful. I can see the sword, slowly unsheathed, slowly moving and cutting through the rain…and then being placed slowly back. I think the movements here are felt in the words. Truly truly wonderful – silent stillness within your words.


  5. freyathewriter
    Jun 20, 2016 @ 15:28:55

    Oh gosh, this is beautiful. I am truly moved.


  6. Imelda
    Jun 20, 2016 @ 15:30:00

    Your haibun is exquisitely picturesque and sad. Your description of the rains set off the mood really well.


  7. Linda Kruschke
    Jun 20, 2016 @ 16:05:59

    It’s a good think I don’t read your haibun before I write my own on Haibun Monday. I’d be too intimidated because you have such a knack for it. This is absolutely beautiful and quite touching.


    • kanzensakura
      Jun 20, 2016 @ 17:07:45

      Linda dear – you hve your own voice and you use it well. We all have our styles. I simply write the truth from my heart. Haibun are one of the few forms I allow my heart to shine out. I like what you wrote! It was you. I have been writing this form for years and feel I am finally just now getting it.


  8. sarahsouthwest
    Jun 20, 2016 @ 16:26:39

    Very beautiful. I love the way you link the natural world and your emotions – how they reflect each other so beautifully.


  9. Josslyn Rae Turner
    Jun 20, 2016 @ 16:54:59

    Well, I am intimidated. This is very beautifully written. I’ll have to read on to get an idea on how to write a haibun.


  10. kanzensakura
    Jun 20, 2016 @ 17:05:13

    Please do not be intimidated. We all have our own style and voice. Read on if you like but one thing I did when first writing haibun, oh so many years ago! Was to write a free verse poem and then delete the break lines until it was all a paragraph. I added periods and connective words. Then looked at what I had written and added the haiku. Just write from your heart about one of the rain words you relate to, tell us the true story. And the words for rain are just that – words for different kinds of rain. Please, don’t be intimidated. I know you will do an excellent write!


  11. Michael
    Jun 20, 2016 @ 18:21:11

    Tony that is such a beautiful ending. Totally captivating.


  12. Grace
    Jun 20, 2016 @ 18:36:25

    The sounds of falling rain, the weeping trees shedding tears we could not and finally that ending: You are gone. This is an emotionally charged haibun Toni. Cheers for leading us along this path of writing. I am learning a lot from you.


  13. whimsygizmo
    Jun 20, 2016 @ 22:11:51

    So much surrender and sorrow here, washed clean by the rain. A new beginning. Just beautiful, Toni.


  14. kim881
    Jun 21, 2016 @ 02:50:21

    I could picture the katana movements and the drips off the trees, So melancholy and beautiful.


  15. thotpurge
    Jun 21, 2016 @ 02:51:34

    The sword cutting through the rain melds so well with the mood of the haibun! Nicely done!


  16. http://vivinfrance.wordpress.com
    Jun 21, 2016 @ 03:13:23

    The emotion of this haibun is enhanced by the rain – your words were perfectly cosen to tell the story.


  17. Rosemary Nissen-Wade
    Jun 21, 2016 @ 04:54:31

    Beautiful. I like the way you built up the impressions bit by bit until that culminating haiku encapsulated it all.


  18. Walter J. Wojtanik
    Jun 21, 2016 @ 10:13:26

    Those Japanese have a different word for everything! And multiple ones at that! A wonder ful prompt and resulting response to it, Toni! I like this word and its meaning – a gentle and hypnotic “rain”!


  19. Laura Bloomsbury
    Jun 21, 2016 @ 10:34:10

    masterly in your scene setting – love how all that greenery began the crying whilst the adept tried to cut through with the form. [thank you for this rainy lexicon prompt]


  20. Bodhirose
    Jun 21, 2016 @ 14:12:42

    I was so very moved by this, Toni. I love how you recognized that the trees were weeping and how witnessing that somehow allowed your own pent-up tears to flow. This put a lump in my throat and a tear in my eyes. I love this kind of writing the best…where authors write from their hearts and I can feel them. So beautifully done, straight from your heart.


  21. Misky
    Jun 21, 2016 @ 17:35:08

    This is just amazing. I’ve read it twice. Stunning x 2


  22. ZQ
    Jun 21, 2016 @ 18:57:30

    Beautiful! ❤


  23. Arcadia M
    Jun 21, 2016 @ 20:20:04

    Lovely. Your descriptions help me picture the scene in my mind. 🙂


  24. kaykuala (@hankkaykuala)
    Jun 21, 2016 @ 22:01:51

    The trees have a way of extending its wish to be made known to others. Nature cleverly plays on their moods!



  25. Bryan Ens
    Jun 22, 2016 @ 08:42:55

    Wow. The image of trees weeping on behalf of those who are unable to weep…beautiful imagery.


  26. lynn__
    Jun 22, 2016 @ 08:50:32

    An amazing haibun that captures beauty, sorrow, and connection. Thanks, Toni, for modeling excellence of haibun/haiku forms.


  27. Mish
    Jun 22, 2016 @ 11:41:08

    The trees cried for you when you could not. That is beautiful. I love the way you seamlessly blend a story into the natural environment around you…and I could see those water droplets on your sword so vividly.


  28. writersdream9
    Jun 23, 2016 @ 10:25:29

    So nice!


  29. Barry D.
    Jun 26, 2016 @ 02:13:12

    This is beautiful and painfully sad. The trees aren’t the only ones weeping for the living here.

    (Also, I want a katana, but there’s a 90% chance that I’d accidentally hack off one of my own limbs.)


    • kanzensakura
      Jun 26, 2016 @ 20:10:09

      LOL, there’s a 98% chance you’d slice something. Check where you live to see if there is a weapons training school and start out using a shonai. Still can be lethal but it is made out of strips of bamboo. It’s can’t cut but it is a good stick to use while learning. I still use one sometimes for practice. I’ve been doing this for about 25 years and am still cautious.


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