Haibun: The Last Holdout

For Imelda (guest prompting at dVerse) prompt of waiting at dVerse Haibun Monday. A haibun is a short prosimetric Japanese form. I am following my new style of writing haibun in the abbreviated style of the original haibun created by Basho, 44 – 100 words. Remember: A haibun is an accounting of a true incident that happened to you. It is not poetry separated by “haiku”. the haiku must be seasonal and nature related to be a haiku.  A haibun is also not flash fiction. This will also be posted on Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Haibun: The Last Holdout
Almost the end of November. The weather varies between warm and cold, dry and wet. Some leaves still cling to the trees waiting for the word from Nature to let go and fall, drifting slowly to the earth. Every day I walk by and count fewer leaves than the day before.
the black oak
still warming the cold sky –
last to lose its leaves

copyright kanzensakura


46 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Nov 26, 2018 @ 16:17:46

    Oh here I we have ceased to wait…. all the trees are bare… all colors gone, actually we had the first snow during the weekend.


    • kanzensakura
      Nov 26, 2018 @ 16:25:44

      Envy you that first snow. The leaves here down South are still clinging to their their trees although so many have already fallen

      Sent from Mail for Windows 10



  2. strawberry volcano
    Nov 26, 2018 @ 16:18:15

    “waiting for the word from Nature” … There’s comfort in that, isn’t there? Knowing you don’t have to choose? That the falling, death, blooming — everything — has its appointed time, and you are not responsible for deciding. I think I’m ready to embrace that, for myself and my mother. There is even a time for suffering, and sometimes it’s ridiculously extended. But let’s hope it’s all worth it for some reason unknown to us from where we stand.


  3. sarahsouthwest
    Nov 26, 2018 @ 16:21:31

    Every day I walk by and count fewer leaves than the day before. – perfect expression of time passing.


  4. Glenn Buttkus
    Nov 26, 2018 @ 16:57:13

    We have an ancient giant maple next door, and it still clings to a few golden leaves. The rest of the trees are barren, naked, thrusting their slim skeletons toward a dead gray sky.


    • kanzensakura
      Nov 26, 2018 @ 16:58:23

      down here we have a zillion trees still holding on to their leaves. there will still be leaves when the first snow falls and on into spring when the new leaves push the old leaves off the tees.


  5. Frank Hubeny
    Nov 26, 2018 @ 17:10:17

    Some of those oaks seem to take a long time.


  6. Charmed Chaos
    Nov 26, 2018 @ 17:21:18

    I love the thought that the tree is warming the cold sky!


  7. rothpoetry
    Nov 26, 2018 @ 18:42:09

    Very nice…. the oaks do hang on into the late fall and some all winter.


  8. Beverly Crawford
    Nov 26, 2018 @ 18:45:40

    Only our ornamental pear clings to its dense leaves. A fine snow is turning the roofs to white, and winter has ceased to wait!


  9. Frank J. Tassone
    Nov 26, 2018 @ 19:41:31

    An iconic momemt preserved: the wait for seasonal change to be complete! Well done!


  10. Grace
    Nov 26, 2018 @ 19:43:54

    I know about that wet and dry weather but cold is the constant now. True, less leaves on the trees and more on the ground. The haiku of the black oak is lovely.


  11. Gina
    Nov 26, 2018 @ 19:44:40

    waiting for leaves to fall, something we don’t really see here in the tropics, how lovely to document which tress lose their leaves first and last, in that time of waiting many stories unfold


  12. D. Avery @shiftnshake
    Nov 26, 2018 @ 20:12:22

    Loved the black oak still warming the cold sky. Nice.


  13. V.J. Knutson
    Nov 26, 2018 @ 21:51:59

    I root for those leaves that hang on. This is beautiful.


  14. areadingwriter
    Nov 26, 2018 @ 23:57:52

    thank you for taking us with you through your vivid words!


  15. kim881
    Nov 27, 2018 @ 04:05:02

    The oaks do cling on to their leaves, don’t they? The willows in our garden are doing their damnedest too! The cherry is completely bare but it will be the first to show off its blossom in the spring.


  16. annell4
    Nov 27, 2018 @ 09:57:08

    A lovely poem, Toni.


  17. m.j.smith
    Nov 27, 2018 @ 12:23:39

    What a wonderful observation: “still warming the cold sky.” Seeing “warming” in that image is a great insight.


  18. Pat: willow88switches
    Nov 27, 2018 @ 15:13:40

    lovely Toni — captures the essence of the late season and how, indeed, oaks are always the last to lose their leaves, even through some of the deepest, harshest aspects of snow and all of that. I particularly enjoyed the way you’ve worded the oaks colouring the sky … that is really special, considering how often, the skies are too grey for it all ….

    great haibun and wonderful haiku


  19. Misky
    Nov 27, 2018 @ 16:27:01

    Some of those leaves just refuse to be cut from their roots.


  20. Christine Irving
    Nov 27, 2018 @ 17:56:24

    Love the trees “warming the sky” – with color but also the living warmth that trees exude


  21. Margaret Elizabeth Bednar
    Nov 27, 2018 @ 18:09:33

    The reds and oranges do seem to be warming the sky!


  22. KB
    Nov 27, 2018 @ 20:16:29

    I love this form, I haven’t read it before


    • kanzensakura
      Nov 27, 2018 @ 22:27:38

      It is an ancient Japanese form created by Had no during his travels. It is a brief paragraph describing something that actually happened to you ending with a nature based haiku that amplifies the text. Most people write long very descriptive haibun. I write brief prose followed by a haiku, more in keeping with the original form. Because the form has gotten so very long, I am now writing what is called “extreme haibun” , about 100 -150 words. I write haibun 44-80 words. I used to write linger haibun but am back to my more basic Japanese brief forms.

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  23. oldegg
    Nov 27, 2018 @ 21:01:04

    Leaves like tears fall from the trees but in fact are saving the tree’s life so that she can endure winter without expending her energy when it freezes. What a beautiful haibun this is.


  24. Imelda
    Nov 27, 2018 @ 23:12:22

    We’re having a very rainy, sometimes stormy, autumn. Trees lost their leaves a little faster than they should.


  25. anmol(alias HA)
    Nov 28, 2018 @ 00:53:34

    The image of those fewer leaves is keeping me hanging to your words, as the impending eventuality is awaited — the word from nature is such a perfect way of suggesting this fall. I really liked the haiku with its resilient image of something that still stands, warming the otherwise cold scene/feeling.


  26. Just Barry
    Nov 28, 2018 @ 01:06:29

    The leaves are barely holding on here as well, even through the freak rainstorms. I like the resigned, peaceful setting you’ve painted here.


  27. Brendan
    Nov 28, 2018 @ 05:08:44

    Thanks for the clarification on haibun and your adhering to the traditional strictness of the form. It makes for a sharper and more resonant encounter.


  28. Kerry
    Nov 28, 2018 @ 07:03:49

    I like the idea of the tree warming the winter sky with its bright leaves.


  29. Jim
    Nov 28, 2018 @ 22:36:45

    Nice reading, Toni. To me the last leaf on the tree can be compared but doesn’t get the press of the last rose of summer. Ironically, we have red leaves here for the first time that I’ve lived her, since 1964. The weather reporter says it is because of our early frost (a tribute to “Climate Change?”).


  30. lynn__
    Nov 30, 2018 @ 10:27:42

    I always think Japanese poetry is beautiful in its brevity and you are a master (mistress?) of it. The oaks in our grove also hang onto their leaves longest…some until spring!


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