Haibun: Things die but things live

For my prompt over at Real Toads – mono no aware. Mono no aware is the Japanese concept of a wistful sadness at the passing of things. It is also based on mujo – the Japanese word for change. Haibun is written in the classic style, less than 100 words. My haibun today has 52 words.

Haibun: Things die but things live
“Maybe that’s enlightenment enough: to know that there is no final resting place of the mind, no moment of smug clarity.” Anthony Bourdain

The rain is relentlessly falling, drenching everything. A hawk sits in the oak tree across the way looking hungry and cold. Suddenly it lifts its wings dives. I hear a faint scream. A small creature has met its end.

seasons change – things die –
but another creature lives –
rain keeps falling down

51 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. annell4annell4
    Nov 29, 2018 @ 08:56:54

    This is so beautiful, but also so sad.

    Reply

  2. Helen
    Nov 29, 2018 @ 12:08:22

    I like the inevitability of this ~ keeping things real.

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Nov 29, 2018 @ 12:15:29

      Thank you. I live in the real world as do we all. LOL, I don’t believe in sugar coating things.

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      Reply

  3. Sherry Blue Sky
    Nov 29, 2018 @ 12:22:38

    The scene and the rain captures perfectly the feeling of mono no aware. Toni, I realized the haiku in my haibun was incorrect, so I fixed the syllable count.

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Nov 29, 2018 @ 12:25:42

      It is okay Sherry. “Modern” haiku don’t count syllables, only line lengths. I do classic haiku but I have been known to do modern sometimes. Your haiku is beautiful.

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  4. coalblack
    Nov 29, 2018 @ 14:11:04

    I am always torn between sympathy for the mouse and joy for the bird. It’s the yin and yang of the earth turning, i suppose.

    Reply

  5. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Nov 29, 2018 @ 15:10:42

    The chain of life is cruel, but still I cannot avoid to be happy for the hawk…
    The haiku with that relentless rain, but in the end I think rain will feed the soil

    Reply

  6. Glenn Buttkus
    Nov 29, 2018 @ 15:28:02

    The wheel of life just rolls, and cruelty for a rodent is sustenance to the peregrine. Who are we to judge, we who raise chickens in tiny cages to eat. I guess we can ask for the classic haibun at a MTB one day. Brevity, like with the Q44, can still be serviceable.

    Reply

  7. Misky
    Nov 29, 2018 @ 15:29:38

    I cringe when I hear that shriek, but life is making me cringe lately, so no surprise there. Nicely done, Toni.

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Nov 29, 2018 @ 15:31:59

      I seem to be making a lot of people cringe lately. But as I get older, I am refusing to candy coat things. And besides, hawks have to eat! 😊

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  8. Gospel Isosceles
    Nov 29, 2018 @ 15:35:33

    I wasn’t a fan but I really connect with that Bourdain quote. There is something dizzying about how the wheel keeps spinning, the rain keeps falling, despite everything. Maybe it is a mark of enlightenment when the thought of it no longer induces vertigo. Gorgeous haibun, Toni.

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Nov 29, 2018 @ 16:16:19

      Thank you Amaya. If you had known Tony, you would have realized why so many people loved him. A very human man yet so aware and respectful of the differences in us all, how important those differences are and how they connect us all together. Thank you for commenting on my haibun.

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  9. Therisa Godwaldt
    Nov 29, 2018 @ 16:18:06

    Like all things, life is cyclical, where one stage nourishes the next. Even though, it may sadden us, to for it to happen. Sadly, too many people have forgotten this life lesson.

    Reply

  10. Jane Dougherty
    Nov 29, 2018 @ 16:33:53

    I enjoyed the truth in this, the rain, the hawk, the death are all part of life, not unpleasant or cruel, just life.

    Reply

  11. m.j.smith
    Nov 29, 2018 @ 16:51:29

    Very spare and effective. I wonder if mono no aware and the Western motif of ubi sunt aren’t similar? “Where are the snows of yesteryear?”

    Reply

  12. Rob Kistner
    Nov 29, 2018 @ 17:16:10

    Love this contemplation on the circular essence of nature, of life – the Great Mandala…! Hawks are fascinating raptors. We have red tails and osprey (sea hawks) constantly hunting around our home here, the scream, or whistle, or call, or screech or whatever it’s called is so distinctive. I always look up when I hear it…

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Nov 29, 2018 @ 17:42:10

      We have several hawks around here including the osprey. I love watching them. the only time I have ever been sad at a hawk catching something for food was when one swooped down and took my kitten off in its claws.

      Reply

  13. Grace
    Nov 29, 2018 @ 18:15:50

    The cycle of life and death continues as season changes. Here, the rain and winter snow are falling, relentlessly.

    Reply

  14. Rosemary Nissen-Wade
    Nov 29, 2018 @ 19:08:54

    This is wonderful, Toni – in each section, and as a whole. Also I am impressed with how beautiful, though sad, all the Mono no Aware poems are. Thank you for the prompt – a lovely mood indeed for writing poetry!

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Nov 29, 2018 @ 19:10:18

      Thank you Rosemary. I too am impressed by the beauty of the poems. They never disappoint at Toads.

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  15. Mish
    Nov 29, 2018 @ 19:44:34

    I enjoyed your concise and vivid description of survival. Oh the food chain…it isn’t always easy to watch, but it is life. I like they way the rain pays no mind to the whole thing, with it’s own job to do.

    Reply

  16. rivrvlogr
    Nov 29, 2018 @ 20:23:05

    In spite of conditions, we do what we must.

    Reply

  17. Margaret Elizabeth Bednar
    Nov 29, 2018 @ 22:02:54

    Yes, I’ve watched hawks at the forest’s edge … watching my song birds. They are thrilling to watch and I do love my song birds… but the circle of life and all that… lovely poem!

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Dec 01, 2018 @ 19:45:45

      I do love my songbirds as well. That is why I always have my feeders out under my plum and cherry trees and flowering quine. It gives the birds places to hide. One or two may get eaten but not as many as if the feeders were out in the open.

      Reply

  18. Frank Hubeny
    Nov 29, 2018 @ 22:09:11

    Nice description of the hawk and that small creature.

    Reply

  19. Candy
    Nov 29, 2018 @ 22:31:49

    I like the mood the rain creates in this

    Reply

  20. Jim
    Nov 30, 2018 @ 00:36:09

    As long as the rain falls the cycle will continue. Watch though, when it stops all is prone to fires.
    ..

    Reply

  21. Kerry
    Nov 30, 2018 @ 03:15:06

    For me, the final line is a bit of magic, binding all images together and reinforcing the sense of change.

    Reply

  22. Marian
    Nov 30, 2018 @ 05:36:07

    Yes, simple truths. I love the sound of the hawk as well.

    Reply

  23. oldegg
    Nov 30, 2018 @ 06:16:09

    Well that is the natural order of things. Then there are humans that destroy regardless of consequence purely for profit mindless of the effect of their greed.

    Reply

  24. Laura Bloomsbury
    Nov 30, 2018 @ 11:58:04

    the cycle so perfectly drawn in these lines Toni

    Reply

  25. Yvonne
    Nov 30, 2018 @ 12:36:44

    For sure….the circle of life. The only thing that’s certain is that everything will change.

    Reply

  26. Victoria C. Slotto
    Nov 30, 2018 @ 18:39:08

    Wistful sadness indeed. Today I found a beautiful Cedar Waxwing, totally intact, on our deck. I took care of it and had the opportunity to study its details that are so beautiful. I think it may have flown into the bedroom 2nd story window, even though we keep the blinds down though open for that very reason. Wistful sadness.

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Nov 30, 2018 @ 20:00:47

      I always hate finding the dead birds. So sad. They often fly into our living room picture window although I have curtains at the window for that purpose. I have a cemetery out back for the dead critters. This past summer I buried an indigo bunting ad a Baltimore Oriole. Sad indeed. And a tiny baby rabbit. Tears.

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  27. Gina
    Dec 01, 2018 @ 05:21:03

    i love how you write haibun, so precise with economy.The cycle of life may seem harsh but balance it also gives balance

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Dec 01, 2018 @ 19:38:29

      Thank you. This is the old style haibun rather than the new totally descriptive type. I used to write the new style but I decided I was tired of the descript telling the story, driving the haibun. I wanted the actual event and the seasons to drive the story.

      Reply

  28. Lona Gynt
    Dec 01, 2018 @ 08:13:01

    Perfect lovely circle Toni. I love how the rain emphasizes the elemental background behind the struggles of life, there is no antagonist nor protagonist here, just the imperatives of life and behind that the implacable beauty of the elements of the world – the rain keeps falling, impervious. This immediately brought a feeling for me like the best Miyazaki movies, (Howl’s moving castle, spirited away) where resolution seems to come about not by conflict between outside enemies, but by realization of the world and the place of the self within it. Lovely piece.
    A couple years ago I saw a red tail swoop and carry away a rabbit from my suburban yard, it was terrifying silent and graceful. I knew then I am both hawk and hare.

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Dec 01, 2018 @ 19:36:51

      Thank you. I specialize in Japanese poetic forms and almost all of them are in the moment and use the elements and seasons to move the point along. I see hawks in this area a bit. I’ve also had them swoop down and carry off something unseen to me. It always amazes me. Years ago a hawk tried to carry off one of my cats. the cat was screaming the hawk couldn’t quite lift off. I carry a sheathed katana as a walking stick. I whipped it out of the sheath and cut off the head of the hawk. I hated doing it but I wasn’t about to let my cat become dinner for the hawk and her young ones. I’m sure the fledglings died but that is life as well. Some things live, some things die.

      Reply

  29. merrildsmith
    Dec 02, 2018 @ 07:15:11

    I like the simple and spare rendering of truth here. Said beautifully, and sad, but life. The hawk must survive, too.

    Reply

  30. Kira
    Dec 08, 2018 @ 23:03:39

    The cycle of life. Beautifully written.

    Reply

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