Hello my family of poets! Toni here (kanzensakura, hayesspencer). So wonderful to join you all today for our Haibun Monday feature. We all have things that are part of our daily lives: our first cup of coffee or tea for the day, our underwear, our commute to work, reading the paper or listening to the news, not reading the paper or listening to the news, taking a walk or not, taking a shower, brushing our teeth, fixing dinner, coming home from work, listening to the evening news – so many everyday daily things most of us don’t think about.
Today, I challenge you to think about everyday occurrances and to write about them in a compact, haibun form. To make it easier on us, I am making this short and sweet: write a haibun of one paragraph with one haiku at the end. The haiku must be a haiku and not a 5-7-5 or micropoem. It must be 5-7-5 or short-long-short and must be about nature. That is probably the hardest part of this exercise today – write about an every day occurrence and then to at the end, write a haiku that ties the everyday things all together. For more information on haiku, you can read this post for dVerse: https://dversepoets.com/2015/11/16/japanese-poetry-forms-twins/
In spite of our routines, there is some element of nature. That is what the first haibun was all about. Matsuo Basho took a trip and among his daily wandering he wrote a bit of travelogue and ended with a haiku. This is from Basho’s Oku no Hosomichi translated by Hiroaki Sato in 1996. The haiku references the Festival of the Dolls (a Japanese kigo) and is in one straight line, typical of Japanese haiku, part of a continuing haiku. It is the first paragraph of his famous travelogue.
“The months and days are wayfarers of a hundred generations, and the years that come and go are also travelers. Those who float all their lives on a boat or reach their old age leading a horse by the bit make travel out of each day and inhabit travel. Many in the past also died while traveling. In which year it was I do not recall, but I, too, began to be lured by the wind like a fragmentary cloud and have since been unable to resist wanderlust, roaming out to the seashores. Last fall, I swept aside old cobwebs in my dilapidated hut in Fukagawa, and soon the year came to a close; as spring began and haze rose in the sky, I longed to walk beyond Shirakawa Barrier and, possessed and deranged by the distracting deity and enticed by the guardian deity of the road, I was unable to concentrate on anything. In the end I mended the rips in my pants, replaced hat strings, and, the moment I gave a moxa treatment to my kneecaps, I thought of the moon over Matsushima. I gave my living quarters to someone and moved into Sampû’s villa:
Kusa no to mo sumi-kawaru yo zo hina no ie
In my grass hut the residents change: now a doll’s house
I left the first eight links hung on a post of my hut.”
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