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Welcome to Haibun Monday!

I am Jilly, your unorthodox host and bar-tender for this edition of Haibun.  I am here to rattle the cages of structure and suggest some non-traditional writing in the realm of the Haibun form.  While this won’t qualify as Avant Garde Poetry, I am asking you to put on the attitude of the artist who defies the status quo, as artists and poets have done for centuries.  Before we can push the boundaries of the Haibun form, let’s take a quick look at what conventional Haibun consists of, because, if we are going to bend the rules, we need to know the rules.

Haibun combines prose poetry and Haiku.  Usually the prose portion is one or two concise paragraphs and is followed by a traditional Haiku that serves as a post-script to the prose.  Haiku, in the strictest sense, includes a traditional Kigo word, normally in the second line, that gives the reader a road sign regarding the current season.

This is where I want to encourage innovation, my fellow poets. Seasons are a nebulous thing and the traditional Kigo words are based on the seasons in one part of the world, so unless you live and write in Japan, your seasons are, well, your seasons.

Here in Central Florida, we never see snow and only drop into freezing temperatures a few times each year.  Our seasons include the dry season, which leads into fire season, followed closely by the rainy season (summer), which fades and gives way to tourist season.  Yes, we call it that here.  Tourist season is earmarked by crowded roadways and confused drivers who are lost and often pointing excitedly at sights and attractions or things with mouse ears. Hurricane season officially runs from June through November.  As a school teacher, we also give a nod to Testing Season, a time when student anxiety and teacher exhaustion run high. Oh, and one other very important season here is Gator Mating Season (late spring) when you might hear the bellowing love call of an ancient dinosaur-type creature in the middle of the night.  Most everyone is familiar with the ‘Holiday Season’ regardless of the holiday(s) being celebrated. You know what your unique seasons are where you live; celebrate that spirit of uniqueness!

Skeptical?  Here are just a few poets who have defied conventions; T.S. Eliot, Langston Hughes, Allen Ginsburg, and Nikki Giovanni.  You’re in good company.

“Avant-garde poetry unequivocally declares its opposition to styles of writing, and thinking…”  Anis Shivani

Be Avant Garde; be unconventional; bend and break the rules!  You are artists and it is what artists do!  Let us blaze a non-normative path with our Haibuns!

New to dVerse? Here’s the way to join us!

  • Write a poem as the prompt suggests, and post it to your blog.
  • Click on Mr. Linky below to add your name and enter the direct URL to your poem
  • On your blog, please provide a link back to dVerse.
  • If you promote your poem on social media, use the tag #dverse poets

And most importantly, please do read some of the other responses to the prompt and add a short comment or reaction. Everyone likes to be appreciated! The prompt is “live” all week – as you’ll notice by the comments you’ll receive – so please stop by another day and read a few of the latecomers too!