We are pleased to have a guest pub host for today’s Haibun Monday, Merril D. Smith.
Hi, Everyone! It’s Merril. I’m honored to be guest pub-tending here at the dVerse Poets Pub for Haibun Monday. Sit down and get comfy. We have quite a selection of beverages here. I can even offer you some hot coffee or tea or mulled wine or cider if you want something warm.
In my part of the world, this time of year seems full of transitions. Next week, we’ll set our clocks back an hour as we move from Daylight Savings Time to Standard Time. We’re drifting further into autumn with longer periods of darkness. Twilight seems to linger, and dawn takes longer to arrive. The leaves here are still turning red and gold, but they are falling now. In other parts of the world, it’s moving towards summer, or perhaps a rainy or dry season. Here in the U.S., we will also be having elections on November 6, which could potentially change our government here in the U.S. (Yes, please!).
“Ch-ch-changes. . .”
And of course, October 31 is Halloween. I don’t dress up in a costume, and I’m kind of whatever the Scrooge equivalent for Halloween would be—but I am fascinated by its origins in the Celtic Samhain festival and the belief that on this night the line between spirit world and physical world blurs.
When I was in high school, I fell in love with this Fairport Convention version of the folk song, “Tam Lin,” and the time when the boundaries between our world and the fairy world vanishes. I remember hearing the song on Gene Shay’s folk show in Philadelphia while I listening to it on my radio up in my attic bedroom.
“But tonight is Hallowe’en and the faerie folk ride
Those that would their true love win at Miles Cross they bide”
Referring to a different type of change, Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote:
(Note: this is the first stanza.)
“Five months ago the stream did flow,
The lilies bloomed within the sedge,
And we were lingering to and fro,
Where none will track thee in this snow,
Along the stream, beside the hedge.
Ah, Sweet, be free to love and go!
For if I do not hear thy foot,
The frozen river is as mute,
The flowers have dried down to the root:
And why, since these be changed since May,
Shouldst thou change less than they.”
–from Elizabeth Barrett Browning, “Change Upon Change”
And Jeff Hardin’s remarkable poem, “Concerning the Shape of Time”.
So, you guessed it. For this Haibun Monday, I want you to write about change, but specifically, I’d like you to write about a transitional time in your life. It could be something profound—a near death experience, for example. It could be about starting or leaving a job, getting married, or having a baby. It could be how you feel when the seasons change. How you define transition is up to you. It could even be about how you helped someone else through a transitional time.
A traditional Haibun consists of one to three concise paragraphs of nonfiction followed by a haiku that adds some insight or dimension to the prose. The Haiku traditionally includes a season word (Kigo). I’m not an expert, and so, if you vary from this, I’m not going to condemn you. Poets break rules all the time, right? However, your poem should be recognizable as a Haibun, and it should be about change or transitions.
Here’s how to join in:
* Write a haibun based on the challenge and post it to your blog.
* Copy the direct URL and your name into Mr. Linky
* Post the link to dVerse on your blog and social media sites.
* Stop into the pub to say hello.
* Comment on other poet’s work.
* Have fun!
About our guest host: Merril D. Smith
Writing poetry is a fairly recent and welcome creative outlet. It is a different type of writing than the other writing I do as an independent scholar–with several books on history, sexuality, and gender–and as a test writer. But nothing stays in one drawer in my inner file cabinet—thoughts and words fall out, get misfiled, and cross genres. I write on a laptop in my kitchen, coffee and cats nearby. I like to gaze out the windows to watch the birds and ponder about life.
Happy Haibun Monday! Thank you to Merril for being our host. Looking forward to reading your transition inspired haibun.
Thank you, Grace. It’s a pleasure to have been asked.
Hi, Everyone! The pub is open. Come on in! It’s kind of windy and dreary here. I think I’m going to have something warm to drink.
Warm tea for me. It’s cold and windy in Toronto now. Hope you are keeping warm Merril.
Fortunately, not too cold here today, but I’m going to have some tea, too–then wine later. 🙂
Björn Rudberg (brudberg) said:
Oh it’s early today… we are on normal time so it’s only 8:15 yet… ha, have to adopt to that. I will write mine and come back
I know that your time zones adjusted early but ours will come next weekend.
I’m an early to bed person, so I wouldn’t be writing at 8:15 or later. Looking forward to your post!
Björn Rudberg (brudberg) said:
Ha.. normally I write it and post around 9 PM… then off to bed a little after 10.
My brain shuts off early. 🙂
Frank Hubeny said:
Thanks for hosting, Merril! We also do very little for Halloween. A few children from the neighborhood stop by. We have some individually wrapped dark chocolate to hand out. This is not what I would want to receive were I a child coming to my door, but I can’t see handing out the kind of candy I used to want to receive.
Björn Rudberg (brudberg) said:
I had some wrapped chocolate as well… but the foil is decorated as eyeballs… despite I had to show them my bearskin with a gaping head… they were probably more scared than i was… let’s see if any other comes by.
Yikes–eyeball decorated candy and bearskin. I think I’d stay away. Haha.
Thank you, Frank. I like dark chocolate, too, so I’m not tempted by the stuff we hand out–if we get anyone. 🙂
Jane Dougherty said:
Hi, Frank; I liked your spirals, and the idea of being able to influence the way it goes, or doesn’t. But I couldn’t leave a comment on your blog. It makes me leave WP and log back in again if I want to comment, and since I can’t remember my WP password, best not to.
Hi everyone and thank you for hosting, Merril! It’s a dark rainy might and it’s been a bit of an emotional day, so I won’t be hanging around for long this evening. I think I’ll be off to bed early tonight and hope for a better day tomorrow. I’ll be back in the morning to read and comment, too. Have a great evening/day.
I hope you have a good rest, Kim, and a better day tomorrow.
Thank you so much, Merril. I’ve been up for a while now and will be reading and commenting shortly. I was supposed to be going to the hospital this morning but I’m not well enough to travel so I’ll give them a call and stay at home for today. It’s horrible weather out there so I’m better off indoors.
Oh no! Sorry to hear you’re not feeling well.
Hope the weather improves, as well.
anmol(alias HA) said:
It took a bit to get the range of the theme and find the inspiration to write — it’s a rather unedited piece. Hope it doesn’t stray too far from the requirements.
Thanks for the prompt, Merril! 🙂
I purposely left the prompt a bit vague. This is such a diverse group. Yours was thoughtful and beautiful.
So nice to seeing you tending pub tonight, Merrill! Welcome! I just posted…..sunny and crisp fall day here. I shall get over to reading now. Looking forward to seeing others’ haibuns.
Thank you, Lillian!
The clocks changed here this weekend – it’s thrown me a bit. The pub opened an hour earlier than usual for me tonight!
I get SO thrown off by time changes. 🙂
Ours comes next weekend….and then when I get up at 5:30 or 6 AM I really will be putting a candle in my window and savoring my hot coffee while I write in my journal and read! 🙂
I know. Me, too. Well, I’ll be downstairs with the cats and my coffee waiting for dawn to finally come. And I’ll start feeling like it’s bedtime at 5 PM.
Maureen Sudlow said:
Thanks for the inspiration
V.J. Knutson said:
Hi Merrill. Thanks for hosting, and the prompt. I am craving something thirst quenching – maybe a club soda with cranberry.
That sounds very refreshing!
transition and change, we live it, love it, hate it…wonderful prompt and so lovely to have you hosting Merril. now i shall write up my response
Thank you so much, Gina! I will check it out in the morning. 🙂
Lona Gynt said:
Oh wow! This is just pure Mister Linky bait that is sooo hard to resist says me…. the girl stuck in the chrysalis! I have a poem a month ago called “on transitioning” AND I just posted a humor piece for Halloween that answers the question, ala Reddit best answer style, whether becoming a vampire can make it easier for transgender persons to complete their transition, so Merril, you and the whole dern universe appears to be conspiring to get me to link. The vampire piece is prose, but it is 6 pages long, so even the girl on the chrysalis of jade (that’s me 🙋🏻♀️), has to admit that might be stretching the Haibun form just a teensy bit. Sigh. Also going on only 5 hours sleep today, so I am not sure I’ll be able to play with y’all on the Haibun trail this time, but Sheesh Merril, you are a temptress with this lovely prompt. It’s like you said, “hmmm let’s see, what prompt will make Lona get behind in her paperwork and not get her walking done. Ahh yes, transitioning, mwa-ha-ha-ha.” Even if I withstand the temptation and don’t post on the trail, I will enjoy reading some of it. Very nice prompt Merril, I will sneak something red and viscous. 🧛♀️
You make me laugh, Lona. Yes, transitioning indeed. It’s possible I did think of that, too. 🙂 The prompt is open all week. Come play!
Lona Gynt said:
Merril! I did come play! (even brought toys, hehe). Posted late in week. Since it also fit Lillian’s Stock Phrase prompt, but missed the deadline, I also posted on OLN. I knew I couldn’t stay away. will be going through two trails all weekend. Thank you for this 🙂
I will go look for it. Thank you!
Glenn Buttkus said:
Nice to see a fresh pubtender; thanks for stepping up. Your prompt has whelped some outstanding poems; great reading out on the trail. My poem, though it reads like a New Age dreamscape was an actual experience for me. Over the years hanging out here at the Pub, I have written about it several times.
I assumed it was real, Glenn, though I don’t think I’ve read about it from you before. Thanks for sharing again. “New Age dreamscape.” 🙂
Charmed Chaos said:
Good Morning Merril and fellow Poets- I am joining in this morning. A tough write for me. Thanks Merril for the prompt.
I just read it. I feel we’ve been honored by you sharing this chapter of your life. Thank you.
Charmed Chaos said:
Thanks for the kind words.
I am so sorry, I posted by blog here, instead of Imaginary Gardens, I am so sorry.
I am so sorry I posted wrong, it should have been to Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads.
I was wondering. 🙂
Frank J. Tassone said:
Evening, Poets! Thanks, Merrill, for the inspiration. Better a day late than a dollar short, right? 🙂
You’re welcome. Thank you for sharing, Frank. I nearly always post late to dVerse. 🙂