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.