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Welcome, poets! Long time, no see! Frank J. Tassone, here, with another enticing edition of Haibun Monday, where that blend of prose-poetry and haiku known as haibun. With the end of January behind us and Valentin’s Day waiting in the wings, isn’t it time we talked about heart?

Let’s face it: we are in the heart of winter—or summer if you live south of the equator. Perhaps it’s time we confronted the heart of the matter. Or we face up to the fact that the heart is a lonely hunter. Maybe we don’t have to heart to tell anyone. Or we’re just fascinated by the heart, that tireless, chambered muscle pumping our blood every minute of our lives.

Maybe we should just listen to what our heart tells us.

Looking for more figurative cardiac inspiration?

Heart to Heart

Rita Dove – 1952-

It’s neither red
nor sweet.
It doesn’t melt
or turn over,
break or harden,
so it can’t feel

It doesn’t have 
a tip to spin on,
it isn’t even
just a thick clutch
of muscle,
mute. Still,
I feel it inside
its cage sounding
a dull tattoo:
I want, I want—

but I can’t open it:
there’s no key.
I can’t wear it
on my sleeve,
or tell you from
the bottom of it
how I feel. Here,
it’s all yours, now—
but you’ll have
to take me,

Copyright © 2017 Rita Dove. Courtesy of poets.org

My Heart

Kim Addonizio – 1954-

That Mississippi chicken shack.

That initial-scarred tabletop,

that tiny little dance floor to the left of the band.

That kiosk at the mall selling caramels and kitsch.

That tollbooth with its white-plastic-gloved worker

handing you your change.

That phone booth with the receiver ripped out.

That dressing room in the fetish boutique,

those curtains and mirrors.

That funhouse, that horror, that soundtrack of screams.

That putti-filled heaven raining gilt from the ceiling.

That haven for truckers, that bottomless cup.

That biome. That wilderness preserve.

That landing strip with no runway lights

where you are aiming your plane,

imagining a voice in the tower,

imagining a tower.

From Lucifer at the Starlite, published by W. W. Norton & Company. Copyright © 2010 by Kim Addonizio. Courtesy of poets.org

Heart Care

E. L. Blizzard

Monitors beep. Pumps whir. Brushing her hair and tying it up, I try to keep my eyes from the tubes draining all the different fluids. Her hair feels like my daughter’s first curls, soft, new. I reach out to gently touch her face, but then I remember that she’s not the touchy-feely type, she’s the I’ll-cut-a-bitch-if-they-hurt-you type, so, I pull back. 

visiting hours
cutting mama’s chicken
into baby bites

courtesy of Drifting Sands

Let’s write our haibun that references the heart, in whatever context that you conceive. For those new to haibun, the form consists of one to a few paragraphs of prose—usually written in the present tense—that evoke an experience and are often non-fictional/autobiographical. They may be preceded or followed by one or more haiku—nature-based, using a seasonal image—that complement without directly repeating what the prose stated.

New to dVerse? Here’s what you do:

  • Write a haibun that alludes to heart.
  • Post it on your personal site/blog
  • Include a link back to dVerse in your post.
  • Copy your link onto the Mr. Linky
  • Remember to click the small checkbox about data protection.
  • Read and comment on some of your fellow poets’ work.
  • Like and leave a comment below if you choose to do so.
  • Have fun!