September 20: Haibun all over again


This is why I’m here, after all. This is why I left. This is why. Do you understand now?

Do you want to go? Of course, do you? Should we go together? When should we go?

Voices on the train. At first we understand them only in theory. Stand very still, listening. Look at each other, calculating.

What are they saying?

They’ve closed the metro stations all around Red Square.

Why? I guess to make it harder to get there?

The train stops short, and we see it has no intention of proceeding. All the passengers get off and walk away in the same direction. It’s as if the world has ended and everyone understands it but us, everyone else knows the way to the afterlife.

Do we really want to do this? How will we get there? Is it this way? Well, that’s the way everyone else is going, right?

There are a million people in the street — not hyperbolically, but literally. One million people with no concept of personal space. Two million feet, just missing mine. I feel like a stick that’s fallen into a swollen stream. I feel like a penny tossed in a jar and shaken. I feel like a stranger. I feel like someone who left home and isn’t sure how to get back.

Hold my hand. We don’t want to get separated.

I’m terrified of being lost. I’m holding on tight, being pulled along. I remember this feeling. Do I want to feel like this again?

Can I trust you?

Up ahead, someone is calling for freedom. He shouts so loudly that the voices in my head quiet in response. He shouts so loudly that I understand everything he says.

birthday cake
the first taste
of you


I am taking the many helpful suggestions on my last haibun into advisement. Feel free to dissect this one too. I still feel like I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing in the haibun arena, so I am just throwing things up against the wall to see if they stick.

This one’s connected to the last one, obviously — actually it comes right before it in the sequence. How does that work out for you? Are you mystified? Do you mind being mystified? (I often quite enjoy it, but I find that most other people are far less tolerant of the sensation.)

I am foreseeing that all these haibun will end up looking very little like their original versions — when I get them into something more like a final state I’ll put them all up together in order. Then you can tell me what’s wrong with them as a whole instead of just individually.

10 thoughts on “September 20: Haibun all over again

  1. I like this one too, but I agree it could be condensed. Or, maybe, it could be divided into two separate pieces – the literal events on the train (and off) in one piece and the character exchanges in another. I’m not sure how to best go about that. It’d be tough to make them stand alone, but, in a sequence it might work.

    Or not. Just thinking out loud. 🙂

    And the mystery doesn’t bother me. I think the notion of two folks (with their own issues) swept up in a foreign protest is compelling and interesting enough the ambiguity doesn’t matter.

    • Geez. The last one was too short, this one is too long? You people are never happy. 🙂

      This one I think I won’t look at again for a while, because I’ve lost all perspective on it and have no idea what to do with it.

  2. mystery? yeah, i like mystery. after all… mystery is way more intriguing than knowing it all. …not to mention from mystery, we all spin off in our own wowland. so, thanks for the departure point which i can return to for one of the 10,000 spins at any time.

    no, i dont know what you’re doing. exactly. i dont really know the difference between a haibun and a cinnamonbun – okay on the surface words and pastry – both can be tasty.

    so i’m seeing 3 haiku. birthday cake, the children’s and onion seeds. and thinking wowland in haiku. 10 cylinder rocking. wait… i dont know about cars either, i’m not really a car people. but i think 6 cylinders is supposed to be better than 4. and 8 cylinders is supposed to be better than 6. so… extrapolationing… yeah. 10 cylinders must rock like there is no tomorrow in rockingchairland – or haiku.

    yeah. blather. in short those haiku have a lot of haiku wow in them. …and that’s what i’m looking at, what i think are haiku. …??… no puzzle there, just a moment spelled out until i step off the edge into – the mystery of wonderment. cool.

    lost ticket
    the journey begins

    • Haibun, cinnamonbun, let’s call the whole thing off. 🙂

      I don’t understand cylinders either, but I think you’re trying to compliment me, Wrick, so thanks. 🙂 Maybe I should just stick to haiku and leave the haibun to the …. haibunners. Haibunnies?

      No! I will not let haibun conquer me! I will defeat it in the end!

      • yeah. i was trying to compliment you on these… and no, i wouldnt want you to call the whole thing off either. i’m impressed with the way you go about your work. it shows in the results here. okay, i’m in awe too.

  3. Cannot critique as have written 1 haibun total. What captured me in this writing is the fearfulness, dissolving with the sound of one voice shouting. Thankfully I am now old enough to understand the enormity of such brave stance, that people can and do risk much. Thank-you for being there to stand up.

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