Haibun is a set of Haiku with an accompanying poetic essay elucidating and hovering around it connecting it into union. The essay is more aesthetic than strictly grammatical sometimes . More than one Haiku may be presented in the Haibun. There are few practitioners of this genre in English . Haibun has been and is practised in Japan actively.
Haibun: A Definition
A Web Site Displaying Contemporary English Style Haibun Writing
A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
The following two examples are modern short- story type Haibun by the author.
THE LUNAR MAGIC ~
Rainy evening fades gently into the ambiguous calmness of a grey mist arising from emptiness ~ nandiarvattom abloom sprawled in vast splendour resonates luminous mantrams in blue neon light ~ white incandescent jasmines throb in tender green splashes ~ the coconut tree erupts halfway from the nandiarvattom clusters ~ invisible the coconut head ~ the chethi is invisible too ~ the wall with the creepers and yellow flowers are turning almost invisible ~ the giant mango tree far away sways in subtle spasms closes into the ageless sky ~ cool breeze punctuates a solemn stillness ~ a distant film song delicately tunes in ~ tiled roofs pile on in erratic architecture ageing in mossy growth etchings of lightnings thunder monsoon radiances in aquatic resonances ~ starless sky all empty grey ~ suddenly on the side of a distant tree my lucky eyes chance into an exotic lunar skyscape ~ a night painters impeccable dream come true in pristine moonlight ~
I had seen the moon in myriad wonder manifestations so many times clouds in innumerable personifications embedding engulfing it ~ but this one is beyond all I saw in exquisite perfection ~
I was watching from a first floor window spellbound muttering joyous mantrams of delight ~ I suddenly had an intense desire to share this wonder vision to someone ~ my brother Anand was sitting downstairs watching news or slapstick on the television ~ I ran to the staircase and shouted "Anand come here immediately ~ I will show you something wonderful ~ Please come fast ~ " " I am coming" he responded ~ I called him like this only very rarely ~ I ran back to the window to the watch the moon again ~ A slight brightening and I suddenly saw an electric wire visible between the sky and my vision ~
an electric wire
But still the sight was beautiful enough ~ Only if you stared to much the wire became visible ~ I ran back to the staircase once again and shouted desperately to beckon Anand and he said "I am coming" ~ I went back to my window ~ The scene was slowly shifting and the beauty was evanescently nullifying itself ~ Soon the moon was covered with clouds ~ I went back to the staircase when Anand had actually reached the bottom of the staircase and I told him ~
friend you're late ~
DANCING BENEATH THE PYRAMIDS ~
We land in Cairo at midday ~ the desert air smells of mythology and hieroglyphic parables engraved in power vanity and pure absurdity ~ the Nile, the pyramids, the pharos dissolve into invisible memories in the dry air, awakening again and again, esoteric connections between the dead, the reborn and the unborn beings, in the myriad cosmoses enveloping them in magic abandon ~ the fierce sunlight, spasms of dust in greenless space awaiting water ~ strange desolateness like invisible weeping ghosts, pervades all space ~ ancient history seems to obliviate the essential present ~ all looks part of a grand fatal cosmic design ~ the bus meanders through the empty streets and nostalgic brown mud architectures ~ history memorizes residual stones a few emperors and empresses for their recklessness, for their vainglorious adventures ~ millions who lived in these lands tilled and toiled are Earth's sacred dust and ethereal dreams in eternity's innocent oblivion ~
I grow aware of my vague isolation among the crew ~Jasmine and Charmaine make small talk about the pyramids ~ Jasmine smiles again ~ the beautiful Jasmine smile which never fades from her wheat-gold face even when she is not smiling ~ my crew handbag was missing and I have a silly black box and Jasmine cannot help telling me that it looks like a schoolboy box ~ she laughs at the discovery revealing perfect dental beauty and care ~ I feel exactly like a child in front of his beloved teacher ~ we had done a few flights, shopped in London even had coffee and dinner together and were good friends ~ I also knew that Jasmine wished that I wore Gucci shoes and Pierre-cardin trousers, although she never told me that ~ she is of course fashion conscious and even little conscious of my lunatic intelligence that made crazy observations and unseen strange connections~ she sometimes laughed music, called me, genius and stupid affectionately ~ Jasmine's surname was Randhawa and I would ask her, are you a wrestler related to Dara Singh ~ she would drip an angelic smile and nod in school girl naughtiness ~ Charmaine is also known to me from the cabin-crew training days ~ This is our first flight together~
The hotel is right adjacent to the pyramids ~ I check into my room and walk onto the veranda instinctively ~ the pyramids of my school textbooks, one of the Great Ancient Wonders of the World wobbles, looming in front of me, an incongruous dream, an absurd geometry sprouting into the metaphysical sky ~
the pyramids tremble ~
For most of the next two days, Jasmine, Charmaine and I are together in Jasmine's room ~ both of them are beautiful in their own way ~ Jasmine aquiline nose and sharp features, Charmaine, fairer rosier, softer features with pink lips ~ We eat breakfast and lunch together chatting incessantly about school days, our home, friends, anything that came upon to us ~ We sit on the veranda and play the simplest silliest and hence the perfect card game bluff which children play ~ Jasmine in a lavender-sky nightie and Charmaine in a pastel floral printed one ~ it is pure baby joy under the pyramids which we notice no more ~ the results of the games are obvious ~ I loose all the games with all the cards in my hands always ~ empty handed they laugh delightedly again and again ~ when I bluff they catch me nonchalantly ~ when they bluff I can never get at them ~ Finally I start accepting my being the fool in bluffing with such a fatal air that the game looses its charm~
Jasmine Charmaine bluff
We see the sound and light show at the Pyramids wallowing in exotic Cleopatra's memory among others in the labyrinthine mythical narrative of Ka and Ba ~ The night before departure the crew gets together for a special dinner ~ there I meet a miracle woman in a fatal way ~ she had come to Cairo on another flight ~ we self- introduce and start chatting ~ we get so involved in our conversation that we forget all that is around us ~ so much we speak in so little time and so truthfully ~ everything really ~ our tastes in literature, life, faith, eternity, music, truth ~ she speaks beautifully ~ we feel tremendous fullfillment in each other's presence ~ she is very tall, remarkably beautiful, impeccably dressed, gentle, aristocratic ~
there is a dance going on ~ one or two men come to ask her for a dance ~ she refuses politely continues to talk excitedly with me ~ our intimacy bewilders us, for it is just about half an hour since we met and it seems as if we have known each other for all eternity ~ the party is now non-existent for us but for each other ~
wonder re-cognition ~
At some exotic fatal moment we decide that we should dance together and we walk into the crowded floor ~ the music begins and we dance impeccably in perfect fusion at the centre ~ God, how do I dance so well ~ we think of nothing, speak not a word, dance in a mystic trance like primitive dancers of ancient tribes ~ the primordial dance unites us in divine truth ~ we grow older than space and time dissolving in greater light, every moment more perfect than the other ~ our eyes rest safely on each other's face ~ we dance on and on till, seeing nothing but ourselves in reflection we engulf one another for ever ~
our minds empty ~
We eat dinner together, part in a dream-world forgetting to exchange our addresses, hoping to meet again soon ~ next morning our crew fly to Amsterdam ~ she flies to elsewhere with another crew ~ a few months later I resign from the airline ~
All this happens more than twenty years ago ~ I do not remember her name, I do not remember what religion or community she was born in ~ she was an Indian, tall, bewilderingly beautiful, very intelligent, fiercely truthful and the few moments I spent with her remains etched in light in my memorabilia ~ She remembers me in fond nostalgia too ~ I am sure~ Perhaps, she also, does not remember my name but remembers our strange meeting and our ecstatic dance together ~ will we recognize each other in another epic-parable in another universe? I wonder and honour her existence in all abstract humility that the word affords me.
long ago I dance with
Please login to post comment.