Door Haibun


Door Haibun

The glass remains unchanged but what I see through it differs moment by moment. This door is truly of a port in air; I observe these shifting worlds, their translucent seconds ever ticking. Nothing rests – the Texas mountain laurel’s blossoms fade and flutter to the ground while the wind weaves intricate patterns through its branches. Rogue onion sprouts scatter throughout this small section of yard, and a squirrel scampers along the cedar pickets. Light slants through a hole in the clouds. A hummingbird buzzes by. Even the earth moves, and five minutes ago rain tapped out an inconsistent tune on my metal roof. I lift the shakuhachi to my lips, and exhaling, enter the day.

three dogs yapping
announce spring’s arrival
oh, sweet music!

29 thoughts on “Door Haibun

  1. I enjoyed this, Bob, and it spurred me to read about haibun and also haiku. I was stuck in the outdated and rigid teaching that the latter consists of 5,7,5 English syllable phrases, which — I have learned — is not a good correlation with the traditional Japanese form of 5, 7, 5 sounds. Do you pay any attention to syllable counts when writing English language haiku?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Cate. I enjoy the haibun form. As for the 5-7-5 syllable count, I don’t always adhere to it. Quite often the poems arrange themselves with those syllables, but I no longer force them to, believing that adding or removing a syllable or two might likely ruin the poem. I see too many examples of people strictly following the count, resulting in their poems sounding stilted. And of course there are those who believe that the syllable count is all that matters…ackkk!

      You may be amused to know that one year my wife and I communicated with each other while at our respective jobs (on Wednesdays, only) with haiku. Most of them were atrocious, but it was a lot of fun.

      Liked by 4 people

  2. Beautiful poem. I tried a shakuhachi for the first time the other day. Sadly, I couldn’t make a single sound. Which is obvious, since I had never played one before, but the moment felt a bit like a koan. Sorry for the ramble. I cannot find my copy of Wallace Stevens. Would it be inappropriate to ask which poem you refer to?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Craig. The Stevens poem is “Anecdote of the Jar” – “I placed a jar in Tennessee / And round it was, upon a hill…” The shakuhachi is deceptive. My wife, who has much experience with woodwinds, can’t get a sound out of it. I watched a few videos – the person I bought mine from suggested blowing on bottles to get the feel. So I emptied a few bottles, and practiced for a week or so. When the flute arrived I was able to achieve some sound within a couple of hours. Am still struggling.


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