Haibun: Something Stirring

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The spring song of a great tit
halted my winter walk;
the next day he was there again,
marking out his territory
so early in the year.
Then the incessant cooing of doves
on our rimy roof,
interrupting my morning ablutions.
Though it’s cold outside
and my heart is playing the blues
there are signs,
signs of something new,
much more than mere signs
of an early spring
which nature corresponds.

Something is stirring
Winter birds are singing spring
They sense what’s coming

Copyright Francis 2021

‘Cold Dawn’ — Haibun (for Carpe Diem Haiku Kai)

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That was the year
that was —
I present it to the flames
of purification,
scrying the images
for sign and portent
of brave futures unknown.
Outside, nature’s nudity
tears at my soul,
this cold dawn of realisation,
the privation of my heart, lost
somewhere between the sky,
that vast horizon
where a glacial sun greets,
sole testament to the day.

Last year’s summation
I’m sifting wheat from the chaff
Using discernment

Copyright Francis 2021

Carpe Diem Haiku Kai

Haibun: ‘Isabella’

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The sea was writhing at Seahouses. Northumbria wild, voices calling on the wind blown from Hyperborean reaches.

And then you — your skin grey like a seal, matching your eyes, a lantern jaw jutting out like a promontory, unyielding.

So then why are you so kind? Because you are blind, like nature, the tempestuous oceans thrusting, reaching, for just one fleeting sight of your son.

Who brought me this far?
Providence cannot explain
Winter’s existence

Copyright Francis 2020

dVerse Haibun Monday

Haibun: ‘Washing Day’

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I hang out the washing,
impatiently pegging
to save time.
Then I sit, fritter and daydream,
watching the wind toss the duvet
of my sleepless night,
pillow cases bellow in panic attack,
before the sudden lashing rain
insists I scamper outside.

Elements changing
Thrashing meandering thoughts
Nature’s clue unsaid

Copyright Francis Barker 2020

Haibun: ‘Black Fridays’

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Fridays were special,
work was plentiful;
when the job centre found you.

Now just any other day —
yet blacker,
more dastardly,

that Friday feeling
banished forever
to that distant land

called happiness.

Gold fish in a bowl
Endless demented circling
Who’s the first to speak?

Copyright Francis Barker 2020

Haibun: Truth and Belief

jesus christ
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I grew up with your image.
Now they say you don’t exist.
I walked in your footsteps,
it was all I needed.
I read your words
and they spoke to me
across centuries of time –
as if I was there.

Are you a figment?
Faith covers my ignorance
You speak to me still

Copyright Francis Barker 2020

Haibun: Bodhisattva

aged-ancient-asian-buddhism-45178

I follow you,
my Buddha in the being,
born to fame and luxury,
subject to loss and tragedy.
You lead a life of example,
of peace and patience.

I judge you by what is done,
not by what you say,
though such few words
have meaning

Better a good man
Rather than one who is great
I can follow you

copyright Francis Barker 2020

Haibun: Eye to Eye

young frustrated woman screaming with closed eyes
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I wish we could agree.
Our difference of opinion
enflames the things unsaid.
So we skirt around the issue
whilst I remained perplexed:
Whatever happened to your
rebellious youth?

And why am I the radical?

Brainwashed opinion
Open mindedness thrown out
Worn out paradigm

copyright Francis Barker 2020

Haibun: Ulysses in Chains

hallway with window
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I lied about reading Ulysses.
I started it, just didn’t get to the end.
I wanted to sound cool,
as if I understood Joyce’s intellect,
his significance in literature.

I day dream each day
Make out I am some hero
In truth I am snared

copyright Francis Barker 2020