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Jane Whittle
Active Member
Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 7
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I found a note by Lyn Rees as a way into writing a haibun so I gave it a try. She said  1) imagine a photo of yourself. 2) see it clearly and describe 3£ think about what happened before it was taken and use sensory detail. 4)begin with "I don't know" and write about what happened in the future that you did not know about then - use three tenses. Leave for three days and write a haiku fr ir/ I did all this very quickly - maybe others might like to try it ! Here goes -

I see a serious face, well boned and not so young, with unkempt hair. I 'd like to know this person better - I think her eyes were green.

They were , of course, because this person was me, at  another time, groping towards  another world, like a middle aged chicken hatching from an egg.

I had just returned from trekking in the Himalayas, to the foot of the highest  mountain in the world, which  I had dreamed of as a teenager. We had travelled  back overland from there; I had caught hepatitis from eating iced yoghurt from an Afghan market stall after four days in a desert sandstorm.

I came home re-juvenated, more alive than I had ever been since childhood.

I did  not know what would happen next. I did not know that I would eventually live the dream that I dreamt then - to live where I could see the stars always, hear the sound of falling water and of birdsong., I did not know that I would settle one day in a place where grandchildren could also have these things, for free.


this strange face is mine,

was yesterday,  will change again


PS some of Lyn' instructions disappeared on the site - use three tenses, start with the photo, rememeber the past, you don't know the future. Maybe others would give it a go ! Jane


Heather Dyer
Eminent Member
Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 23

What a beautiful haibun, the whole thing is prose poetry. And what a great writing prompt. This is really revealing of you, past and present. A lovely snapshot that spans time. I particularly like the lines 'middle aged chicken hatching from an egg' and the idea of eating iced yoghurt after a desert sandstorm. The fact that it gave you hepatitis seems strangely connected to the cold/heat thirst/quenched contrast. It feels makes me feel the temporary relief followed by illness.