On the first day of National Poetry Month, Glenda Funk kicks off VerseLove at Ethical ELA with haibun poetry writing:
“Haibun originated in Japan and combines prose and haiku. Haibun can feature many genre forms, including narrative, biography, diary, essay, prose poem, travel journal, etc. The prose section comes first and is followed by the haiku, which an article on Poets.org describes as ‘a whispery and insightful postscript’…
Compose a poem juxtaposing ideas about rest with the haibun form…I’ve noticed the economy of words in the haibun and believe this is achieved by omitting as many being verbs (and dare I say adjectives) as possible.”
I have never written haibun before.
I do not know why the image of the child struggling to breathe in the night came to mind, but she did.
More on that after the verse…
Night takes the stage like a magician bent on harm, draping the child in her bed with a velvet cape intended to suffocate. Ghost-hands press theme music from her lungs, just pipes and whistles, an accordion straining, straining to get enough air in and out. Carnival music distortion, chorusing with the machine at the bedside rattling and spewing steam. It doesn’t help. The child craves release. Air. Sleep. Please. Please…she wriggles against the ghost-hands, piling her pillows, drawing her knees to her chest underneath her, not knowing this is how she slept as a baby. Not knowing she’s a victim of in-betweenness, planted in a time before widespread use of inhalers and eras beyond physicians prescribing the remedy (for adults, anyway) of smoking jimsonweed. Nightshade. The magician’s sleight of hand, again. In the fog-filled room, moisture trickling down the walls, she’s akin to the bald cypress in the bog, relying on knees to —stabilize? —to breathe? She does not know that even trees rest at night (measure the droop of their branches; see it restored at morning). Like trees repatriating nutrients before winter, turning their fragile leaves loose, she knows she has one hope for staving off ruination. Her knees. In this pocket, the ghost-hands lose their grip; the magician is undone. The velvet cape slips away.
Sleep repairs the brain
but there would be no breathing
at all, without trees
#Repost @_sunkissed_gal_ ・・・
The trees are our lungs, the rivers our circulation, the air our breath, and the earth our body. — Deepak Chopra.
Sterling College. CC BY 2.0.
—I was the child, suffering with asthma.