Thank you, Sarah Law, for accepting my “Haibun: Of Hunger & Fire” for publication in Amethyst Review.
HAIBUN: OF HUNGER & FIRE
A chorus of chick-a-dee-dee-dee greets late winter dawn and spring-hungry us, who clutch mugs of hot coffee against the chill. A flock of chickadees cluster in the barberry bush now doused with snow, their black caps barely visible within the weave of pencil-thin branches. But their bobbing dark heads give them away among last summer’s shrivelled red berries and a few clinging leaves. In groups of five or six, they wing to the feeder and back again, a circus lilting through air, sunflower seeds clasped in their toes. Blue jays, nesting in the evergreens across the way, also wake hungry. They screech a slurring jaay, jaay – whether to intimidate or pre-emptive to mob – I don’t know. The tiny chickadees keep a distance from the raucous bully-blues. You stoke the fire; sparks rise; woodsmoke scents the air.
Snow blankets barberry
Birds jostle for sunflower seeds
Sparks quickly settle
A “haibun” is a Japanese literary term that we can trace back to the poet Matsuo Basho (17th century). Essentially, it is a paragraph-long prose narrative followed by a 17-syllable “haiku.” Haibuns tend to focus on landscape scenes and anecdotes. Style-wise, a haibun is imagistic and captures a moment in time.
I hope that you enjoy this one and that you will leave a comment and share.
“Haibun: Of Hunger & Fire” can be viewed here: https://amethystmagazine.org/2021/02/10/haibun-of-hunger-fire-a-poem-by-kathryn-macdonald/?fbclid=IwAR3h4_NzuMNSsb1Xij6rvQTxIipTfxDCYmHb3k8wQItI4KQT6-_Edu7Dh4Y