Genjuan International Haibun Contest 2020

Icebox

We are pleased to announce that the Genjuan International Haibun Contest 2020 will be open for submissions from Oct. 1 till Jan. 31 (arriving a couple of days late is usually OK). This year we have a new Officer, Yaeno Azuchi, and therefore a new address: 53-56 Izumigawa-cho, Shimogamo, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-0807, Japan. Much gratitude goes to her predecessor in Hyogo, Eiko Mori, for many years of bright, efficient service.

We also have two new Judges, both haiku poets: Akiko Takazawa & Sean O’Connor. Akiko, a disciple of Murio Suzuki (1919-2004), leads the Karinka 花林花 group and lectures on haiku at NHK Gakuen in Tokyo. She is also a fine translator of haiku, both Japanese into English and vice versa. Sean is the author of Even the Mountains – Five Years in a Japanese Village, amongst other memorable books, and has a good grasp of the Japanese view of…

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Nirvana (Daily moments) Haibun

Finally! She sits motionless to savour the moment exhaling slowly…relief, at last. The night was long waking up to hammers in her head. Finally by the end of the day, knockers slowly left, one by one.

She remembers reading that heroin users are often looking for that high…reaching nirvana. She read that there were many ways to reach this ultimate summit of pure bliss. She was a bit shocked when a monk listed orgasm on his list of “highs” but thinking about it now, that did make sense along with reaching spiritual enlightenment.

Demerol was another drug that brought some to nirvana after hours of labour in childbirth. Her grandmother was a midwife and many mothers would ask for a second “shot”…she smiles at the memory of her grandmother telling her birth stories.

It must be like this for people who use opiates for painkillers as well, she ponders. She always steered away from that because she knew how easily one gets addicted. Her doctor once prescribed a procedure that would relieve her of her neck pain for about one month. It was very costly but it was not the cost that turned her off. She lives with chronic pain day and night. For the past three decades it has married her by now. To separate the pain only briefly, might be a relief…even heaven but hell would surely await after the effects wore off. No, she thought, that would be worse. She preferred to endure the soft murmurs of her partner who drummed on joints and bones and off and on would invite his knockers for a poker game in her head and neck. But when that game ended, guests left one by one…the relief swaddled her…the other joints dulled in comparison to that last performance…a concert of sheer hell.

Right now, at this very moment, she is drunk with this relief she calls, her nirvana.

Steel drums echo

Beating to a steady rhythm

Repeating an angry verse

Robbing her of any comfort

In the name of pain

© Tournesol ‘19/09/06

miracles of nature (haibun) daily moments 9/5/19

As a young child, she kept hearing aunts and uncles saying, she had so and so’s hair, and so and so’s smile and what’s her name’s eyes. It puzzled and frustrated her so much. It made her feel as if every part of her was second hand. Who want’s a body and personality that’s a hand-me-down? So one day she got so fed up, she blurted out to her mother,”What part of me looks like me?!”

each design unique
even with one small detail
phenomenal snowflake

(c) Tournesol ’19/09/05

Inspired: Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken. OSCAR WILDE.

Labour Day (haibun) Sept 2/2019

Labour Day Haibun Sept 2 2019

Labour Day makes her reminisce. School around the corner, many hoping for a better year. Some are anxious to meet old friends and make new ones. Others wary and dread to walk alone in those busy halls filled with hundreds who ignore them. Taunting and bullying is sometimes better than feeling non-existent.

Teachers worry too. Will they have what they need to help their students? Will they get the support? Will they be able to keep their head above waters sometimes boiling with oppositioins? And then there are some who look forward to feed the hungry minds or help a student find their path and thirst for even more.

Parents running around, trying to find the extra dollars for this and that. Another pair of shoes, pants that are too short…growing children and teens, all their needs and then desires. Will they all be met?

Trying to balance work and family and school demands…such a busy time. Dreading for that first phone call, hoping for something new and positive.

Jody’s first day of kindergarten, Mommy walking home, a tear upon her cheek.

Daycares singing, shouting, playing…rooms of so many new playmates!

Empty shopping malls
Deserted streets
Workers’ day of rest

Even nature rests
Clouds that spill on tired lawns
Trees bow in thanks

Youths play distracted
Excited, anxious, worried
A new school year

A new school year
Anticipating bullies
Finding a new friend

First day of school
Etched with cool graffiti
Teens’ brand new notebook

Learning something new
Adapted to your unique style
Needs are met- at last!

© Tournesol ’19-09-02
Daily Moments – September 2 2019

hope for our future ~ August 21 2019

Tournesol dans un Jardin

where has all the passion gone?

values and ideals
pushing you forward
once upon a time
you made a difference
where are you now?

ads boasting
a cause
a service
actors pretending to care

where has all the passion gone?

hungry children
desperate mothers
parents searching answers
ALL
represent our future
where is all the help?

I can’t help notice
posts on social networks
where agencies show off their deeds
I recognize some of these people
and wonder,
Do they really fucking care?
If they were paid just a little less
would they still be so impressed?

I look at ads and articles
media coverage of this and that
important people
acting like they care
they have a cause that counts
but is that just an act?

What drives these people
IF it’s true?
can dollars barter with passion?
what drives people to act and help?
what truly motivates?

Is…

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Dorothy sings the blues (troiku)

Today, I treated myself to a mani-pedi at the Mall across the street. As the lady started working on my neglected feet, I took out my beads and relaxed and chanted my mantra silently. Usually one lady takes care of my feet and later I move to a table where another lady works on my hands. Today it was not as busy, another lady approached me with a bowl to soak my left hand while she started working on my right hand.


just like Dorothy
pampering hands and feet
in the land of Oz

It felt good to just be in the moment and relax. Later, I walked around aimlessly at The Bay and realized I wanted to continue doing “nothing” and came home to cocoon with my thoughts and my bff’s (best feline friends).


watching the leaves sway
rustling with the wind
Mother Nature’s blues

watching the leaves sway
listening to sopranos
cicadas shrill

rustling with the wind
like a full satin skirt
Mother used to wear

Mother Nature’s blues
giddy daisies dancing
to a summer’s breeze

© Tournesol ’19/08/06