Tag Archives: Haibun

Snow turned to rain (haibun)

Well now despite the dangers of this weather, like over 150,000 residents in this province without hydro, the slippery roads in areas, the flooded streets in others and the dangers of walking on ice, slush, snow covered ice…it really is beautiful.  Hydro went out a few times for a few seconds, but I went to the store (hence the photos I took in the rain) and bought extra D batteries for my flashlight and extra large candle and all is set up in the dining room…just in case. It is when you are prepared these hiccups are least to happen, right?

The photo below is right in front of my apartment building. I kept hearing cracks, thuds, and bams and gazillions flops at once…snow falling from the branches and ice as well for the freezing rain turned to rain.

I still do not have the best waterproof boots…well, yes, they are but not 10 cm high, so I put on plastic bags before putting on my winter waterproof boots and came back home with nice dry feet.  I shall keep this up until the Sorel Boots go on sale.

2015/01/04 19:00
2015/01/04 19:00


reality looms
nature violates its course
vision of beauty

© Tournesol’15

Haibun thinking

First snow of this year (haibun)


Finally a snowstorm! That may sound a bit silly but the past two weeks without any snow during the holidays was truly not fun nor was it pretty. It was a dark and dreary for the holidays. I missed the wet snow flakes falling on my face when walking outside Christmas Eve; I missed the snow banks that looked like the wall of a fort protecting me when I walk on the sidewalk. The days are still short although slowly lengthening and the snow is necessary to give light in our wintry world…my world!

Today is Sunday and it has snowed nonstop for the past 36 hours and it’s my first day back at work. I actually look forward to walking to the bus stop and hearing the crunch crunch underfoot.  And tonight will be even nicer as I walk late in the evening in the middle of the road as I know the sidewalks in the city will not be cleared…it’s only Sunday, the city knows they have until Monday morning to get things cleared up on major arteries including sidewalks.

calm after the storm
footsteps echo on fresh snow,
winter wonderland

© Tournesol ’15

Haibun Thinking

hot juke box (haiga)

I could not wait to find a few moments to attempt this prompt Carpe Diem Ghost Writer #29, “Pop culture references in haiku and senryu”. from our host’s Ghost Writer, Jen from Blogitorloseit trying to think of some song, a fad, something that could have a hidden meaning within my haiku and then I saw the prompt for Carpe Diem #581, Hanabi (Fireworks).

I started multitasking between phonecalls at work and surfing YouTube for samples of fireworks from the International Montreal Fireworks we have every summer. That is held on Saturdays and Wednesday…how I got caught many times on the Jacques Cartier Bridge on Wednesday evenings coming home, forgetting it was that time of year only to be turned back to take the tunnel Louis H. Lafontaine…not my happiest nights nearing midnight.

I will show a small glimpse of only 2 minutes of the fireworks just so you can see from the view of us ordinary citizens watching from the streets, some are on the Jacques Cartier Bridge {which is closed for residents on both sides of the St Lawrence…I live on the South side off the island of Montreal} and that is the bridge you see illuminated from time to time in some of these shots.

Wasn’t that amazing! It is exciting, romantic and I feel like the child within me is reborn every time I see fireworks. I like this brief video as it shows folks gathering on streets and on the bridge.

Now I listened to the other video below a few times to catch the songs. I first chose a video of Japan 2013 which is spectacular and thought it might be appropos for a haiku but then I wanted to honour our host and looked for an entry of the Netherlands but as I was surfing for this, I kept finding Italy…so many from Italy and thought to myself, well let’s have a look and listen to one and see what that’s like. When we look from the bridge and parks near the site on Isle Ste-Hélène (old home of Expo 1967 Man and His World) we do not hear the music that goes along with the fireworks. There are a few radio channels that air it live so some people will turn that on so we can hear but for me, I enjoy being dazzled by the lights.  In this case, you really had to have the music to appreciate this spectacular show of lights in the skies.  Georgia,  I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

After viewing the video, I knew this was perfect for the Pop Culture and Fireworks prompts…and listening was as important as viewing, so this is my attempt according to this video:

Great balls of fire
rocking the world,
penny loafers

penny loafers
faint in exaltation
trodden beetles

trodden beetles
flashing love me do’s
no stones unturned

no stones unturned
can’t get no satisfaction,

can’t live without you

blazing heavens stir
flushed face reflects

flushed face reflects
brilliance of explosion,
transient stars

transient stars
dancing suggestively,

children beg on streets
feeding families

feeding families
hope restored, they chant,
“We will survive”!

© Tournesol `14

last year (haibun)


It’s been a challenging year personally and professionally. I can’t hide behind a cloud and pretend the New Year changed that. However a new year offers opportunities to continue processing areas that need attention somewhat like housekeeping. I need to look at what I want to keep among all the dusty clutter before I can find balance in my life. That is the longest part.

Think about when you are clearing out a closet and all the things you find at the bottom way at the back. You take out a box for example, that is covered with dust; you open it and look at the contents. It brings you back many years to a moment in time. You feel the emotions good or bad; you may weep a little, you may get angry and even kick that box around…again the feelings resurface and another layer is removed. You may feel you are done with this and  trash the box or you may dust it off, put it back securely at the back of your closet for another year or so. There is no right or wrong way…but your own way.

There are good things I want to topple over to this year. New and old friends I have encountered near and far, the relationship I have with my children and grandchildren is my duvet for the cold months and stroke of soft silk in the warmer months;  my  poetry and  the past six or seven months training in Japanese poetry at Carpe Diem with our host and mentor/master Chévrefeuille, his followers who inspire me and the amazing WP community that inspire and support me.  And my amazing  colleagues who are the strength and foundation that serve youths across this country and allow me to love my work.

like a gambling debt
stays too close for comfort
last year’s loss
spilling over
like turkey leftovers
last year’s grief
a new year
good housekeeping
feng shui
last year’s haiku
shadow into the new year
time to excel
my heart beats
to the love my children,
flame of a candle

© Tournesol ’15

Carpe Diem Kozo

a blessing took root (Tan Renga – haibun)

(c) All about Birds
#0(c) All about Birds


A long time ago two teens pledged their undying love.  Coming into adulthood, they finally marry in hopes to plan a family. Year after year, still barren they prayed together by the old oak tree at the river. With prayer and faith, on their seventh  wedding anniversary their pleas were answered. Some said they had the luck of the number 7 but the woman knew all too well from where her blessing took root…down by the river bank at the old oak tree.


the old oak’s roots –
reach from past to future
recall last year (c) Björn Rudberg

at the old oak tree, she kneels
rubbing her belly in thanks

faint breeze
whispers through the leaves
swallows chirp

(c) Tournesol ‘15


After the beautiful description our host gave us at Carpe Diem, I was inspired to write a bit more.  Our host describes the various symbols and meanings to the Oak tree:

“The Oak is one of the sacred Druidic three: ‘Oak, Ash & Thorn’.  In general, Oak is associated with spells for protection, strength, success and stability, healing, fertility, health, money, potency, and good luck. Oak has been considered sacred by just about every culture that has encountered the tree, but it was held in particular esteem by the Norse and Celts because of its size, longevity, and nutritious acorns. The oak is frequently associated with Gods of thunder and lightning such as Zeus, Thor, and the Lithuanian God Perkunas. This association may be due to the oak’s habit of being hit by lightening during storms. Specific oak trees have also been associated with the ‘Wild Hunt’, which is led by Herne in England and by Wodin in Germany. Oak galls, known as Serpent Eggs, were used in magical charms. Acorns gathered at night held the greatest fertility powers. The Druids and Priestesses listened to the rustling oak leaves and the wrens in the trees for divinatory messages. Burning oak leaves purifies the atmosphere. In general, oak can be used in spells for protection, strength, success and stability; the different varieties will lend their own special ‘flavor’ to the magic.”   Carpe Diem

Life is a play (haibun)

First words of the New Year 2015:

I wake up to blowing winds and white dusted grass and realize it is the first day of 2015. What is different today except for the snow? My bones may be a bit more brittle, my skin drier, my hair is tangled in knots but my heart is still filled with love. My mind is calling to me softly today, and whispers stories of peace and love.

dreams are stories
played out in our minds
life is the stage

© Tournesol ’15

Life is a Play (haibun)

a father’s blessing (haibun)

New Year’s Eve was exciting when I was a child up to early teens. There were traditions, like being the first to say Happy New Year to your parents or calling them on the phone if they were out at a friend’s celebrating, I would dial all the numbers (on a rotary phone of course) and not release the last number until the stroke of midnight and beat my father to wish my mom Happy New Year.

But the real excitement (for me at that time) was beating my sister to reach my father so he could bless me for the New Year. I would kneel in front of him wherever he was in the house and he would make the sign of the cross over my head and then kiss me on my forehead.

We were only two in the family so it was not really a grand event. In my mom’s family there were seven children and they would all gather in the living room on New Year’s Day and GrandPapa would bless them as well as my grandmother.   It was sort of like a good omen for the new year. I suppose if you went to mass or church services and the minister or priest blessed you before you left it might feel the same but New Year’s was special for that reason for me.

children kneel in wait

in the name of the Father,

blessing a New Year

(c) Tournesol ’14

Carpe Diem Haik Kai

new bond (haibun)

It was beautiful to see the patience a young child can have despite his age, his anticipation and yet, he managed it with eloquence. For a few years he would be so happy to see my cat at home so he could pet her, hold her and perhaps even play with her. The attempts were always short-lived and he would leave discouraged, certain that this picky feline did not like him. Try as I might to explain her fickleness was part of her personality and that in time if she saw him more often, she would certainly come around. And come around she did this week.

© Clr ’14 Bette and my grandson

Since he slept in “her” spot, I was actually surprised that she was drawn to him instead of being jealous but no, she totally drew closer and his patience certainly paid off. To see him beaming when he started petting her…that she allowed him to even touch her was magical to see.

Patiently waits,
human-animal bond
first calm

© Tournesol ’14

MindLoveMiserysMenagerie – Heeding Haiku with HA – New Year

train ride home (Kikobun)



© Clr è14
© Clr ’14

I had spent a very brief visit with my family in Toronto last summer after a four-day retreat.  I always look forward to the long ride returning home to Montreal. It gives me time to adjust to the change of places and reminisce of things I did, people I saw and the life I once had here.  I had time to think of my new personal mantra I was given which I could practice for over four  hours and how much a part of my heart is still in this city I once called home.

© Clr '14
© Clr ’14


Settling by the window, I allowed the train to rock me like a lullaby…chug chug chug…eyes focused on the city we are crossing, up above on elevated tracks…I am on top of the world and once we are further out, buildings become scarce. Kilometres of meadows, farms and the occasional crossings in smaller villages flash by…my eyes begin to feel so very heavy.  I am sitting on the opposite side I usually sit for Lake Ontario is on the other side. I will be noticing a different view on this trip.

© clr '14
© clr ’14


I see fields and fields of tall grass as it is time for the first harvest of hay. As we sped by I saw stacked bales of hay each farmer displaying his own mark…some tight round bales, some bales shaped like huge barrels and some square blocks. From the train they looked like mounds of hay or straw plants or shrubs.

© Clr '14
© Clr ’14


The loud echo of the train’s whistle at some crossings roused me and I admired the sky changing colours as the sun began to set…the man across from me gave in to the lullaby but I am still like a little child fighting sleep always, in the event I just might miss something.

© Clr ’14


rocking on steel rods
fields flashing on fast-forward
a man snores

© Tournesol ’14

Carpe Diem Ghost Writer, Hamish Gunn has asked us to write a Kikobun; this is writing about  about a journey, or part of a journey or wander. The idea of it being about wandering and observing is very relevant.

bleu lavande (haibun)

© Bleu Lavande, Fitch Bay, Québec

Many farmers give directions very differently than city people are accustomed to. Living in a very small town we would chuckle a bit when asking for directions when looking for directions to get the best sweet corn or my favourite apples that were usually the first category that came out early in the season…Lobo of course, juicy and tart they made your lips pucker.

Directions were often turn left at the red silo and at the fork keep to your right until you get to the Old School House make a sharp left behind the speed limit sign…careful now, you might miss it if you are admiring that old school…city folks are always dazzled by that plain old building. Now keep on going until you get to the Willow Tree. If your windows are open you should smell the lavender field just over the hill. Across the road a fair bit, Fontaine’s tractor should be parked with his trailer full of fresh picked corn of the morning and the afternoon if you come by before supper.

Our host has given us one last haiku by Richard Wright:

keep straight down this block,
then turn right where you will find
a peach tree blooming © Richard Wright

This is to inspire us to write in that same tone…the blossoms made me think of various scents of certain trees and plants blossoming. How fitting to include the poignant and soothing scent of lavender!

I have included a link here, describing Mr. Pellerin’s story on how he started his venture in the largest lavender farm, Bleu Lavande,  in Canada and second largest in North America. I find his story fascinating. His farm is situated in the Eastern Townships about an hour and half drive from Montreal.

passed the Willow tree
just over the hill, explosion
of lavender

© Tournesol ’14

Carpe Diem Special