Haibun Thinking: Love’s Wrath

Gathering her brows like gathering storm, Nursing her wrath to keep it warm
Robert Burns

Fire propels her hand to a blur. The rasp of metal against stone, the technique taught to her by a once-love, fills the yawning maw of blackness inside with its star-sparks. She caresses her cold companion; so unlike flesh in its rigidity and focus of purpose.

In its faithfulness.

Trembling fingers slip. Crimson blossoms in a slow fury. The empty pillow next to her falls victim to sharp rage. Practice for when he stumbles in from his “business” meeting later.

tip of blade glistens
careless hands destroy two lives-
love’s flame fanned to rage

For Haibun Thinking. This week’s prompts are the quote from a Robert Burns poem, as well as a photo prompt you can find on the challenge site. The quote stirred feelings of betrayal and vengeance, so my haibun reflects that. Head on over and join in with your own haibun.

Hope you enjoy.

Happy Reading and Writing!

J. Milburn


Haibun Thinking: Precious Time

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

– Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Pictures of moments slide through in flashes. Tiny feet taking the first stumbling steps toward embrace. Toward freedom. “Daddy, Daddy, I did it!” Those first wobbly pedals as I let you go, finding the balance necessary to stay up on your own. “Daddy, Daddy, I did it!” The day you came home with your driver’s license, all smiles as you show off a horrible DMV photo. “I did it, Dad.” Sitting as I watch you cross the stage for your diploma, waving at your mother and finding your friends to celebrate. “Later, Dad.”

I remember those moments so clearly, but as I watch you descend into the ground, all the moments in between blur and twist. “I’m tired right now.” “Not now, I’m busy.” “We’ll play/watch/do something later.”

Later came, and I was too late. I thought we’d have more time, but the truth hits me: There’s never more time, only now.

“I’m sorry, son. I didn’t do it.”

When the Earth reclaims,
memories are what we hold
loss of precious time

There’s a new challenge for you haibun writers out there: Haibun Thinking. There are two prompts to choose from. One is the quote above. The other is this photo:

Ranger and Monty © Kathryn Forbes 2013

Ranger and Monty © Kathryn Forbes 2013

Head on over and check out the challenge. The people hosting it are great and I’m sure you’ll enjoy.

J. Milburn

Carpe Diem Tan Renga Challenge #27: Ese’s “I Catch the Sunrise”


great expectations
entangled in fishing line
i catch the sunrise            (c. Ese)
plop! golden rays return home
renewal for soft sunset                (c. J. Milburn)

A Carpe Diem Special: Tan Renga Challenge #27 “I Catch The Sunrise”. This week’s beautiful haiku comes from Ese at Ese’s Voice. The goal of the challenge is to add a second stanza consisting of two-lines with each line having 7 syllables.

Hope you enjoy.

Happy Reading and Writing!

J. Milburn

Carpe Diem #378: Irkutsk

time of revelry
music inspires youth to dance
green-eyed monster strikes

For Carpe Diem #378: Irkutsk. We are stopping in Irkutsk with Paulo Coelho and Hilal on our train trip in Aleph. From Chevrefeuille: We have arrived at Irkutsk where Paulo has an appointment with a few of his readers. His publishers have created a grand party for him with a local singer and local dancers. He has Hilal with him as his companion. Hilal feels free and attracted to a younger man of her own age and she dances with him. Paulo is glad to see that, but also feels somewhat of jealousy. 

Head over to Carpe Diem for more information about Irkutsk and to catch up with our journey so far.

Hope you enjoy.

Happy Reading and Writing!

J. Milburn

Carpe Diem #377: Tayshet

horror of battle
prisoner of war long passed

We are passing Tayshet, administrative center for gulag labor camps Oserlag and Angarstroy, with Paulo Coelho in Aleph.  From Wikipedia: According to some survivor accounts, between Tayshet and Bratsk there is “a dead man under every sleeper.” Along with Japanese prisoners from the Kwantung Army, German prisoners of war formed a large proportion of the forced labor contingent, generally under a 25-year sentence.

Prisoners work at Belbaltlag, a Gulag camp for building the White Sea-Baltic Sea Canal .
From the 1932 documentary film, Baltic to White Sea Water Way. Courtesy of the Central Russian Film and Photo Archive.