Haibun: Cyclamen

The dVerse challenge today is to write a haibun with an illustration that complements the poem. I’ve never done one of these before and I’m not sure I’ve got it right. Here goes anyway. The painting is of pots in a sanatorium which I think is quite appropriate.

Painting ©Rudolf Zender


In the gutter, a broken pot, and further, beyond the black scattering of fresh earth lies a cyclamen plant, beaten by the hail, leaves torn by the gale. No one comes to collect their wounded plant, the red gem that brightened the sill. In my garden there will be a pot that fits.

No wind blows so wild,

breaks and tosses wantonly,

that the wounds won’t heal.


Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

27 thoughts on “Haibun: Cyclamen”

  1. I like that you have pots to fit things – I do this too. Your poem is lovely and I am glad you pick up the damaged things and mend them. This in itself is a lifetime’s work. I especially like the pun of the sanatorium. Many thanks for sharing.

  2. Although a sanatorium should have pots with healthy plants in them, my expectation is that it would not. No one would pay enough attention to the plants so they could survive. There are a few plants that I’ve saved. Some eventually die. Some don’t. I feel responsible for the deaths. Our house is also rather full of plants.

    1. I think you’re right about the fate of plants in sanatoriums. No doubt the very classy ones had armies of cleaners etc to keep things looking spruce, the staff probably had other things to occupy themselves in the average establishments. You’re not the only one who has said he also ‘saves’ plants. It’s funny. I never see anyone else doing it. We’re a special breed 🙂

  3. That is the miracle of plants – that many of them do survive and come up year after year, even though they seem to have died in winter. I had one such hardy pot plant, which I very nearly threw away thinking it was completely dead, but it kept surprising me.

    1. It’s years since I brought any houseplants indoors for the winter since it’s so rare it freezes here. This year we had an unexpected cold spell and we lost many of them. The recent gales though have provided new blood—all the plants blown off window ledges that their owners can’t be bothered to go downstairs to the street and pick up.

      1. There were all sorts of dangerous objects flying around. We were warned, but in town people think a) nothing serious will happen b) if it does, it’s not my problem.

    1. The last gale was a year ago, the day David Bowie died and the day we took Branwell to the vet to be put to sleep. On the way home we were bowed down against the wind, real funeral weather, and a pot with a red rose bush came crashing to the pavement in front of us. That’s Branwell’s rose now.

    1. Thank you. It’s easy to get a feelgood factor from rescuing plants. They don’t need feeding, taking to the vet, they don’t bit people or chew the furniture…I don’t get that sense of dread mixed with the excitement when it’s a cat or a dog that needs rescuing 🙂

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