Erased haibun: Walking

For the dverse prompt, an erased haibun.

spring clouds

Beneath these skies, these trees, what is there to do but walk and look and listen? Sky stretches where cloud floats; stream runs mirroring dancing leaves and all about, in the tremulous motion of the leaves is the rhythm of song and the unself-conscious calling of the birds.

Leaves catch the new sun

golden green

the oriole pipes unseen.


skies listen

mirroring dancing leaves

the song

of the golden oriole

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.

48 thoughts on “Erased haibun: Walking”

    1. Thank you! It isn’t really intricate, much easier than the usual erasure which I think starts with a random piece of text. When you reduce your own poem, it makes more sense.

  1. You are enjoying the erasing form! 🙂
    I really like the sights and sounds of this–the sky and clouds, the mirrored leaves, and the songs of nature all around, and “the unself-conscious calling of the birds.”

  2. Poor bird. 😊

    A bit intricate, your poem, and aI had to read it several times. Ai get so involved in my daily matters aI must take minutes off to get it how life is elsewhere. I love your erasing way, here shown, quite to the point. And the picture you make shows it is only a matter of season, or, as Swedish poet Lina Sandell put it, a matter of day. (In Swedish, that particular song is called “Blott en dag”. It has been translated to English, bearing the title “Day by day”.)

    1. Thank you. It’s an exercise in condensation of the original poem, just picking out key words and leaving out the rest. I’m glad you enjoyed it, and I’ll look up Lina Sandell.

  3. Especially like…” in the tremulous motion of the leaves is the rhythm of song and the unself-conscious calling of the birds.” Just love the idea of leaves creating music.

  4. Another intriguing form for the haibun – tremulous is a fantastic word – and the question posed ‘what else is there to do beneath these particular skies…’ takes the reader (me) right there. Great stuff.

    1. Thanks Peter. I’m glad you like this form. You can erase any poem, but the haibun is that much more satisfying because you end up condensing a piece of prose into a short poem.

  5. This is a lovely piece of writing. Your writing style is very interesting. I haven’t heard of an erased haibun before.
    I particularly like the image ‘in the tremulous motion of the leaves is the rhythm of song’.

    1. There’s erasure poetry but it’s usually from a random magazine article or some non-poetic piece. I don’t like that at all, can’t get anything resembling a poem out of it. If I take a haibun of my own it works fine. Probably because I chose all the words to begin with and the erasure just condenses them.

      1. It sounds quite challenging. I can see how your own writing would give you more control over the process.

      2. I bet if we were to do a bit of data analysis we’d find that our ‘poetic’ vocabulary was pretty restricted. We might know and use a rich vocab in everyday situations, but there are a lot of those words that would never find their way into a poem.

      3. That’s true. Sometimes I do the MLM Wordle challenges for they introduce some words I am unfamiliar with.

      4. Thanks. I’ve run across poems linked to this site before but never investigated. I’m not sure how I’d cope with using ten of somebody else’s chosen words. The Secret Keeper’s five words stretches me! I might give it a try, even if I only use a couple of them, it’s the inspiration that counts in the end.

      5. Yes, I find it a rather weird challenge for the words are often quite peculiar.

  6. I do love to base poems around found words… a place I often visit for my writing is the dictionary… love the world you describe;
    “what is there to do but walk and look and listen?”, such days are the best.

    1. I find erasure works so well with the haibun form because the small poem that results is like the kernel of the haibun. Erasure doesn’t work for me when it’s just selecting words and phrases from a piece of text I haven’t written and expecting to get a poem out of it.

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