Haibun-ish for a birthday

A haibun is usually prose plus haiku. This is prose plus sevenling. Call it what you like. Today is my birthday so I do what I like.
Plus I’ll plug my chapbooks too. WP chose the layout.


It was so long ago and I don’t remember it, and those who would are no longer of this world. Yet still the day rolls around as the earth turns and the sun dims and the hours in this dark December are always shorter than a summer’s day. A birth nonetheless occurred, and if I pull in the thread it might bring me back, but I know I will always stop short of the place where I began, will not peer behind, along the untrod path of before, will not disturb the million ghosts in their slumber.

Already the dark
is here and the day barely begun;
the sun has set in torrents.

Which way the night?
Does is pass by the dawn
or the moonpath?

Ask me tomorrow; perhaps then I will know.

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.

33 thoughts on “Haibun-ish for a birthday”

  1. Happy Birthday! I knew you had a December birthday like me, but I forgot what day. We’re having our Hanukkah celebration tonight, so I’ll toast you then–and of course, there will be candles. 😀

    Those ghosts are always there in the background.

      1. Thank you! We didn’t open champagne, not enough of us to finish the bottle. It’ll keep until Christmas.
        The owls haven’t been back since I bad-mouthed them.

      2. Daughter gave us the bottle. She said it would pair well with the latkes and sour cream, so it would have been rude not to open it. We didn’t finish it, but it was still fizzy the next night. I’m sure it’s flat by now though. 😀 That’s funny about the owl.

      3. That’s the problem with champagne. It does go well with so many things and its delicious and festive and everything, but if you’re not four or five, and all you’re going to drink is champagne, there’ll be some left over.
        Yep, the owls haven’ been back for the last few nights but the deer have. I found hoof prints all round the house and some small ones just outside the porch as if a young deer had been into the porch and jumped out the other side.

      4. Oh, I love the thought of a midnight deer party, and little ones daring each other to jump off the porch! 😀 My husband used to sometimes be out late and see deer clomping down the middle of the street. I always said they were returning home from a party.

      5. The little ones don’t have the same sense of danger as the adults. I remember one day early summer of last year there was a mother with her baby at the bottom of the meadow. Finbar was so keen to run he didn’t notice them. He raced round and round the house and the baby was entranced. On the third circuit he/she trotted towards us to join in and the mother had to call him/her back. It was so sweet. The little one had been running up and down alone and had seen a big fast thing and wanted to play.

      6. Usually the little ones I see move away quickly, too, but if the mother is there, she will walk away from the them (to distract predators from her babies). A while ago, pre-pandemic, there were two little ones, just resting in the grass at the park when there were people all around.

      7. I’ve seen all sorts of behaviour from them. Some babies are obedient and watch mother for signs she’s worried and follow her when she heads off. Others don’t. There was a family of mother father and twin boys came around this spring. Often the father would stand apart while the others were grazing, keeping a look out. When he signalled to the mother it was time to move she’d hurry off and one of the boys would follow. The other would take no notice whatsoever and always ended up on his own when the family had moved on.

  2. Happy birthday, Jane! I didn’t know you have two chapbooks published. I just bought the first a couple of weeks ago, Thicker than Water. I’ll have to buy the second!

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