Haibun for the last day of summer

This haibun is for the dverse prompt.

Last day of summer and we walk a path never taken before that dips and rises between small fields, a vineyard and valleys full of trees. We walk in cart ruts perhaps centuries old, and fat glossy hens stride through the hedgerows. A ratter trots ahead companionably from the farm where a mother holds a baby up to watch. This world is a place of quiet beneath sky billowed with great cloud galleons and the only sound the dry rustling of wind in the papery corn leaves.
summer fades
old gold in a velvet case

Haibun: balance

There is always a list to be made of positives and negatives. On one side: the fine day, the peace and quiet, the bills all paid and the roof mended; all I love have their heads above water

time suspended

the beat of a blackbird’s song

nothing falls but peace

on the other: time passing, life’s tide ebbing, weariness in the bones and of ever seeing change in the world, horror piling on horror and time passing. Some days the balance tips to the darkness, and even the calm bright meadow is a minefield

bird sings

the stone in my heart

is cold

Haibun for night beauty


after the heat and the thickening cloud the night rain pounded dry earth’s skin taut as a drum and we closed the shutters to keep it out. Later when silence returned and the heat, I got out of bed to open the shutters, let in the cool air, and gasped at the unexpected sight of such a crowd of stars

behind grey billows

flimsy intangible screen

stretches space the stars

Haibun for a good question—why?


I sat down at my desk this morning, opened my computer, went to the file of my WIP and opened that. I wrote a single phrase and stopped. It gets harder to justify the time and emotional energy. Poetry at least is part of the heart. No expectations. It just is.

cool breeze damp grass

white flowers soft clouds a world

where things live and die

Haibun for heavy heart


The suffocating heat has gone on too long. The trees are suffering, leaves dropping and the barrage on the stream has reduced it to a trickle. I put out water for birds and animals, and biscuits for the old abandoned dog that was wandering the lane yesterday, too scared to be cajoled. The sun is merciless, but in a few days we will have rain. In a few days, will we be any kinder?

sky pulses

cockcrow the only bird voice

insects engine-throb

News bulletin: fait divers

On Saturday night, for the first time in this neighbourhood, probably because of the Covid restrictions regarding taking holidays, there was a big family gathering about half a mile along the lane. We heard the music, French yéyé from the 1960s and 70s, before our evening dog walk took us past the house, where we saw the cars in the driveway, the floodlit tables outside, with dozens of people from tiny tots to grandparents.

Later, from half a mile away, we heard them singing. The entertainment climaxed around midnight with Bella Ciao, the whole song, and a rousing final chorus that set the dogs off, reminding us that we live in a département where a sizeable percentage of the population claims Italian origins.

owls listen bemused

minnow-moths shoal in the light

human partying

Haibun for a (very) hot day

canicule sunset


Yesterday, taking down the laundry from the line, I burnt the back of my hand on a metal trouser button. It was like touching a pan in the oven by accident. Today I have a red blister. Today, the sun was even hotter. Tonight, I will watch for shooting stars and wish for a better world.

evening sky swoops

a bird-fish of grey cloud

water-rippled sand

Haibun for the idea of a birthday

For the dverse prompt.

june sunset5

Perhaps it was a special day once, I forget, and for as long as I can remember, it has not had much significance. A smile, a gift and a cake. What more was there? Special celebrations with guests and noise have always been collective not individual, whatever that says about me and how I was brought up. I prefer it that way.

chicks hatch fly

the sky as bright for all

as wide the ocean

Haibun for a moment in time

For the dverse prompt.

Photo ©Patrick Nouhailler’s


I took the bus to Paris. I’d always said I would get there and I did. It was the beginning of July, and I arrived from London with one bag, first job as replacement staff for the summer holidays. As soon as I stepped out of the Métro at Boulevard Voltaire and asked a gendarme for directions, I knew I wasn’t going back. And I didn’t.

Heat and cafés

smells of pastis and coffee

endless summer