NaPoWriMo 23 – Autumn

For day 23, a haibun.


As I enjoy the colours of autumn, it also reminds me to let go of old paradigms, worn and tattered beliefs, past-its-expiry-date relationships, outdated concepts that no longer serve. Yes, it’s hard. For don’t we all love the old and comfy, whether it be things or thoughts. The security blanket of the tried and tested.

Autumn sings hymns of
dissolution. Quiet death.
Spring smiling sleeps.

So, just like trees need to let go of the old and dying, lay bare their branches and go through a period of rest and slumber, for new buds to spring forth and life to begin anew, we need to empty ourselves of the old and outworn, so that life can replenish us with the fresh and the new.


What do I call you?




We were young and grieving when we met.

Pain had sat on our smiles like wounded birds, afraid to fly. And shone from our eyes, like rough-cut diamonds. It must have emanated from our being, white-hot and searing, drawing us together like moths to a flame. Like little girls, we had giggled, eating candy floss, as though we could pluck joy out of the cool, night air with sticky fingers. Maybe we laughed because we wanted to cry. Maybe we realised that pain can be transmuted into joy. Our hearts cut open and the pain billowing out with our out-breaths allowing joy to flow in with our in-breaths.


That night, at the fair

Joy was sweet, light candy floss

You woke up smiling


I dare not think what I would be if you had not come into my life. It’s like imagining a rainbow with colours missing. Or music with holes in it, the heart searching, in vain, for the missing parts. Or spring without butterflies, afternoons heavy with torpor. I am grateful for the pain that brought you to me, bound us together and then set us free.


What do I call you?

for some things there are no words

just joyful silence



Over at dVerse Poets Pub, Bjorn and Hamish have set the challenge for Haibun Monday – to write a Haibun inspired by Khalil Gibran’s words. The edict is to write only one haiku, but I am a rule-breaker, and also, the second one just prostrated itself on the page. What to do? I couldn’t kill it. Sorry, Bjorn.

What do I say about Gibran? The heart swells up with joy just thinking about his words. The lyricism, the melody, the grace, the soulfulness and of course, the simple truth in them. I am eternally grateful to the person who introduced me to Gibran.

Creative February 11 – The last bastion

It is with great sadness that I write this haibun –

A couple of weeks ago I watched a programme on TV featuring penguins. Penguins roost in colonies on the Antarctic ice and when they have young ones to feed, the adults make several trips to the sea everyday, catch krill, store them in a sac in their throat, trudge back to the colony and regurgitate it to feed the young ones. However, due to global warming and the receding ice cover in the Antarctic one penguin colony found itself very close to the sea. In a way it was good for the adults, they didn’t have to make long journeys over the ice, to and from the sea carrying food for the young ones. But, one day the ice under their colony melted. The adults could swim to safety but the young ones had not yet shed their fur coats, which had been keeping them warm. And immersed in water the fur acted like sponges, soaking up the water and pulling them down. Unable to swim, they drowned to death.

The melting ice
earth dropping under their feet
penguin death-trap

The penguins’ main source of food is krill that live in the hundreds of billions in the waters of the Antarctic. They feed on phytoplankton that blooms in the nutrient-rich, deep-water upwellings at the Antarctic Convergence during the 24-hour southern summer sunlight. Krill are also believed to be important in removing the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide by eating carbon-rich food near the surface and excreting it when they sink to lower, colder water to escape predators. But, global warming and overfishing has reduced their numbers by as much as 80%. Whales, penguins, seals, albatrosses and petrels depend on krill. So one can only imagine the effect on these animal populations if their main source of food is depleted.

tiny crustacean
bears a heavy burden
keeper of balance

Antarctica was that pristine, virgin space which had so far remained untouched. But humans, driven by only one impulse: insatiable greed, after ravaging the rest of Earth, are all set to rape and plunder this final bastion, until more species of animals are pushed to the brink or beyond of extinction.

the greed of man
many tentacled hydra
everything devoured