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dVerse — haibun — reflections on quatrain

Photograph by Toni Frissell

Terminal Wasteland?” tells about my relationship with a partner from 2006 – 2017. It began as two broken and lonely people desperately seeking warmth in what seemed at the time a very cold world. Each of us had heavy loads of baggage that we sort of just hurled into the corner and forgot about, so wrapped up we were with each other; parched souls that had found oasis. Our extended vacation from the cold and from our forgotten flaws restored belief in a higher power’s benevolence.

Nobody can live in play land forever. Once we returned we began noticing stuff from the bags had crept out and were laying everywhere. What had first seemed like willful folly in trading away common sense for mindless hedonistic companionship took a more sinister turn when the red flags couldn’t be rationalized away anymore. It’s funny how a person can convince themselves of just about anything in order to avoid the truth of a situation.

We parted on uncomfortable terms, each curled and trembling in our respective suitcases. The relationship’s epilogue in the poem hints that, even though we two broken souls mucked it up terribly, we could choose to become healthier and choose healthier partners next time.

Long hot summer turns
Fall, then winter’s frozen tears;
Spring hopes emerging.

Kim from North Norfolk is today’s host of dVerse.  Kim says:
For my challenge, I ask you to go back into your archives to search for an autobiographical poem, one of which you are particularly fond or one that lends itself to the task in hand.  Write a prose background to your chosen poem, giving us more details of when and where it happened, who else was involved, the how and the why, including a link to the original poem if you wish, and then sum up the poem in a haiku. Aim to write no more than three tight paragraphs, followed by a traditional haiku that includes reference to the season.

27 thoughts on “dVerse — haibun — reflections on quatrain

  1. The photograph by Toni Frissell is appropriately atmospheric, Lisa – I like black and white photography. I missed out on ‘Terminal Wasteland’ the first time around, as I had taken time out to do my seasonal work as an examiner, so thank you for the opportunity to read it today. I really like the unusual rhyme scheme of rhyming and slant-rhyming couplets. The haibun gave me insight into those ’broken and lonely people desperately seeking warmth with each other in what seemed at the time a very cold world’. I love the phrase ‘parched souls that had found oasis’. I understand how the relationship took a turn, and I’m glad you were able to ‘become healthier and choose healthier partners next time’. I like the way you got all the seasons into the haiku!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve just gone and read the original poem – it’s a lovely piece, stands up in its own right, and doesn’t need any kind of explanation. Your prose is like a different slant on the same events, it has its own strength, and stands alone perfectly. Putting them together adds slightly different angles, like a cubist painting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading and comparing them, Sarah. The comment about the cubist painting illustrates how well the ingredients of time and space can shift perspectives. When I wrote the original it was like an open wound. Today’s haibun is retrospective, where at least the surface of it has healed.


  3. Kim came up with a novel theme for this one, verse vs. prose, verse plus prose, the juxtaposition can be enlightening, even astonishing. You have described my second marriage, and the long term bliss of my third.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Kim did! Like Jane, I don’t have my poems in any order at all so I just went down the line until one fit the autobiographical theme. Glenn, question: do you ever think about your 2nd wife? I’m guessing having a blissful current wife has turned the 2nd into a distant memory…


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