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haibun: Not Gone

Not Gone

deep winter the embers of last night's fire

It was the year you were building the house, after you'd pulled down the derelict tractor sheds, after you'd put in the footings. You came to me and said, Be ready at 6.30 tonight. It was October. It was almost dusk. You'd set up two deckchairs, lit a bonfire with old timber, opened a bottle of red wine. And I said, What? And you said, Wait. And we waited and watched the fire and talked about the other places we had lived. And by the time it was dark and the bottle was empty I thought it had all been worth waiting for. But then you said, They never came back. And you told me how every morning that week a flock of Canada Geese had flown over as you worked, then back along the same path at dusk, and how much you had wanted me to see them too. They must have gone for good this time, you said. But they had not gone. I saw them when you described the rush of their wings, their irregular V. And you too, your hands releasing a shovel, a rake, the birds marking the close of your day. And they still have not gone. Here is someone else lifting their eyes from the page to whatever sky canopies over them, and look! Look at the length of those long dark necks as they dip and rise as one to meet the lay of the land.

First published in 'Haibun Today' Volume 9, Number 1, March 2015

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What happens when haiku happen

I'm delighted to post Paul Griffiths' account of a course held at Ty Newydd, near Criccieth, North Wales at the beginning of May. 'Haiku: Writing from Life and the Landscape' ran from 9th to 11th May, 2014 and it was a joy to lead. Please, join us, vicariously, for the weekend.
Haiku and haibun at Tŷ Newydd Writers’ Centre
This is an account of my participation in a weekend of discussing and writing haiku and haibun in a course on the theme, Haiku: Writing from Life and Landscape, held at Tŷ Newydd Writers’ Centre, Llanystumdwy, near Criccieth, Gwynedd, Wales, in May 2014.
Tŷ Newydd (The New House) is an old, beautiful building, looking across fields to the sea, a short walk away. David Lloyd George (1863-1945) grew up in Llanystumdwy and returned to the village in his last years, where Tŷ Newydd was redesigned for him by Clough Williams-Ellis (1883-1978), creator of Portmeirion village. Lloyd George’s grave, also designed by Williams-Ellis, stands close to the house, i…

In Interview with Jeffrey Woodward at Haibun Today

The Hungry Writer: An Interview with Lynne Rees
Lynne Rees started working with haiku forms in 2006, was haibun editor at Simply Haiku in 2008 and 2009, and co-editor, with Jo Pacsoo, of the British Haiku Society's Haibun Anthology, The Unseen Wind (2010). In 2011, she jointly edited, along with Nigel Jenkins and Ken Jones, another country, haiku poetry from Wales. Lynne has also published Learning How to Fall (poetry, 2005), The Oven House (novel, 2008), Messages (flash fiction collaboration with Sarah Salway, 2008), forgiving the rain (haibun, 2012) and Real Port Talbot (travel guide, local history & memoir, 2013).
JW: Let me ask first, with your permission, about your personal background. You come from Wales and I wonder what influence, if any, this circumstance had on your literary development and interests. The population of Wales is small when measured on the world's scale and Welsh history and culture are unique. Was a Welsh sensibility or identity formative for you …