November 24th, 2009


Saturday haibun workshop

Each month the Southern California Haiku Study Group meets at the Pacific Asia Museum for a haiku workshop and kukai.

This month we did something a little different. We had a haibun workshop and were so pleased to have Margaret Chula, visiting from Portland, Oregon, to lead it.

We filled the Blue Room at the museum with poets as Maggie talked about various approaches to haibun, using her own work as examples. She gave us a list of Japanese haiku to use as a starting prompt. The idea was to choose a haiku and then link and shift away from it to write a haibun.

We all found our own place to write for 20 minutes.

Naia finds the garden inspiring

I selected Shiki from the list of haiku Maggie provided:

after killing the spider
a lonely
cold night

- Shiki

This poem inspired me to write a haibun about my daughter and bathroom spiders.

Afterwards, we gathered back in the Blue Room to share what we'd written. For many members of the group, this was their first haibun. Genie Nakano was so inspired she wrote six! It is amazing what people can write in 20 minutes!

The fun didn't stop here. The entire group came home with me for Thai food and a wonderful evening punctuated with laughter and the joy of sharing a bit of our lives together.