WD Poetic Form Challenge: Haibun Poems

I hope you’re ready to poem, because it’s time for another WD Poetic Form Challenge. This time around, we’ll be tackling haibun poems. Click the previous link to view the details, but a haibun combines a prose poem with a haiku.

If this is your first WD Poetic Form Challenge, here are the guidelines:

  • Write as many original haibun poems as you wish and share them in the comments below
  • Please include your name as you would like it to appear in print (just in case you win)
  • Deadline for entries is 11:59 p.m. (Atlanta, Georgia time) on September 16, 2012
  • Have fun!

As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, these challenges incorporate the three F’s: fun, free, and fame. These challenges are primarily for the fun of poeming, and they’re completely free. But the winning poet/poem is selected to be published in a future issue of Writer’s Digest magazine as an example of the poetic form–this time a haibun.

So roll up your sleeves, unlock your brain, and start poeming!


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151 thoughts on “WD Poetic Form Challenge: Haibun Poems

  1. Susan Budig

    May 5th Haibun

    It is time and still she lies there. Her chest rises and falls. Sometimes her eyes track me as I pace the room. Heidi drops an orange juice glass on their new faux-marble countertop, shattering it. She turns her face toward the sound, “Who’s there?” I hold her hand.

    the clock ticks minutes
    while we wait for numbered days
    her time dissipates

    One day she feels better, “Let’s go for a walk.” Dan pushes her wheelchair, her legs are noodles now. On the way back up the path, sunshine beaming, she forgets why they are doing nothing but waiting. “What are we waiting for?”

    springtime erases
    all but the yellowest sun
    and darkest shadows

    Until today when she slips into a coma. It is more than sleeping deeply. It is as if a breathing corpse lies on her hospice bed. I do not know where to rest my eyes. I cannot look at her like this. I cannot look away.

    deep sleep of the
    near dead is like a spent firecracker
    still smoking

    I am outside when it happens. There is no noise, no panicked cry. My father was with her. When her breathing became labored, the rosary clattered to the floor and the chair fell backward as he abruptly stood up. “It was like cellophane crumpling inside her lungs,” he later said.

    that was nine years past
    today is just like that day
    I am crying still

  2. Susan Budig


    You were my world, for that too-brief moment in time, you were my everything. And then I handed all eight pounds, fourteen ounces of faith into another mother’s arms and left you. Walked away. Didn’t turn around.

    Seeking other dreams
    For both sides

    I mended my broken heart, said that climbing a mountain, sailing around the world, having my own babies healed me. But I still grieved you: my phantom limb, my missing puzzle piece, my first-born.

    Time will not
    Indemnify my
    Broken heart

    Today you’ve returned. Sought me out with only my name as your periscope. You’ve spied me standing here, waiting, all these years. And I see how you answered her prayer, became her world. My relief washes away in an ocean of tears and waters the land of this sweet blue earth.


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