inbox 13 (Winter is the Quiet Time)

Winter is the quiet time, when few venture back to see me. Sometimes on Sundays, cross-country skiers happen by. Wow, you live here? What do you do for …? I shush them; listen, the jays are fighting.
Snowshoe hares make a daily pilgrimage searching for my garden, now buried deep beneath the snow. Nothing for you here, I whisper. The berries have been picked and turned to jam, which I will not share with you.
A week’s wood to split:
Felling, stacking, and burning —
Three times it warms me.
(haibun by David Sinex)

9 Responses to “inbox 13 (Winter is the Quiet Time)”

  1. John Dougill Says:

    It’s odd to have a winter poem while we’re in the midst of summer, but perhaps we can be thankful for the cooling effect in these hot and humid days. The last line of the haiku makes us pause and think, which I like, and the differing rhythm of the three lines has a very pleasing effect. I like too the interaction in the prose passage of the writer with others, and the way the two parts complement each other. The one word which troubled me was ‘pilgrimage’ as I couldn’t help wondering if it was suitable in this instance of foraging for food. It stands out because the words of the haibun are so carefully chosen, and there’s a delicate appropriateness about them. It seems mean-spirited not to share jam with animals on a pilgrimage, producing a bitter effect which I’m sure was unintended. Great title though, and I really enjoyed the quietly thoughtful feel of the haibun.

    • John,

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my poem.

      I write Haiku and Tanka almost everyday; Haibun much less often. I had just found this site, and this was my first post. To me, Haibun is like dressing in one’s “Sunday best”, it’s was a special occasion, and so I chose the second most recent one I had written. The newest one (Spring themed, I might add) is under consideration elsewhere.

      I feel the word ‘pilgrimage’ was well chosen. In a sense every person, every animal, is a pilgrim traversing through life. Sometimes we don’t notice, because we are so focused on the immediate. I believe the Latin root of the word is an outsider, a traveler, a foreigner, in Japanese, 異邦人, ihojin. (I love that word.) Not to seem blasphemous, but people often make religious pilgrimages because they want something from their God. After a short period of euphoria, they return, prayers unanswered. The hares reminded me of that.

      As for sharing the jam, the glib answer would be I really doubt they eat jam. Trust me, the hares, the cabbage worms, and a variety of other critters feed well in my garden other times of the year, and never once offer to pitch in with the work.


  2. A great winter haibun, indeed! The author captures a typical winter scene with the deftness of the sculptor, with well-chosen expressions to transport us in the midst of the season! Just one question, though…Why “three-times” and not just “three times” or “thrice”? And I have no problem with the author not wanting to share his berries with the animals…it’s a matter of survival, I assume!

    • Keith,

      Thank you for your flattering comments. “Deftness of the sculptor”, I can live with that.

      Nice catch with the hyphen. I had made changes to the last line rendering it unnecessary, but didn’t think to remove it. It should be “Three times.”


  3. Beautiful! Vivid! And I love the repeated “sh” of “shush” and “snowshoe.”

  4. eiko yachimoto Says:

    I, too, liked Keith-san’s wording:”deftness of the sculptor”.

    David’san’s haibun reminded of Lady of Chatterley’s Lover a bit:–)

    thank you.

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