For Ellen


Grief rolls over me

In huge tumultuous waves

leaving you behind


This time of year it always feels like the end of something and the start of something new. Even though we are in summer it is the end of the school year. It is always a time of reflection and it has also been a time of leaving for our family. I left my parents behind in Jan 2006, my last living visual memory of my mother was seeing her crying in the rear view mirror as we drove away to our new life here in New Zealand. It was only supposed to be a see you later, but it was a goodnight.

This year I am returning to spend time with my family and I have to say goodbye to some colleagues and friends after a very complex 11 years and it is very very difficult, they have walked beside me when I needed them. However the most difficult thing I have to do is to leave my eldest daughter here, and I sincerely hope for both of us it is simply a see you later and not to all a goodnight. This might not have been how the prompt was intended to be interpreted but it is what it spoke to me.

Haibun Monday: And to all a goodnight

Author: alisonhankinson

Walking tall whenever I can.

14 thoughts on “For Ellen”

  1. Sad haibun. I am glad you started out the haibun with a senryu as an intro. I think the part about your mother and leaving your daughter speaks to the good night part of the prompt. Although in haibun, one doesn’t state this is How I interpreted this prompt; it simply is written. I hope you get to see your daughter again although, this haibun leaves more questions unanswered…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. many thanks for the words and the guidance- I am a novice only started my haiku and haibun journey a month ago. So I still have much to learn about its form history and nuances.


      1. I have been studying and writing both for 40 years and I am still learning. Haiku though is a special art form and not just 5-7-5 lines. It is that moment when your soul goes oh! or when you notice the drops of rain clinging to branches. haiku are always seasonal and always have the breaking line in the second line that separates the top thought from the bottom thought. There is no punctuation or capitalization. the only punctuation is the short dash, like a soft aspiration between the two thoughts. That is haiku, simply. Anything else is senryu or American sentences, not haiku. Haibun (and you may want to read Basho who started the form) is simply prosimetric – prose ended by a haiku or several paragraphs separated by haiku. That is haibun simply. You can go to the dVerse website for a tutorial in haiku, I believe I named the session Twins or you can search for twins to get more information on the word Twins.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That is why I equated senryu and haiku with nonidentical twins. 🙂 Close but…. you know, Basho said to learn the rules and forget them. He meant to learn the rules so well, we write them automatically. People will say you can’t write 5-7-5 seasonal classical haiku in English. Well, I think we prove that wrong every day! Like I said previously, I have been reading, writing, studying Japanese poetic forms for 50+ years and am still learning the nuances of haiku and tanka, haibun, and other forms. It is a slow process so don’t beat yourself up. We all are learning.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hopefully just a goodbye, like the see you later type ~ I can’t imagine the separation of families but you will get reunited soon ~ Thanks for the personal share and photo as well ~

    Liked by 1 person

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