Sunday, November 15, 2015

Haibun by Angelee Deodhar

To celebrate the recent publication of Journeys 2015 (an Anthology of International Haibun that Angelee Deodhar has edited), I thought that I would include two pieces that she sent me.  Her images of the picnic in "Grandparents' Day" remind me how we are moving away from the fall and into winter.

Grandparents’ Day

                                        through a knothole   the other half of the garden

Sunday afternoon, near a grove of gardenia we spread out our picnic lunch of spicy saffron  pilaf, plain yogurt, tomato pickle, corn chips, potato wafers bananas and orange juice. While the toddler chases squirrels and tries to catch squabbling jungle babblers and mynahs, I wrap myself in his sweet smelling baby blanket and palming a set of smooth blue stones , listen to music from the sixties.

Now the song is “If you don’t know me now “ – it makes me wonder whether we ever know anybody?
The sun pales as the autumn breeze ruffles everything below, while overhead a kites ride thermals. Couples oblivious of everyone snuggle close together. In the distance I can see the Shivaliks in the haze of autumn.

homeward bound-
a crow’s feather drifts
    into lengthening shadows
Total Number of words 143
Shivalik literally means 'tresses of Shiva’ , and is a mountain range of the outer Himalayas

To listen to "If You Don't Know Me By Now," click on this link below:

Haibun: Xeriscape

Sunflowers wilt    water is scarce    only the portulaca flourishes. I come inside, open my treasure trunk and remember my mother’s hands swift with needle and threads of yellow, hot pink, orange ,red and soft green as she embroiders phulkaris  for us, my sister and me. I trace the flowers and birds of the bawan bagh  ,fifty two different stitches, and the chope my grandmother started making for my wedding trousseau when I was born. The cloth below the embroidery is a dull rust which allows the silk florals to glow. In this secret garden I hear the laughter and the distant songs of the women who sat together to stitch these pieces of cloth…and their gorgeous colors as they wore them on special occasions…grandmother, being a widow, only wore a thirma, simple geometrical designs on a white background…

and I am back in the residential convent at age six ,where we are taught to embroider by the black and white clad brides of Christ, who intone  long thread   lazy thread  while they rap our knuckles red with a wooden ruler…thy will be done on earth…the rust cloth under my hands crumples…I am the six year old heathen and must be punished into believing that the being hanging on a cross is our father…my father never hurt me…I love to seek my mother’s face in the gentle blue robed lady who stands in a moss lined grotto with flowers at her feet…
                                          braiding stars
                                     into the bride’s long hair-
                                       the scent of jasmine

*Phulkari means ‘flower craft’. Phulkari, the rural embroidery tradition of Punjab, is like an embroidered shawl but very vibrant and attractive. Bagh – The Garden Punjabi, bawan means 52. This means that 52 different patterns were made to complete this phulkari .The distinguishing feature of thirma is its white khaddar that is a symbol of purity. Because of  its white color, it was often worn by elderly women and widows.

"Haibun: Xeriscape" was originally published in Contemporary Haibun Online.

Angelee just sent me this haibun that responds to the recent horror in Paris...and to memories of that city.


Paris unlocked’ :officials are removing the ‘love locks ‘on the sides of the Pont des Arts bridge.

I wonder what happened to the key we tossed into the Seine ,after locking our love to the iron work, so long ago, five decades was it? I still have the other one…

Sixties music
once again in candlelight
cheek to cheek

And today in Paris, lovers’ dreams lie shattered in a senseless attack, unleashing fear, confusion suspicion and sadness in its wake.

pre-dawn lightening
the muezzin’s call softer
autumn chill

walking meditation
      on the I-pod La Marseillaise
diminished birdsong

Total number of words 99
Response to this news item

"Chequered" also fits in well here.

To purchase Journeys 2015, you may go to this link:

Tonight my husband and I went to Chucho Valdes' concert, so I will post some of his videos.  First is "Tres Palabras," a duet with his father, Bebo Valdes:

Next is another duet, "La Comparasa Calle 54":

"Afro-Comanche" was one of the songs Chucho Valdes played tonight:

"New Orleans" was one of our favorites:

To finish, I am going to include a video of Valdes with Paquito D'Rivera:



  1. Congratulations Angelee ! The haibun really resonate and one can identify so many little pieces of ones own life ! Loved them !

  2. Thank you for these beautifully wrought haibun like the embroidery on the cloth above. I enjoyed reading about the picnic as well and also learning more about India. As always, Angelee, you bring the reader into your circle. How appreciative I am for these haibun.

  3. Lovely Angelee. Beautiful interweaving of images and cultural references.
    Thank you

  4. Beautiful expression with magic of words!

  5. most loverly, as always!

  6. Dear Angelee,

    As always your poetry delivers a unique experience. I feel sad that you had such a bad experience with Catholicism as I was born into a Catholic family that believed in love and sharing with others. I hope you've had some positive views over the years that ease the trauma. It is a joy to read your work today.

    Many blessings.


  7. Congratulations Angelee,
    My words fall short of expressing the beauty of your works.
    I am so proud to know you.

  8. Angelee's Haibun and Haiku leave me with a sense of wonder and awe - how skillfully she weaves each incident and one walks though the whole scene painted by her and marvels at the ease with which she is able to communicate facts, emotions and make-believe!

  9. Thank you so much dear Bea,love angelee