Monday, August 8, 2016

Haibun and Haiku from John McDonald

Tonight I'm pleased to post some haibun and haiku from John McDonald, the Scottish poet.  The haibun depicts a veteran's transition to life after war.


Home from Helmand; one hand less; nerves a bag of marbles.

Home to cry and cry:

his dreams smelling of cordite;
the slow motion frame-by-frame passing of the many souls
through his 'cross hairs'.

The fountains spurting,

the terrible fountains spurting -

heads rolling like tumbleweed through a desolate place -

the kneeling fountains spurting.

Wept out,

he hears again the Fajr Prayer: DAWN - a new day,

and, from the nursery, comes life teetering - forgiving!

she makes a purple sun
out of playdough
...and mends a broken soldier



night sounds
at rest inside
the old saxophone


first grandchild -
swifts tying bows
over the gift


his blood zigzags
through the cobbled alley
...silent syncopation

(for Chet baker)


in his garden
a rotting sailboat
...he still dreams on


a son emigrates -
back in the garden
a trembling branch


rocking backwards and forwards -
great bird
pecking at the blues

(For Gerry Mulligan)


Fall is coming soon, which may please some of you and distress others.  Here is Chet Baker and Paul Desmond's version of "Autumn Leaves":

Let's play some Brazilian-influenced music.  Here is Gerry Mulligan's "The Morning After the Carnival from Black Orpheus":

Saturday evening my husband and I went to a concert by Jeff Denson and others, including Warren Wolf on the vibes.  Here are a few songs for you.

This version of "Subconscious Lee" is with Lee Konitz who did not play Saturday:

Jeff Denson also sings:

He and the other musicians also played "Fixing a Hole," which is part of a project he is doing as part of the San Francisco String Trio:


  1. Thank you for the words,and the songs,congratulations John and Marianne,love and light,angelee

  2. Thank you for the haibun. A good haiku with the little girl. Very touching. The other haiku were a treat too--I especially like night sounds/at rest inside/the old saxophone. Congratulations, John and thanks Marianne for adding the music.

  3. Very interesting blog post, good job and thanks for sharing such a good blog. Visit: Best Music & Arts

  4. These haiku are really deep and poignant, I love all of them, in particular the last one which conjures up strong emotions in my being