Love Story Haibun

Global Haiku • Millikin University • Spring 2009

autumn wind –
he pretends not to see me
as he passes

Masajo, Love Haiku, 35

She has not seen her lover for months. She constantly thinks about him and wishes that she could see him. Although she is glad they are not together anymore, a part of her wishes that they were, but she can not bring herself to contact him. One day, she goes on her usual solitary walk through the park. She passes the same sights that she usually does and sees some of the regular joggers that she passes each day, as she always goes on the walk at the same time. Then she sees her ex-lover approaching down the path. She feels a mixture of emotions at once. She longs to talk to him once she gets nearer, but she becomes suddenly uncomfortable with the situation. She feels her old love coming back, but reminds herself of what he did to her and feels a sudden hate towards him. As they get closer and closer, she feels more and more uncomfortable. She wants to talk to him, and as they get close enough to exchange words, they exchange a short awkward glance and quickly look back down at the ground. He pretends not to see her, and she does the same. She wants to turn back and say something to him, but can not bring herself to do it. She finishes her walk and returns home, full of regret. She wishes that she had said something to him and begins thinking of the next time she will see him. It may be another few months before she does, if ever, but she is intent on speaking to him whenever it happens.

one-time chance missed . . .
expression swallowed
until next autumn

my love—
the autumn wind
carries it on

Suzuki, Love Haiku, 58

A cool autumn breeze overwhelms me. New music echoes from nearly-barren trees as their last leaves fall. Vibrant colors stumble across the pavement like stray remnants of acrylic from an artist’s brush. As I make my way toward an unscathed patch of green, I sense another lonely presence. My eyes explore the premises, squinting as bold beams of red-orange light filter through desolate branches. Across a sea of marble and granite markers, a mere sliver of a woman stretches her arms to embrace a likeness of the Savior, appropriately situated in the heart of the churchyard. Her lean fingers trace the cement folds of his robe as another gust of wind gently tousles the thin, white fabric of her nightgown – almost a century old (a hand-me-down, I presume). I almost forget the reason for my visit, but I quickly avert my eyes and shift focus back to my original purpose. It almost feels inappropriate to watch – an elderly woman, alone in a churchyard, uncomfortably embracing a crumbling statue. As I take another painful step toward my late-wife’s marker, I can’t help but steal another glance at the elderly woman. In spite of her evident frailty, she has somehow managed to crawl onto the stone base of the statue and begins to claw her way towards His outstretched arms. Her eyes fixate on His sallow, empty gaze and, for a moment, she seems comforted by His stare. Alone, in her thoughts, she makes no apologies. Another breeze permeates the silence.

lonely churchyard—
an elderly woman rests
in the Savior’s arms

mildewed rooms—
for how many years these rooms
as our love nest

Masajo, Love Haiku, page 51

I put our house for sale without a real estate agent. I figured I could sale it just as well as anyone could. After all, I had lived here for so many years. A real estate agent couldn’t just get to know my home in a few days; it took me years in the making. She didn’t know about the stains in the kitchen floor caused by an ink spill nor did she know about the scrape mark in the second bedroom from my husband pushing the bed in a direction it did not want to go. No, she did not know my home at all.

I thought my price was reasonable. Any new young couple could afford it for its bargain price. Yes, it needed upgrades but I was fine with it the way I remembered it when he was still alive.
Days went by and weeks, too. Finally what seemed like months and months, but actually just a couple of weeks, a couple made an offer, almost as much as the asking price. They seemed nice enough and by the looks of it, a young one was on the way soon. It was already October and I would have hated for the young one to be without a home in the approaching winter. I decided to sale our home to them. They were very happy and so was I.

On the closing day, I became quite ill. I couldn’t tell the new couple how happy I was for them. I decided to write a letter instead. I gave it to one of my new nurses to give to them. It read:

Dear newlyweds,

I cannot tell you how happy I am for you to buy my home. It is a nice one and has a lot of history. I hope it fits well into your new lives and serves as a lifelong investment. I know it did for my husband and I.

Please keep the ink spills under the kitchen rug and the scratch marks on the bedroom floor alone. As long as they are there, I am too. I have become a part of that house. For such a long time, it was like a love nest for my husband and I. Together we settled, just as you are, and lasted for quite some time.

Maybe one day I will come to visit, that is, if you don’t mind. Until then, good luck with life and may God bless you.

Ethel Durbin


widow's house
in the attic we find
a love nest

Green Green
A fallen plum I stepped on
I yearn to see him today

Suzuki, LH, ?

Her knees grow weak as she waits for him. She is so nervous, she knew that she would see Jake today, so she put on her best outfit and paid special attention to her hair. She wants him to notice her so bad…… She knows that he always walks down Elm Street every Thursday at twelve o clock.. So she has got to be right on time and play it off as if she was going to McDonalds. No money in her pocket she walks out of her house at 11:50 hoping to bump into Jake…

sweaty palms
cute outfit
here he comes

falling snow—
too brilliant a rainbow
in my dream

Suzuki, LH, 41

All of my life, I have loved rainbows. I am obsessed with natural ones, and I am also obsessed with anything that comes in rainbow colors. It brings me extensive happiness. My husband and I just bought our first house together this past summer, and I got a room in it to devote entirely to homework/scrapbooking. The first thing I told him was that I HAD to be able to paint it fun wacky colors. I have one wall hot pink, one wall yellow, one lime green, and one turquoise, and all the trim in a bright purple. It is my special place. However, in school, I was always made fun for loving “rainbows.” For some odd reason some people believe that only gay/lesbian individual can appreciate a rainbow. I beg to differ!

With my love for rainbows, it seems like the only time I get to enjoy them is in the spring. This haiku makes me feel like it is possible to enjoy them all year long, even in the snow. I see myself walking either to class or maybe driving in my car. I am just blinded by the shockingly white snow. Then all of a sudden, through the snow there is a beautiful vibrant rainbow. In my fantasy, I see the end of the rainbow and it is welcoming me to hop on and enjoy the ride. I climb on the rainbow and start walking up its massive arc. I don’t know where I am going, but I know I will be happy once I get there.

The rainbow provides happiness, and does not make you continue any farther than you desire. Once it has completed its job, I can simply leave when I want. This refreshing break from everyday life is a much appreciated surprise. When you are able to go to your happy place, things always look better. I think it is God’s way of telling us to turn our frown upside down. We need to appreciate things in life and take a step back to look at the bigger picture.

raindrops stop at long last
windowsill still wet

our spoken words
carried away by the waterfall-

Suzuki, LH, 55

Kim reaches for the solace of nature like someone would reach for a shawl on a cool day. She lets it envelope her and infuse itself into every part of her being. It is here on the edge of the waterfall, along the cliffs, that she contemplates the meaning of life and her place in it. Usually a place a refuge, she hikes up here at least once a week in the summer to meditate and calm her ragged soul.

But on this warm August day, Kim has chosen to share her special place with someone else. Kevin has been in her life since Kindergarten. They grew up and found their way through life’s ups and downs together. Years of friendship built this solid bond that they shared. So here, in a place so special to her, is where she must declare her deep love for the man beside her.

They hiked for hours through the dense green of the forest. Hearing the sound of the rushing water before she could see it, Kim knew they were getting close. Beads of sweat flowed down her already sopping forehead. Her pulse quickened with each step. Hands, cold and clammy, kneaded the air as they approached her place of harmony.
The water cascaded over the cliff in a solid sheet of white and blue ending at the bottom in a swirl of foam. The mist, refreshing and cool met their hot, parched skin as they approached the top.

At the edge of the cliff, they took a deep breath and soaked in the magnificent surroundings. Kevin stated he had never seen anything so beautiful, but he was not referring to the waterfall. He turned and faced Kim. Their lips, now just inches apart, were pulled together by unknown forces. Locked in embrace, it all became very clear to Kim and she knew she would never be alone again.

in azure pools
I see…

under the same sky
your life and my life…
snow piles on snow

Suzuki, LH, 41

A woman is forced to stay away from her lover. Her husband has grown suspicious and decided to take a trip away from home, just the two of them. Even though it is a loveless marriage, the husband tries to salvage it for the sake of his dignity. They go to dinner in a glass room, where it gives the illusion of eating outside. During the quiet and relaxing dinner he looks at her and sees her looking at the stars and the snow falling down. She’s thinking about her lover and how she would love to share this moment with him. She wonders what he is doing and if it looks this beautiful where he is. He remembers how much he once loved his wife and has a sense of determination to make the marriage work and return to being a loving relationship. Most of the trip went the same the husband did all he could to make her happy and his wife dreamed of her lover. Frustrated, the husband finally blows up at his wife who showed no acknowledgment of his presence or his new found effort into their relationship. She decides to try to show more effort for the man she once loved. The trip was made longer and they started to get to know each other again. After awhile her lover slips her mind, as she spends it on her husband. As the trip nears its end she falls in love again with the man she thought she hated. On her way home she dreads her meeting with her lover and enjoys the last few hours of bliss.

a candle’s flame
rekindled love

when I draw water
will the spring run dry?
so many sins of mine

Suzuki, LH, 56

A man and a woman stand beside the door, kissing passionately. He has put on his shoes and jacket to leave, yet remains in her encircled arms. Though no one else is around to hear, he whispers “good bye” again and again. Daylight greets the couple as he opens the door. She pulls him impulsively back into the room. An hour later he leaves the house. Left to herself, the woman pins the thick curls of her hair back onto her head. She glances at the door, as if expecting him to return. A slip of paper between the door frame and the door catches her attention—her lover must have tread right over it, for the imprint of the bottom of his shoes shows in one corner. “No more mystery—I need to see you. Please.” Instinctively she crumples the note, recognizing his best friend’s handwriting. Later at the spring, she thinks again of the note and pulls it from her pocket. She dangles it over the water as if to drop it into the current, yet impulsively curls her palm around the paper. Studying her reflection in her pail of water, she slips the note back into her pocket. The spring water flows gently downstream.

secluded riverbank
fresh on her cheek
his kiss

my eyes wide open to darkness
nothing but darkness

Suzuki, LH, ?

But I swear I heard the crunch of her step across the snow. The snow, a reminder that a winter day is the best to quit smoking. You know you’re addicted when, because you hate the smell of smoke so much, you’re willing to stand on your porch, red hands shaking, pulling the fire into your lungs. I freeze my hands off so I can die of cancer; winter hasn’t even started. The paper crackles while I light the cigarette, a momentary lapse between the nothingness intensified by the sound of crickets chirping.

I take a tug. Perhaps with age, overuse, or decline in health, I can’t hold it in. I try to exhale slowly, my favorite brand beginning to taste like repetition, like the beginning of a cold. Smoking a cigarette on a snowy evening- definitive of our relationship.

And for some reason, I still find myself looking into the nothingness of the night hoping she’ll come back. There never was anything, but I still hope that the thought of our relationship will find a way to become real. The nights I trick myself into hearing her footsteps… those are the coldest.

I cough, trying to remember the exact color of her eyes. Trying to stare into her pupils, trying to see something beyond the black circle. A layer of darkness covering a brilliant white. Is there anything there if I can’t see it?

my nose resting in her hair

There is a war happening in this small Japanese village. There are French soldiers who have moved in and taken over. In this small village the soldiers are required to go and meet the men and women of this village. During a man’s visit he discovers a young Japanese women who is a beautifully expressive women glowing with warmth. The man and women meet and immediately being to feel comfortable with each other’s presence and beauty. The two fall in love and immediately begin to plan to meet secretly, this women could not love the enemy and this man was to be focused on serving his country. After months of passionate kisses and midnight embraces, the women decides to tell her family that she loves this French soldier and will be leaving Japan to spend their lives together. Before she is able to tell her family the two are caught by another French soldier. He is immediately imprisioned and she is demanded to stay only in her house by her father. While she weeps for her lost man, she writes in her journal…

sheer summer kimono—
it pushes them into misery
this love of mine

Suzuki, Love Haiku (26)

© 2009, Randy Brooks • Millikin University
All rights returned to authors upon publication.