Friday, October 04, 2013

Rock Climbing Haibun

Last weekend we went hiking in a state park where there is a large outcropping of rock towering above a creek that winds through the valley. We ate lunch on the top of the ridge with a view that scanned the clouds floating on the horizon, the forest hills, and the tumbling whitewater far below.

could be trout
far out of casting distance;
rushing stream

We climbed down the trail twisting between trees that sometimes clung to the very rock wall on our left. We passed climbers strapped into high tech gear and trail crews scrubbing graffiti. Everyone was in a cheerful mood. I got an ache in my neck from straining to take in the sheer awesome bulk of the rock that rose above us. Trees grew below, beside, in the midst of, and above rock in every shape an size. Roots exposed or sunk into the crevices, each one found a way to flourish and catch the sun.

roots in the air
from trees clinging to cliffs;
rocks in the treetops 

Down at the bottom of one of those formations, under a trickle of spring water sliding over mossy rock, we found a tiny pool of muddy water.
moss from spring 

 I bent down to get a closer look and discovered a tiny frog sitting under a leaf in the puddle. He held still for me to take several photos and didn't seem startled to see me hovering over him. Perhaps he is accustomed to ignoring massive shadows looming over his head. He was secure in his fortress; stone wall at his back. 

frog in rock pool

little frog at home
under the rock wall;
all else is sky

This type of haiku story-writing is called Haibun. It's an old form of prose poem/travel log or journal with haiku poems interspersed between short narrative descriptions, made famous by the 17th c. Japanese poet Basho in his writing The Narrow Road to Deep North. Read more about the form here.

Today's Friday Poetry roundup is hosted at Dori Reads. Enjoy!


Keri said...

What a thoughtful way to record your adventures! I love the combination of prose, photo, and poetry. Thanks for introducing me to Haibun!

Buffy Silverman said...

Thanks for introducing haibun. I love the image of rocks in the treetops, and the frogs view of "all else is sky."

Linda B said...

Hi Andi-I love the idea of the haibun, cronicling your lovely photos. And love "rocks in the treetops"-what an image! Thank you!

BJ Lee said...

Andromeda - BTW, lovely name! - loved your haiku and explanation of haibun. Loved the little froggy!

Liz Steinglass said...

Thank you for taking me hiking! Just as intended, I feel like I went on a journey. I loved all the stops for photos and poetry and closer looks at the surroundings. I loved all the haiku too but especially the rocks in the trees and frog's view of the sky. I hope you'll do this again when you have a chance.

Doraine said...

Such a lovely combination of photos, narrative, and poems. You have captured the mountains, the stones, the sky. I love it.

Mary Lee said...

I love your haibuns! You have such a knack for words+pictures!

Violet N. said...

Andromeda, this is just lovely! - the photos, explanations and then the poems. Your explanation of Haibun intrigues. I'm sure I've heard it explained before but your example makes it look like fun and have me itching to try my hand at it. Thank you!
- Violet N.

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

Thank you for sharing this wonderful journey! You've left me feeling refreshed.