So the other day, I sat through a lovely craft talk from poet Aimee Nezhukumatathil about haibun, a Japanese form of prose poetry that she found inspiring during a time when she thought she couldn’t write anymore. Japan? Holla. In these writings, a paragraph usually describes a natural landscape or journey (I could be totally making this up since I don’t have my notes in front of me) followed by a concluding haiku, like a short, brief party favor.
She read part of a haibun by Jeannine Hall Gailey, titled “Rescuing Seiryu, the Blue Dragon.”
You met the dragon in the garden. Sometimes he flies in circles outside your window. This morning he appeared as a young boy. He shows you a vision of your parents, lying in a barn. With his face so close you smell hay.
He bleeds from the wounds of paper birds, from a swallowed curse. Can your healing rice cake keep him from death?
I thought I was going crazy, because everything was straight out of Spirited Away. Was Seiryu really Haku, the river god/dragon who had lost his name? And how could anyone forget the importance of the onigiri?
And then I found the complete haibun online and realized no, I wasn’t crazy. I was right. For once.
[Insert haiku about how I'm right here.]