Whittled Words – Haibun Poem


Welcome to the weekly series, Whittled Words. A series highlighting the innumerable types and styles of poetry to challenge any creative wordsmith. This week’s selection:




The haibun is the combination of two poems: a prose poem and haiku. The form was popularized by the 17th century Japanese poet Matsuo Basho. Both the prose poem and haiku typically communicate with each other, though poets employ different strategies for this communication—some doing so subtly, while others are more direct.

The prose poem usually describes a scene or moment in an objective manner. In other words, the pronoun “I” is not often used—if at all. Meanwhile, the haiku follows the typical rules for haiku.


Examples of Haibun Poems:




by Timothy McGuire

Finally realizing in the autumn of this life the lessons learned are for the benefit of those who will come after me. Events, like stepping stones laid down with love, tears and blood to create a path of enlightenment in hopes that one will choose to follow.

life lessons learned

bricks laid along heavens path

for those who follow



By Indiana Shaw

Can you imagine in another million years, core drillers examining the earth crust, and teaching that this was the 21st century, as we can see from the remains of plastic debris found within these layers of the earth’s crust . . .

Self-worth was lacking

No silver or gold was found

Nowt’ but cheap plastic



By Indiana Shaw

The bumblebee does not know that her wings cannot hold her up. She flits from flower to power, pollenating like crazy, with no worries. Not expecting to fall or fail. Her tenacity and self-confidence amaze me as I watch her dig into the flower with a fierceness that only a bumblebee can master. I am in awe of her ability, her self-assured confidence and her work.

flower delicate

pure pollination power

flight of bumblebee



By Brad Osborne

The village sleeps. The tasks of day have been put aside. The body seeks to rest its weary self and ease the strain of the existential life. With the night, comes the quiet stillness of pause whispered in the cooling breeze as lullaby. The crops and fields glisten with settling dew.

just one little worm

squirms through dampening soil

his work is not done


I hope you have enjoyed this entry to the series, Whittled Words. I look forward to your comments, and if you dare, maybe share your own Haibun poem. Thanks for reading!


13 Responses to “Whittled Words – Haibun Poem”
  1. beth says:

    I like the halibun form, a winning combination in my book.

  2. Very interesting form indeed. I am a fan of the Haiku, but not the traditional one as it bears little significance to someone from the Western World. But making it more appealing to Europeans is a way of keeping the form and tradition alive. Great work my friend.

    • Brad Osborne says:

      Thank you, my dear friend! Traditional Haiku is a beautiful but often poorly executed in the English language. Many modern poets avoid the syllabic and contextual requirements of the true form. It has been bastardized in the West to be just about any poem three lines long being referred to as Haiku. That is why I love your invention the Euro-ku. It takes some of the beauty of the original Haiku form and marries it with wording and context to fit a Western mindset and language.

      • Thank you so much my brother for those kind words which I really appreciate. I learned a very long time ago when I started learning Tai Chi and Kempo that I was not placed in this world as a Westerner to live like an Easterner but that I could partake and grow from their philosophy, religion, ways of life and martial arts, but in our own Western manner. That is why, being that I love poetry and literary expressions of any type, I got hooked on the Haiku because I also love brevity. Take good care and all the best!

  3. kristianw84 says:

    I like this form. All the poems uou shared were beautiful. Of course, I liked yours the best! ❤

  4. His work and your work is never done. Thankfully.

  5. Jim Borden says:

    I like this style. and I guess that worm is out working at night so the early bird doesn’t get him 🙂

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