Monsters stalk at midnight

This poem is written in the Japanese Haibun style that uses prose and Haiku.


There is a pessimism about dreams becoming reality. They have a way of turning into monsters. Misshapen gargoyles of the irrational mind. Flagrant compulsions of life past. The journey between bedtime and morning awakening a startled grappling with ogres.

sunset feeding life
dreams catching playful imps
bridge dark and light

The dogs lay at the foot of the bed. Jerking and whimpering in their sleep. What demons wrestle dog sleep? Humans imagine shadows, creaks, a wind blown branch brushing the roof, imagine T-Rex at the front door. A drooling blood thirsting beast. Bone crushing teeth to devour the flesh. The door is never broken inward, no claw footed scaly apparition appears.

find purpose once
blue birds soar on tiny wings
living is no less

Step out onto the somnolence road of night. Coverlets over the head cannot hide the asphalt. Those that have awakened relish the consequence of meeting night monsters. Hug the twilight of the mind’s abyss. A dark plunge into its rebounding depths, purpose to give purpose, exhilarate in knowing sleep is life as it could be provided you do not awaken to it.

oaks have deep root
ocean bottom limitless sky
a fence contains

© 2010, Donald Harbour

14 thoughts on “Monsters stalk at midnight

  1. Well written haibun. My favorite line:

    ..sleep is life as it could be provided you do not awaken to it..

    I just also read and enjoyed the “About” you.

    ” Youth must now catch up with me. You will you know. When you do I will not be here, however I will leave a piece of my life behind. Not in the ground or on a stone marker. I will leave it to you in words scratched upon the pages of my time. Journey with me won’t you? I promise a memory. ” I feel the same. Exactly! Well spoken.


  2. i love how it ends: a fence contains. it makes it more ominous!

    and i agree with viv — you’ve captured the place between sleeping and waking.


  3. I agree with Derrick. You have captured the idea of haibun as if you have had a bit of practice. That’s what is wrong with mine, I think, that the poesy is to congruent with the prose. I increase depth but sacrifice breadth. You have the haiku broaden the punch of the dreamtime monsters. I think this is the spirit of haibun.


  4. Enjoyed thoroughness of exploration of the subconsciousness with such sparing description, the haiku juxtapose to extend. So enjoyed I am inspired to try again what I found to be such a challenging form. Thank-you.


  5. Very well-written and I agree with others that this is probably not your first attempt at the form. Wonderful images and capture of that moment between waking and sleeping.



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