On life’s stage

Sheet music to "Give My Regards"

This form of poetry is taken from Japanese tradition and is called a Haibun. It includes prose with a Haiku at the end. Written in response to the prompt at “Margo Roby: Word Gathering for Tryout Tuesday, Haibun”.


I have wandered life’s stage never yet finding my voice. Somewhere in the wings it hides in the folds of the curtain. Or maybe on the scaffolding where the lights are rigged. I often believe that searched for voice is adjusting the lights thus moving the spot on the stage where I should stand, should speak, should deliver. There is nonsense in this playful speculation though it causes me to wonder if all the other actors surrounding me are searching as well for that moment of oratory when they will finally be heard, be recognized. The performance is so brief and scripted. Although we are told that all great actors yearned for their moment too, I wonder if their script was written by the likes of Thornton Wilder while my lines came from some struggling unknown. Was the play I am in rejected by the better theaters, relegated to a high school auditorium in Bug Tussle, Texas, far from the Broadway lights whose glare can spell success in ones career? I do not wear a mask in this play. My mouth is not muffled by the tape of a false beard, my face not hidden by makeup. The foot lights blind me to the audience so I cannot see how many seats are filled. My fear is that when the curtain does come down there will be no great reviews, no applause for a performance well given.

Autumn is here
frosty footsteps
there is dawn

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