Three Haibuns: Unlost

By Paresh Tiwari

Free fall

Out in the distance, a seagull dives in slow motion only to pick up a splash. The roar of a fishing trawler rings in the setting sun, and the surf retreats under my feet taking with it a handful of the ground I stand on. I notice you the moment I step on the beach, immersed in the fading horizon, a permanent fixture of this beach, like the rough-hewn boulders or the swaying palm trees.

When you look at me, I feign interest in the red crabs that scamper back into their holes the moment one steps in their direction.

You adjust the strap of your bikini.

Later, despite the gold wedding band on my finger, we talk deep into the night. Under the watchful gaze of the bedside lamp, our bodies spent and sweaty, you quote Rumi, ‘Beyond the ideas of right and wrong, there is a field. I will meet you there.’

I end up believing you.

bonfire moon...
connecting the ends of
our loneliness


Someday, you may find the rain knocking on your window, seeking shelter for the night. ‘I am being hunted like a wild beast,’ it may say in a small voice dripping with the smell of desolation and musty fables.

You have known it your entire life — this rain that once was lemon-scented and starlight crisp.

It takes refuge under the rocking chair, gathers by the legs of the master bed and pools by the window. Sometimes when you sleep, it rearranges the clouds over your eyes and leaves you dreaming long after the sun reaches its zenith.

Slowly, you find that rain has taken over the house, whispering its magic to the walls and the roof. The study table is the first one to give in, it weeps into your old books. The bed sprouts new foliage from its bog-depths, and the window panes leave for the forest where they came from.

paper boat ...
a grizzled poem sails
beyond my grasp

 Moving on

The poet has a stash of moons in the attic, tucked away in thick layers of bubble wrap, packed neatly in boxes lined with blue velvet, clumped between folds of white silk and old parchments, and pressed between the pages of poetry books.

In the evenings, he likes to wear one around his neck and wait for the ocean to rise in crescendo. He moves around a lot. At times, he leaves a moon or two behind as souvenirs. Even as goodbye notes.

There is one at his home in the village. His old dog curls around its brittle chill when the nights get lonely. His thirteen-year-old son keeps a sliver next to his pillow. The ex-wife feels less lonely when she has a pair of shards on her ears. There is a half-moon at his mother’s grave. It has begun to get mouldy, a bit jagged at the edges.

He even slipped one in the letter box of an old lover; as if it could ever be the apology she deserved.

receding cloud ...
no more words to string
the mad-hatter


Poet, artist, and editor Paresh Tiwari has been widely published, especially in the sub-genre of Japanese poetry. A Pushcart Prize nominee, he has published two widely acclaimed collections of poetry. Raindrops chasing Raindrops (2017) his latest collection of hybrid poems has found an honourable mention at the Touchstone Distinguished Book Awards 2017. He is the resident cartoonist for Cattails, a journal by UHTS, USA and the serving haibun editor of Narrow Road, a tri-annual publication. Paresh has read his works at various literature festivals including GALF 2016. You can order his book here. Follow his writings here.