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contemporary haibun volume 19: edited by Rich Youmans and the CH Staff


contemporary haibun is an annual anthology of English-language haibun (and haiga) gleaned from the best practitioners from around the world


contemporary haibun is a series dedicated to the best haibun and haiga published each year in English around the world. ch19 features 113 haibun and 32 full-color haiga.

contemporary haibun has stood alone, for more than a decade, as the chief vehicle and bulwark of the burgeoning haibun movement in English. Without the vanguard role of this annual anthology, one might reasonably inquire how — and perhaps if — haibun would have survived.”
— Jeffrey Woodward
Editor, Haibun Today

Blood Ties

A teenager, I trudge up the green corridor as slowly as I can get away with Even when I escape into the rain I will smell hospital, the odour of damaged bodies, of pain, masked, but not completely, by antiseptic. Each visit is the same. I will shyly greet the nurses and avoid looking at the men because their eyes are sick and sad. All have lost parts of themselves. An arm, a leg, some, multiple limbs. I wish someone would rescue them. Rescue me. Rescue everyone. Swallowing my fear, my guilt, I watch a pair of unlaced sneakers take one faltering step after another.

     oncology unit
     drawing flowers
     in condensation

                     — Farah Ali

Rattlesnake Canyon

That summer my first blood arrived while I was camped in the woods of Montana.

     rainbow weather —
     turning wet stones
     for trout bait

I knew what it was, but still wondered what sin against Nature had earned me this curse . . .

     in the rush of snowmelt
     empty creel

. . . like the little Kumari Devi, expelled from her Nepalese palace when she proved herself mortal.

     this deep lull
     of afternoon creek song
     letting the hellgrammites go

                     — Billie Dee

Stepping Off the Merry Go Round

We have a peach sapling and a small blueberry bush. A house and the land on which to plant them. The children build a fort among the trees.

     salvia patchwork

The kids are older than I was when my parents divorced. Our son nonchalantly rolls over to sleep and says, “You and Daddy love each other.” He says he is not worried about our family.

     the perennials that appear

I listen to the relaxed rhythm of his breathing. My mind swims as I stare into the darkness of his bedroom, typing onto my phone . . . The cycle is broken. If I do nothing else, I have given them this.

     among weeds

                    — Kat Lehmann


Supposing the giraffes and wildebeest and lions were heading, two by two, up the gangplank. Supposing Noah was distracted by their quarrels. Supposing then that a hungry woodworm wriggled in unnoticed, right through the stamping hooves and padding paws. I can see the old man, supping a light broth in his cabin as the boat starts to leak. I can see him being thankful for his daily bread as the little heaps of sawdust multiply and the sea seeps in. And after thirty nights not one inch of those three hundred cubits of wood is untouched. Ham and Japheth are swept up by God’s rage; Shem dies in his mother’s arms; Noah goes down with his ship. And when the forty days are done, and the waters fall, it is silent. Ever. So. Silent. But, given time, forests flourish once again and creatures unimagined fill them. And the ribs of a great ship lie forgotten in the deep.

     sun before us —
     through shallow waters
     an ammonite swims

                    — Alan Peat

ISBN: 978-1-958408-38-4
Pages: 178
Size: 5.25″ x 8.25″
Binding: perfect softbound
Year Published: 2024

Additional information

Weight 0.00 lbs

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