2014 Genjuan International Haibun Contest . . .

I recently received word that one of my haibun, “Caged Birds,” was awarded an An (Cottage) Award in the 2014 Genjuan International Haibun Contest (Japan). Genjuan is the name of the cottage where, in 1690, Basho lived and wrote some of his most famous haibun; and this international contest is the only one sponsored by members of the Japanese haiku community. I am so honored to have my haibun recognized in this way and to share the honor with other writers of contemporary haibun–including Grand Prix winner and Tanka Society of America President Margaret Chula. You can read her award-winning “Well of Beauty,” as well as the other award recipients’ entries, on the Genjuan website. In the meantime, my entry follows.


Caged Birds

visiting day
my sister forgets
blue is a color

This afternoon I’m introduced to the new best friend—a wisp of a woman, dressed head-to-toe in canary yellow. There’s a large rhinestone ornament pinned just above her heart. A blue Post-it featuring a list of relatives’ names in flowery cursive hangs beneath the jewel. When she walks, the note flutters against her blouse like a dislocated wing.

She pushes one sleeve up to reveal colorful bangles and a white wristband meant to track her movements. Pretty, she says, pointing first to her arm, then to me as my sister swoops her up in a tight squeeze. Who’s your best friend? my sister asks her. Then they both smile broadly—as if they share some unfathomable secret. As if they’ve known each other all along in some parallel universe I can’t begin to see.

a flicker of light
embracing darkness

2014 Genjuan International Haibun Contest
An (Cottage) Award

About Margaret Dornaus

I’m a writer and a teacher, as well as a haiku-doodler. I live in a beautiful woodland setting, surrounded by native oak forests, that inspires me to record haiku snapshots of luna moths and our resident roadrunner, and even an occasional black bear as it hightails it across the top of my road, my mongrel dog barking at its heels as I watch with wonder. My work as a travel writer has appeared in publications from The Dallas Morning News to the Robb Report. You can find examples of my travel writing–as well as excerpts from a travel memoir I’m working on–at my other WordPress site, Travelin’ On. What more than that do you need to know? Only that I started this blog with an eye toward collaboration. Got a haiku? Send it my way. . . . I’m all about new visions & voices. Best, Margaret
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10 Responses to 2014 Genjuan International Haibun Contest . . .

  1. Yousei Hime says:

    Congratulations. 🙂

  2. Mary says:

    This is so lovely, beautifully and lovingly done. Congratulations to an honor well deserved!

  3. janetld says:

    Wonderful work and big congratulations.

  4. Mike says:

    Due kudos for perfect thought and execution.

  5. …I love the “a flicker of light embracing the darkness” ending…..so very poignant!….

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