Shells of Memory: A Haibun


The day of my memory wasn’t on some luscious sandy expanse with clear blue waters. It was in fact a rather dreary day at Donegal Bay, and the carpet of jellyfish on the surf looked almost as if you could walk on them, they were so thick. What was amazing to a small boy was the shells on the shore, there were hundreds, maybe thousands on them. As I look back at it they were not pristine in any way. I am sure most were broken or irregular, but I enjoyed collecting them. In the end, I had a little suitcase full of them, though the case was probably not much larger than a lunch box.

Little treasure chest
Full of King Neptune’s riches
Shells of memory


Walk with me down Memory Lane

The Foodie

brown lioness lying on brown grass field during daytime

Christine Donaldson at Unsplash

Kima had promised she would at least give it a try, and she was true to her word. For the life of her however, she couldn’t see what all the fuss about a vegan diet was about.

Meatless meals tasted
Felt like a mealtime wasted
Hungry though so filled



Pinatubo91eruption clark air base.jpg
Pinatubo Eruption – Public Domain

There were many aspects of the Philippines that gave the impression of a tropical paradise. There was dense greenery, and bright sunshine which seemed to hit its peak daily before the afternoon rain. After duty hours there was the nightlife, which all too often led to making our way back to base in the dark. Some of the features which still feature in a carved desk set of mine were the mountain peaks, one of which was the ill-fated Mount Pinatubo.

Tropical green peak
Volcanic supernova
Brought the mountain low


Haibun Paint Chip Poetry Prompt

I served in the Philippines about a decade before the eruption, but the desk set with the mountains is a real thing.  

Fisher: A Haibun

Dave stepped from his campsite and strode towards the river. It was a wonderful day for fly-fishing. He had tied some new ones just the night before with a sturdy looking black feather he had found near the river bank the day before. He had been surprised to find such a large sable feather; it seemed much bigger than one from a crow or even a raven. It was, however, perfect for his endeavour. Surely this kind of feather would be able to catch some fish.

As he made his first cast of the day, a huge eagle swooped from above and effortlessly swept a four pound rainbow trout from the water.

Talons powerful
Predator swift from the sky
Trout unsuspecting


dVerse – Haibun Monday 2-1-21: Eagle

Lesson Of Friendship

Landscape, Mountains, Lake, Sailing Boat, Nature


My nineteenth birthday was spent as part of the volunteer work staff at a Christian camp in Upstate New York.  My primary duty was washing dishes in the kitchens, and in particular the pots and pans.  It was a hot and time consuming job.

Not wanting to make a fuss, and to do my duty, I allowed my birthday to pass away virtually unnoticed.  As I was finishing my shift, one of the supervisors asked if I had had a good day.  I responded by saying it had been busy, but not bad; though it was kind of strange for a birthday.

He said that I should have said something, and they would have done something special.  He then asked if I had ever been sailing.  When I replied that I hadn’t, he took me down to the lake and gave me a private lesson.

A sailing lesson
On a birthday nearly missed
Friendship on a lake




dVerse Birthday Haibun


Iceland, Waterfall, Landscape, Water, Kirkjufellsfoss




They stood before the cascading waters and spray of the majestic waterfall.  The world was theirs, full of beauty and promise.  Hand-in-hand they gazed into their future.

Beautiful – Plunging
Uncontrolled by man’s power
Calming – Turbulence

She stood before the cascading waters and spray of the majestic waterfall.  Her world like the waters themselves, careening. Widowed, she walked away alone.




This week Colleen has challenged us to write a poem in the haibun form.  A haibun, she explains follows this format:

  • Begin the haibun with a title. The title should hint at something barely noticeable in the beginning which comes together by the ending.
  • Your haibun prose can be written in present or past tense including, first person (I), third person (he/she), or first-person plural (we).
  • Subject matter: autobiographical prose, travel journal, a slice of life, memory, dream, character sketch, place, event, or object. Focus on one or two elements.
  • Keep your prose simple, all excessive words should be pared down or deleted. Nothing should be overstated.
  • The length can be brief with one or two sentences with a haiku, or longer prose with a haiku sandwiched between, to longer memoir works including many haiku.
  • There are different Haibun styles: Idyll: (One prose paragraph and one haiku) haiku/prose, or prose/haiku; Verse Envelope: haiku/prose/haiku; Prose Envelope: prose/haiku/prose, including alternating prose and verse elements of your choice.

I have chosen to write in the prose envelope form.

In the challenge, Colleen asked that we try to incorporate Frank J. Tassone’s photo (below).  I had first thought to write using it and having it as the scene of a “fall,” but that seemed too dark when I delved into it.  I then took the licence of making the scene “a little bit further along the cliff at a waterfall,”  and setting the narrative on two separate dates spaced years apart.

© 2020 Frank J. Tassone



imageedit_5_5600115887 (1)


The Bard of Avon, William Shakespeare was a writer of fame in his own day, and his legacy lives on in our English tongue.  He brought dozens of words and phrases into the language, and peradventure many may soundeth peculiar to thine ears, but they nonetheless are his legacy.  One of Lord Strange’s Men, he later built his own theatres in London.


A West-Midlands man
Now Thames-bank Global renowned
First among men Strange



A haibun written for d’Verse’s Haibun Monday 4/27/20: A Portrait of Two Masters