On Haibun and Markets

As well as flash or hint fiction, I’ve been studying and writing haibun, contradictory snippets of descriptive narrative (i.e. flash or hint fiction containing poetic images and heightened language, or an an unabashed, self declared  prose poem) accompanied by a haiku. Sometimes wry, often serious, always finely crafted, haibun is a blend of image and observation that appeals to the senses and the intellect. This unorthodox form also plays with structure; the haiku usually appears at the end of the short piece of prose but it sometimes appears at the beginning and, depending on the writer,  can occasionally break into the middle of the prose.  In other words, haibun refuses limitation and restraint. If you’re interested in learning more about them try the links below or check out this book:


I wrote this haibun yesterday, after a trip to the market:

Adelaide Market, June

Porcini balls, kangaroo and rabbit meat, buffalo milk mozzarella. A world of smiling people, Indian, Pakistani, African, Lebanese, Chinese, Korean and more, slide past, their shopping bags rustling with intent. Students, eastern suburb matrons with severe haircuts and, from the west, the scrabblers, their kids in footy jumpers and gnawing on lollipops, amble past Persian love cakes, gluten free protein balls and plush warm planks of lavash. Teenagers watch a bearded chef spread batter on a slightly domed, counter top pancake griddle. The cooked crepe, wrapped around fruit or filling of choice and folded into a paper cone, is handed into the care of eager, still chubby, fists. Bright green, chocolate filled, peppermint sweets; cappuccino, latte, chai; shopping trolleys, pushed or dragged by greyed baby boomers. A middle aged woman croons quietly in the aisle of multiple choice pasta; a man lifts his baby, warm in a furry brown all-in-one, from the pram, raises the smiling cub above the sauntering crowd. A popup book store; a busker plays la Vi’en Rose on her accordion and I am in an antipodean Paris. Wine merchants, jewellery from Nepal, indigenous art, the ardent smell of ripe cheese and, when we return to our car, in the Mercedes next to us, nestled in the cup holder between the front seats, a delicately flowered china mug.

At the market
We walk along aisles of memory,
Feed our spirit.


If you live outside of town and fancy a virtual visit to the Adelaide Central Market, follow this link.






2 thoughts on “On Haibun and Markets

  1. Well that was very interesting. Never heard of that. LOVED this line: …when we return to our car, in the Mercedes next to us, nestled in the cup holder between the front seats, a delicately flowered china mug… Very classy!


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