Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Carpe Diem Ghost Writer #12, Managua Gunn's "Walk in the Forest"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

A new Ghost Writer Wednesday has come and this week Managua Gunn of From My Forest is our Ghost Writer. He has written a wonderful post for our inspiration. Next week (June 18th) Kuheli will be our Ghost Writer, but that's for later ...

I have an announcement to make: A few days ago I emailed Jane Reichhold to say thanks for the permission to use her kigo. She is very kind and she complimented us for the cheerness and joy which we have for haiku. I also learned that Jane is recovering of a broken back. Last April she had an accident in which she broke her back. She told me that she is recovering from that and that she will skip the Summer edition of her online haiku magazine Lynx. She hopes to be back in the editors seat in October as the Autumn edition of Lynx will be created. She was that kind with her compliments and she will mention our haiku-community in the October edition of Lynx. I feel honored that Jane is that positive about Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. I send her an email in response with best wishes for a full recovery ... please remember her in your prayers and thoughts ... Thank you.


Walk In The Forest

I met them as they rode by me in the forest. She was sitting on the back of the bicycle, and I said
"Salam Alaikum
," in greeting as they rode by. They both smiled and stopped, and joined me for part of the walk in the forest.
We got talking as we walked. I told them of my love for the desert, how I'd lived there for a decade or more altogether. They were from Syria, now living in Finland. The woman was the talker, the man the smiler. She was well-read, and discussed literature with the passion of one who seldom has the chance to, and had similar political views to us all, in that we want politicians to stop taking us for a ride.
``If it were not for the war, my husband and I would not be here,´´ she said. Her husband, Abbas, smiled.
``But its not like you think,´´ she continued. ``Abbas was my student, in university, he is of the Shi'a faith. I am Sunni. Our friends in Syria are enemies of each other. By tradition we marry within our faith, and by tradition a university lecturer does not marry her student, either!´´ she laughed, almost a coy giggle.
Abbas was gentle, and quiet, and let his wife Rania do the talking: ``Abbas was about to marry. In Syria it happens quickly. His family had met her family, his mother had given her blessing, and he was due to meet his wife to be once before marrying.´´
``Yes,´´ said Abbas, ``I nearly married the wrong woman,´´ he smiled.
``When the bombs came they were just leaving my classroom,´´ Ranya said. ``Abbas took care of me, and sheltered me. The fighting erupted in the streets around where I live. It became very dangerous for me.´´
We continued walking through the peaceful forest I walk in every morning, Abbas pushing his bicycle, the birds chirping and the breeze comforting.
``Yes,´´ said Abbas.
``He was clever,´´ said Ranya, ``he put himself in a position where he was forced to marry me, my house was destroyed and he took me to his room and allowed me to stay there. Of course by then if he had not married me there would have been serious problems. But we had to leave Syria, that was obvious.´´
``If it had not been for the war you would not be together.´´
``That is the tragic truth, yes,´´ she said.

© Managua Gunn
I watched them cycle away, promising to meet them again sometime, and took their photograph as they left. They were just another couple with a story to tell that I had met in the forest, but a story that touched me.

Let's see if their story touched you, too, in your haiku. Thanks to Kristjaan for allowing me to tell their story


A wonderful story I think and it touched me as it did touch Managua, but how to catch that in a haiku? That will not be an easy task, but I have to try ... It's not a haiku ... finally it turned out to become a senryu ... here it is:

two hearts together
torn apart by war and faith
finding peace within

© Chèvrefeuille

Now it is up to you my dear Haijin, visitors and travelers ... have fun, be inspired and share your haiku, senryu, tanka, kyoka or haibun with us all here at CDHK.

This Ghost Writer episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until June 13th at noon (CET). I will try to post our next episode, Coolness, later on today.


  1. Wonderful Kristjaan, thanks - by the way, I think I will turn my haibun from our Siberian series into an ebook, and will surely visit Russia a bit. I will also write a long foreword for that about CD, so would ask for some haiku from you etc if possible, to bring it alive. More later about that.

    1. I had similar thoughts .. those haibun we did back in January was very nice to write...

    2. How exciting! Keep us posted, Hamish! :)