Ligo Haibun Challenge – Image Week

I’ve been out of the loop with the wonderful Ligo Haibun Challenge community, who first taught me what a haibun even was (it’s the combination of prose with a haiku, in case you were wondering) and, in that, made me realize how much I love this communicating art form. This week, we’ve been given the challenge to complete our haibun task as close to 123 words as p0ssible, using one of the visuals provided. According to Microsoft, I met the challenge exactly (but, admittedly, even computer programs miscount on occasion). This time, I hope it used all its digits. Get it?! Okay, moving along…

I chose the photo that our Pirate (Managua Gunn) describes as such: “The first picture is by Marina, my first penpal, from Kazan, in Tatarstan, who took the view from her flat.”  As beautiful as it is, my heart and mind immediately thought of the hardship this scene might create for some.


I slinked outside the window of the only shop that still appeared open, listening to its television hum, scrutinizing the perfect smile of the news anchor. She only laughed at me, her teeth as white as the snow she proclaimed to be beautiful, Botox causing her brow to be as peaceful as she declared our city amidst this unanticipated winter storm. Wasn’t it wonderful for everyone to be home, snug in their beds, she insisted.

I shuffled down the alley behind the store, unaware if my limbs ached. I could feel them no more. If city folks were boarded up in their houses, from where would I beg my next meal?


Snow: no warm blanket

my trembling form – unfeeling

as those warm inside


Please don’t forget the homeless this time of year. Even if they can find a meal and a night’s rest at a shelter, many have to leave – often before daylight – in the mornings (including children), when the temperatures are bitter cold. Many others aren’t even that fortunate. Consider a Christmas gift to your local shelter or church who ministers to the homeless. Even if you’re short on cash, perhaps you have some coats, gloves, insulated underwear or blankets that you aren’t using and that could be put to good use by others. Food banks run short during this time of year as well, as people who can sustain during warmer weather seek indoor shelter with warm meals to keep from becoming deathly ill. A small donation of cash or food can go a long way at your area food bank.

May your heart be warmed & blessed,



PictureJoin the Ligo Haibun Challenge by following this image URL.


14 thoughts on “Ligo Haibun Challenge – Image Week

  1. What a beautiful, humbling piece, and so nicely written. The contrast of the botox with the homeless person, and the different meaning of the weather for each was masterful, and shows it is all in how you say it. Your haibun really hit home. It brought back to me a cartoon based on a true story I read as a child, about Dr Barnado’s home for homeless children in 1870s London, and how he’d been forced to turn away a boy called ‘Carrot’ for lack of space, but that the boy had died that night in the cold, which made Barnado pledge to never, ever turn a child away. That story stayed with me through childhood, and has now been brought back. My pledge here is to do exactly as you say. Thank you for writing this haibun, and for presenting it so nicely.

  2. What a powerful piece of writing. The commercial aspects of Christmas repel me. Your haibun reminds me that it is really about the spirit of giving. Thankyou.

  3. The Haiku at the end of this Haibun captures the whole mood as it asks us to look at those unfeeling folks in the comfort of their homes. It reminds me of a few lines from ‘Winters Song’ by Alan Hull of Lindisfarne fame.
    “Do you spare a thought for the homeless tramp who wishes he was dead,
    Or do you pull the bedclothes higher, dream of summertime instead ?”

  4. piercing reminder on the hardships of winter…so much truth too. those who are warm and safe can easily forget those in unfortunate situations. this reminds me also of all the stray animals left to find not only food but a warm place to sleep. thank you.

  5. Pingback: Awakening | Simply Charming

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