Haibun: One Foot in Fairy Tales, the Other in the Abyss

It’s Haibun time over at dVerse Poets Pub – a form of prose poem followed by a haiku or other form of micropoetry. This time we have a number of quotes to inspire us. I chose Paulo Coelho’s:

At every moment of our lives, we all have one foot in a fairy tale and the other in the abyss.

They gurgle fullness of belly and gaze. Like well-trained lapdogs, they sit and never grumble. The occasional whine may escape their lips, but they never bare their teeth, nor lunge forward at the hand that feeds them. They are content with their flat screens and smartphones, their pinging tablets, their remote-controlled houses, their cars racing from 0-60 faster than you can wish yourself away an island. Holidays twice a year in a remote, yet not isolated enough to lack servants or Wifi connection. All these conspire to give you the illusion of happiness, of being in control.

Then there are days when your corporate patter dribbles down on your neatly ironed shirt. When you have to let your best friend go, because of performance issues. When you realise you have no friends. When your children no longer care or know you are around. When your wife has a golf coach or tennis coach or swimming instructor with more muscles than you have hair. When you are never home to enjoy your landscaped gardens and your jacuzzi tub.

As snow melts on roots,
mud clings to last autumn’s leaves:
no room for fresh buds.


24 thoughts on “Haibun: One Foot in Fairy Tales, the Other in the Abyss”

  1. I think we need to find a balance with having all these techno stuff and real life intimacy & relationship ~ Too bad he couldn’t really enjoy the beauty of the landscaped garden nor the company of his loved ones ~

    I am hoping for new buds, smiles ~ Thanks for joining us Marina and wishing you a happy week ~

    1. Nice choice of prompts there, Grace, thank you – even though most of us opted for either this one or the Mary Oliver one! I’m always somewhat puzzled by those people who complain of stress and overwork and how they hate their job, but just can see no way out of it because they are unwilling to give up one iota of their comfort. [And in the meantime, there are so many working 2-3 jobs and barely able to see their family, and still not making ends meet… those are the ones I feel sorry for.]

  2. Oh wow, you have written a cautionary tale, I think. What could happen to life if we continue along our current path? Some of our choices eventually take us on the path to emptiness….and as I read your prose it seems many are not that far away. Love your haiku. Hope we never reach the point where there are no fresh buds!

    1. A couple of years ago I was talking to some corporate colleagues who were boasting about their house remodelling and holidays in exotic places, but for that they had to work such long hours, and be away from home so much, and barely see their families, and I felt they were stuck in a trap of their own making. Addicted to their more-than-comfortable lifestyle and yet missing out on real joy.

  3. Wow! You have so well pinned down the reality of our culture, that transition from cyber-reality to the workplace with all its sometimes-depressing jolts of pain. Well done. The haiku is stunning.

  4. “The occasional whine may escape their lips, but they never bare their teeth, nor lunge forward at the hand that feeds them.” I fear this description fits more than just our monied population–although you’ve done a good job describing those caught in the corporate web. Great haiku.

  5. never home to enjoy your landscaped
    gardens and your jacuzzi tub

    It is a human tragedy that can easily happen if one is engrossed so much with one’s career and perceived to neglect other responsibilities!


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