Coffee Shop Haibun

In an attempt to escape the chill in my house and save on heating bills, I took my writing to a café recently, which finally gave rise to some lighter verse. Over at dVerse Poets Pub, we are focusing on ekphrasis, combining art and poetry, allowing them to complement and lift each other. So, instead of a photo of a current Viennese coffee house, I will show you a picture by an anonymous painter showing the first coffee house in Vienna, The Blue Bottle, and acknowledging the Turkish legacy of the brew.

Zu der Blauen Flaschen, from
Zu der Blauen Flaschen, from

There is a constant buzz in the air and I can’t help but catch random nouns, fleeting storm of verbs, wondering about the beginning or end of a story. Here once men (and only men, save for serving-wenches) met for important discussions, philosophy and politics, courtly tricks well played. Nowadays it’s families, business meetings and angsty writers. Spoons clink, raucous slurps, children roll playfully under the table. The names of the beverages seem to change daily, as do the baristas: soy-free double cortado, skinny flat Americano… I need a dictionary. Foam and coffee stained, my cup stands a forlorn witness to my frantic scribbling.

Warm my hands on mug
Waiting for inspiration:
Caffeine soaring lark.

30 thoughts on “Coffee Shop Haibun”

  1. You really evoke the coffee shop atmosphere here, Marina Sofia. They are fascinating places, aren’t they? And they do have their own personalities.

    1. I’m not a big Starbucks fan (or those modern chains), but I love, love, love the unhurried atmosphere in the old Viennese cafes. Sadly, I don’t have anything like that around here.

    1. Ah, I can see you are quite the expert… I haven’t seen the con leche here yet, but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time. I usually order something boring like cappuccino,

  2. LOL~ This sent me laughing to the floor! ‘antsy writers’, ‘need a dictionary’….this was such fun to read! How history marches on~!

    1. Sometimes I’m a bit of an old grump… The truth is there were at least 20 different types of coffee beverages in Vienna at even the smallest cafe, so you still needed a dictionary, but I like to pretend that it’s a new snobbish thing.

      1. Yeah….and because it’s a new snobbish thing….I. Don’t. Fit. LOL! (I get confused what latte, etc. is. Plain coffee with a little cream is exotic to me. I love your grumpiness!

  3. I have never been able to imagine writing in a coffee shop despite its current popularity. Love this evocation though! Please keep sharing your haibuns with us: I am determined to try this form for myself – one day!

  4. The eavesdropping and the writing… how wonderful it is, and then I especially appreciate the haiku… warming your hands on a cup is for me a significant part of winter. So glad that your found your writing spot in a cafeteria.

  5. I am not a coffee drinking but write away and have fun in those cafes ~ Wherever the muse strikes you, bring a pen or laptop handy ~ Thanks for joining us Marina ~

    1. To be honest, I only went there once, as by the time I drive into town, pay for the parking, buy a coffee… it probably adds up to more than the cost of an hour’s heating.

  6. Those important men of year gone by had it easy didn’t they only having to bark one word orders to the serving wenches – I want to know why each chain has a variation on the words required to order so I stumble over ordering what should just be ‘coffee’
    At least the warm mug gave you some inspiration 🙂

    1. And the scornful looks the baristas give you when you stumble over the names? That is not the kind of coffee snobbery I like (while I am particular about the beans and strength of the coffee, but only if I make it at home).

  7. Very entertaining to read. I like the link from past to present. I have only daydreamed of writing in a cafe…perhaps I need to try it.

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