Here is what Professor Peipei Qiu, The Author of Bashô and the Dao says about kikôbun, a similar style of writing to haibun:
‛The Japanese literary travel journal (kikôbun) has been closely related to poetry. It characteristically weaves poems and the introductory narratives in a sequential order. The travel journals that existed before Bashô were often written in a first-person voice, with the traveler’s itinerary revolving around the classical poetic toponym (utamakura or meisho) and the narrative centering on poems composed about them.
It had been a long, dusty arduous trail. My guide had told me of a cave that was hidden beneath the sea in the winter. I shook my head as I watched crustaceans bask in the warm sandy sun. My foot was caught in an old threaded trap left behind a century before, and I tumbled down a steep incline. I was left behind as the tenth victim of the sea or the so the report would say. When my head was free of its cobwebs, I beheld an brilliant sight – the cave.
Only the deep can sing praises of silken beauties. I could tickle the sea flowers that waved to me in a dance of purples and greens. I laughed as the big sea turtles paddled by the old forgotten wreck. I had fallen into a paradise that none could see. Was I a mermaid or a dead sea sprite left to haunt the sea foam forever? The gold in the broken open chests were nothing in comparison to the living treasure that swam about for my favor.
I learned to breathe water and sing the old sailor’s tales. I was part of that forgotten world. Each day I collected shells like cherished memories for another time. Then it happened with a flash. I opened my eyes to splashes of light and popping noises. All those about me clapped and shouted something. As I gathered my bearings, I held one gold piece and an old strand of pearls. No one noticed as I gathered a handful of seaweed and faced toward tomorrow and the place where my journey had begun.
Lost to the year
golden world beneath the sea
path finds me
This prompt of the Kikobun is the last for the 2014 year for Chevrefeuille’s Carpe Diem. Thanks to Hamish Gunn and the work he spent preparing this prompt.
Wishing each of you a fanciful New Year filled with treasures and memories!!!