Harriot West: Two Haibun

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haiku by Harriot West, image by Ray Rasmussen


he’s looking at me but I can’t be sure. I feign interest in the drummer’s solo, slide my index finger down the inside of my lover’s arm.

the horn player's
swollen lips

The Way Things Were

There she is on eBay—the doll mother never let me have—poor Barbie, dismissed in the house where I grew up as cheap, not for the plastic she was made of but for her perky in-your-face breasts.

sepia shadows
a young girl tugs
at her tee shirt

I’m interested in your take on West’s haibun. If you like them, could you offer a few words as to why it works for you? Please feel free to comment in the space below.


Harriot West lives in Eugene, Oregon. She says she rarely manages to write a prose poem that feels complete without adding at least one haiku. Her haibun and haiku have been published widely and anthologized. Her books and poetry have received a number of awards and she’s one of the haiku poets featured in A New Resonance 5: Emerging Voices in English Language Haiku. Her collections include: Shades of Absence, Into the light,

Read this interview for Harriot West’s reflections on haibun. -> reflections on haibun

2 thoughts on “Harriot West: Two Haibun

  1. I have to admit that Harriot West is one of my favorite haibuneers. Her work is succinct and effective. Her style a short arm jab sort of writing eliciting a visceral. I envy her her freedoms, for without breaking through our shackles it would be impossible to write like this. Or so I would imagine. More power to her.
    Dr Brijesh Raj


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