The Doors are Closing

This week’s Big Tent Poetry prompt (which I almost missed, due to being so busy this week I forgot to check the Monday prompt until today), is to write a travel haibun. I’ve always wanted to try my hand at haibun. It combines my favorite two literary elements: prose writing and haiku. So here is my very first (and definitely not last!) haibun:

The Doors are Closing

This is an eastbound train to City Center and Gresham. The doors are closing. Past cars on the freeway, suddenly plunged into the darkness of the tunnel. Riders with iPod buds in their ears, behind newspapers, dozers. Metal on metal, shrieking in protest. Washington Park. Doors to my left. The doors are closing. And suddenly we emerge again, like moles, blinking into the sunlight. Past The Real Mother Goose, past Brooks Brothers, past the Galleria. This is a blue line train to Gresham. In the priority seating area, you are required to move for seniors and people with disabilities. Sun gone, now threatening rain. A man huddled in blankets on the sidewalk looks up at the sky with dead eyes. A woman snubs a cigarette out on the sidewalk. Skidmore Fountain. Doors to my right. The doors are closing. Over the steel bridge, the Willamette still and sullen. I stash away my notepad, take a few wobbly steps to the door, clutching the pole for balance. Rose Quarter Transit Center, Rose Quarter Arena, and Memorial Coliseum. Doors to my left and right. Exit, breathe city air, shoulder my backpack. I’ve arrived. Behind me, the doors are closing…

early fall-
the maple drops
a single leaf

27 thoughts on “The Doors are Closing

  1. Yes, isn’t haibun fantastic in combining the two genres, which are my favourites also. The haiku is beautiful and really extends the prose, as it should. You’ve done well for your first attempt.

  2. Wonderful how you kept up the moving pace and tour guide. I really liked how you captured just enough to make me feel as if I was looking through your eyes. And I really like the haiku and how it finishes the entire piece with a soft grace note. Thanks for visiting my site,


  3. The automatic announcements can cause excitement on an unknown journey or perhaps boredom for a regular traveller but also a sense of normalcy and security in the familiar. The doors closing line works very well.

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