In May 2005 I visited the Imperial War Museum for the first time, thinking I would be running a poetry workshop. As it
turned out the session had been double booked and I ended up listening to some extraordinary stories told around shoes. Having
digested the day's many experiences, and having digitally montaged some of the photographs I had taken, I set out to write
my first haibun in which I would incorporate haiku, tanka and haiga. This is what was eventually born of the experience.
Haibun is a combination of poetic prose coupled with haiku or tanka poetry. The original Japanese haibun tended to focus
on journeys; contemporary haibun tends to focus on both everyday and extraordinary experiences - the journey of the human
being living in urban settings. A haiku has 11-14 syllables and has 2 distinct parts. A tanka has a maximum of 31 syllables
- and within the tanka there is a pivot, a shift. The haiku or tanka in the haibun either summarises the feel of the prose
or moves beyond the prose taking the reader one step further in the narrative. Haiga is an image that contains or connects
with a haiku.