September 2016 Haibun

September 2016 Haibun

Posted on November 1, 2016

I traveled to England, Wales, and Ireland during the month of September. I have not been traveling as much as I like, and it truly inspired me to continue seeing more of the world.

I fed myself books and documentaries on anything British, Welsh, or Irish before I left. But I also read Narrow Road to the Interior by the haiku poet, Matsuo Basho. In this book, Basho describes his travels throughout Japan.

Basho’s travel diary – or haibun – combines prose and haiku, which inspired me to write during, as well as after, my trip. I will be posting this writing beginning November 1st.

Cheers! – Jennifer

Dazzling Dublin

8-thumb_img_1736_1024-croppedPosted on November 1, 2016

The lights seemed extraordinarily alive as we walked along the cobblestone streets at night in Dublin. I don’t know if the lights were really that dazzling, or if my excitement and passion for Dublin made the city pop.

electric colors
awaken a quiet mind
must drink it all in

Celtic Fantasy

thumb_img_1514_1024Posted on November 5, 2016

I find Irish stories to be uniquely captivating. I was fascinated by tales of faeries while in Ireland, such as in the writings of W.B. Yeats. This fascination has continued.

ancient fields of green
stories of a faery-land
celtic fantasy

Bath, England

thumb_img_1948_1024Posted on November 12, 2016

We stayed in London two nights in a row, but otherwise never spent the night in the same city twice. We wanted to see a lot of the UK, and that meant moving from place to place fairly quickly, and I wouldn’t change that. But during afternoon tea in Bath, we sank into our chairs and truly relaxed. We mindfully experienced the history and beauty of our surroundings.

steeped English breakfast
though warm, an afternoon tea
cools, calms busy minds

Dunguaire Castle

thumb_img_1678_1024Posted on November 13, 2016

While in Kinvara, Ireland, we partook in a banquet dinner at Dunguaire Castle. In addition to dinner and many goblets of wine, the staff presented skits, stories, and poetry. As I watched the Irish tales and listened to the verse of Yeats, I promised myself to remember how unique of an evening it was.

Irish tales and rhymes
warm this castle and the soul
-or is it the wine?

An Irish Love

14391021_1290626467638466_8154958907714047152_nPosted on November 17, 2016

The Irish are known for their kind spirit and friendly personalities. I found this to be very true of everyone we met, whether we were in pubs, in taxis, in airports, or while dangling from Blarney Castle.

for where else do men
refer to women as “love”
-only Ireland

Never Leave Me

thumb_img_1184_1024Posted on November 19, 2016

While making our way from Buckingham Palace to Thames River, I happily gazed at the changing trees and fallen leaves. It was a beautiful time of year to visit London, and a moment to forever cherish. I knew then that London would never leave me.

leaving Buckingham
fallen leaves snap beneath steps
autumn in London

Impressionist’s Sky

thumb_img_1150_1024Posted on November 21, 2016

As we walked along the river to Tate Modern, I noticed that the blue lights strung from the trees seemed to accentuate the sky. I couldn’t help but think of Van Gogh. Neither my amateur photography skills, nor my description, do the moment justice. Sometimes beauty cannot be explained.

joyful evening lights
sapphire hydrangea halos
impressionist’s sky

Galway Girl

thumb_img_1724_1024-copy-croppedPosted on November 30, 2016

Pub-hopping in Temple Bar was amazing, and just as I imagined it would be. Drinking pints of beer, listening to the music I have heard all these years – but on this occasion, actually in Dublin! A couple of the bands performed the song “Galway Girl,” which I fell in love with.

familiar fiddle
voices and sounds come to life
music fills a tourist’s heart

Cliffs of Moher

thumb_img_1651_1024Posted on December 11, 2016

The Cliffs of Moher were truly breathtaking. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was ecstatic that there were different paths to take and views to admire. I couldn’t help but think over and over, “I am so absolutely glad I did this!”

the gleam in your eye
welcomes striking, verdant cliffs
ecstasy ascends

Just Lovely

thumb_img_1228_1024Posted on December 13, 2016

Do all Americans fall for a British accent? I would imagine the answer is “absolutely yes.” Before I left for the UK, I told family and friends that, really, all I wanted to do on vacation was sit in pubs and listen to Londoners talk. We were eager to chat with everyone we met, and learn more about the city and British life. And eavesdropping was just lovely!

kinder gentlemen
a tongue to never tire of
king-like and lovely

Elegant Reminder

thumb_img_0021_1024-copyPosted on December 15, 2016

As we wandered London’s streets the first day, we came upon Big Ben. We had been so busy looking at street signs, and hadn’t noticed we were that close! It was a great reminder to be mindful of all that is around, at all times – and to travel and explore as much as possible.

they wish us welcome
an elegant reminder
chimes call for travel


All writing and images by Jennifer Fifield