Slave to numbers

Around my wrist I have a gadget that calculates every step I take. The stairs I climb, the hills, every heartbeat and the way I run. It plots the time and where I’ve been. Yet it cannot give a reason for the clouds, for wind or why the birds are singing when I walk. There’s a light drizzle settlin as a thin film on my face and I listen to the gravel moaning under my feet. My nostrils fill with the last remains of composting leaves. My gadget calculates and tells me I have reached the goals today. Is that a reason to walk home, or should I blame the dusk that settles in my hair? Am I ruled by numbers, or should I celebrate that dark arrives a minute later now than yesterday?

clinging to the bough
pregnant with these winter clouds –
a tear of water

Couple Walking Arm In Arm With A Child In The Rain by Vincent van Gogh

Couple Walking Arm In Arm With A Child In The Rain by Vincent van Gogh

Today I host haibun Monday at dVerse. The subject is free, but I would like you to focus on letting haiku, prose and artwork complement each other rather than illustrate each other. The more dimension you can span with these three parts the better. Join us when we open at 9 PM CET.

February 5, 2017

22 responses to “Slave to numbers

  1. I think you did the prompt, proud – though I thought that the haiku was especially eloquent in expressing a sense of a moment, ready to fall and give way to another – which complimented the prose beautifully. And yes, it does seem as if we are getting more and more numbers in our day. As my husband occasionally says: Way too much information! Smiles

  2. The days are getting longer now, our goals can be as fluid as the day and no gadget can ever answer life’s real questions about the clouds and singing birds – a beautful haibun :o)

  3. The clouds tie these three pieces together. They all seem different enough from the others not to repeat them as an illustration would.

    My daughter uses a Fitbit for her running practice, I normally just walk to certain locations and back and not worry about the time. I’m not trying to improve my walking in any way except to keep my posture straighter when I forget I am slouching. The Fitbit gives her data that I don’t have.

  4. This is delightful, Bjorn. Last night I settled in with Basho’s “Narrow Road…” and tried to get a sense of his haibun. I think you have done this very well. The sensations, the smells, the groan of the gravel, the moisture film on your face….all these things build your haibun in such a wonderful way. Basho would be proud! The haiku is delicate and superb. All in all, it fits together well….plus the illustration of Van Gogh.

  5. I work with numbers so I find many opportunity to shrug if off with poetry ~ I don’t think numbers have all the answers but I can’t wait for the winter clouds and the long dark nights to be over ~ Good one Bjorn ~

  6. Interesting synchronicity – you chose an older image, like myself, and speculated on the contrast between past and present. I don’t think there was much walking in rain for the sake of adding a certain number of steps to your total a hundred or so years ago! In some ways, we are much harder on ourselves because life has become easier for most of us.

  7. I should have read this before I proceeded with the prompt as it really does demonstrate the different directions/ dimensions within the haibun…. the image of the past compliments the introspective thoughts of the prose. The haiku adds yet another layer.

  8. Superb!! They say there are five elements…..after reading your hibun I start counting……I am still counting while words pour out….counting….

  9. Amazing Haibun, I love the questions it poses and the imagery it offers. I also like that the haiku that follows the text adds weight, an emotional weight to the words that come before it, instead of being a “summary” of sorts.

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