Kala Ramesh

Writer’s commentary: There have been a series of rapes, incest and in plain and brutal language the complete disrespect and disregard of the girl child and young women’s rights and dignity in today’s India. There have been newspapers and media coverage recently and this prompted and inspired me to write this haibun. It is written in a concise and brief manner, retaining the spirit of the haikai language and the genre.

peace of m.i.n.d

The Gang Rape of Hisazo’s Lover, Omatsu by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi

guarded secret …
once again his hands

not easy to escape a mental prison for tears unshed don’t stain the cheeks but stories kept locked breathe on pulsating thoughts—in and out and out and in of each cell in the body what and where is this thing called the mind

swollen vulva …
in her eyes the stretch
of the border camp


About the writer:
To bring haiku into everyday spaces, Kala has initiated: 1. haikuWALL – getting graffiti artists to paint haiku on city walls. 2. haikuTRAIL – a walk through a chosen area, keeping the 5 senses open. 3. haikuTALK – Conversations on Japanese short forms of poetry and the magic of its haikai language. 4. haikuWORKSHOP – The Long and Short of Haiku & Haibun, a workshop where participants are exposed to the aesthetic nuances used in writing haiku and haibun. 5. haikuYOUTH – exposing children to haiku and encouraging them to get their poems published in excellent haiku journals worldwide. 6. haikuUTSAV – Kala has organised 5 utsavs so far to enjoy the beauty of haiku and allied genres in India. 7. haikuDHYANA – highlighting the silences that govern both these practices. 8. haikuSAATH-SANGAT – the marrying of an art form like dance, drama, mime, music or painting with haiku, tanka and haibun as a stage performance.

Image: The Gang Rape of Hisazo’s Lover, Omatsu by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892). Color woodblock print. 34.7 x 23.3 cm. 1875. Public domain.