Author: Penny L Howe

curiouser...and curiouser....!

The Flow of Words – Creative Assignment #2

By nioanto

Hello and welcome,

Focus, Observation, and Flow of words. Key elements when writing a haibun.

Consider the art of writing a haibun from the singular purpose of capturing a flow when you write.

Assignment #2 -Watch the flow of moving water in nature for awhile. Focus on the flow, observe its nature.

By vilhelmJourney to a nearby river, stream or the ocean and shore line. Even a fountain in a park will do. Any body of moving water near you. Take a journal along. When you arrive at this location, be in the moment mentally and physically. Take the time to experience everything happening with the water.

Walk along the water (if possible) for awhile. Watch the water’s movement. Observe the various currents. The water’s ebbs and flows. Whether rapid, fast moving swollen rivers, or gentle gurgling streams, notice the changes. The flow or flux (variability) of moving water in nature exhibits many of the characteristics with which we humans contend in our own emotional natures. There is a connection to be made here. You want your visceral experience to relate to your written word.

Think about how the water flows.

Haibun words should move in a like manner. While sentence structure defines how we connect words to one another to create expression and/or narrative, of even greater value for artistic writing is the ability to consider positioning or placement of each word used from the perspective of flow.

There is a flower growing in the meadow.

a meadow flower grows.

Growing flower of the meadow.

A writing assignment: Write a haibun that is a thought or memory of an experience regarding the flow of water.

See if you can match the flow of water to your words. Follow the general rules (read more here if needed) for writing your Water Haibun, (one or several paragraphs with accompanying haiku) and be sure to enjoy the process.

Good writing be with you,


penny l howe


Credit line: © Luisa Vallon Fumi |

Have you noticed that whenever you set out to write something regardless of when or where – there is one thing that’s never different? It’s you – of course! You are always the one writing your words. It is my belief that when one writes in a haibun style it does not have to be written in first person, even though I also believe that most haibun are personal.

A reflection of who you are. A poetic expression of how you view things. A thought, an experience, or a memory. That’s the nature of it. And because it is usually personal, this can be difficult for some. Writing in the first person about thoughts and feelings, memories and adventures can be hard.

But what if you were someone else? What if you put “you the writer” (that you are) into a character mode and then wrote from his or her perspective?

Want to give it a try? Write in the first person, except remember you’re in character!

Here goes:

The Setting: You’ve been out on special assignment for a month. The jungle is hot, and humid. Your guide has gotten you lost twice and you have concerns about the natives in the area. But you’re close to reaching your goal. It’s evening now … you’re exhausted and yet you’re preoccupied, the jungle fauna beautiful, the animals exotic but dangerous, what are your thoughts … don’t forget you’re writing as someone else but it’s still personal.

Take out your travel journal and write. Take along your sketchpad or camera, if you’re so inclined and write one or two (at the most three) paragraphs (your written prose) with your haiku included in the mix (if you have questions about writing a haibun click here )

When your finished and you’ve added (at your choice) any illustrations or photographs (not necessary), if you like, publish your haibun on your blog.

Good writing be with you,


penny l howe

The Way of the Haibun


Hello and Welcome to the Haven.

A place for introducing and encouraging writers to practice their writing skills using the style or “way of the haibun”. Consider haibun as a yoga style of a written form of exercise. Healing to the soul, calming to the creative body but at the same time bringing forth a wealth of thoughtful and artistic expression to written words.

My goals then, obvious ones. Offer the reader and writer insightful and enticing articles about the haibun style of writing from the past, present and future (we’ll be shaping the last one!); encourage the writer, helping to further develop their own personal writing style.

Once again, I welcome you! Enjoy the experience!



Introduction – Haibun Assignments


“The goal of every writer is to be read. There are no exceptions to this rule.”


Consider the Haibun Haven (among other things) a workshop for the purpose of further enabling writers to express themselves through words that are richer, more complete and enticing. The goal: To further the development of one’s individual style, through the rich format of haibun writing. The end results: Learning to present passages of written words so distinctly vivid and pure, readers will want to read more of your work.

Haibun: Haibun is a writing method. A formula or template.  There is a certain manner or thought process that goes along with this structure. Understanding both at the beginning will be helpful. For more information on the nature of the haibun, click here

Haibun: A combination of both prose (descriptive writing) and haiku (Japanese Poetry).

Consider then, this workshop as a learning place. It is relaxed, and artistic. Your keyboard and/or paper journal – your canvas; words – your paint and these lessons, where you will open your mind to artistic possibilities with your written words.

As time permits I will introduce you to a Haibun Assignment. Yours to complete at your desire. No time limits just a potential catalyst to spur you on.

I wish you good fortune in your writing,

~ Penny