Simply Haiku: An E-Journal of Haiku and Related Forms
November-December 2004, Volume 2, Number 6

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Haibun: Izabel Sonia Ganz


Bus moments

A day’s reprieve from the monsoon, the dust not yet pervading the air, the skies showing a bit of the almost forgotten blue color, sun pleasantly warm. In a group of other commuters I stand waiting for a bus, which will take me to my quiet home, nestled among green trees and flowering gardens. As I wait a long time, I notice a pattern on the pavement:

birds’ footprints
etched in cement –
new four lane road

Climbing bus steps, pushing inside with men, women, children – all ages and sizes, some squeezed in threes on a bench meant for two, others standing in the aisle and jostling one another. A thump against my back from the huge backpack that Indian children haul every day to school makes me stagger.

five rupees fare
stumbling foreign woman
given a seat

From pothole to pothole rattles the bus, standing passengers mercilessly tumbled around. I sit contented next to a mother feeding a baby that she holds close to her breast. In the little face, enormous brown eyes, picture pretty, watch my pen intently, the pink mouth fast emptying the bottle.

cotton sari
purple and earth brown –
spilled white milk

Now a slim woman gets on, clutching large plastic shopping bags. She gives a sigh of relief at getting a seat, fusses arranging packages on her knees and by her sandaled feet. An overfilled bag comes open and two gaily-painted boxes roll towards me. I retrieve them for her, putting aside my note-taking; she smiles her thanks.

poems scribbled
on a scrunched envelope –
curious glances

I notice new heavy clouds darkening the sky, and the familiar landscape outside the bus windows announces my stop approaching. Thoughts of journeys, cursory encounters, diversified destinations, of leaving and returning. First drops of rain.

Born in Warsaw, Poland, Izabel Sonia Ganz has lived in several European countries, the USA, and is now “staying” in southern India. She says that English is the only language in which she can write poetry, even though Polish and French are her two simultaneously acquired mother tongues.

Her poems, including haiku and senryu, have been published in several e-zines: Agnieszka’s Dowry, Gravity, Snakeskin Poetry Webzine, Milestones Press, MindFire, Shadow Feast, The Electric Café, and The Free Cuisenart, among others.

More of her writing can be found on her personal website: