Sarah Ann Hall

Reporting on writing in progress or, more probably, not; practising flash fiction.

Līgo Haībun Challenge ~ Picture Prompt

with 12 comments

I’m not doing very well with getting my Līgo Haībun challenges posted, so I’m playing catch up. I’m not a poet and struggle with the haikus.


5/4/13 – Picture Prompt


copyright Nightlake

Rules: 220w limit (hopefully), haiku finish, making the haibun.

We do like haiku that flow, without capitals or punctuation, the ‘normal’ way.


The Climb (218 words)

Six months ago she ran up the hills she can see from her window. In six months she will do so again.

Today she can stand without toppling, can transfer from chair to upright with the strength developed in her arms. She walks with the aid of stick, crutch or frame, depending on her mood and level of confidence. Two weeks after the accident, the doctors told her she’d be lucky to get this far.

‘It’s still a bit touch and go with your leg, I’m afraid.’ Dr. Jones smiled condescension.

‘Take the bloody thing off.’

‘I don’t think you understand –‘ Patronising; hands clasped over bosom.

‘Yes, I do. I can keep my leg with its butchered knee and walk with a permanent limp. Or you can take it off and I can be fitted with an athletic prosthetic.’

‘Miss. Tulip –‘

‘There’s nothing more to discuss.’

Stairs were still a bit stop-start, her every move supported by a hand clamped tight to the banister. Once she could fly up them two at a time she would be ready for the outside. She yearned for the day when she would be free, the rain pummelling her hair and the wind biting her flesh.


circumstances kill

her dreams to reach the summit

she grabs the last chance



29/3/13 Down At The Crossroads

‘Last week we were looking for description. This week we are looking for narration primarily; the telling of a story. The prompt does not have to be used exactly as described, nor does the person in the video need to be used, but it might help.


Man on the Verge (208 words)

The town planners thought they would solve the problem by redesigning the ring road. The place was a disgrace, an eyesore, a health hazard. It attracted all sorts of undesirables.

The old man had been living in his army tent on the verge of the crossroads for 20 years. Social services had offered him a flat. One time they’d coerced him away long enough to dismantle his home and move his belongings into council accommodation. He lasted a night before dragging everything back to a new canvas cave.

No one was sure where he went during the road works. The pummelling of kangaroo hammers and hands jammed on horns sent up a cacophony through which not even he could sleep. The local paper asked for sightings, but there were none. For a moment the town planners smiled with satisfaction at a well-executed plan.

When the cones and workmen dispersed, it took weeks for the traffic to learn the new rules. It was only a day before the war veteran returned and set up camp on the central reservation, bull’s-eye of the old junction. He lived there until he died, cushioned by the lulling rumble of tyres.


attempts to move home

through costly restorations

thwarted by strong will


22/3/13Picture Prompt

‘This week’s prompt is a photograph by David Williamson. I won’t say which country it is in, as that will maybe stem creativity, but will say that this week we are looking for descriptive writing, that is setting the scene, more than narrative tenses, or an actual story. So our 3 Honourable Mentions in Dispatches will focus on how evocative, dreamy, alive or colourful you make your haibun.

Description does not mean it has to happen in the present tense, and there can be the faint whisp of a story involved too! Try to ‘balance’ your style out, so the haibun reads well, and yes, we do like haiku that flow, without capitals or punctuation, the ‘normal’ way.

  • remember long and short sentences arranged in different ways can make nice ‘waves’ or patterns
  • ‘the’ can be a boring word, especially as it is often followed by boring words
  • metaphors can be beautiful, sometimes
  • carefully careful
  • please disregard any so-called advice that will interfere with your haibun!’



The Loom (101 words)

She works without heddle or shuttle. Lithe and nimble fingers pull weft through warp, weave threads of blood and aubergine into a shawl of bruises.

Wool, hemp, cotton, jute, silk – wefts suited to the client’s purse or the garment’s function. Colours left to the weaver’s discretion – reds of rubies, garnets, spinels, poppies, roses, or lips. Purples of amethyst, harebells, mussels, varicose veins and emperors.

Fibres picked out, plucked, strung and knotted; colours intermingled, bound together forever.

Time passes.

Lustrous scarves wind around necks, comforting blankets swaddle shoulders, hardy carpets are thrown over floors.


imitation jewels

shine bright in natural light

nature’s cloth muted

Written by Sarah Ann

April 11, 2013 at 12:59 pm

12 Responses

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  1. Excellent haibun.


    April 11, 2013 at 2:45 pm

  2. what a great post this is. all three haibun are wonderful and moving.
    ‘threads of blood and aubergine into a shawl of bruises’…love that 🙂


    April 11, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    • Thanks kz. I think that’s my favourite line of the whole post too. Sometime words force themselves to the front and won’t let go until they’re down – that was one of those.

      Sarah Ann

      April 12, 2013 at 11:12 am

  3. Hi Sarah, This was imaginative


    April 12, 2013 at 2:44 am

  4. Your latest haibun was just sublime. I have left it to Nightlake to make the tough decision about honourable mentions, and will go and check myself, but meanwhile all the ensuing challenges will be on her site – will get url, and this site, both at the same time. Thanks again.


    April 13, 2013 at 4:27 pm

  5. Thank you – you do know how to make a girl feel good! Many thanks for the comment and the link.

    Sarah Ann

    April 14, 2013 at 9:47 am

  6. Real imagination, and I really liked the ‘summit’ idea. You got a special mention in depatches for this last week, but the new site am making.changing url doesn’t give ping backs……………….sorry sorry sorry…!


    April 19, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    • Thank you very much for the special mention (and link). Good luck with the new site. And I have to apologise to you because I’m late with my peace piece. 😦

      Sarah Ann

      April 19, 2013 at 8:12 pm

  7. […] Sarah Ann Hall: ’The Climb’ is an inspiring tale of hope against all odds. […]

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