The Urban Fox on a Roof: a haibun

Fox on a Roof | Photo ©️Lesley Scoble
What is a haibun?

The grand master of the haiku Matsuo Bashō created it in the 17th century.
It more or less consists of one or more paragraphs that describe a scene. The piece needs to include at least one haiku that enhances (or compliments) the imagery of the prose.
Well, that is how I, with my limited knowledge of this poetic form, can describe it. The Fox on the Roof is my first attempt at writing a haibun. I like the challenging idea of mixing prose and haiku. Thank you d’Verse Poetry Prompt (posted by Kim for Haibun Monday) for encouraging me to attempt this amazing form of poetry.

The Prompt
The d’Verse poetry challenge is to write about your feelings towards this New Year and/or what you do in the first few days of January. Aim to write no more than three short, tight paragraphs, followed by a traditional haiku that includes reference to the season.
Urban Fox on a Roof | Photo©️Lesley Scoble

The Urban Fox on a Roof

The pale light of a New Year dawn breathes into the attic bedroom. I climb out of bed and, despite the guest-room’s warmth, my bare feet are cold as I stumble across the room. Where are my slippers? Coffee is brewing in the kitchen far below. The aroma of coffee is luring me downstairs. I need the coffee. The Champagne cocktails we drank at midnight, toasting the New Year in cling like a furry amoeba, congealed, rasping dry on my tongue, and growling in my head.

I pause at the window. It is large with fine gauze curtains. I draw one aside and pull open the French windows. The cold air makes me gasp. I can smell the sea. A feeble sun attempts to break through the moist veil of a dull dawn. The window overlooks a patchwork of small rear gardens between two rear facing rows of colourful Victorian terrace houses that create an urban valley. Their brick walls backing against each other. An incongruous sun umbrella flaps in a neighbour’s yard. Christmas lights glint in bushes below. They twinkle soft and gold against the greyness of the New Year morning. My gaze wanders across the rooftops. Then I see him.

The fox is curled up next to a stack of terracotta chimney pots that match the colour of his fur. He knows I am looking at him. How does he know? We look at one another. The fox shifts position, yawns and goes back to sleep. He is beautiful. I wonder why he sleeps on the roof? Does he not have a cosy den? Maybe they have central heating that keeps the roof warm? A gull cries as it swoops across the sullen sky toward the ocean.

The fox on the roof
meets her gaze; he yawns, and says,
a Happy New Year!

Lesley Scoble January 2023

I let the curtain fall back across the windowpane. My mouth feels like coarse sandpaper. I need coffee.

Urban Fox on a Roof | Video ©️Lesley Scoble

19 comments

  1. Your images are adorable, Lesley! I love foxes and really enjoyed the haibun – is it really your first attempt? I especially like the way you set the scene in the opening sentence, and the gentle conversation with yourself as you start the day – all very familiar. And the very effective description of the air and the outside scene, using the senses to bring it all alive, with the juxtaposition of sun umbrella and Christmas lights. All leading up to the fox on the roof and effective use of colour that enhances the surprising appearance! Thank you for joining us for the first Haibun Monday of the year, and I hope you enjoyed your coffee.

    Liked by 1 person

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