Gates of Hell

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Welcome to the gates of hell, my city where I spend 3 to 4 hours of traffic gridlock with the rest of thousands of commuters, in the heat of around 34 degrees. The few elevated train lines that ply major routes in Metro Manila become packed like sardines, especially during morning and afternoon rush hours. Manila, where the stench of Pasig River, the rubbish on the streets, the thickest smog and the slum areas tells us teeming poverty is thriving and people go their normal ways. Where I don’t feel safe, as pickpockets roam the city and corruption is widespread. Where my home could be broken and things stolen. Manila, where I keep coming back.

Manila, my home
Poverty, traffic like hell
But life goes on

(c) ladyleemanila 2016

For: Haibun Monday # 23 – contemporary cityscape by Björn Rudberg (brudberg)

Haibun Monday: The Sky IS the Limit

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The day after the son’s wedding, we visited London. The sky was hazy and sombre grey and the clouds soothed it with charcoal whirls. The London Eye provided a sturdy background in slow motion. The movement of the clouds was barely distinctive and the birds wheeled in slow lazy arcs. Above the busy city, the honking of cars and the strolling people, the sober grey sky cloaked the world. Such a malevolent sky with clouds an impermeable carpet of translucent greyish blue, cold, vast.

Cold and grey today
Just the right time to visit
Glad it didn’t rain

(c) ladyleemanila 2016

For: Haibun Monday by hayesspencer

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shuuchuugouu (しゅうちゅうごうう)

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Rain has always been a part of us Filipinos. We only have two seasons – wet (June to November) and dry (December to May) seasons, depending on the amount of rainfall. This is also dependent on location, as some areas experience rain all throughout the year. I remembered our typhoon season, when it rained for days on end. From July to October, we have “bagyo” or tropical cyclones in the islands. We usually stay indoors, keep ourselves dry and listen to the sounds of the wind and the pouring rain. Some places would be flooded. Some days, classes and offices are suspended.

Listen to the rain
Playing bowling in heaven
When typhoon strikes

(c) ladyleemanila 2016

For: Haibun Monday: 50 Shades of Rain by hayesspencer

Sleeping With Butterflies – Haibun Thinking

Many summers ago, when HRH the son was around 5, we went to the Roundway Park in Leeds. They had a butterfly garden there. HRH the son was fascinated by the butterflies, running after them, trying to catch them. We told him that if he kept still, some butterflies might be attracted to him and would come to him. That wasn’t easy for a boy to keep still, but he did. After some time, he saw a yellow and red butterfly sleeping in one of the leaves. He watched it with interest and patience. I’d never forget his excitement when he saw that it was waking up and started fluttering up and down the garden.

Pretty butterfly
Wings beating the summer air
Frail and delicate

https://haibunthinking.wordpress.com/2015/01/20/haibun-thinking-january-20th-2015/