Our prompt for Haibun Monday is offered by Toni

(Photograph of Francesca by me taken with Pentax Me Super and Tmax 100 film stock)

“Were it not for shadows, there would be no beauty.”
― Jun’ichirō Tanizaki, In Praise of Shadows

So…shadows is a pretty open theme. The only rules are:
• Must be written in Classic Japanese form with one to two tight paragraphs with a seasonal haiku to wrap it up.
• Must be true and have actually happened to you.
Write about shadows! The shadow knows…mwahahahahahahaaaa!

Here is how to play!
*Write your haibun and link it to this post.
*Add the link to Mr. Linky below this.
*Read and comment on others who have linked. It is how we grow our community and it is always interesting and useful to see how others responded to the prompt.
**Get to know your fellow poets better!
Post on your social media #dversepoets

And most of all, have fun!

The studio was a small room in an old warehouse. Just big enough for the two of us and the lights. It was bloody cold. The black material draped across a wooden pole served as the shadow out of which the portrait could be birthed. We improvised with a blanket that served a dual purpose. It offered a frame and it kept her blue hands from deepening that shade.

Light fell on her face as if window borne but this box was all wall. Catch lit eyes reflected something of her own shadow perhaps. It was hard to tell. I didn’t know her. I was essentially there to shoot fine art nudes but when the films were developed it was the portrait that took my breath away when it floated dreamily out of the darkroom tray to offer me a glimpse of soul.

strangers in a room

winter cold cuts to the bone

eyes burn in shadow





39 thoughts on “windows

  1. ZQ says:

    Wow! You reminded me when I was writing plays directing and rehearsing “The Cloth and Bone”players where ever we could. Wine and smokes kept us warm or cool 🙂
    This written very well.

  2. Grace says:

    A glimpse of the soul….such a lovely photo Paul ~ Thank you for recreating the scene for us and making the shadows beautiful in the frame ~

  3. Glenn Buttkus says:

    You hooked me hard with this one, brother–poetry & photography–my twin joys of retirement. Shadow play is a popular theme with the international Minimalist photographer than I hang with.

  4. jillys2016 says:

    Oh my! That tear drop of light under her left eye… The marvel of the intimacy of strangers is captured so well in your haibun. Lovely!
    (Okay, I just saw the Chicken Poetry cartoon – howling!!!)

    • paul scribbles says:

      She was not really into the whole shoot ( it had been set up by another photographer whose studio it was) but we got on OK and I did get two of my best pictures from it. Chicken Zen is the best.

  5. kanzensakura says:

    When was this lovely portrait taken? 1979? Courious. At one point I did professional photography back in the day. Now I just use my phone. This haibun is as lovely as the portrait. I enjoyed how you built the scene for us. And the haiku? Another spectacular portrait of a moment in time.

    • paul scribbles says:

      2010 😉 I still have my Me Super and a couple of medium format cameras ( which I am now thinking of selling) but mostly shoot digital these days.Thanks for the thoughtful comment.

  6. kim881 says:

    This is gorgeous, Paul, as is the photograph. I love the way you weave the moment into the ‘ shadow out of which the portrait could be birthed’. Wonderful phrases capture this moment. I think ‘when the films were developed it was the portrait that took my breath away when it floated dreamily out of the darkroom tray to offer me a glimpse of soul’ is stunning, as is the haiku.

  7. Singledust says:

    she is lovely, not dreamy, but a solid state of art against the liquid shadows. Love how you captured her stillness and yet I feel the rustling air in the background with the minimal light casting on her face. This sort of photograph lingers and stays in the mind.

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