Victoria is happy to see you this lovely Monday at dVerse where this week we will be sharing the fun and challenging Quadrille.

We live in anxious times. On a global scale there is international conflict and instability, terrorist threats, political divisiveness and uncertainty, identity threat and climate change. We are polarized and fear one another, fear those who see things differently than we do.

On a personal level it can be even worse. We fear meaninglessness, financial insecurity, the past, the future, loss, death and what comes after. We are afraid that we are not good enough, that we don’t meet expectations. We seek professional help for anxiety we can’t even name.

And then there are those good old phobias—some of them understandable if we dip into events of our past. I have a horror of heights that I think came from having to descend a rickety old fire escape during fire drills in High School. Others, not so rational.

Welcome, then, to dVerse Quadrille #37. In case you haven’t figured it out, I would like you to take the word FEAR and use it in a poem of exactly 44 words, excluding the title. Fear can be used as a verb, noun adjective (fearful) and adverb (fearfully). Don’t be afraid—just take it wherever the muse leads you. Even add a bit of humor to lighten the load.

My poem this evening is a small, tight 44 word Haibun with closing Haiku.


The word ear is present inside the word fear, urging us perhaps to be present in the moment, to be completely open. Perhaps we can utterly engulf ourselves deep inside our fears?

winter turns to spring

whether we worry or not

composting our fears

75 thoughts on “composting

  1. Gospel Isosceles says:

    Such a good verb to illustrate how transformation works. You are right about winter turning to spring, and yet, in thinking about a family friend who just lost his entire family -wife and kids- in a car crash, I wonder how the sun has the nerve to shine the next day. I hope grief will be composted as well.

  2. nosaintaugustine says:

    I love the haiku, and I couldn’t decide whether composting our fears meant transforming them or burying them, as in bottling them up. I think I like the ambiguity. A thought-provoking meditation!

  3. Glenn Buttkus says:

    Incredible feat of poetics–haibun with only 44 words. Now that you’ve succeeded, led the way, we timid types may attempt the form for other quadrilles.

  4. Victoria Young says:

    I like the world ear inside the world fear. yes there is collective fear and sometimes we don’t know when our personal fear ends and the collective begins. but as you say, it will be composted and turned into spring mulch. Very nice.

  5. Just Barry says:

    Your haiku reminds me of an ancient poet I heard somewhere describing the fall of one one of China’s dynasties. Something about, some Great House that had ended, but the trees and the mountains remain.

    Anyway, this is a brilliant haibun.

  6. Kerry says:

    Your opening gambit really gave me something to think about – we fear the unknown, when all of it is unknown and out of our hands.

  7. colorfulpen says:

    Love what you did with this. So much meaning in such a short form. Always present, always acknowledging, and then letting go of whatever we don’t need so something beautiful can grow.

  8. oldegg says:

    We need to fear as we are predatory animals and must always look out for danger to protect ourselves and our families. Complacency is ruin and is what we encourage now in these days of plenty for some while getting cross with those that have little or none and that means both food and hope. That need may well be stronger than our soft ways expecting everything will turn out right in the end. Say goodbye to the halcyon days and trust no one.

  9. Magaly Guerrero says:

    I love, love, love what’s said in the prose portion of your hibun. For, if we open fear through its middle, embrace the power of a good ear, the result will probably send that “f” to, well… f itself.

    The haiku is just perfect.

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