Not Meant for Humans: #TankaTuesday

Colleen at Wordcraft poetry suggested this prompt today: to write in response to this Monet painting of his garden in Giverny. I decided to write a haibun as I had a story to tell.

Not Meant for Humans

The walkway seems to have no beginning, and so I tiptoe through the purple and blue blossoms to reach the rough path, feeling naughty and bold but safe for its proximity to a well-painted building. I circle the garden of Iris, the rainbow herself. Round I go three times and then spy a spot of bone under the willow. The sun ray has moved, so now I can see what I have missed. Or did it just appear? I step closer, into the flowers, careful not to crush the blossoms themselves, aware I might be harming stems.  My curiosity draws me in. As I bend toward the ground, I part the plants and see a very small skeleton, as of an excruciatingly tiny human. Her shredded wings are faded with age, but once must have been the blue of Iris with yellow dots like bright and miniature suns. Perhaps she fell from the branch above when she was asleep. I understand now why the path repeats itself, an endless spinning trail, meant as it is for those with wings to fly above the garden and to rest in the shade of the well-nourished trees. Still, being human, I invite you to share in my experience.

Watch for tiny wings

hidden by goddess Iris

and her endless path.


I’ve been intrigued by fairies lately. And by the notion of fairy skeletons because, after all, what is left of them after they die?

As you can see from the poem, I also constantly worry over our human enjoyment of and curiosity about nature because we are such destructive creatures, even when we don’t mean to be.


Filed under #amwriting, #TankaTuesday, Fairy Tales, Poetry, Writing, Writing prompt

54 responses to “Not Meant for Humans: #TankaTuesday

  1. I think your haibun has to be a first in the fairy lore vein.

  2. Well Done. Luanne. I have never wondered about fairy skeletons till now.

  3. I didn’t know fairies had skeletons. But imagine if it could really happen – to find a fairy skeleton. It would be amazing.

  4. Amy

    I know I should google this, but what is a haibun? Is it simply a word for a prose poem, or is there more to it? I do love the image of a fairy skeleton!

  5. This is just perfect ๐Ÿ‘Œ

  6. A beautiful accompaniment to an etherial painting which you have described so well

  7. VJ

    You capture the magic of the painting well. So much to ponder about the unseen

  8. Such an imaginative tale! I would think the other fairies would sprinkle the dead one in fairy dust and they would just disappear.

  9. Your haibun is intriguing but to my mind, fairies are immortal ๐Ÿ˜€ just like imagination.

    • But Balroop, there are fairy skeletons all over Google ;). I believe that fairies are not immortal, but are more like humans than we know. Thanks for reading!

  10. Lovely story and precious thoughts to go with it.

  11. Oh, my — so tiny and vulnerable!

  12. Oh gosh, no I had never thought of fairy bones. I think I decided they never die – just flit from flower to flower, hiding from us humans with delight. You gave me a whole other perspective. Sad, mournful almost, but also beautiful.

  13. I thought I responded to this, but now I don’t see my comment. Maybe your iPad working it’s un-fairy magic? ๐Ÿ˜‚
    In any case I love your story, or maybe it really happened . . .

  14. Fairies! I loved your poem, Luanne! You drew me in with the prose, and the poem melted me. Well done!

    Yvette M Calleiro ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Luanne, this is a wonderful haibunโ€”a true slice of life! What a grand adventure you found within this painting. Monet would have been delighted with your “fairy discovery.” This is so creative. It made my day! โค๏ธ

  16. This is so beautiful. I looove the depth.

  17. Hi Luanne, I enjoyed this, very different and appealing. I have finished your poetry book which is also quite extraordinary. I’ll get my review written up hopefully today.

  18. I’m catching up on my reading. This is beautiful!

Leave a Reply