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GEMBUN

A Gembun is made up of either a one-word first link or anything up to one sentence, to be capped by a haiku of up to four lines. The Gembun has to include an element of suggestion
in either the opening sentence, the haiku or in both.  It was created by ai li on the 12 June 1997, inspired by Larry Kimmel's TIBUN.

 

Copyright ai li 202

 

EXAMPLES :

ai li's collection
Larry Kimmel's collection
Joanna Ashwell's collection

 

                                                                                                                                                                                       

 

ai li's collection of twelve gembun

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dew on mother's roses.

 

                                          the keys handed over
                                          saying goodbye
                                          to no one

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                      

 

 

 

 

He waited in vain.

 

                                          her wedding day
                                          deep within the bouquet
                                          a dead wasp

 

 

 

 

 

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Poison pen letter...

 

                                          elderly aunt
                                          tranquilisers in hand
                                          hearing the postman

 

 

 

 

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Lightning.

 

                                          power cut...
                                          mortuary attendant finds
                                          a hand

 

 

 

 

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Waiting for the night bus.

 

                                          the man
                                          in a black cape
                                          with moist red lips

 

 

 

 

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The missing cat comes home.

 

                                                                 fresh salmon
                                                                 in his feeding bowl
                                                                 but he lies in my arms

 

 

 

 

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A widow shunned by her friends.

 

                                                                 the repairman
                                                                 alerted by a shapely ankle
                                                                 and heady scent

 

 

 

 

 

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A long kiss.

 

                                                                 they arrange
                                                                 to meet again
                                                                 the business lunch

 

 

 

 

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A knife missing.

 

                                                                 an ex-wife
                                                                 without alimony
                                                                 waiting in the dark

 

 

 

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Mother's baking day.

 

                                                                 the orange juice
                                                                 for the sponge
                                                                 has pith in

 

 

 

 

 

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Midnight...

 

                                                                the ouija board
                                                                spelling out
                                                                shadow

 

 

 

 

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The skipping rope in a cul-de-sac.

 

                                                                 a child
                                                                 who looks like me
                                                                  becoming dusk

 

 

 

 

                                                    

Copyright ai li  2002

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Larry Kimmel's Collection of Ten Gembun

 

 

 

 

"You try to stay virile as long as you
can for the sake of the coven."

 

                                          meeting the priestess
                                          (his young wife) -
                                          I guard my thoughts

 

 

 

 

 

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row houses under a low sky

 

                                          after long exile
                                          rain streaks
                                          the Pullman's window

 

 

 

 

 

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After thirty years, you'd think a
thing like that wouldn't rankle.

 

                                          a cold wind snaps
                                          the flag - I cross the street
                                          to Kate's Diner

 

 

 

 

 

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short grass, snow in sheltered places . . .

 

                                          by the mountain path
                                          the unblinking eye
                                          of a tiny dragon

 

 

 

 

 

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dusky arbor

 

                                         working together -
                                         so close
                                          I can feel her warmth

 

 

 

 

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Merry Christmas!

 

                                        better the day
                                         to myself than to spend it
                                          with strangers

 

 

 

 

 

 

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at Ce Ce's cafe with battered suitcase

 

                                        "but he told me
                                                     he worked here"
                                          "sorry miss,
                                                     never heard of him"

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                       

 

 

 

once upon a time . . .

 

                                        a Sears catalog
                                        and a medical dictionary
                                        my only porn

                                                    

 

 

 

 

 

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from a 19th century Yankee diary

 

                                        Killed my hog.
                                        Broke my heart.
                                        Went to work.


                                                    

                                                                            --a found Gembun

 

 

 

 

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heat lightning

 

                                        her worst fear
                                        realized -
                                        the long drive home


                                                    

                                                                          

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright Larry Kimmel  1998

 

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Joanna Ashwell's collection of five gembun

 

 

 

 

 

Mosaics

 

the rain continues
throwing patterns on the wall
of an empty street

 

 

 

 

 

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Twilight

 

creeping forward
our room darkens
inking in faces

 

 

 

 

 

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Silver

 

frosted branches mingle
with the forked shadows
reaching for the clouds

 

 

 

 

 

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Moonbeams flood the roses

 

leaving the dew
flushed silver
full of stolen tears

 

 

 

 

 

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Ghosts

 

or a lonely bird call
as we listen for voices
leading us back to the path

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright Joanna Ashwell 1999

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