Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Special Feature Collaborative Poem--By Marianne Szlyk--United States and Angelee Deodhar--India

Haibun : Mugunghwa

Haibun text by Marianne Szlyk
Haiku by Angelee Deodhar

One summer, just after she took out the lilac bushes to appease my aunt, my grandmother planted a Rose of Sharon, Hibiscus Syriacus  tree in the front yard. My brother and I called it the Stick of Sharon because it was just a stick—no leaves, no branches, no flowers. The Nashua River flowing through downtown was more colorful, turning red, yellow, or green, depending on the dyes used at the mill that day.

The next summer Gram sold the house and moved out to the country with us.

Every so often I Google her old address. Only two houses remain on Avon Place, a dead-end street less than a mile from downtown and the once-colorful river that will someday be clean enough to swim in. My grandmother’s house is green now—and the Rose of Sharon, almost the size of the other trees, flourishes. And the lilac bushes have grown back. 

patch of sun
a chameleon rises through
autumn leaves

Notes--Hibiscus syriacus the national flower of South Korea is named mugunghwa in Korean. The flower's symbolic significance stems from the Korean word mugung, which means "eternity" or "inexhaustible abundance".

"Rose of Sharon" originally appeared as a prose poem in the anthology Tic-Toc by Kind of a Hurricane Press and in my chapbook, Listening to Electric Cambodia, Looking Up at Trees of Heaven.


  1. Marianne and Angelee,
    What a great piece of prose and the accompanying haiku is equally clever. I love it!
    Your friend,
    David Fox

    1. Thank you very much, David. :) This piece means a lot to me!

  2. Dear Karen and dear Marianne,
    Thank you for this opportunity to share this with all our friends on Whispers.
    Thanks David and Peggy for your kind words,
    love and light ,

  3. A lovely piece. Thanks for sharing your talents! Ralph

  4. Thank you, Peggy, Ndaba, and Ralph. I'm pleased by what Angelee made of my prose poem.

  5. This is a magnificent poem. I really enjoyed reading this illustrious piece from the both of you. What a talent you both have! Great work.