We wander in Al Seef Road, Dubai, taking in the exotic scents of Gum Arabic, Flowers of Maryam and Saffron. I am drawn towards a museum, which displays old typewriters, mud pots and carts. My child points gleefully towards a century-old rusty children’s tricycle. Intricately designed Pashmina shawls and carpets light up the dusty streets of Al Seef. Women of various ethnicities hover around a roadside Henna artist in wonder, admiring her floral designs while awaiting their turn. Their patient men linger around with smiling lips and bored eyes.
The Wooden Chair was the first haibun I had written. This was published in Contemporary Haibun Online’s July issue, 2013, Vol 9. Please find below.
My Wooden Chair
I stroll restlessly in my new house as trees outside are being chopped for construction. Lifeless new buildings are sprouting in the neighbourhood. I wonder mildly about deforestation as I lean back in my chair.
my wooden chair screeches– memories of a felled tree
I stare at the ceiling, wondering if it is 1 or 2 PM. At the corner of the table is a kerosene lantern, not used for many years. I light it and walk into the night. The creatures of the night hush at the sound of footsteps, but the persistent buzz of a bee holds my attention. The bee hovers around a wild plant; an orange bud. The bud sleeps on, unheeding the bee’s buzz and noise. But, the bee does not give up. It sits on the leaves and bends towards the bud, shaking it. Suddenly, there is a loud hiss. It is not the bee, but the flower. It opens up to reveal a yellow inner part, further illuminated by the lamp. The bee moves home and rekindles in my heart the hope to live.