Just Before Sleep: Haibun Stories

just before sleep Just Before Sleep is a collection of 23 tiny stories fused with poems, each no more than a page long, by award-winning author Dan Gilmore. He created these haibun and haibun stories especially for the online literary journal KYSO Flash, and they represent the fusion of narrative prose poems and American haiku. After discovering the haibun form, he feels "the sense of arriving home after all these years of wandering."


In the haunting silence that comes with night rain, she spoons closer to his back and rests her hand on his thigh. Her breath moth-wings on his neck. Across the room she sees rivulets on the window pane intersect, stop, dart left and right, arrive and disappear. It seems important to her to understand, to discover order and purpose there, to see signs of courage or fate or helplessness.

But she finds nothing—no significance, not a hint of forethought, no rhyme, no reason why rivulets move here and not there, why she feels so much bliss one moment and falls terrified the next. It seems so perfectly imperfect—this moment just before she receives the blessing of not knowing and slips into the soft waters of sleep.

By what miracle

does the noise in us

become a song?

Book Details

Paperback: 40 pages
Publisher: KYSO Flash; 1 edition (May 11, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0986270318
ISBN-13: 978-0986270314
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in this the coldest winter

even a small ember

warms the heart

Stranded by a snowstorm, the man sits at his kitchen table eating a glazed doughnut and watching a fly make repeated runs at the window. He remembers a few dumb decisions he made in his own life—that married librarian in Atlanta, the time he quit a good paying job when he didn’t have a bed to sleep in. But, if that fly is dumb enough to want to go out in this weather, it deserves to live with the consequences of its decision. The man goes to the window and raises it. The fly circles, descends to the table and lands on his doughnut.