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Editor's choice "beach" Haiku Thread
 

 

 

 

...Once Upon A Time

 

John Daleiden

 

Twenty-six poets from thirteen countries contributed seventy-eight haiku for the "beach" thread in the July / August Sketchbook.

71% of the Earth's surface is covered with a global, interconnected body of Seawater often referred to as the World Ocean, though we generally think of these vast bodies of water as separate entities known as the Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean and the Artic Ocean. One significant land feature of interest to humans is the "beach"a geological landform along the shoreline of a body of water. It is at the "beach" where humans interact with the ocean.

the winding road
to Maracas beach
smell of the sea

# 34. Gillena Cox, TT 

This haiku vibrantly captures a vista image of a "winding road" leading to "Maracas Beach on the north side of the island of Trinidad; additionally, it introduces us to the unique scent of the sea.

a footprint
fills with seaweed—
high tide

# 05. Alexander "Lex" Joy

The beaches of the world's oceans are often visited by humans; but, the tides are also ever present. In this haiku the presence of humans, the tidal currents of the ocean, and seaweed, a bountiful ocean plant are vividly intertwined.

Haitian blue water
washes the laundry white sand—
a paint brush dream

# 58. Patricia Biela, US

Captured with eloquence is this stunning portrait of a stretch of white sand beach and the turquoise waters stretching beyond a shoreline that certainly rises in rolling, lush, green hills. These images will delight the pallet of any artist or "beach" aficionado.

after the storm—
on the beach an empty boat
and sea-jellies

# 77. Maria Tirenescu, RO

The elemental forces of nature are implicit in this haiku; on a deserted beach we view an empty boat which certainly conveyed human beings at some point, and "sea-jellies"jellyfisha sea creature resembling an umbrella which normally lives in the ocean waters. The fact that both objects are stranded on an "empty beach" after a storm speaks volumes. The scene presents a picture that is awesome in its beauty and yet terrifying when the destructive phase is taking place. Ironically, the haiku presents a placid and benign result.

dawn beach
a crab crawls out
from the sandcastle

# 61. Jacek Margolak, PL

Here, the interaction of the animal world and the human world are simply shown in conjunction with each other. The scene, set at dawn on a beach, is elemental and in many ways suggests the whole of creation as though it were just happening for the first time, although, on reflection, we conclude that this is just one reenactment of the initial event that took place some time eons ago.

deserted beach—
a nun speaks out loud
to the sky

# 37. Karina Klesko, US

On a "deserted beach / a nun speaks out loud / to the sky".  We view a nun, a female monastic who has taken solemn vows committing herself to a religious life. Instead of a convent setting, this nun appears on a "deserted beach", perhaps a replacement setting for the confines of a convent, and she "speaks out loud to the sky". We are not told the substance of her wordswe can only conjecture. Are her words of praise or of anguish? Does the "deserted beach" represent the created world of God, or does it represent the invasive human world as opposed to the cloistered world of the convent.  We do not know—and it is these mysterious unknown quantities in this haiku that lead us to speculate about the worlds of the known the unknown.  Perhaps, through contemplation the nun and the reader will discover aspects of the creation and the creator. The enigmatic qualities in this haiku lead us to the unknown. This haiku prompts the reader to a philosophical contemplation of the major questions about human kind, the external world, and questions about creation and the creator.

beach reading—
the sandcrab's black eyes
peer at me

# 44. Terri French, US

Returning to the physical world, this haiku places the haiku reader on the beach, reading. We do not know the name of the text being read, but we become very much aware of the "black eyes" of a "sandcrab peer(ing) at me". The physical human world collides with the physical natural environment—perhaps the human is fearful of the suddenly discovered animal species, although, common human experience tells us all that the animal world is everywhere present, and that humans are generally a dominant species. The haiku replicates the sudden, and unexpected awareness of "the other species world" and the human uneasiness that takes place. This haiku expresses quite well the shock of this emotion.

nude beach
an ice cream vendor's
distant jingle

#15. Garry Eaton, CA

In the mundane world of conflicting human experience, this humorous haiku displays a social dichotomy of the clothed and the unclothed. On the "nude beach" the "distant jingle" of "an ice cream vendor" is heard.  Will the vendor venture to the nude beach to peddle ice cream confections—certainly, there would be paying customers despite the nude status?  Will the vendor be clothed? an interesting interaction of opposing social values.  Or will the "distant jingle" remain distant, separated by differing social values. Amusingly, this haiku raises our heightened awareness of opposite social values.

glittering sunlight
bouncing up and down
a beach ball

# 26. Keith A. Simmonds, TT

Returning to a more traditional social world, this haiku depicts a common, and familiar beach experiencebeach ball games. The interaction of the "bouncing" ball and the "glittering sunlight" is an interesting visual portrait of a common experience.

chorus of cheers—
a game of beach volleyball
on the sandy shore

# 35. Willie R. Bongcaron, PH

Similarly, this haiku replicates the experience of playing "beach" ballgames, but adds the dimension of sound with a "chorus of cheers".

sand castles
the beachmaster
makes a muscle

# 03. Garry Eaton, CA

The beach is a place for social gatherings! No beach experience would be complete without "Mr. Atlas" displaying" his muscles.

...and of course...

nude beach
her mud pies
so big

# 31. Jacek Margolak, PL

...and finally, as we enter the fall season, as the weather changesit seems that change is the only constant in the physical world:

a man and woman
picnic on the cold beach—
hopeful gulls arrive

# 56. Neal Whitman, US

This haiku returns me to a philosophical world. In contemplating the images of this haiku I imagine a wonderful scene for a painting that might have been rendered by the American painter, Andrew Wyth. This haiku contains a sense of companionship between the picnicking couple, but a contrasting sense of need for the "hopeful gulls" arriving for the expectation of food. The "coldness of the beach emphasizes the ever changing environment. The world of experience is indeed a world in constant flux.

For me, all of these haiku have drawn on well known elements of the "beach" experience and juxtaposed them with sudden and unexpected relationships that have made me take a deep breath and say, Oh! I too have been there once upon a time.

On rereading these comments I have become aware of how interesting these haiku are when arranged in a sequence:

 

...Once Upon A Time

 

the winding road
to Maracas beach
smell of the sea   (# 34. Gillena Cox, TT)

 

a footprint
fills with seaweed—
high tide   (# 05. Alexander "Lex" Joy)

 

Haitian blue water
washes the laundry white sand—
a paint brush dream   (# 58. Patricia Biela, US)

 

after the storm—
on the beach an empty boat
and sea-jellies   (# 77. Maria Tirenescu, RO)

 

dawn beach
a crab crawls out
from the sandcastle   (# 61. Jacek Margolak, PL)

 

deserted beach—
a nun speaks out loud
to the sky    (# 37. Karina Klesko, US)

 

beach reading—
the sandcrab's black eyes
peer at me   (# 44. Terri French, US)

 

nude beach
an ice cream vendor's
distant jingle   (#15. Garry Eaton, CA)

 

glittering sunlight
bouncing up and down
a beach ball   (# 26. Keith A. Simmonds, TT)

 

chorus of cheers—
a game of beach volleyball
on the sandy shore   (# 35. Willie R. Bongcaron, PH)

 

sand castles
the beachmaster
makes a muscle   (# 03. Garry Eaton, CA)

 

nude beach
her mud pies
so big   (# 31. Jacek Margolak, PL)

 

a man and woman
picnic on the cold beach—
hopeful gulls arrive   (# 56. Neal Whitman, US)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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