John Daleiden, US




Pond Sights, Sounds and Seasons


A pond is a body of standing water, either natural or man-made that is usually smaller than a lake. The variety of size, shape, location, use and design is endless. The common presence in all ponds of course is water and it is the water that attracts both human and non-human activity. The two hundred eighty-eight haiku submitted by forty-five haijin from fifteen countries present the reader with an infinite variety of pond life.

Some things are inevitably inseparable: just as every sky has a horizon, it is axiomatic that ever pond has a path.

this path
somewhere the sound
of water

# 211. Angie Werren, US

One of the distinguishing qualities of Angie Werren's haiku is the portrayal of the "sound / of water"; we hear the pond before we see it. A "path" is a roadwayand roadways always lead to a designated placein this case a pond. Ponds always invite the interactions of humans and a variety of animal life. Water is after all a necessity for life.

Some ponds are seasonal—temporary places, depressions in the ground where rain waters collect but later dry up and the pond disappears. In this haiku we encounter a temporary pond:

signs of rain—
an old man pushing his boat
to the dried pond

# 282. Cezar F. Ciobīca, RO

In Cezar's haiku we find a variety of sound elements: surly one of the "signs of rain" is the sound of distant thunder drawing ever closer and let us not forget the pleasant, cooling sound of the first rain drops hitting the dry grasses and bear ground near the place where a pond will soon collect. Secondly, it is easy to imagine the sound of the boat as the old man "pushes" it across the land surfaces. Is it the sound of wood scraping, or perhaps metal.  Ahhh...just listen..."

Human interaction is perhaps one of the most common occurrences in the vicinity of a pond:

old pond—
teaching my grandchild
how to skip stones

# 284. Cezar F. Ciobīca, RO

Both young and old are attracted to water; in Cezar's memorable moment a "grandparent" teaches a "grandchild" the age old art of "stone skipping". It is easy to imagine the "plunk", "plunk", sound of a stone prancing artfully across the water surface as the elder demonstrates stone skipping skill. This haiku is oriented to portraying both image and sound.

Hunger is a connecting event between a human and a duck in Christine's haiku:

lunch date
she shares a sandwich
with a mallard duck

# 249. Christine L. Villa, US

This haiku is alive with implied sounds: imagine the sound of the sandwich being unwrappedimagine the sound of the duck emerging from the water, then "quacking" as it snags food and hungrily consumes the shared sandwich—then perhaps begging for more, and attracting other creatures also...

The variety of life at a pond is amazing—people of all ages—plants and creatures:

she cleans her hands
among the fish

# 213. Angie Werren, US

Here, perhaps after eating and sharing her "lunch sandwich / with a mallard duck" she washes her hands among the daylilies and the fish. The brief stirring and splashing of water in a pond is a familiar and memorable sound.

Children love to visit the pond as well as adults—the water attracts humans of all ages, but it is merry "laugh" of children we hear in Radhey's haiku:

a piece of rainbow
in the pond
children laugh

# 233. Radhey Shiam, IN

The children are amused perhaps by the brief rain shower which has just occurred; now, suddenly they see a "rainbow" reflected / "in the pond"--...and there is laughter. The frolicking provides the reader with a euphoric sense of their own childhood pond memories...  It is the sound of children laughing that evokes the reader's past memories.

The interactions of humans and water are inevitable; an angler, thinking a prize game species has been landed at the fishpond, uses a net to retrieve an expected game fish only to discover "just a shoe".  While the catch is at first amusing, it also reminds us of the destructive dumping practices of humans:

at the fishpond—
in a ragged net
just a shoe

# 171. Evica Kraljic, CR

Can't you just hear the exciting sounds of the catch, and the disappointed sputtering at the discovery of the "shoe".

The intrusion of man on the natural environment is sometimes only temporary. John's haiku captures the scene of an old and abandoned wood row boat left to decay among the cattails, the wind, and the water.  Water is a great leveler, slowly returning the man made boat to a more elemental state. Be sure to pause a moment and listen to the "whisper" of the wind among the cattails...t

half filled with water
the old wood row boat—
cattails in the wind

# 133. John Daleiden, US

The variety of life forms at a pond is a true potpourri of nature: dragonglies, water stryders, gnomes, bullfrogs and other creatures...

dragonfly summer:
shards of colour
flit across the pond

# 48. Chitra Rajappa, IN

the miles
a water stryder covers
my mirrored sky

# 253. Alegria Imperial, CA

pond gnome
the old bullfrog
on his hat

# 273. John Byrne, Ireland

dragonfly summer:
shards of colour
flit across the pond

# 48. Chitra Rajappa, IN

feathered clouds
a water strider
skims the surface

# 186. Cara Holman, US

The natural world of prey is very evident at a pond; survival has a tremendous appetite:

cattails growing
by the pond…
a blackbird’s shadow

# 188. Cara Holman, US

ducklings . . .
in the willow's shadow
a hawk

# 07. Margaret Beverland, NZ

stork ambush—
the sudden silence
of frogs and ducks

# 153. Stefanija Ludvig CR

In each of these haiku there is a delicate balance between silence and the implied noisy moment when the attacker captures its prey. Listen you hear both the implied sounds of struggle and satisfaction?

Time and seasonal change are factors that have a dramatic impact on ponds and pond life; the images in these two haiku portray the seasonal change to winter:

grey clouds gather
a blanket of leaves
drifting on the pond

# 285 Keith A. Simmonds, TT

on farmer Giles farm pond—
thin ice

# 102. John Daleiden, US

Night at a pond reveals a unique feeling and a different set of conditions:

starry pond
the pulsing throat
of a frog

# 10. Chen-ou Liu, CA

midnight noises
one bullfrog….
louder than the others

# 103. Bernard Gieske, US

Night time at a pond under a full moon often leads a human to philosophical contemplation:

near, yet far away—
I touch the full moon
in the pond

# 269. Radhey Shiam, IN





a miscellaneous collection of life forms









to the top



Copyright © 2006-2012 Sketchbook and  All rights reserved