Monday, March 14, 2016

Haibun - "Scavanged"


It's just about daybreak.  A silvery haze shrouds this weathered boardwalk's path toward Pamlico Sound, cedar waxwings and yellow-rumped warblers swoop sandhill's shallow peaks and valleys, while piping plovers and killdeer warily distance themselves along tide's edge.  No offense taken as we descend sand-swept steps, become easy targets for ocean's bully and bluster.  My son's not a pirate, nor interested in gold, but he seeks treasure non-the-less: whelk, cigar and slipper shells ker-plunk into his bright red pail and he's blimey well surprised when he scavenges an orange-tipped Blue Crab claw; informs me it's a female's as the "nails are polished".  I scan the sand for a Scotch Bonnet, the state shell, ironically a rare find; settle for a battered olive shell fragment and the swirly tip of a moon snail.  Glance ahead, my son challenges ocean's waves to catch his fleeting figure as he scatters a group of Royal Terns skyward. 

Hazy sun, swooping Cedar Waxwings, Blue Crab claws scavenged
Gems & shiny baubles blimey well forgotten.

by Margaret Bednar, March 14, 2016

You're invited to Listen:  https://soundcloud.com/margaretbednar/haibun-scavenged


I'm trying to understand haiku - I don't like the "American 5-7-5" so I'm trying to lean towards traditional Japanese haiku - yet obviously putting a personal twist on it with a nod toward a "one sentence" poem with a word that "transitions" it at the end of the first...   My seasonal reference is the "Cedar Waxwings" as they are birds that appear on Ocracoke only during the winter months.  Blackbeard the pirate was also killed off the coast of Ocracoke so I hinted at this with conjuring up treasure and using a pirate term "blimey" 


p.s. Female Blue Crab claws are "painted" orange at the tips - that's one way to identify the gender.

Haiku:

the Japanese poem is typically written in a single line, not three...

Add to this the fact that the Japanese haiku is not merely a syllabic form, but is a nature poem-- in fact, not merely a nature poem, but explicitly a seasonal poem.  Traditionally, a haiku is "in the moment"-- present tense-- without metaphor, but simply observation; and also by tradition is not an imagined scene, but a direct experience by the poet.

Haiku also have that "kireji" that I mentioned, a "cutting word" that cuts a haiku into two parts of five and twelve syllables (on). English doesn't have explicit "cutting words," but a traditional haiku in English will have a distinct pause, often made explicit with punctuation (e.g., a dash or a colon) at the end of either the first line (assuming it's written in three lines), or the second, thus cutting it into two pieces of either five and twelve, or twelve and five, syllables.

The Haiku Society of America now defines a haiku simply as "a short poem that uses imagistic language to convey the essence of an experience of nature or the season intuitively linked to the human condition" -- note the fact that they have given up on the 5-7-5 form, and don't even keep the tradition of writing in three lines (nor, for that matter, the requirement for a seasonal reference.).

Even in Japan, modern haiku poets often have given up the explicit seasonal reference-- and don't always write in the seventeen on, either. But, to be fair, they have a few centuries head start on us, and must be getting pretty tired of what can said in seventeen on using the list of allowed kigo and kireji words.


Linked with "dVerse - Haibun Monday #9"





18 comments:

Grace said...

What a treasure to spend the day with him and find those ocean's gems Margaret ~ I specially like this find: settle for a battered olive shell fragment, and the swirly tip of a moon snail.

Boys will be boys ~ Enjoyed your haibun ~

De said...

This line made me infinitely, delightedly happy:
"and he's blimey well surprised"

thotpurge said...

A beautiful time to be out by the sea... you've described the scene so well.

Mary said...

The treasures your son collects are the best kind!
Love your photos.
Nice haibun!

Michael Grogan said...

I loved the imagery of the beach, the searching the discovery the scattering of the birds....beautifully done Margaret...

Mark Walters said...

I like that your son thought the crab claw was a female because it was painted. Children have the most direct logic. Your haiku makes me wish we were ready to go back to the coast.

Stephanie Brennan said...

I was right there with you watching your son and you scavenging your treasures. Great description. Nicely done.

leepursewarden said...

equally not bound to a Japanese form that bears no relation to American-English syllabic counts, sensibilities, etc. Haibun can be a simple mixing of short prose & poetic form. I like what you've done with the crab claw.

Magaly Guerrero said...

I love that he says that her nails are painted--there is something wondrous and beautiful (at leas for me), when science and everyday living dance together in poetry.

For haibun, I prefer the shape of the American style. I so love triads, and I like the symmetry of 5-7-5 and 3-5-3. I'm enjoying your experiment, too.

Stacy Lynn Mar said...

i just love this read.
it reminds me of sunny skies, a windy beach and family time.
thanks for the treasure of this poem, it made me smile.

brudberg said...

I love your dive into haiku, tying it into traditions yet making it yours, and not written to an adopted style, I have tried using American sentences... And that works too.. As for the prose I love the care-free treasure-hunt.. In the ind it's rarely important what we find, but the fact that we searched...and spend time together with kins and shore.

writinginnorthnorfolk.com said...

I love the description of the beach and the idea that 'it's a female's as the "nails are polished"'! Yes, the haiku works so much better in one line. I enjoyed your haibun very much.

lillianthehomepoet.wordpress.com said...

Love the seaside visit with you and your son! Blimey....I enjoyed it! I especially enjoyed the inclusion of the text, describing the evolution of haiku. I've always known it dealt with nature, but could refer to some other "truth".....but did not know about its evolutin of lines or syllables. A very interesting read! Thanks for posting!

R.K. Garon said...

Very nice.
ZQ

Petru Viljoen said...

Wonderful writing!

trishwrites1 said...

This brought a smile and you have a gift for describing nature around you

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Lovely photo, narrative and one-sentence poem. The 'American sentence' might interest you – Alan Ginsberg's attempt at a Western form of haiku: a one-sentence poem of seventeen syllables.

Bodhirose said...

Sounds like a very accomplished day at the beach. I love that word "blimey!" :) I respect that you are feeling yourself away from the English tradition of haiku...to each their own. Some are still sticklers for the 5-7-5 and that is what I still adhere to but I do like those American Sentences that Bjorn referred to.