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.
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"