expat blues

the raw fish can be simply mouthwatering when it’s eaten in the right season. white rice and noodles are among the staple foods. certain rice wine, when it’s chilled in the summer, and warmed in the winter, can be heavenly. six years ago i got married here; started a family…

the pacific ocean between us

phone calls to my parents

fewer & fewer


2 Responses to “expat blues”

  1. david mccullough Says:

    I enjoy a good melancholic haiku,
    reminds me of Santoka… and inspired my effort

  2. Mark Richardson Says:

    This is very good. The first few sentences read as if lifted from a letter home (there’s talk of how things go in Japan, of what the food’s like, & the drink). But when we move on into the poem the point of the “blues” is clear: the possibilities for correspondence, for sharing lives across an ocean, fade sooner than anyone at first supposes. It’s as if this “haibun” said: After a while, phone calls make you aware more of the separation they imply than of the contact they afford; and so they lapse.

    Here is Robert Frost on a theme not altogether unrelated:

    “Far as we aim our signs to reach,
    Far as we often make them reach,
    Across the soul-from-soul abyss,
    There is an aeon-limit set
    Beyond which they are doomed to miss.
    Two souls may be too widely met.
    That sad-with-distance river beach
    With mortal longing may beseech;
    It cannot speak as far as this.”

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