“Memories of the Sea Shore”

It happened at the very last moment. I didn’t expect a week off of work this summer, but fortunately I wangled it. I spent five nights and six days in America with my husband and his friends––five nights and six days, a typical Japanese holiday. Three of those nights we spent on the sea shore, at the Isle of Palms, just north of Charleston, South Carolina. The weather was perfect, neitheIMG_7929r too hot nor too humid; it welcomed me, and I relaxed.

Up to my balcony
A sea breeze carries
The sound of slow waves––
Summer afternoon

The long, white beach spread out before our holiday condominium. The waves were calm; the tide ebbed. We walked down the sandy beach toward the north end of the peninsula, the green of a golf course to one side, the green of the Atlantic ocean to the other.

On a lingering bubble
A rainbow boomerang forms––
Receding wave

A hand print
On a heart shaped sand castle––
Evening glow

At the close of day, we walked down to the beach again, and listened to the waves as they lapped the shore by night. The sky was quite clear, but lights from the condominiums washed out the constellations.

A shooting star
Draws a fresh line
On a black canvas


5 responses to ““Memories of the Sea Shore”

  1. I loved the boomerang image in the poem–echoed in the boomerang of seafoam in the photograph! It was a thrill to experience an image that was as startling as it was inevitable: “Oh, that’s EXACTLY the shape of foam left by a wave!” Thank you!

  2. Thank you for refreshing us with the sights and sounds of the ocean! The piece takes a while to get going, but then the poetry takes hold, and you present us with a kaleidoscope of changing patterns – almost painterly. The ‘hand print- sand castle’ one is, for me, extremely effective 奥深い, especially if one looks at it through the lens of sabi 寂. Love, fun, time, obliteration.
    My least favorite word in this piece? Can you guess? …. ‘husband’. How about replacing it with ‘turtle’? More fitting for an Isle of Palms? But you two are still just married, so I suppose we’ll have to forgive you.

  3. Tito, would it then read as follows? “I spent five nights and six days in America with my turtle-dove and his friends…”

    If it were “turtle” only, and at the Carolina seashore, well that’d be a sea turtle, which, on the Carolina seashore is an endangered species. Of course, philandering Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina has recently shown us that even “turtle-doves” are an endangered species there. ;-)

    But on serious note, I, too, love the haiku here: the hand-print in the sand-castle, the shooting star etched across on the black canvas of the sky.

    I was with my turtle-dove as we took these walks & I noticed neither of these things. I haven’t the eye.

  4. I do ot see why ‘turtle’ or ‘turtle-dove’ is better than ‘husband’. Why is it necessary to stress the love relationship between a married couple here? The whole essay is a report of a short summer vacation. It is refreshing but it does nt go much beyond a report. In fact, the idea of having a pleasant holiday at the seashore sounds somewhat ordinary. Fresh images save this essay from dullness, but classical haiku writers would have adapted more personal (even eccestric) approaches.

    • Just to answer the question posed in the first line of Nobuyuki’s comment: I was only jokingly alluding to the previous ‘turtle’ (meaning turtle dove) posting about the couple. I wasn’t seriously suggesting that ‘turtle’ would work. Still, though, I try to avoid writing about ‘my wife and me’ in my own haibun. It must be something to do with my own perception of the formality of the words ‘wife’ and ‘husband’. I’m quite probably out on a limb here. Perhaps others will have comments about the mentioning of wives and husbands in haibun? ‘Mark’ might have been better than ‘husband’.