Back from the Beach!

Back in April I wrote that I’d started writing haiku following–as best I can–the wonderfully flexible guidelines of English Language Haiku (ELH).  Like the Japanese style, the aim remains to portray a situation, a moment which has stirred feelings–but not to name those feelings.  Thus the writer presents an opportunity for readers to access their own reactions.  ELH does not follow the Japanese conventions of three lines arranged in syllable counts of five, seven and five.  Nor does it demand a seasonal reference or consign haikus involving human presence to a separate and inferior category.  Finally, there is no consensus among the ELH folks as to punctuation or capitalization.

With all that in mind here are a sampling of haiku written very recently at Crescent Beach, in Niantic CT.  Interspersed with them are some snaps made at the same time.  The photos, for the most part, are scattered randomly among the poems.  Sometimes not.  Whichever, they are never meant to illustrate a haiku.  Nor are the haiku meant as captions for the photos.  It is simply that, when dealing with the same moment, they are products of the same moment.

As usual I’d like your thoughts.  Click on “comments” below and follow WordPress’s logic–the same logic that created large spaces in this post no matter how I tried to undo them–to enter your thoughts (your haiku?) for me to see.


sun’s up
the back porch
instantly too hot

Nianatic Crescent Beach

a train rumbles past
miles away
his grandsons
after meditation
the cat litter—
yes, dear
moon rise
above the power plant
beyond the clouds

Niantic Bay big moon









coffee on the porch
unseen starlings
in conversation


Nianatic Crescent Beach









vacation becomes
something to do
emptied recycle bins
return from curbside
rolling thunder
down the road
a screen door slams
Salty breeze
strangers together
at the ocean’s edge
moon rise

Nianatic Crescent Beach










4 flights of 20 each
now fill this single oak–
whose choice?










down the block
a flag flaps silently
morning sun
a butterfly
approaches the hydrangea
constant course corrections

dry leaves
scratch along the sidewalk
autumn too soon

Nianatic Crescent Beach











birds chirp
the wind whispers
here a bird
here a frog
hear the breeze
a glee-filled baby
eager for conversation
one breath
shadows of an old oak approach
the ocean’s edge

Adirondack, Nianatic Crescent Beach










now painted blue
a weathered Adirondack
sits empty
the train passes
wind chimes

At Nianatic Crescent Beach










morning mist
one gray gull patrols
the shoreline

Nianatic Crescent Beach

wind chimes
across the road
once in Bhutan
wind chimes
wthout the sound of wind
zen audio


silent swift
it flies along the shore
the seagull’s shadow
still visible
on the rusted mailbox
a seascape

Nianatic Crescent Beach

can’t write
can’t remember—
just this now

Nianatic Crescent Beach

beneath their stones
the actor and his wife
oh the sly smiles

still unread
pages turn
morning breeze
new tides move
old water

Nianatic Crescent Beach

red lights
against a red sky
holiday weekend ends

Published in: on September 10, 2015 at 2:03 pm  Comments (9)  

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9 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Enjoyed every thought and sight. Thanks!


  2. Did you know there is advertising on it

    Sent from my iPhone



    • WordPress warns that some folks will see advertising whilst others will not. When I went to it on the web I saw none.




    • DW, thanks for your words and your powers of critical observation. I’ve gone back to the text and removed the double negative.


  4. Cousin Emily sent this from the farm in Pennsylvania:
    Dick, the comments didn’t work – sent me to what looks like HTML code. But I was going to write this:

    – I’m so happy you’ve found happiness at the beach!
    – I especially liked the photo of the pink moon, and the one of all the houses going up the hill beyond the pond.
    – Not a big fan of ELH, though, because I like seeing how people respond to the challenge of the 3-line 5-7-5 syllables. I am sympathetic to getting rid of the subject requirements, though. And I didn’t even know, are there punctuation requirements?

    love to you and Bobbie,


    • There appears to be no universal punctuation requirement for English language haiku. Jane Reichhold, in her book *Writing and enjoying haiku* advocates for no punctuation whatsoever. The group I joined, the Spring Street Haiku Group, generally also favors no punctuation, though there are a few of us who’ve challenged that successfully. The argument basically runs this way: no punctuation gives the reader more freedom to bring his/her own emotions to the situation described. Punctuation better directs the reader to what the writer felt. Hey, pick one.


  5. Really enjoyed your haikus…very “pictorial” and I love your photos. My favorite, if I have one is the blue chair. And my favorite haiku is the vacation one.

    I assume your life is one long vacation this fall! I look forward to your return to Mind Aerobics.

    Have fun and keep writing and picture taking.


  6. Just words
    Give pause
    Roll over in my mind…..

    Richard…I really enjoyed them…thank you


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