Haibun – Waterways

The geese here on the Hudson have no intention of heading south for the winter. They are New Yorkers, with hipster lifestyles to maintain. No way are they giving up Sunday morning bagels, Thai take-out, and small batch artisanal french fries. And the kids? Like all good Millennials, the gosling mini-me’s are going to live at home with Mom and Dad until, well, whenever.

This week the weather began the turn from Summer to Fall, and the fair-weather, friends-of-a-feather tourists began their landings, take-offs, and flyovers. The river is a busy runway of watercraft and waterfowl.

Our dog raises her nose and sniffs crisply at the drop in humidity and temperature. Her daily confrontation with Mother Goose goes as usual: barking vs. hissing and nipping. Another stalemate in the city of fairy tales.

Tidal river shifts
Salty city’s evening lull –
Fresh uncertainty

 

 

53 thoughts on “Haibun – Waterways

  1. Puts me in a New York state of mind. (could be a song in that) The haiku is within the realms of orthodoxy. I enjoyed it very much. I know geese have the attitude, but do they pick up a borough accent — Brooklyn, Bronx?

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  2. I like your noo yawk geese. We have geese all the year round down here. Folks call them resident geese. Most folks call them annoying. I like the prose portion of your haibun muchly. The senryu at the end doesn’t have a season word, that I can tell but it is still a nice ending.

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    1. “yuunagi” is listed as a Late Summer season word in The Five Hundred Essential Season Words in the Summer section. That is not an acceptable source? (I put a link in my Nota Bene comment).

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          1. Not trying to be picky. I have had so many “haiku” written and have read so many fauxku that I have really had it. I stopped using the 500 essential words years ago, preferring to go to the Japanese saijiki. I have studying, teaching, and reading Japanese poetic forms for 30+ years and have been immersed in the Japanese culture since I was a kitten. You’re good to go!

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            1. Can you give me the best link to the saijiki (in English). I really like to find those wonderful and surprising ones that help me pivot the Haiku, as well as nail the rubric.

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                1. Appreciated. If you come up with links you think are best, it might be good to include them in the Haibun instructions. Then everyone will have a decent reference.

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                    1. Something just came to me (you know how insight is often delayed!) Maybe you already knew this – since we are dealing with the sense of Interstities, maybe that

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                    2. The Japanese words are very specific. For example, aki ni natsu means, autumn into summer. There are no interstitial meanings here. How long have you studied Japanese and their culture?

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                    3. Just making sure. The whole country is so very different, LOL. They take their seasons very seriously….very seriously. Even in the cities where you would think nature would be obliterated, there are gardens, flowers, trees everywhere. That is why I do not accept non-specific words for anything Japanese. I realize not everyone is into it or cares and that is fine. That is why we have chocolate and vanilla ice cream. And why in Japan you will find seaweed, cherry blossom ice creams and sake made from chrysanthemums. 菊姫 kikuhune which is Japanese for chrysanthemum. Chrysanthmum are generally considered gold flowers, regardless of color. It is also a specific kigo. I’m sorry I have given you more than you want probably. Just letting you know that Japanese is specific. We English speakers are the ones who dither around with words.

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                    4. Yes, thanks. That is exactly what I wanted to know. In English, the ambiguous dithering (is that redundant?) would be a good play of ideas, as it were. But I wondered if it made any sense in/to a Japanese reader, as I’ve read that it probably doesn’t map over.

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  3. I thought it was very pleasant, and I have been looking out for the Geese too. I also appreciate the uncertainty that creeps in wiht autumn. Today was back to school here in the UK, and whilst autumn brings uncertainty it also brings back routine.

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  4. The one and only time I visited New York was in September and I loved walking through Central Park with all the brightly coloured leaves. But I didn’t see any geese on the Hudson – maybe they’d left already. Your haibun reminded me of that trip, the year after 9/11..

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  5. This is descriptive and funny at the same time. Beautiful writing. My favorite lines are:
    ‘the gosling mini-me’s are going to live at home with Mom and Dad until, well, whenever.’ and
    ‘The river is a busy runway of watercraft and waterfowl.’
    My nephew, already post-millennial, is still living in the basement of his mother’s house. Parting is not in the near future.

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  6. Loving this wonderful description….Living in Boston, we travel to Cape Cod for two weeks in September (leaving this Saturday) — after the “tourist season.” It’s much more quiet and the ocean is still beautiful. Cape Codders LOVE Labor Day weekend (just past) as it means the exit of the tourist visitors and wildness of the summer. Some, they say, stand on the bridge that divides the Cape from the “mainland” of MA and cheer as cars go by, leaving their beloved Cape. Kind of like the geese, hissing over their territory! 🙂

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