Autumn haiku


Wind whisks the sea white
Whipping sand at face and hands,
Turnstones circle low.



The haiku is yesterday’s; the photo is from February 2009. I’ve shown gulls circling low because I don’t seem to have any photos of airborne turnstones.

[Edit: After reading the haiku on Twitter, Tom Guadagno sent me a link to this lovely video of turnstones and other birds on the Welsh coast.]

Feel free to add an autumn haiku in the comments section.

13 Responses to Autumn haiku

  1. annie says:

    How did you chose between wind whisks and winds whisk?

    Pretty gorgeous all around.

    Love all the w sounds… the economy of just those few syllables. The flexibility in a small structure enables the crafting of small gems.

  2. Jonathan says:

    A fine haiku and photo, Stan! There’s a wonderful sense of immediacy to the picture, a moment among many moments…

  3. Stan says:

    Annie: I’m not sure. Winds whisk would avoid the -sks sound, which is almost off-puttingly sibilant, but the wind felt like a single fearsome roiling force when I was out in it! Pluralising it didn’t seem right, though it might the next time.

    Jonathan: Thanks! For an old and blurry photo, there is something I like about it. The colour of the sea, maybe, and the intentness of the birds hovering in a fierce headwind. Like you say: a moment, and for me a memory. I watched those gulls for ages.

  4. wisewebwoman says:

    Hi Stan:
    Lovely haiku Stan, those birds are beautiful and so are your words.

    This is taken from my day here as I watch my birds scatter amongst the falling leaves and hop carefully over to my feeder, ever watchful, bouncing all along the railing of the deck.

    Bluejays blur the line
    Between sea and sky and wings
    Bouncing by to feed.


  5. The year in retreat
    Autumn comes, leaves fall, wind, rain
    freeze my sorry arse

    Err that’s it…

  6. Stan says:

    WWW: Lovely — the Bs feel like birds hopping. I can imagine the scenery too, based on the beautiful photos of Newfoundland you post on your blog.

    Jams: Ha! You give a good punchline. Freezing it might be, but at least it means you still have feelings. Fundamentally.

  7. Fundamentally… Hahahaha!

  8. Claudia says:

    Great haiku and photo, Stan. Also very much like the video: sounds and birds.

    Go Away, Fall! (Four haikus)

    Life is not tender
    In love’s autumnal season.
    Cold rain, icing tears.

    Je n’ai qu’un seul coeur
    Qui frissonne avec le vent
    D’un automne sans coeur.

    Ah! toutes ces couleurs
    Flamboyantes, effervescentes
    Étouffent mon ardeur.

    Let me sleep till Spring
    In the warmth of a bear’s den.
    Wine induced snoring.

  9. Claudia says:

    Je regrette, Stan. L’automne m’attriste! Quand tu auras le temps, tu pourrais lire Chanson d’automne de Verlaine:

    Les sanglots longs
    Des violons
    De l’automne
    Blessent mon coeur
    D’une langueur

    Et deux autres versets, très désolés…

    But your description is enchanting!

  10. Stan says:

    Claudia: Merci de tout coeur! J’aime tous tes haikus. Ils sont vraiment jolis — tristes, mais jolis, comme l’automne. I knew Verlaine’s poem, but it had been years since I’d read it, so I was glad to be reminded. Searching for it online returned this page, which offers various translations.

  11. Sean Jeating says:

    Twentyseven cranes
    singing on October 10th –
    harbingers of winter.

  12. Stan says:

    Thank you, Sean. That sounds like a genuine field report (in haiku form). A chill has settled over Ireland today, too.

  13. John Cowan says:

    The first three lines of Verlaine’s poem were broadcast by the BBC (over Radio Londres, among the “personal messages”) to warn the French Resistance and British agents in place that D-Day was arriving shortly, and the next three lines to signal that it would begin within 24 to 48 hours.

    And here, just for the lulz, is a German “paraphrase”, as the author calls it, by one Walter A. Aue:

    Wie Seufzer lang
    und herbstesbang
    schlägt mein Herz
    in dumpfem Schmerz

    Ganz atemlos
    und bleich und bloß
    die Sehnsucht mein
    beim Stundenschlag
    weckt fernen Tag
    und ich wein,

    und geh hinaus
    in’s Sturmgebraus
    das mich hat:
    Ein immerfort
    (bald hier, bald dort)
    totes Blatt.

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