Haibun Today

A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Editor
Volume 5, Number 2, June 2011

Patricia Prime
Auckland, New Zealand


Making Waves

we stand on the cliff
the breeze fresh
the sky soft
a grey mist below us
and muffled waves

the bay's near-crescent
forms a threshold
for our standing figures
for what is moving
and for what is still

now the seascape
from rocks to islands shifts
and there's a sea-change
disturbing the gannets
on their stacked pillars

a skirt of sea
fills with the moans
of desolate birds
lifting low over
half-lit water

last night's storm
that tore across the Tasman
is now exhausted,
the wan smile of the sun
lighting the sand

Cumulus clouds mass in the sky, then move on, leaving the ocean to the bright summer light. See how the waves rub against the rocks. Look! A blow-hole formed over centuries. There's a scarlet pohutukawa gripping the cliff face. A leaf drifts into my hand, its ribs lonely and separate. I want you to see too the bluff where we walked years ago mimicking the gannets' cries. See how unstable the cliff is now—all that is lively slipping away.

The sea rolling in reminds me there are distant lands. And everywhere there is motion, loneliness, the ocean's cold grind. It is there in the cliff hollows, the rock formation, and the windswept beach. And it is here on the steep track winding its way up from the sand.



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