HAIKU 1 • by Marion Clarke

platinum pond
surface drum-skin taut
water boatman beats

Marion Clarke has returned to her home town in Northern Ireland after leaving for university in the 1980s. For many years, she studied and worked in Belfast, Lille, Bristol and Leatherhead, Surrey. She returned to Warrenpoint in the year 2000 with her husband, young son and soon-to-be-born daughter. Marion has had non-fiction, short stories and poetry published and now spends her time writing, painting and teaching her kids French.

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Rating: 1.9/5 (43 votes cast)
HAIKU 1 • by Marion Clarke, 1.9 out of 5 based on 43 ratings
Posted on May 13, 2011 in Japanese Short Forms, Nature, Poems
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  • http://patsy-collins.blogspot.com/ Patsy Collins

    Sounds like a muggy summer’s day – the calm before the storm.

  • http://chapterseventynine Annemaria Cooper

    I can see those little insects scurrying to the other side of the pond in my mind’s eye. Wonderful.

  • Barbara Boyd-Anderson

    I love the idea of the boatman beating the drum, the taut skin of the lake, a platinum surface – a silvery shimmer , almost surreal…
    Great compression of sounds and images…

  • http://anthonycowin.blogspot.com/ Anthony Cowin

    You’ve managed to capture that tightness and tension of undisturbed water perfectly. Everything is still until man creates the ripples. Such a brilliant metaphor. Crisp and vivid words with a beautiful balance.

  • Marion Clarke

    Thank you for commenting, Patsy and Tony. It is based on a memory of childhood days collecting tadpoles at Campbell’s Pond in Warrenpoint, where I live. It is now a housing estate! This waterboatman is in fact a little aquatic critter with hind legs that look like oars – hence his name!

  • http://anthonycowin.blogspot.com/ Anthony Cowin

    Interesting info Marion. It just shows how different people can find different meanings and texture in even a few words. Hope the poem does well.

  • http://potpourrisachet.blogspot.com/ Roberta Schulberg aka Roberta SchulbergGoro

    Very interesting and well-done. I didn’t think of those little insects which I remember but which we called water skimmers. So after the last line, thinking of a human oarsman, I was disappointed in not hearing something of the drumbeat. Your explanation brought the poem round and made it entirely satisfying. Excellent.

  • Marion Clarke

    Sorry, Barbara, your comment seems to have slipped in after I thanked the one before and after you – now how did that happen? Anyway, I’m so glad you liked it. The silvery pond surface is because it reflected our grey, rainy Irish sky! Cheers for coming by. :]

  • Marion Clarke

    A water skimmer – yes! That’s a good name for them, Roberta. There were these other little insects that went round and round in circles…we called them whirlygigs, but I don’t know their proper name. Yes, the haiku becomes quite a different beast if you insert a man in a boat onto the pond. The effect on the water surface would be quite different! Thanks for your comments.

  • Oonah V Joslin

    now how did that happen?

    I can explain that. Some comments wait for approval and when I come on-line (several times a day) and check, I approve them and then they appear as if by magic ;)
    (Okay it’s MAGIC :) )

  • jennifer walmsley

    A lovely visual Haiku. So much described in so few words.

  • Patrick Islington

    Very tight Haiku Marion, lovely images, I am there with your tones portrayed.

  • http://fiona-maddock.blogspot.com/ Fiona Maddock

    That’s so original.

  • Imelda Lawson

    Absolute work of genius Marion. I absolutely love it. Hope it is very successful for you,

  • Declan Kearney

    So much vision with so little words, fantastic.

  • Marion Clarke

    Thanks everyone for your kind words. :]

  • http://www.shirley-elmokadem.co.uk Shirley

    I love this haiku.
    My husband and I were watching waterboatmen on the lake the other day and I was explaining to him about surface tension, so this poem is most apt.

  • Claudia Traveller

    ‘Platinum pond’ – so visual! Love it.

  • Marion Clarke

    Surface tension – exactly! When you are looking at water that close up, the surface has a certain ‘thickness’ about it.

  • http://www.yahoo.com/ Gerri

    Now I know who the brainy one is, I’ll keep lokniog for your posts.

  • Marion Clarke

    LOL :)

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