Beauty at the shoreline

A haibun in response to Jilly’s Jim Harrison quote:

“I’m not sure what it is, life’s puzzle.”

By a strange coincidence, I see that this poem is perfect for Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday prompt too. So it’s getting a second outing.

Photo ©Dr Raju Kasambe


Life, like a river flows, whether we would or no, and pours into the leveling sea, like the tide, creeping to the highest mark, then ebbing until the slate is clear, for someone else to write the chapter’s end. I would not leave behind the common detritus, the jumble of broken thoughts and shiny hollow things, that even the turnstone shuns as not worthy of attention. The trick lies in the subtle shifts of light and shade, the glorious colours that form the silvering of a rock pool mirror, to make the stranger walking at the shoreline stop and marvel that such beauty could be.

Foam laces the shore,

ephemeral beauty fades,

leaves behind the sky.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

26 thoughts on “Beauty at the shoreline”

  1. I really like the way the whole of this flows, river-like, to the end. It reads very much like a ride down the estuary… waterway or otherwise.

    1. Thank you, Charley. I live at the point where the Garonne bends north and becomes the Gironde, the estuary, and I’m always aware that beyond the bend, the next stop is the ocean.

  2. Tackling a grand and difficult topic with such grace is certainly enough to make this one reader stop and marvel at the beauty. This is an outstanding interpretation and response to one of Harrison’s more challenging lines, Jane. Pardon the pun, but I think you turned the trick with this one!

  3. Jane, this is full of power! The turnstone… I never saw the words that way but they were meant to be. The name hit me like a ton of stones! I love this Haibun! ❤

    1. I’m glad you like this one, Colleen 🙂 The turnstone is a bird we see often on beaches, flipping stones over looking for goodies to eat. Once you’re familiar with the bird, the words fall together as a matter of course 🙂

      1. Sounds gorgeous. Well, I am really happy now that it brought such glorious memories to light. ❤

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