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  • Writer's pictureBridget Walsh

Woodstown Strand. Haibun

I read about Haibun in the latest copy of Mslexia (page 56). 'A short prose piece followed by a related haiku.' So here's one about a favourite beach in Waterford, Ireland.

To get to the beach I step onto a narrow lane leading from the road to the strand. One foot is on tarmac for the parked cars and litter bin while the other foot steps onto soft, damp sand. Each side of the laneway is knee-high with spiky seagrass. I walk a few steps and the beach comes into sight. Then I look out across a wide river. The water runs into an estuary and off to the Irish Sea. The air is clean and salty.

I turn and start to walk along the sand, sinking into it slightly. It’s fine-grained with shells gleaming; dark mussel shells, pearly fan-shaped oyster shells. They crunch under foot. I step over pieces of driftwood washed up by the tide on its way in. The waves crash against the space between me and the tideline. Small seabirds hop out of the way as they search for tiny worms at the edge of the water.

The sky reaches down to the hills and the setting sun reflects right across the water.

Evening shadows bend

their dark arms to the water

as the sun dips west.

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