A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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September 2005, vol 1 no 2

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Kilmeny Niland

Winter Beach

It is a scene Whistler might have painted. One of his nocturnes. Sweeping washes of grey with faint notes of green and silver. Watery. A huddle of seagulls tilt against the spindrift. Tidelines striate the sands. One soldier crab marches resolutely towards the retreating sea. An unseen command. The crab turns about and digs widdershins into a bunker.

Deliberate blots in the landscape. Two tiny figures, deck-chaired, interrupt the vast curve of the beach. They look like foxes. But, through the eyeglasses, I see well-dressed matrons enveloped in furs, at the
water's edge. The wind. The cold. It doesn't matter. They talk animatedly. Their bare feet play in the sand. A fleeting break in the greyness.

blue streak
a kingfisher catches
one ray of sunlight


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