A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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June 2009, vol 5 no 2

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Graham High


Large Blue

shared intimacy ó
along a wind-swept beach
a bigger ocean

There have been other summer evenings on a beach like this. Emotions shared with others partners only half recalled. My latest, longest and most lasting love contains them all. Every past feeling linked with sea and sand, wind and whispers, is re-lived again as I hear you calling from the slick surface of the waves that spread layer on layer like thin icing.

walking from the sea
a flame of sunset on your skin
in each drip of spray

Nothing is as intimate as the sharing of minute sensation: the trickle of sand granules between two toes; a light wind testing the tension of hair follicles along an arm; the sunís radiation from skin through skin where my leg nestles into yours.

ghost crabs on the sand ó
a single pearl of sun oil
runs down your thigh

We lie together on the beach looking at the clouds, eternal, ephemeral. Small things moving under a big sky. Lacking the urgency of youth we share the long-earned trick of making much of momentary joy. No longer shocked by time we know its ways and can appease it.

pebbles shine again
where her skin touches ó
wet from the ocean

And then, as always, it is time to go. Our pact with the day is honoured and itís time to put away wet towels, brush off the beach and reach for each otherís hand.

light breeze off the sea
a Large Blue butterfly dips by ó
your trailing hair

We walk with the sun behind us as the day changes tense. Our visit to the beach becomes experience we already savour as lost. Back at our hotel, we reminisce, the sun lingering in our brows and shoulders; our lips tasting of salt.

drinks on the terrace
the last light melts the distance ó
ice dissolving

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