Haibun Thinking – Earth Day

Haibun Thinking is a weekly writing challenge with a difference. You are given prompts to create something with, and then end it with a three-line haiku style piece.

If you want to have a go, then click HERE, or if you want to read what others have written, then click on the frog.


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Out of this week’s choices, I chose Sally’s photo.

© Sally – My Beautiful Things

 Looking out over the water, the couple could not help but admire the way the sea crashed against the rocks, and spewed seaweed further back. Pieces of wood, paper and plastic littered the shoreline from rubbish left by others who frequented the area. Every day it was the same … every day sightseers and bathers came down to the sea … every day they left behind rubbish and anything else they could not or would not carry home … every day the couple came down as the sea came in and helped to clean the area. They bagged some of the rubbish, but the sea took the rest, sweeping it back as far as it could go before racing it forward with force to dump it in the areas just beyond the beach that even now filled to almost over flowing.

Today though, something changed. The couple stepped back as the water receded further than normal. It receded so far back that they could barely see it. Colour drained from the woman’s face at the thought of what this could mean, and looking to the safety of their car, they knew they would not make it. All they ever did was to come down and help the sea tidy up. Every night they came down and now, the thought of not making it to the car terrified her.

The man’s ears popped at the change in pressure and he held his wife tightly as the sea came hurtling back faster than they had seen before. Just before he closed his eyes, he thought he saw a face in the waves, and then the water was over them and throwing itself against the sea walls, breaking them down and still the sea carried on coming.

Eventually, the water receded and the couple still stood there, dry, but they could not see their car, or any other vehicle, and houses along the front stood in tatters. The destruction was immense and incredible. The full force of nature blasted through and showed how its anger looked. The wood, plastic and rubbish seemed evenly laid out. The words were very easy to read: RESPECT ME

nature’s full fury
shows respect is required now
today is earth day

56 thoughts on “Haibun Thinking – Earth Day

  1. aloha Al. the sea can be quite unpredictable. and yet, sometimes events happen almost exactly as you’ve imagined here. it is an amazing world. one that your tale gives hope to in many ways. i like that. fun. aloha.

  2. Hi Al, I felt the water rushing over me, so vividly portrayed.We have a job on our hands don’t we educating people about protecting our environment. No matter where you go you find someone’s rubbish dumped in a waterway. Excellent piece of writing Al.

  3. Poseidon will have his day, with the polar caps melting. I wish people would stop throwing garbage into the oceans. We are such a dirty society with all our plastics, foams and metal. Great haibun!!

    • Thanks Brenda. I just have to look out my window and I see some people throw rubbish over the railing into the sea or just drop it on the path. Photos I have taken of the rivers, I have had to angle so as not to show the bottles, bags and rubbish clumped into corners.

      • Oh, people were doing that here in the 70s, and there was a huge campaign by activists on TV, commercial with native Americans crying at the litter. Earth Day was born out of that. Huge fines were instituted for littering, and a system of garbage collection for public spaces was created. I was just a kid, but I remember…

        • I remember as well. I have always taken my litter home or dropped it in a bin and my kids have been brought up the same. I received abuse from a couple of people a few months ago when I told them to pick up some rubbish they dropped.

          • We need a new campaign. Peer pressure matters, when the whole world treats you like a criminal, then you think twice. I see people throwing things from car windows just like the 70’s again. Makes me outraged!!

  4. OMG the vision of the sea receeding was so well written…tsunami! It ran chills up my spine…still have the chills even now! What a powerful message in your magical haibun…loved every word!

    • Thanks very much. It was one that jumped on me as soon as I saw the photo a few weeks ago, but I didn’t want the photo to jump the queue

  5. By trade, I’m an environmental engineer, and I hate earth day. It’s a sham. We are to the point where this needs to be a consideration every single day. One day a year will not do. It won’t.

    • It won’t. We need more than a year to think about the earth. I meant to say “day” there instead of “year” but I think it is a better comment to say we need more than a year

    • Thank you for giving it to me and it just yelled at me when I first saw it, but when I found out it was Earth Day it all kind of fell into place :-) Thank you

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