Haibun for Two – February 17, 2015

One early morning we went to the beach when I lived in  Djibouti.

The beach was already nearly covered with wall to wall people.  The sea went out gradually here, so it was a fine spot for kids and it was a Sunday morning too. I remember that a lot of children were romping and splashing in the shallow water.  Other’s were making sand castles. There was such a festive air of pleasure and innocence.

Suddenly there came a scream from a little farther out to sea where the water was deeper.  The life guard did not react immediately, people often played around screaming and splashing but this time the figure was obviously in real trouble.  He ran to help the person and we who stayed behind exchanged opinions; “he must have gotten a cramp!” … “how’s it possible to drown in just three feet of water!” …. “could it be a shark?”  A mixture of cynicism and fear snaked through the watchers, but the general opinion was that all would be well.

The life-guard brought the young man back to the shore and did what he could to reanimate him, but there was nothing anyone could have done.  A silent scream of horror went up among those looking upon this tragic event. The man was so young.

a silent scream
observing impermanence
a day at the beach

© G.s.k. 15



Rarely does it happen that on two different prompt pages you get the same prompt, but that’s what happened this week with The Scream by Edvard Munch … so, I’ve written a haibun for both Carpe Diem haiku Kai and Haibun Thinking This was a true story.

11 thoughts on “Haibun for Two – February 17, 2015

  1. Wow. That is terrifying. It would certainly scar you for life. I am so sorry. Can feel that disbelief and pain and shock.

    Mom tells of witnessing a little girl fall over the railing at Niagara Falls in the 60s — and she gets that “thousand yard stare” in telling the tale. This must feel the same.

    Thank you for sharing this with us — so painful —-


  2. I just noticed at Haibun Thinking they had the same as CP last week and I’m so glad I checked so I could read this haibun. I can only imagine the fear, confusion and especially remember forever that “silent scream”. How horrible to witness! Your children must have been quite scared too. I’ve always feared the water even if I love it being a fish sign, lived all my life by the water but too many “close calls” has me respecting the power of water especially the sea.


    • Oddly enough, the kids didn’t seem to be affected by it, but then Sean was three and Ian one and a half. It was one of those experiences that kind of bring to life all your little fears and make them realities. And as you see it’s stuck with me.


in shadows light - walking under weeping pines - spring rain

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