Haiku #34 The Dunes

When do childhood memories become an everyday part of one’s life? Is it an age-based phenomenon or is it related to some significant event in life that “takes you back”? In my case it seems to be age-based PLUS some minor trigger such as prose or a poem related to childhood residence. Today it’s another of Norman Nicholson’s poems that has activated a myriad of synapses concerned with a square mile or so of sand dunes adjacent to our coastal Cumbria village, and has prompted my haiku today:

Slopes of shifting dunes
Tufts of sea holly stand guard
Marram grass whispers
Legions of Natterjack toads
Marching over waves of sand

When Norman Nicholson died in 1987, an obituary in The Times described him as “The most gifted English Christian poet of his century”, which is a true and a fair description, and yet, as all those adjectives come cluttering along together, how limiting and how smugly patronising they can begin to seem. (Norman Nicholson, Collected Poems, Introduction, Neil Curry, (Faber Finds, 2008)

Categories: Haiku

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

2 replies

  1. Lovely! I agree… labels are distractions that reduce us. Often, that’s their exact purpose.


  2. I agree – memories can be triggered by the most unexpected circumstance.

    Liked by 1 person

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