A TRIP TO HEDO POINT

A haibun is a Japanese literary form.  It is a travel journal, written in the present tense and injected with periodic, impromptu haiku which either point-up, contrast, or enhance the content of the journal.
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    The car headlights blaze a path for us as we drive northward.  We anticipate arrival at Hedo Point well before sunrise to enable us to leisurely set up our cameras.  We are hoping for a spectacular sunrise.  Only that, we think, will make the long trip worthwhile.
    The mountains of Northern Okinawa loom in menacing silhouettes on our right as we drive up the winding highway.  To our left is the East China Sea, its presence more felt than seen, except for a rare, water-reflected light.

Early autumn night
Black mountains, blacker water -
A light here and there

     Ahead of us, a bright splash of light on the side of a mountain.  As we approach, the splash reveals itself as a tunnel entrance.  We drive into the bowels of the mountain, washed in light, only to emerge in darkness on the other side.  There are two or three such tunnels before finally reaching Hedo Point.

Autumn night -
A tunnel's sudden brightness
And darkness once again


     At first the Point seems utterly dark.  Only black outlines of coral crags are visible, rising from the depths of an ebony sea.  But above us in the clear heavens is a panorama of the Milky Way which rivals the finest of planetarium displays.  The brilliance of the uncountable stars is almost blinding.  I can see the reflections of stars in the eyes of my companions, and, as I look carefully into the blackness of the sea below us, I can see the stars reflected there, equally as bright.  In the east, Venus, the Morning Star, and a bare sliver of moon are showing themselves above the horizon.

Okinawa skies -
The bright stars rivaled only by
Their reflections

Okinawa skies -
The Morning Star leading
A crescent moon

     We set up our cameras, lens pointed toward the eastern horizon, and settle back to await the sunrise; no longer caring how spectacular it may or may not be.



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| A Selection of Haiku and Traditional Verse | Memories When 7. . .Okinawa, 1945