Haikus for Four Seasons


Sitting on the sand

wrapped in a woolen coat,

I am waiting for you!



No bikini body here,

I watch the whales migrate.

Diet starts tomorrow.



Longing for the beach,

bare feet burn on the hot sand.

Steam rises in the surf.



beach wide angle 2

Ocean Beach looking across to Lion Island and Palm Beach.


You have gone too soon.

Yet, sweet Summer hasn’t died.

I cling to your rays.



6th March, 2016

Tonight, I set myself quite a challenge..to write series of four inter-connected Haiku for each of the four seasons, set down at our local beach  5-10 minutes walk from home. While there are seasonal changes at the beach, these can be quite subtle aside from the peak Christmas period when we actually experience some crowds as well as annoying traffic. The blow-ins are considered “blow flies” by many of the locals.

It was quite challenging working out how to interpret what really are fairly subtle seasonal changes here and work something out that covers the four seasons. The weather is largely good for 9 months of the year although there are some patches of incredibly hot weather. Even Winters can be pretty mild with only a few weeks of intolerable cold. At the same time, we do get stretches of heavy rain.

Autumn Leaf Palm Beach Sydney

Autumn Leaf, Pittwater, Palm Beach, Sydney

So, when it comes to describing our four seasons, especially set at our beach, many of those conventional symbols or representations aren’t applicable. We don’t have snow and while there are some deciduous tree with those stunning Autumn leaves, Australian native plants are evergreen and their leaves don’t change colour. There are town and suburbs which do experience a “true” Autumn but not around here. You really have to go searching for Autumn leaves. They’re not to be found on every street corner.

As for Spring, we have been on water restrictions here for over ten years and even though they’ve eased, the intermittent rainfall has been quite cruel to our garden. There is no sudden explosion of life from these dry sandy soils in Spring and if I’m feeling particularly motivated, I’ll pop down the street and buy some colour. Cheap colour so it doesn’t really matter if I kill it. Our garden really is more of a cemetery. Indeed, in Summer, make that a “crematorium”.

We actually took the kids and the dog down to the beach tonight for a walk and the kids had a brief swim. We’re not real keen for them to swim at dusk as there are some sharks around. Not that we’ve had any attacks here but we don’t want to be the first either! Really must try to get down there more often. It’s been too hot but our Summer isn’t over yet and I’m really going to try to squeeze out every little last bit that we have left.

xx Rowena


20 thoughts on “Haikus for Four Seasons

  1. merrildsmith

    Your poems made me chuckle. I love the photos, too.
    Isn’t it strange that we’re heading towards spring, but still have cold weather, and you’re heading towards autumn, but still have very warm weather–but we can communicate so quickly!

  2. Oliana

    I enjoyed your set of haiku describing seasons in your part of the world. I learn so much reading about the climate from bloggers. You may not have distinct changes as we have here but subtle as they are, they still exist and cold is relative. We have had minus 20’sC here and snow but at 7C by the see and lots of humidity I am sure I would shiver as well. I would miss autumn however…it is one of the most colourful and delightful season here. It is nearing an ending and yet it is often new beginnings for those going back to school and college. Winter is often seen as death since all is frozen here…my mother passed in December and it felt right to mourn during a time life seems to slow down. I look forward to reading more of your poetry 🙂 Oliana aka Cheryl-Lynn

  3. roweeee Post author

    Thanks so much, Cheryl-Lynn. I am not a huge Jane Austen fan but she is renowned for using the weather to reflect her characters’ emotions and the plot. I have experienced these parallels at times myself and those freezing winds and the harshness of the weather seem so fitting when you’re going through hard times…especially such grief.
    When my grandmother lost her mother, they asked her how old she was and this really annoyed her because she very strongly believed that age didn’t come into it. She was still her mother. Knowing so many very ill young people, I don’t tend to feel the same intensity when someone elderly dies these days although I do appreciate that relationship, the connections.
    By the way, I agree with you about learning so much more abut cllimate through blogging. It’s been through blogging that I’ve truly appreciated how subtle our seasons truly are. Living through it, the changes seem more noticeable.
    I am really needing to get on with the day. Homework time for the kids. They start rehearsals this afternoon. They’re in a scout variety show called “The Gang Show”. Hope you’ve had a great weekend xx Rowena

  4. Oliana

    One of my good friends is related to Jane Austin…not sure how many generations removed:) I understand your grandmother. I worked in homecare years ago and with the ill elder persons. But when my mom died, I feel like your grandmother. I wrote a lot about my frustrations on my blog.
    Enjoy the rehearsals…these are precious days for you and the children. My weeken is over, I work Sunday but I had a nice rest. Cheryl-Lynn

  5. Norah

    Lovely set of haiku about the changing Australian seasons and their subtle differences. I think you have done a great job capturing them. I agree with you: 9 months are perfect and almost worth putting up with those 3 months of heat. But oh how I moan!

  6. roweeee Post author

    Thank you very much, Norah. It was really interesting to give myself this challenge. You could look at the Haiku format as a bit of a strait jacket but it really forces me to really think about a topic and pull the eyes out of it.
    I did a mindfulness exercise involving a Lindt Ball. You slowly take the wrapper off and leave it in your mouth and slowly suck on it. Quite a sensual experience. This probably helped me write about our visit to the French chocolate shop. I don’t need to tell you how much I love chocolate. Geoff and I are currently enjoying some Ferrero Rocher mini Easter eggs..Mmm!!

  7. Norah

    Sounds delightful. I haven’t got to savour your chocolate posts yet. They might have to wait for another night. Sorry. I’m sure I’m in for a treat when I get there.

  8. Pingback: Cafe au Chocolat! | beyondtheflow

  9. Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

    Rowena I think you described the four seasons at Terrigal (if I recognise the skillion correctly) perfectly. That is how I feel about summer here as well. Now we are into autumn I’m mourning the loss of summer. I don’t do bare feet anymore so rarely do I experience the burning on the hot sand but I feel for my pooches walking on the hot pavement. I could buy shoes for them but I doubt they would stay on too long. I love the heat. Well done.

  10. roweeee Post author

    Thanks very much, Irene. Not quite Terrigal and these days the Skillion has a footpath going straight up the middle of it. It looks terrible. The photo is Umina Beach just down the road.

  11. Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

    I probably wouldn’t recognise any of it now. I would never have guessed Umina but apart from staying in the camping ground once as a kid and the odd drive through I didn’t go to Umina that much. I didn’t go to Terrigal that much either but the Skillion stood out. We used to stay at Avoca as my Grandparents had a holiday house there in the late 60’s early 70s.

  12. roweeee Post author

    We had beach holidays when I was a kid too. They’re almost inevitable growing up here, aren’t they?!! I don’t think Avoca has changed too much but Terrigal is very built up and for me a good place to visit but I wouldn’t want to live there. I prefer somewhere more natural. I love Byron Bay but that a good 10 hour drive away. Geoff’s sister lives in the Hinterland so we get there once a year. There is a fabulous ferry ride from Ettalong to Palm Beach. Better than cruising the Mediterranean..not that I’ve ever done that.

  13. Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

    Yes I think for most kids it is inevitable if they grow up here although some out west never get to see the sea. I’ve done the ferry ride to Patonga but a highlight was when a friend took us on his sailing boat from Newport Sailing Club to ?Umina and we pulled up outside a restaurant, all clambered off and had a meal. He’d rung up to order the food whilst still at sea and took a portable TV to watch something he wanted to see. This was in the days before mobile phones and transportable appliances. Boom Boxes were huge. As a consequence I felt Lady Onasis. And yes it was as good as cruising the Mediterranean…not that I’ve ever done that.

  14. roweeee Post author

    That sounds fabulous, Irene. I’ve been to the Newport Sailing Club a few times with my Dad who sails. Saw a previous Wild Oats when we were there last. Not the current one. I really love sailing and it’s so relaxing! Dad currently has a Catalina and you do feel spoilt in that. I sat in a Princess seat and although I did have a turn steering, it wasn’t like smaller boats where you’re constantly ducked and weaving around the boom and needing to be alert. We had a very leisurely sail and I even missed a bit of that intensity. It was great!

  15. Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

    I haven’t done a lot of sailing but I love that ducking and weaving bit too. The boat the day we went to (maybe it was Woy Woy) was large like you described and on it I felt like a celebrity. I like the sea bit, it’s the cleaning up afterwards that I don’t like with the smaller boats.

  16. roweeee Post author

    Yes, my kids have spent the weekend sailing and kayaking in the Sirius Cup with scouts and there’s an enormous amount of cleaning to be done back at the hall.

  17. Pingback: Snailing Up the Mountain. | beyondtheflow

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