Lighthouse Shadow

The following poem first appeared in Geppo XLIV:4, August–October 2019, page 4, and was selected for commentary in the following issue, XLV:1, November 2019–January 2020, pages 15–16.

        lighthouse shadow—

        my steps in the sand

        filling as I pass

Is this about a shadow cast by the lighthouse on the beach? The sand is so fine and dry that each step taken by the author is immediately filled with the surrounding sand. How hard it is to walk fast on such a beach! This haiku makes me think of a slow walk on the beach, deep in thought, with perhaps an autumn melancholy because of the word “shadow” in the first line.

—Emiko Miyashita

It feels as though time is passing quickly, almost too quickly. It’s as though there’s a pressure from the wind to walk faster, or the steps in the sand will be filled before they are made. The poem suggests autumn to me or maybe even the end of the year although this is not made clear.

—Patricia J. Machmiller

The first line, “lighthouse shadow,” suggests many different contrasts such as the bright and darks sides of life. Dents made by the author’s steps in the sand are easily recovered. It is like an ending scene from an old European movie.

—Hiroyuki Murakami