1. I don’t think we have a choice, Eric. 🙂 Great haiku, as always! This makes me think of the rain we haven’t had and need that is coming tomorrow and next week in buckets. From one extreme to another. Fingers crossed there are no floods or mudslides.
    Have a good rest of your week!

    1. Hello Lauren,

      Thank you.

      You’re right, in some places the weather does play up. Floods follow drought, and cold spells follow heat waves.

      All good wishes,

      Too little, too much
      Some prefer hot, others cold
      Elements on tap

      Even the sporadic cloud bursts had held back and the water level in the oasis had dropped to dangerous levels.

      The sheikh sent out armed men to the various known waterholes, to keep watch over these precious sources of water.

      His men came upon a small caravan at a waterhole. The strangers had not only quenched their immediate thirst and watered their animals, they were also filling water bags.

      The strangers were brought before the sheikh who found them guilty of stealing water, a crime punishable by death.

      ‘But I all need is some water, emir,’ said the caravan master.

      ‘And you shall have all the water you need,’ said the sheikh.

      He had the caravan master drowned in the water he stole.

      Haiku & Story: Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018

    1. Thank you, Indira

      For the encouragement.


      Provoke thought, not teach
      Knowledge waiting arousal
      Authors are noisy

      ‘For the next five days, you don’t have to attend my history classes because I will not be teaching you anything at all,’ said Zoya.

      ‘You mean we can go play?’ asked a boy sitting in the front.

      ‘If you find the time, you can,’ said Zoya. ‘But next week, I want each of you to present five compositions regarding five African warrior princesses drawn from our history.’

      Haiku & Story: Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018

    1. Hello Ankur,

      What you say is true. Man does try to play god and gets into a bind.


      Shoes too big to bowl
      Big fish in a tiny bowl
      Trips, falls, breaks his bowl

      The wolves surrounded the hind and her calf, and took turns dashing towards the stricken pair and taking quick bites.

      ‘The elk and her baby will face a horrible death,’ said Tilda to her husband, Anup.

      ‘That’s nature, ma’am,’ said Gansukh, their Mongolian nature guide and driver of the four-wheel drive vehicle. The couple had paid him good money for the track into the wilderness.

      ‘But they’ll be eaten alive,’ said Tilda. ‘Can we not do something?’

      ‘No ma’am, but if you wish you can take pictures or video,’ said Gansukh.

      ‘That’s cruel. How can you be so nonchalant?’

      ‘Honey, please,’ said Anup.

      ‘What do you propose I do? Shoot the wolves?’ asked Gansukh.

      ‘No, of course not, silly,’ said Tilda. ‘Fire in the air, frighten the wolves away.’

      ‘That would trigger an avalanche, ma’am. And kill the wolves, the elks, and us,’ said Gansukh.

      He made a sweep of his hand to take in the snow covered mountain slope they were on.

      Haiku & Story: Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018

    1. You’re right, of course, Rabirius.

      The word ‘accept’ denotes choice. Perhaps I could have used a more appropriate word such as – ‘receives’. I could have also used ‘rejects’ – but not all god’s gifts, man rejects. Rain, for example, he generally welcomes. But not tempest.

      The structure of a haiku is such that, unlike a legal document which seeks to cover every eventuality, it is left open to several interpretations. Which, by the way, is the author’s intent,

      Thank you for sharing your thought,

      Man has but one choice
      An offer he must accept
      Shades of Godfather

      Ertrugal’s car was on the low bridge when the flash flood hit and carried him and his family down the river. His pregnant wife, Jahan, was in the back seat with Bamsi, their three year old son.

      ‘Jahan, undo your seat belt,’ said Ertrugal, in a calm voice. He then bent over his seat and undid his son’s seat belt.

      ‘Bamsi, Baba will take Anne out of the car,’ said Ertrugal. ‘You take a deep breath. Understand?’

      The boy nodded.

      Ertrugal tried to wind down the window but it had jammed. Fortunately, he had a sawn off baseball bat in his car. The last time the police stopped him, he had lied that it was a safety measure to break glass, if he was ever trapped in the car. That lie had now come true.

      He smashed the glass and the water rushed in. Ertrugal took a deep breath. His wife uttered a prayer.

      ‘Yah, Allah!’

      Moments later, Ertrugal broke surface and pulled his wife onto the roof of the car. They perched on the slippery roof as the car rotated and glided with the brown water.

      ‘Bamsi! Where is Bamsi?’ screamed his wife.

      Ertrugal bent over the side of the car, pushed his head in the water and into the cabin. Bamsi was in the car. The boy looked a little frightened but calm. He was waiting for his father.

      The evening news reported the lucky escape of the family, including their son, Bamsi.

      Haiku & Story: Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018

  2. Back in the old days when we had a huge backyard, we grew many local fruit trees. A particular durian tree was tall and bore lots of thick yellow sweet fleshy fruits. One day, lightning strike and the tip of the straight upwards branch broke about 10 feet, so we can see the remaining branch edge charred. My family was sad as it was our best tree. We assume the tree will wilt and die. Surprisingly, the tree bore more fruits but this time, the fruit had a bitter sweet flavor, which is a sought after flavor for durians. The charred branch edge remained as is. There could be other explanations but what a coincidence. Nature is queer.

    1. Hello Windy dear,

      That is some story you’ve shared. Yes, old folks were quick to ascribe metaphysical reasons to extraordinary events. I’m happy that all ended well for your family. Bitter-sweet durian—my favourite too 🙂

      All good wishes for the week ahead,

      God’s anger unleashed
      Lightning strikes, early man’s fire
      Roasted meat tastes good

      Looking back, we laughed but not when the lightning struck poor Timothy.

      It was in rural Singapore and the toilet was a standalone wooden shack constructed a discreet distance from the house. Poor Timothy was inside, doing his ‘business’ as we used to call it.

      For some strange reason, the lightning struck the shack and not the surrounding trees, even though the latter were taller.

      Poor Timothy received the shock of his life and ran out of the toilet. Naked.

      Luckily, the only thing that was hurt was his pride.

      Haiku & Story: Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018

    1. Hello Ina,

      It is true, what you say. For me, the flow of volcanic lava is spellbinding, as are the heaving oceanic waves.

      Have a great weekend,

      Beauty in danger
      Lava flows, heaving oceans
      Far from, safe, from far

      Pieter specialized in nature photography–volcanos. The foremost scientific magazines featured his compositions and he won many awards. For all the publicity his works received, he remained very much in the background.

      He was an introvert—almost a recluse—and often travelled incognito. He never gave interviews and was not himself photographed. His solo exhibitions attracted crowds as people came to meet him, as much as to marvel at his photographs.

      After a long and successful pursuit of his passion, Pieter suddenly dropped out of sight. No one knew what happened to him. Theories flew but none withstood scrutiny.

      The last person to have seen him was his part time house keeper. Apparently, he was headed for Chile. But there was no record of him having arrived in the country.

      Volcanologists had predicted an impending eruption of Villarrica, one of Chile’s most active volcanos. It erupted and produced spectacular lava flows, forcing authorities to evacuate villages in the vicinity.

      Two people were killed, one of whom remained unidentified. He had been reduced to ashes.

      Haiku & Story: Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018

    1. Hello my friend from Nairobi,

      No, man has no choice but to accept whatever nature dishes out to him. But man deludes himself that he can control nature. He dams river, razes forests, and does many other things. It always comes back to bite him from unexpected directions.

      Thank you for your visit and comment.

      Have a great weekend ahead,

      Wisdom knows limits
      Know your strengths and weaknesses
      Half the battle won

      ‘If we give battle now, we will prevail,’ said the young prince, as he wheeled his horse round. His father, the king, had sent him on the campaign to learn of war.

      ‘The enemy is well organised; disciplined,’ said the general, who had won many battles for his lord, the king. ‘What are our weaknesses, my prince?’

      ‘What weaknesses? We outnumber the enemy two to one,’ said the prince, as eager as his impatient horse.

      ‘Our numbers are large but composed of six tribes; bickering chieftains; and all after war booty, not victory,’ said the general. He raised himself on his stirrups for a better view of the field, and fell back on his saddle. ‘We don’t have an army. What we have is a rabble.’

      ‘But I insist, general. I insist we engage the enemy.’

      ‘We wait till the army, our army, arrives,’ said the general.

      ‘If you’re afraid, general, I will lead the attack.’

      The general locked eyes with his young charge for a pronounced moment. Then, he said,

      ‘If you insist, my prince, you may harass the enemy flanks. The chieftains whom you have roused, and perhaps you too, will learn what it means to engage a real army. And the enemy facing us is a real army.’

      In the very first skirmish, the tribesmen broke ranks and fled. If not for the defensive fortifications which the general had erected, and behind which the tribesmen retreated, the prince would have been killed.

      Haiku & Story: Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018

      1. Hello my friend from across the ocean.
        You are right that man deludes himself he can control rivers. He dams it and then over time suffers siltation, destruction of ecosystem either upstream or downstream, floods and what nots.

        The second story is beautiful and it reminds me of the Mahabharata, the movie, as I have not read the epic.

        Just before the two armies go to war, lord Krishna, I think, reminds them victory and defeat are illusions. The victorious army will have killed members of their family over a feud they could resolve differently. They will be desolate. There is no victory in war, only the dead and the left.

        Have a great weekend

      2. Hello again,

        Thank you re the story.

        It was Lord Krishna who spoke to Arjuna. That discourse is the Bhagavad Gita. And you are right – in war, there are no real victors.

        Peace my friend,

  3. I gave that a lot of thought. We may view nature as destructive from the human standpoint as if we get in the road we can get hurt. However nature with lightning strikes releases elements that feed the earth. Floods create good growing soil in their pathway. So nature in that sense replenishes rather than destroys. Now we as humans work against nature polluting land and sea and creating deserts with our modern lifestyle. So perhaps man is the destroyer? And perhaps God permits us to hurt ourselves that way so we learn how to work with nature rather than work against it? What do you think?

    1. Hello Ian,

      I agree with your viewpoint. Man, driven by greed, is definitely the destroyer.

      What we see as natural disasters are actually rejuvenations of the planet. One example, we know of the San Andreas Fault; we know the tectonic plates will give; and yet, cities and communities have sprouted the length of the fault. A monumental disaster awaiting mankind. Is it nature’s fault? We know but refuse to move.

      All good wishes,

      Big business and greed
      Man enters the lion’s den
      Not the lion’s fault

      People hailed him as the foremost nature conservationist in the country. He was known for his daring and worked especially with wild and dangerous animals. His weekend documentaries had people glued to their television sets and hand-held devices. And he appeared in dozens of talk shows in the country and the world.

      The studios who sponsored his work kept eagle eyes on their ratings. But after ten years, ratings began to slip. There was only so many things one can say about sharks, crocodiles, and snakes.

      Under pressure from the studio executives and, also driven by his huge ego, his antics morphed from animal handling and bordered on animal abuse.

      On one dive, a sea snake bit him and he died.

      He became a national hero.

      (NB: This is a work of fiction and any resemblances to people dead or alive is purely coincidental.)

      Haiku & Story: Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018

    1. Hello Jane,

      Well said. We can prepare as best we can and accept. With nature, we are situation takers, not situation makers.

      Have a good weekend,

      Three gods wrapped in her
      Gives birth, nurtures, and destroys
      From her, back to her

      After the tsunami devastated the small tourist town, the people picked up their lives and moved away. Seismologists had predicted another tsunami within two decades.

      Nature set about reclaiming the land and repairing the damage engineered by man’s greed. And slowly, the seaside reverted to her natural pristine beauty. The mangrove forest flourished, fish and sea otters thrived, and migratory birds returned.

      As the destruction wrought by the tsunami faded from memory, a new breed of eager business people arrived. The beaches looked inviting, the blue sea sparkled under the bright sun—and there was money to be made.

      “First mover advantage” – screamed a glossy real estate brochure.

      Years passed and the community thrived—on borrowed time.

      At a depth of thirty kilometres below sea level, about one hundred and sixty kilometres from shore, the first fine stream of air bubbles rose to the surface.

      Haiku & Story: Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018

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