Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Morning Walk

                         Unrisen moon,
                         eerie pearlescent sky -
                         stars, but barely.

                         Before the haar clears -
                         a magnolia blossom

                         the sole morning star.

                         Shafts of light through boughs,
                         shining out from fallen stars -
                         wood anemones.

Today's recommendation is a fellow poetry blogger: Back Roads Haiku, who does this so much better than I do.  I encourage you to follow him - I do.

For those unfamiliar with the Scots word, "haar" is sea fog that develops offshore and is then carried inland.  It is typical of the east coast of Scotland, which is where you are most likely to hear the word.

Haar forms offshore on warm days.  As the air over the land warms and rises, the the pressure difference leads to onshore breezes which carry the haar inland as the day progresses.  Thus a beautiful sunny day here in Edinburgh is likely to turn misty by late afternoon.

If we are lucky, and the next day is fine too (no common occurrence in Scotland), the haar may burn off by late morning.  If we are unlucky, it can persist for days, while, just a few miles inland, the sun is shining.

The etymology of the word is in doubt, but sources seem to agree that it originated on the other side the North Sea, in either Old Norse or Old German, so I guess it travelled here with invaders or traders from what are today's Norway, Denmark, or Germany, or from the Low Countries, either directly, or via the Northern Isles or northern England.


  1. I came here from your marvelous lyric for "The Saddest Bloggers Live in Texas". And here I have found not only more readworthy poetry, but a new word as well! :-)

    1. That happens to me all the time: just when you think you know ALL the words a new one comes along :-)

      Thank you for your kind comments.

      By the way, I really liked the definition of your job on your blog: "that's a language scientist, not someone who can read intercepted transmissions in Pashto". Well said!


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