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Wind: A Haiku Collection

Catherine's writing reflects her life-long love of nature and gardening. She advocates for sustainability and respect for all living things.

a wind-stripped tree - Santa Ynez Valley, CA

a wind-stripped tree - Santa Ynez Valley, CA

The Devil Winds of Southern California

In September through May Southern Californians prepare for the inevitable Santa Anas, the hot and dry winds which originate in the high deserts and move downward through the mountains toward the Pacific Ocean. They often put residents on edge because of wildfire threat. Property damage from downed trees and power lines, respiratory problems, and negative mood effects from the wind's positive ions are other downsides to their arrival.

Gusts can exceed 80 mph as the downdrafts are forced through narrow passes. Typically, these gusts are strongest from dusk to mid-morning. In areas already bone-dry from triple-digit summer heat, these winds can send a spark from a power line into dry grass and stoke a raging inferno within minutes. The blustery conditions further hamper efforts of firefighters and helicopters to squelch flames and put them in harm's way with unpredictable air movement. Unfortunately the Santa Ana winds linger during the peak of our normal fire season in October.

In Spring these drying winds can precede seasonal frosts causing irreparable damage to both agricultural crops and ornamental landscapes. Nurseries lose thousands of dollars in damaged stock. Electricity and water delivery may be out for days at a time in some areas, and insurance claims skyrocket as property is damaged by fallen trees and windblown debris. When the winds hits the coast, the moored boats in the marinas can sustain significant damage too. This is especially true on Catalina Island where the picturesque Avalon Harbor is impacted by both the pummeling gusts and the wind-driven waves.

Often the winds begin as a calming warm breeze with the tinkle of the garden's wind chimes, but soon it'll be time to take down the umbrellas and fasten down anything that's not securely anchored! I hope you enjoy my inspiration from the Santa Ana winds as I've tried to capture the progression in a series of haiku verses.


Warm fragrant blusters

A clay pot falls and shatters.

Santa Ana winds!


Undulating grass

Dry leaves rattle and scatter.

A sleepy breeze stirs.


Intermittent gusts

Prompt a chorus of wind chimes.

Resounding waves.


Fierce undaunted grip

Branches stripped from twisted limbs.

Not a leaf is spared.


Giant ash limbs creak.

A lean willow bends with ease.

Such dichotomy!


The blossomed bough quakes.

A soft snow of white petals

Gently set adrift.


A moan, soon to scream

The gust pummels all, then rests.

It draws a deep breath.


Raindrops shaken loose

Fickle bursts at my window,.

Wake up! March madness!

copyright 2011

© 2011 Catherine Tally


peter28 on April 10, 2012:

great stuff

Catherine Tally (author) from Los Angeles on January 28, 2012:

Hi,larry. Thank you for stopping by to read and comment. These trees are from the inland areas above Santa Barbara in Los Olivos. I'm happy to have you as a new follower- loved your grasshopper story!

larryriegle on January 28, 2012:

nice...i was just in nipomo in slo county...your pics and words seem familiar and captivating

Catherine Tally (author) from Los Angeles on March 17, 2011:


Thank you for the beautiful compliment!

tnderhrt23 on March 17, 2011:

These are just sublime! I love the wind...and the next best thing to feeling it blow roses into my cheeks is reading your Wind Series!

Catherine Tally (author) from Los Angeles on March 13, 2011:

Arb, Thank you for your kind comment.

arb from oregon on March 13, 2011:

and a snow of white petals has been set adrift. simplicity potraying volumes. I am reminded of a scene from "the last saumari" in which kamamoto was seeking the perfect blossom. As he lay dying, he whispered, "they are all perfect". It was profound as is your haiku.

Catherine Tally (author) from Los Angeles on March 08, 2011:

Thank you, Larry, for the beautiful praise! I am enjoying your haiku as well and look forward to sharing more inspired observations of nature.

Larry Conners from Northern Arizona on March 08, 2011:

You have painted the most vivid pictures with precise brushstrokes...the 5-7-5 meter swept me along this wondrously windblown haiku...like your gust, I too must take a deep breath and welcome a fellow poet to HubPages...Look forward to more...Larry

Catherine Tally (author) from Los Angeles on March 06, 2011:

Thanks,Genna- such a nice compliment!

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on March 06, 2011:

Beautiful vignettes that reache in with imagery that captures the heart and takes us there. Well done!

Catherine Tally (author) from Los Angeles on March 06, 2011:

Wow! Thank you for your praise, Kathryn. It really inspires me.

kathryn1000 from London on March 06, 2011:

Absolutely brilliant.A discovery

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