Chesapeake TOPICS


The Chesapeake Saijiki – Non-Seasonal TOPICS,
All Year, Miscellaneous

The Chesapeake Bay is on the East Coast of North America.

Please read the general introduction here.

Please add your kigo and information.

M. Kei, April 2006
Editor of the Chesapeake Bay Saijiki


The Collection of Non-seasonal Topics

.. .. .. Non-seasonal TOPICS

.. .. Season

.. .. Heaven

bully breeze --
The breeze blowing off of Bulle Rock, near Havre de Grace, Maryland. Even when the rest of the air is dead, there is often enough of a breeze from the rock to help a sailboat make harbor.

The breeze blowing off of Bulle Rock, near Havre de Grace, Maryland. Even when the rest of the air is dead, there is often enough of a breeze from the hill to help a sailboat make harbor. When the wind is fresh... sailing gets ‘interesting.’

From time immemorial mariners have used short poems as mnemonic devices to help remember important information. The captain of the Martha Lewis recently composed the following couplet as advice to his relief captains.

When the wind is from 300 degrees,
beware the Bulle Rock breeze.

~Capt. Byshe Hicks, US
Capt. Byshe is a skipjack captain.

high winds --
The topography and meteorology of the area combine to bring about sudden shifts in weather and may spawn sudden strong winds; wind warnings are often posted on the many bridges in the area. Certain traffic is prohibited from using the bridges during wind warnings. These winds may even occur in fair weather, without any rain or storm, especially in spring and fall.
.. .. .. .. .. World Kigo Database : WIND in various kigo

.. .. Earth and Sea

Comegy's Bight --
The place names of the Chesapeake are many and varied, a result of the endless melange of people who have settled here or passed through.

crisp autumn night...
we anchor in stars in
Comegy's Bight

~Gail Greene, US

Elkton floods --
The town of Elkton, on the Elk River, floods at frequent intervals throughout the year. Once navigable as far as Elkton where steamboats docked downtown, the Elk River has now silted up and has a pervasive flooding problem. For decades folks have been saying ‘something should be done,’ but nothing has changed.

”Before it went out of business, the local 5 & 10 used to keep merchandise at least two feet off the floor. During floods, clerks in hipwaders would go to fetch whatever the customer wanted and bring it to where they waited on the steps.”~M. Kei

five and dime:
the clerks wear hip waders
to serve customers

~M. Kei, US

granite --
A common stone from the Chesapeake Country, it was so readily available that it was used to build not only houses and churches, but also roads and curbs. Many small towns still retain relics of their granite paving as well as houses and businesses built from granite. Baltimore has a number of streets where the old granite bricks are still exposed. The town of Port Deposit, Maryland, is famous for its granite ledges.

knoll --
In connection with the Chesapeake Bay, a 'knoll' is understood to be an underwater hill. The bay varies in depth from ankle deep to holes a 150 feet deep, and suddenly changes in bottom topography are common. Some of the knolls are well-known and have acquired their own names and hazard lights, eg, Seven Foot Knoll.

marsh --
Marshes and other wetland abound on the Chesapeake, but are being filled in and their ecosystems badly damaged by ongoing development. In watermen’s communities, worn out boats are abandoned in marshes to dispose of them. Also ‘marshland.’

graveyard of boats
their memory sinks
into the marsh

~ M. Kei, US

“Wind-blown seeds found homes in the marshland. Here crabs gathered in May to shed their shells. Here geese flocked on frosty mornings, kids spying on them from shacks hidden in the reeds. All is changed now, all faded away. The Black Walnut Point* on the Chesapeake Bay has become a bed and breakfast inn.”
~Tei Matsushita

stakes rotten, but a haven
for flowers without name

~Tei Matsushita, US

* The artist’s country house from 1965 to 1976.

Seven Foot Knoll -
An underwater hill, its top is a mere seven feet below the surface of the Chesapeake Bay. This knoll is located just outside the Port of Baltimore and so is a navigation hazard. A warning light has been mounted on it. Seven Foot Knoll is the northernmost point at which skipjacks dredge for oysters.

Tidewater --
Another name for the Chesapeake Bay region. It is literally the land below the fall line, meaning that it could be reached by boat from the bay. In the old days, boats knit together the economy of the region and though modernization has changed many things, the region still shares an underlying history and structure due to the Bay.

Terrapin Sand Point
and Okahanikan Cove --
names alone are good.

~Harry Armistead
Previously published in ‘Chesapeake Bay Haiku,’ Audubon Naturalist News, Feb, 2002.

it's almost the sea,
Jellyfish and Loggerheads,
occasional Whales.

~ Harry Armistead, US.
Previously published in ‘Chesapeake Bay Haiku,’ Audubon Naturalist News, Feb, 2002.

Washington, DC --
The capital of the United States is located on the tidal part of the Potomac River and hence is very much a part of the Chesapeake Bay region. 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is the address of the White House. A family of ducks became local celebrities when they took up residence on the White House lawn.

Behind the fence
at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue,
the ducks nest.

~ M. Kei, US

.. .. Humanity

boat --
Any small vessel that is not a ship. The Chesapeake Bay is home to numerous traditional, modern, and recreational boats. Traditional boats include the Baltimore clipper, skipjack, crab boat, pilot boat, sailing skiff, bugeye, sailing canoe, and others.

leathering --
the process of cutting, shaping, stitching, and gluing leather parts on a wooden sailboat or skiff. It is done first while the boat is under construction, which may be any time of year, but thereafter will usually be done in the spring (if needed) as part of haul out.

leathering the oars, how
leathered my hands...

~M. Kei

lighthouse --
A necessity for the many points and hazards of Chesapeake navigation. The lighthouses are such an integral part of the scenery that even lighthouses that have been officially retired are kept going as 'courtesy lights' by local non-profit organizations. Many lighthouses are open to the public or can be viewed from chartered boats.
For more info,

museum --
The Chesapeake Bay is rife with museums, ranging from the world-class museums of the Smithsonian Institution to many small and medium-sized museums dedicated to all manner of things, especially local culture and history, from the skipjack Rebecca T. Ruark (oldest skipjack still afloat) to the Fire Museum of Maryland (a major museum dedicated to the history of firefighting) to the Maryland House of Delegates (oldest state house still in use to house a legislature).
Many of the museums and historical sites are both open to the public and continuing at least in part their original function.

“The Washington DC Mall stretches between the U.S. Capitol and the Washington Monument. On either side is a wondrous array of museums. When I was a girl, my mother would give me two car tokens (bus/streetcar tokens) and a sack lunch and turn me loose to spend the day in the museums of my choice.”~ Susan Delphine Delaney, US

museum case
the bones
of a cavalry camel

~ Susan Delphine Delaney, US

roadside crosses --
It has become common for mourners to erect handmade crosses on the side of the road to mark the place where the loved one died. These crosses may receive offerings of flowers, balloons, and items special to the deceased at various times of year. In some areas there are many of them, one fifteen mile stretch of Rt. 40 in Cecil County has eight or more.

counting memorials on
the side of the road--
highway of misery

~M. Kei

.. .. Observances

.. .. Animals

Heron, great blue heron (Ardea herodias) --
Widespread in North America, great blue herons stand up to four feet tall with wingspans up to seven feet. They nest in trees and bushes that stand near protected waters. Herons principally eat fish, but they supplement their diet with snakes, birds, crabs, dragonflies, frogs, grasshoppers, and similiar creatures. Although they are solitary when hunting, they nest together in colonies, which in the Chesapeake are called ‘rookeries.’ Their eggs and young are preyed on by raccoons and other birds. They will abandon a rookery if a member of the community was killed there. The Chesapeake Bay is an extremely important habitat, about half of all Atlantic herons overwinter here.

A Great Blue Heron


.. .. Plants



All poems copyright by the authors and used with permission. All images, unless specified otherwise, are courtesy of the WikiCommons projectand are posted in accordance with the licensing agreement(s) accompanying each image on that site.


Chesapeake Bay Saijiki: Spring

Chesapeake Bay Saijiki: Summer

Chesapeake Bay Saijiki: Autumn

Chesapeake Bay Saijiki: Winter

Chesapeake Bay Saijiki: Non-seasonal topics, miscellaneous

. BACK TO .. .. .. Chesapeake Bay, USA .


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