Eric – Haibun Thinking

AnElephantCant forget he is Scottish
Though he rarely wears tartan or turns heads in the kilt
Although not overly compliant
He writes of a true giant
And not MyBeautifulThings picture of folk up on stilts

AnElephant makes another importunate assault on this great weekly challenge hosted by his friend Al, who continues to do great things with this site.
Please take a moment to check out this page to see some superb interpretations of the Japanese Haibun, a literary form which explores the relationship between the human experience and nature.
This week AnElephant chooses as his inspiration this quotation:
“All those moments will be lost in time… like tears in rain.”
Rutger Hauer (Blade Runner)

eric by phil burns

eric by phil burns


He is born in Tianjin, China, the son of Scottish missionaries.
He is sent to boarding school before entering Edinburgh University, aged 18.
He is a devout Christian; he is also intelligent and athletic.
He plays rugby for his university and then, in only 2 years, is capped 7 times for Scotland.
His first sporting love is running, and he is selected to run for the UK in the 100 metres at the Paris Olympics.
He withdraws from this, his best event, as the heats fall on a Sunday, which conflicts with his religious beliefs.
He is persuaded to run in the 400 metres instead.
He wins the gold medal, gloriously, to the delight of the French public, as well as the British.
He returns to China to continue his parents’ work.
The Japanese invade and he is interned in a POW camp.
Winston Churchill authorises his release as part of a prisoner exchange deal; he refuses to leave, sending a pregnant lady out in his place.
He dies in the camp, aged 43.
But his moments are never forgotten.
The Chinese claim him as their first Olympic champion.
In Scotland he is a hero.

personal beliefs
whether shared or not
sometimes unify mankind

This entry was posted in Daft Rhymes, haibun and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Eric – Haibun Thinking

  1. Bastet says:

    Wonderful tribute to Mr. Liddell … I enjoyed this haibun very much.


  2. kencairnduff says:

    Moving post on Liddell, agreed a truly great man even if you don’t agree with his beliefs. I particularly liked the quote from Batty, the whole “I’ve seen things” speech is something special.

    At least no one died this week!

    Regards, Ken



  3. Penny L Howe says:

    An absolutely wonderful haibun. Exquisitely composed, conveying a wealth of emotion, appropriately due to a hero in time, so as not to be lost or forgotten. Your haibun prose and the haiku are excellent and I thank you for your well expressed reminders of a beautiful soul! 🙂 xo


  4. Al says:

    This made me go cold. I was with my sister today and we placed a cross by the war memorial for our Granddad who was captured by the Japanese in the Second World War and as a result of being in the POW camp, died of Tuberculosis. A very poignant and moving story. Thank you.


  5. emmylgant says:

    I love AnElephant’s Importunate (hilarious!) assault on Al’s challenge.
    But may Eric’s moment never be lost in time.
    It is the integrity to his personal beliefs-at all cost- as much as his athletic enthralling prowess that really lit the fire in the human spirit.
    He represents what we can be when we stay true to our core even in the face of immense loss.
    Eric Liddell, a hero for all.
    Thank you for not letting us forget.


Go on, say something, even if it's rude!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.