f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

July 3, 2008

love that watermelon and fireworks

Filed under: Haiku or Senryu,q.s. quickies — David Giacalone @ 8:19 am

gramps grabs his dentures —
grandma’s hiding
the watermelon

…. by dagosan

The folks at the Watermelon Promotion Board must be smiling this morning, with the spreading news coverage — just in time for the Independence Day holiday — about watermelon’s potential to combat erectile dysfuntion. See “Scientists: watermelon yields Viagara-like effects” (AP/Albany NY Times Union, July 3, 2008); and “Watermelon may have Viagara effect” (Science Daily, July 1, 2008). The Associated Press story tells us:

“A slice of cool, fresh watermelon is a juicy way to top off a Fourth of July cookout and one that researchers say has effects similar to Viagra — but don’t necessarily expect it to keep the fireworks all night long.

“Watermelons contain an ingredient called citrulline that can trigger production of a compound that helps relax the body’s blood vessels, similar to what happens when a man takes Viagra, said scientists in Texas, one of the nation’s top producers of the seedless variety.”

Tim Dowling of The Guardian sounds a bit like our Prof. Yabut, as he notes (“Is watermelon the new Viagara?,” July 3, 2008):

“We should be suspicious of news about watermelons timed to coincide with the Fourth of July, when watermelons are traditionally consumed in the US. If you’d made an earth-shattering discovery about watermelons, chances are you wouldn’t save it.

This story, however, is not entirely without merit: according to Dr Bhimu Patil, director of Texas A&M University’s Fruit and Vegetable Improvement Center (how do you improve a watermelon? Put a hat on it?). . . .”

starry night–
biting into a melon
full of seeds

parting her pink robe

… by Yu Chang, from A New Resonance (1999)

“starry night” – Frogpond XXI:1; Museum of Haiku Literature Award (1998)

Science Daily quotes Dr. Patil: “Watermelon may not be as organ specific as Viagra, but it’s a great way to relax blood vessels without any drug side-effects.” He also points out that:

“Previous tests have shown that lycopene is much better absorbed from tomatoes when mixed in a salad with oily vegetables like avocado or spinach,” Patil said. “That would also apply to the lycopene from watermelon, but I realize mixing watermelon with spinach or avocadoes is a very hard sell.”

No studies have been conducted to determine the timing of the consumption of oily vegetables to improve lycopene absorption, he said.

Of course, you should heed the advice of a USDA representative:

“Citrulline is found in all colors of watermelon and is highest in the yellow-fleshed types, said Penelope Perkins-Veazie, a USDA researcher in Lane, Okla.

“She said Patil’s research is valid, but with a caveat: One would need to eat about six cups of watermelon to get enough citrulline to boost the body’s arginine level. [Ed’s Note: A cup of diced watermelon (140 g.) contains about 40 calories.]

” ‘The problem you have when you eat a lot of watermelon is you tend to run to the bathroom more,’ Perkins-Veazie said.”

The Watermelom Promotion Board’s website aims to be “Your one-stop source for recipes, information and fun, all about watermelon.” [E.g., We found out that “Watermelon’s official name is Citrullus Lanatus of the botanical family Curcurbitaceae. It is cousins to cucumbers, pumpkins and squash.”] The f/k/a Gang wonders whether the WPB will be re-writing its Watermelon Lovers Page. While the site is still G-rated, we suggest you and the kids explore its “carving and fun ideas” (note to Bob Eckstein — check out the Watermelon Snowman), and the “fun facts & FAQs.”

bumper crop
a watermelon
holds the door open

……… by w.f. owen – from haiku notebook

— Of course, the Board can now add Love-Helpy to their Heart Healthy promotion [see USDA News Release “Watermelon Serves Up Medically Important Amino Acid” (Word)]

– and their Watermelon Dip Stix recipe should become quite popular

We can’t promise you ED solutions or even more traditional fireworks for the 4th of July holiday, but we can give you some related haiku and senryu:

first melon of the season
sleeping child

the melon cooling
two days now…
no one has come

if someone comes
change into frogs!
cooling melons

unaware of the thief’s
eyes, melons
cooling in water

with the sickle moon…
the cooling melon

…. by Kobayashi Issa, translated by David G. Lanoue

and melon cooling
with us in the stream

… by peggy lyles from The Haiku Anthology (edited by Cor van den Heuvel, 3rd Ed.,1999)

choosing a melon–
a song so old
I forget why I cry

… by Billie Wilson – from New Resonance 3: Emerging Voices

My visit to Chautauqua last week had one major drawback: I missed the annual Jumpin’ Jack’s fireworks display right across the Mohawk River at/over Collins Park, in Scotia, NY.  The Scotia fireworks, which I traditionally watch from my backyard on the banks of the Mohawk, take place on the Friday before the Independence Day weekend. Click for a YouTube Video of Fireworks at Collins Park in Scotia, June 29, 2007 — with a great full moon. [update: see my photos of the 2009 Jumpin’ Jack’s fireworks]

fireworks finale!
her eyes return
to the fireflies

.. by David Giacalone – Simply Haiku, Autumn 2007, vol 5 no 3 –

Here are a few haiku as a consolation (more here): fireworksSmN

Independence Day
after all the fireworks, the stars
still there

long after
the fireworks
a shooting star

cometB …. by George Swede from Almost Unseen

I close my eyes
for a second look

night train
the fireworks
you missed

…… by John Stevenson – Quiet Enough

boom! boom! ka-boom!
so many duds…

river boat–
on a night of fireworks
still selling fireworks

… by Kobayashi ISSA, translated by D.G. Lanoue

Independence Day
next to the floats, ants carry
a butterfly corpse

…… by George Swede – The Heron’s Nest (July 2002)


  1. David, while it might not be immediately apparent from The Guardian website, but Tim Dowling is from your side of the pond btw…

    Ed. Note: Once again, the webserver is not accepting my Comments to my weblog today. So, I shall answer you here, since I am allowed to edit Comments.

    Hi, Matt. Thanks for the tip. Are you trying to disown the Dowling chap?. Gotta tell you, he sure looks like a Brit. On the other hand, I couldn’t find any superfluous “u’s” in the watermelon article, and he never even said “keen” once. With a bit of Googling, I learned he was born in Connecticut, USA in 1963.

    Comment by mattm — July 3, 2008 @ 2:47 pm

  2. independence day
    the dulled point of grandpa’s
    foxhole shovel


    Comment by ed markowski — July 3, 2008 @ 9:51 pm

  3. Thanks David. Great recipe. Another use for my melon balls.

    Comment by Bob Eckstein — July 7, 2008 @ 8:47 pm

  4. Just don’t let those melon balls get too close to them Dip Sticks, Bob.

    Comment by David Giacalone — July 7, 2008 @ 8:59 pm

  5. […] effect” of watermelon.  Find a discussion at my old f/k/a weblog, including haiku about both melons and fireworks. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Candyfloss clouds and crumps of […]

    Pingback by July 3rd clouds « suns along the Mohawk — July 4, 2009 @ 8:24 am

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