Bird Haiku

Here’s a selection of my haiku on the topic of birds. These poems have flown into various publications on three continents, including Acorn, Birthday Tomorrow (HPNC anthology), Dogwood Blossoms, Frogpond

The Haiku Anthology (Norton), Haiku Compass, Haïku sans frontières, Haiku Pathway Katikati (2003)Haiku Quarterly, Haiku World (1996), Heron, The Heron’s Nest, The Loose Thread (Red Moon Anthology 2001), Midwest Haiku Anthology, Modern Haiku, Northwest Literary Forum, RoadrunnerShades of Green (Haiku North America conference anthology, 1997), Shiki Internet Haiku Contest (1995), Snapshots, Snow on the Water (Red Moon Anthology 1998), South by Southeast, Thornewood Poems, Woodnotes, and Yellow Moon. In addition, shown here, “beneath the moon” is carved into stone on the Haiku Pathway in Katikati, New Zealand, which I hope to visit one day. Read more Haiku and Senryu, or Essays on haiku.



wet beach sand—

a sandpiper’s song

of footprints



under the eaves

a barn owl’s shadow




          the silence between us

a quail finds its way

     through the underbrush                                  +



the kite’s tail

ripped from knotty branches—

mockingbird song



the gull’s cry—

     the shape of the wave

     before it curls



taxis in a line

at the county airport—

migrating geese



the day after Christmas

a flock of sparrows

lands in left-over trees



stopping on the footbridge

to gaze at still pools—

a sparrow’s wings flutter



still water—

the blue heron

steps in the moon                                               +



summer afternoon—

the worm in the robin’s beak

still twisting



squawk of a jay—

walking sticks left

at the trailhead



spring birdsong . . .

unopened the longest,

the heaviest present



sparrow at dawn—

how slowly the light changes

with the song



shimmering sun

     above the river an osprey




open sky . . .

the wounded call

of a snow goose



New Year’s Day—

a team of seagulls

on the wet infield



morning bird song—

my paddle slips

into its reflection                                                                     + +



morning sun—

frost melted

where the robin pecks



landing swallow—

the ship’s chain

dips slightly



jays squawk

from redwood tops—

the hush of distant traffic



heron stepping

through the reedy marsh—

the billboard’s shadow



hummingbird at the window

    —my blink

           startles it away



hospital room—

the crane’s flight

through the wallpaper



full moon at midnight—

a barn owl glides

out of the slaughterhouse



first snow—

the random tracks

of Canada geese



first glimpse—

white swan

in the forest pool



first flakes . . .

the curve

of the snow goose’s neck



distant train . . .

in the morning mist

the loon stops paddling



distant church bells . . .

a sparrow’s breath

          lost in the holly berries



distant birdsong—

a small leaf falls

down the back of my neck



cool summer night—

        a full moon

frames the bird feeder



cloudy day—

a magpie squawks

from the sundial



clouds of pollen

drifting through sunbeams—

a sparrow’s sudden flight



beneath the moon

the heron’s slow step

towards frog sound                   +       +



apple picking—

a feather blows

from the empty nest



an old woolen sweater

     taken yarn by yarn

          from the snowbank



as it flies off the cliff

                                   the folding

                                   of the sea gull’s feet



a white swan shakes her tail

at last the ripples

reach her mate



a robin’s song     the next hospital bed now empty



a meadowlark’s call

amid a flurry of leaves . . .

the woodpath turns