A Sparrow’s Call

Originally written 1 February 1994 in Foster City, California. First published in Mirrors 7:2, Summer 1994. Also anthologized in Journeys: An Anthology of International Haibun (Hyderabad, India: Nivasini Publishers, 2014), edited by Angelee Deodhar.

The rhythm of the rain on the leaves stops me short. Slowly, the sun from behind a summer storm cloud washes the dripping flower-strewn meadow with gleaming light. Between distant trees a rainbow shimmers.


rhythm of the rain

on the leaves—

a sparrow’s call


these woods

so green and dark—

mossy antlers


tinkling brook—

a clatter of stones

at its edge


     its slow fall . . .

             a green oak leaf

and a damp cocoon


My muddy tracks follow me across the hillside meadow to the edge of this wood. The sunlight, stronger now, stretches its rays into the darkest reaches of tall oak and birch and poplar. The trail leads into the forest’s heart.


             calling me

        into wet woods,

the sparrow’s short song