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, Roadrunner, Shades 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.

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