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,

Michael Dylan Welch haiku at the Katikati Haiku Walkway, New Zealand
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.

 

  

wet beach sand—

a sandpiper’s song

of footprints

 

 

under the eaves

a barn owl’s shadow

another

 

 

          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

          circling

 

 

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