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HAIKU DIALOGUE – Avian Adventures – Favorite Moments in Birding (1)

Avian Adventures with Guest Editor Nancy Brady

Birds have been around since the days of the dinosaurs in the form of pteradons and archaeopteryx. Whenever I hear the distinctive squawk of a Great Blue heron, I imagine that pteradons sounded like them, filling the skies with their raucous calls. What these prehistoric birds really sounded like no one knows; however, I can state that birds have found places throughout the earth.

As a child, I was fascinated with birds, even trying to catch one by putting salt on its tail. Of course, I was unsuccessful. Along the way, I learned to identify the birds visiting our yard: cardinals, blue jays, robins, red-winged blackbirds, and even an occasional ruby-throated hummingbird.

Over the years, though, I have expanded my knowledge (and sightings) of various species of birds through travel, here in the US and abroad, and through moves – the latest to the coast of Lake Erie where birds live, gather, and migrate through the region. Having the opportunity to observe our avian friends has given me a greater appreciation of them.

In lieu of binoculars, my digital camera (DSLR) with a zoom lens has further allowed me to see individual feathers, tarsus (feet), or other parts of a bird’s external anatomy. I am not a classic birder per se, spending every free moment in pursuit of the “one that got away,” nor am I an expert (far from it), but I am an enthusiastic fan of our feathered friends, enjoying the discovery of something new. This opportunity to observe them up close and personal helps me write a fair number of haiku about birds. I hope you’ll join me in these avian adventures.

Below is Nancy’s selection of poems on the theme of favorite moments in birding:

I received nearly 300 haiku from over 27 countries; it truly is a global community of haiku poets. Poets wrote about birds, both familiar and unfamiliar, and their adventures with them. I have learned so much about birds from all over the world. Some haiku were about observing a bird’s actions and interactions in the natural world; some were personal interactions with various birds, and some were about favorite birds. From serious to humorous, I enjoyed reading them all. Making the selections for this list as well as the short list was not easy as many of the poets wrote two wonderful haiku, and it is difficult to choose every haiku submitted. If your haiku was not chosen, consider submitting it elsewhere. Many haiku I have submitted to Haiku Dialogue, but were not chosen at the time, have found homes in other publications. Keep writing; the global community of haiku poets needs your poetic voice.

If you find a haiku or two that resonates with you, consider adding a comment as every poet loves to read positive feedback. While writing is mostly a solitary endeavor, the reading or listening to poems is not.

united we stand, divided we fall
….starling murmuration

Nitu Yumnam


a rustle of leaves twitchers in the bushes bird alert

Herb Tate


autumn sky
the sparrow doesn’t sing
the hawk’s song

Stephen A. Peters
Bellingham, WA


cold war
a sparrow fluffs
its feathers

Jeff Leong
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


Villainous changeling –
one by one
the eggs fall

Caroline Ridley-Duff


still warm
this weight in my hands
blue tit fledgling

Deborah Karl-Brandt
Bonn, Germany


a crow’s gift
beer cap
on the railing

Sharon Ferrante
Daytona Beach FL USA


road through the village –
a crow carries
a nut in its beak

Daniela Lăcrămioara Capotă


the blue -Jay
in to blue
morning dreams

Bidyut Prabha Gantayat
Bhubaneswar, India


the day our rescued
parrot came out of his cage
slow walk to freedom

Eavonka Ettinger
Long Beach, CA


blue jay’s piping call
in my old neighborhood
a single clear note

Matt Robison
Kettering, OH


They’re cloning
the dodo. All my grey love,
tame and flightless

Sarah Davies


eternal life
even the cuckoo wants it
summer night

Deborah A. Bennett
Carbondale, Illinois USA


in the cemetery
timeworn things

Jerome Berglund
Minneapolis, Minnesota


Wilson’s snipe –
diving and drumming
how you court me!

Bonnie J Scherer
Alaska, USA


spring in Central Park
a birder shares his scope
for a Kirtland’s warbler

Bruce H Feingold
Berkeley, CA USA


frozen in time…
a blur of pigeons
over Trevi Fountain

Rebecca Drouilhet
Picayune, MS


skylarks singing
behind a wire fence…
I thought I was free

Tony Williams
Scotland, UK


Lone eagle spooked
Hundreds of pelicans to
Spiral skyward

Jennifer Gurney
United States


sudden intimacy
the chickadee lands
on my finger

Wai Mei Wong
Toronto, Canada


memento mori:
the falcon left

Charles Harper


with a fearful thrill
a little bird try to fly
leaving its nest

Rjeey Ilarina
Daja Sur, Banga, Aklan Philippines


the gaps in our conversation
a chirping sparrow

Ram Chandran


meeting place…
on a park bench
a lonesome dove

Bakhtiyar Amini


naming her flying visit tickell’s thrush

Daya Bhat


Hungary’s puszta
I tick the “hoopoe” box
flash of black and white

Jenny Shepherd
London, UK


spring equinox—
gliding through the mist
a shaheen falcon

Hifsa Ashraf
Rawalpindi, Pakistan


uninvited visitor
a peacock parades
on my patio

Tracy Davidson
Warwickshire, UK


spellbound …
a bush warbler
nothing else

Natalia Kuznetsova


slow hand holding bread
cancer creeps through your body
as bird takes a bite

Lynda Flint


a blackbird
near the biscuit-jar
widow’s eyes

Barbara Anna Gaiardoni
Verona (Italy)


having you
around the cold coffee pot
tufted titmouse

Richa Sharma


in the silence
of distant lightning
a screech owl

Ravi Kiran


another shooting
the hermit thrush knows
nothing about it

Vandana Parashar


a pileated woodpecker
silences the babbler

Neena Singh


Riverside stroll
I watch
a kingfisher wait and wait

Nisha Raviprasad


nest under roof
wiggling newborn swallows
chirping all-day

Tsanka Shishkova


woodshed’s hanging shoe pouch
snug in an empty pocket
our wren’s nest

Ingrid Baluchi
North Macedonia


rainbow with sun
without rain

Chen Xiaoou
Kunming, China


the sound of a gun–
dabbling ducks scatter
in a panic

Teiichi Suzuki


my eyes
still searching . . .
again the chirp

Chittaluri Satyanarayana
Hyderabad, India


country road
a swallow overtakes
my bike

Slobodan Pupovac
Zagreb, Croatia


bird census —
the photographer spots
a lone lovebird

Jagajit Salam
Imphal, India


full-time mum
under her care

Samo Kreutz
Ljubljana, Slovenia


rufous treepie —
the crow that sang
my tune

Lakshmi Iyer


sharing solitude
with eagles —
wild flowers

Mariangela Canzi


caged canary singing the blues

Dan Campbell


empty sky. . .
the shadow loses its bird

Lorraine Pester
Texas, USA


my parrot
practices a dialect
morning echo

Lakshman Bulusu
Princeton, NJ, USA


of a firetail finch
news blind

ron scully
Burien WA


uniting generations of trees birdsong

Roberta Beach Jacobson
Indianola, Iowa, USA


a flash of yellow
blinds me
prothonotary warbler

Susan Farner


the slow thaw
among bare branches’ reflection
last year’s nest

Anna Yin
Ontario, Canada


heads or tails
the call of the
Carolina wren

Margaret Tau
New Bern, North Carolina


Over the river
in the rain
kingfisher’s plumage

Louise Hastings
Somerset, UK


by the majesty … pink flamingo
on a pink lake

wanda amos
Old Bar, Australia


up before sunrise
listening to the sparrows
discuss spring

Rehn Kovacic
Mesa, AZ


summer day
hose in hand
a magpie waits

Maurice Nevile
Canberra, Australia


speckled moon the bird that might have been

Susan Burch
Hagerstown, MD


opening plum blossoms
a white−eye leaves behind
its first notes

Keiko Izawa


Syrian woodpecker
on a pink background
the boy’s smile

sirijski djetlić
na ružičastom podrepu
dječakov osmijeh

Zdenka Mlinar


the raven’s call
not as trite as poetry
makes it seem

Curt Linderman
Seattle, Washington


spring dawnlight
in the mockingbird’s show tunes
a blue jay’s note

John Zheng
Mississippi, USA


into the tree hollow
baby owl

Colette Kern
Southold, NY, US


first come first served
a red robin hogs
the birdbath

Bona M. Santos
Los Angeles, CA


midwinter lull
barely a breath
in the blackbird song



corrida –
a stork piercing the red moon
with its beak

Aljoša Vuković
Croatia, Šibenik


March wind
a kestrel
lifts her wings

Keith Evetts
Thames Ditton UK


fresh turned earth
one day the robin
feeding from my hand

Harrison Lightwater


talons extended
a hawk takes its prey
in its stride

Robert Kingston
Chelmsford, United Kingdom


an egret feather
closed your eyelids –
beloved brother

Luciana Moretto
Treviso Italy


in his shelter
I tap to the rhythm-
blue jay

Refika Dedić
Bosnia and Herzegovina


cormorant diving
the shadow of a poplar
is complete again

Zelyko Funda


medical test –
the insidious song
of the magpie

Mircea Moldovan


calling for others
a goose flying in darkness
over our kiss

John Hawkhead
United Kingdom


ripe apples
sweeter the song
of a blue jay

Nazarena Rampini


picture window
the migrant warbler
not just passing through

Laurie Greer
Washington, DC


predawn —
through the binoculars
finally, a sarus crane

Rupa Anand


hawk climbs blue sky
in gentle circles
tracing the wind

Ruth Happel
United States


wardrobe mirror
the sparrow courts
his shadow

R. Suresh Babu


frosty woodland
a flock of siskins
rising and settling

Meera Rehm


feeding time…
I converse
in chicken

Pat Davis
Concord, NH USA


on my silent walk
two twitchers
rustle out of a bush

Ann Rawson


writer’s block. . .
on the brick porch steps
a hawk’s quill

Richard Straw
Cary, North Carolina


mid-winter startle
a flock of robins
swoops to the birdbath

Christa Pandey
Austin, TX, USA


cettia cetti
discreet, timid—chiii!
wildlife voice

Bittor Duce Zubillaga
Basque Country


empty winter —
two blue herons fly over the pond

Ann Sullivan
Massachusetts USA


every day
a little brighter…
migrating bluebirds

Cynthia Anderson
Yucca Valley, California


full moon
white barn owl swoops
a frozen vole

Seretta Martin
United States


deftly weave
a sunrise

Ana Growl
Surrey, UK


serving up a wedge of geese trailing sunrise

John Pappas
United States


flying through

l line

John Francis Alto
Naga City, Philippines


steps …
vanish into the reeds



Australia Day
a kookaburra winds up
on the Hills Hoist

Carol Reynolds


Jutarnja magla
rosnu livadu skriva
vrana se glasa.

Morning fog
hides the dewy meadow
a crow caws.

Šime Škribulja
Croatia, Županja


U proljeće
strpljivo čeka vlasnika
Sivi sokol

In the springtime
a gray falcon patiently waits
for its owner

Ante Škribulja
Croatia, Županja


flock of cranes –
a handmade bookmark
given as a gift

Ana Drobot


no greater joy
than finding it again
red feather

Rita Melissano
Rock Island, IL – USA


flushing a pheasant–
both of us

Ruth Holzer
Herndon, VA


awakened at night
I trade interesting dreams
with the old barn owl

Shelli Jankowski-Smith
Swampscott, MA USA


silent Quakers sit
a black phoebe sings
near the meetinghouse

Damon Huss
Santa Monica, CA


from dry grass
quails shoot into the sky
a skipped heartbeat

Herbert Shippey
Tifton, Georgia


bopping with me
and my ukulele
Rosie the rosella

Louise Hopewell


The koel spoke
kuhu kuhu
In my golden slumbers

Sudha Devi Nayak
Bhubaneswar India


high alert
for incoming crow—

Stephen J. DeGuire
Los Angeles, CA


jungle babblers
hop in the courtyard
aunties chatter

Arvinder Kaur
Chandigarh, India


refugee’s journey
still miles from new home
migratory birds

perjalanan pengungsi
masih bermil-mil dari rumah baru
burung bermigrasi

Christopher Calvin
Kota Mojokerto, Indonesia


field sunset
the copper colors
of a pheasant

Marianne Sahlin


lingering in the fields
aah! snow geese

Maxianne Berger
Outremont, Quebec


compost maturo –
nel becco d’un merlo
un lombrico

mature compost –
in a blackbird’s beak
an earthworm

Angiola Inglese


white mascara
black mascara
silvereye and I

Sue Courtney
Orewa, New Zealand


shouting in the garden –
two jays fighting
for the ant bath

Guido De Pelsmaeker
België (Holsbeek – Kortrijk-Dutsel)


sunlit rain
the shimmering train
of a blue peacock

Firdaus Parvez


the dull dance
of a sparrow feather
where were you going?

Silvia Bistocchi


led astray
by a killdeer
putting on quite an act

Gloria Whitney
Findley Lake, NY USA


siepe fiorita…
le mascherine rosse
dei cardellini

flowering hedge…
the red masks
of goldfinches

Ravaglia Giuliana
Bologna (Italy)


a buzzard lands
in the garden

United Kingdom


strolling by the sea
on the man’s shoulder
a rock pigeon

Aine A Losauro
City of Passi, Iloilo Philippines


early fall
a heron steps
into my reflection…

Adele Evershed
Wilton, Connecticut


hunched blue heron
cowers in pouring rain showers
prefers only wet feet

Christina Baumis
United States


loud chatter
a host of sparrows
dust bathing

Vibha Malhotra
Noida, India


ignoring the bread
pigeon selects sunflowers seeds
discerning taste

Kathleen Mazurowski
Chicago, IL


the magpie
flies away

Olivier Schopfer
Geneva, Switzerland


listening for
the call of the loon

Kerry J Heckman
Seattle, WA


but I still don’t understand

Peggy Hale Bilbro


morning chatter
all eager
for the day

Connie Ramsey
United States


a cormorant preens
across the way, feathers dark
as the water below

Stuart Jay Silverman
Hot Springs, AR


photo op the blue jay on my head

Kath Abela Wilson
Pasadena, California


9 am —
around salty crackers
a kit of pigeons

Devoshruti Mandal


peacock feathers –
transition between worlds
with colorful rainbows

Stoianka Boianova


premarital tune
of tempter

Minko Tanev


the sound of rain
in a peacock’s dance

Baisali Chatterjee Dutt
Kolkata, India


becoming one
with the robin’s song
stone buddha and I

Mona Bedi
Delhi, India


the fluting notes
of a golden oriole …
the morning unfolds

Annie Wilson
Shropshire, UK


at the window
was it a cardinal flashing
on the winter trees?

Lorraine Schein
Queens, NYC


early morning the heron and I lock eyes

John S Green
Bellingham, Washington


here and there
catch me if you can
seagulls playing tag

Jan Stretch
Victoria, Canada


winter into spring
saying it with

Lori Kiefer
London UK


close encounter
eyeballing the crow
eyeballing me

Karen Harvey
Pwllheli, N Wales


out of the darkness
a barred owl calls

Mark Scott
Hardwick, VT USA


long dawning . . .
the aurora borealis cut
by a flock of gulls

Ivan Gaćina
Zadar, Croatia


weeding memories
in the garden . . .
willy wagtail’s song

Carole Harrison
Jamberoo, Australia


picked chick
then left free
my first love

Luisa Santoro
Rome, Italy


the sterling nest
under my old A/C unit
free live streaming

Mona Iordan
Bucharest, Romania


dusk …
a pheasant disappears
into a bush

crepuscolo …
un fagiano scompare
dentro un cespuglio

Daniela Misso
Umbria, Italy


song of an invisible bird —
droppings from the treetop
guide my binoculars

Tomislav Maretić
Zagreb, Croatia


early winter
the sparrow on the balcony
celebrates cat’s death

primo inverno
il passero sul balcone
celebra la morte del gatto

Maria Cezza


flash of red and green
brightening a quiet day
hummingbird feathers

Marcia Burton
Salt Spring Island, Canada


Golden crowned sparrows
a full nest … mother watches
her new hosts

madeleine kavanagh
United States


apathetic morning –
a cheerful redstart
calls me to action

Cristina Povero


a clump of leaves
perched motionless
hawk hunts his prey

Elizabeth Shack
Illinois, USA


a proud crow
munches a saltine
stolen food

Sigrid Sardunn
Bar Harbor, Maine


malabar thrush
a mountain dawn’s
whistle song

Anju Kishore
Chennai, India


mallard ducks paddle
then dabble–
heads down, bottoms up

Rose Marie Harring
Romeoville, IL


canary feathers
in an envelope
a boy’s museum

Jonathan Epstein


mourning dove
out of the blue
mom’s last words

Florin C. Ciobica


Join us next week for Nancy’s commentary on additional poems, & our next prompt…


Guest Editor Nancy Brady is a pharmacist by profession, a haiku and senryu poet by nature. She often found inspiration on her treks back and forth to work as a pharmacist; her first book of haiku, Ohayo Haiku, was a foray into publishing haiku. Three Breaths, her second book, is a mix of haiku, senryu, alternative forms, and other poems. Her work has appeared in journals all over the globe (both print and electronic) and rejected by many more. Nancy also writes other genres including a blog, and plans to publish a children’s book in 2023. She also reads lots of novels. Her favorite is, and remains, Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, but she is also a big Harry Potter fan. Now retired, she, her husband Rob, and their cat, Regular Arcturus Black, live in Huron, Ohio, a block from Lake Erie, where the bird population is constantly changing.

Lori Zajkowski is the Post Manager for Haiku Dialogue. A novice haiku poet, she lives in New York City.

Managing Editor Katherine Munro lives in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, and publishes under the name kjmunro. She is Membership Secretary for Haiku Canada, and her debut poetry collection is contractions (Red Moon Press, 2019). Find her at:

The Haiku Foundation reminds you that participation in our offerings assumes respectful and appropriate behavior from all parties. Please see our Code of Conduct policy.

Please note that all poems & images appearing in Haiku Dialogue may not be used elsewhere without express permission – copyright is retained by the creators. Please see our Copyright Policies.

This Post Has 75 Comments

  1. A rich collection of birding haiku. Many are so sweet, some homely, and all of them, a treat for the senses. Nancy, thank you for your time and patience. Thanks also for including one of mine. The below are two that felt close to my heart as I read them

    every day
    a little brighter…
    migrating bluebirds

    Cynthia Anderson
    Yucca Valley, California

    Something I feel when i see some white herons in the sky. In fact i go up to the terrace in the evenings mainly hoping to see them.

    feeding time…
    I converse
    in chicken

    Pat Davis
    Concord, NH USA

     How sweet is this ku that establishes the man-nature connect so effortlessly, yet so firmly.

    Thank you, all poets and editors.

    1. Hello Anju,
      I am glad you found the haiku rich especially the two you mentioned. Pat’s is cute, but who hasn’t tried to communicate with a familiar (to him/her) animal? Cynthia’s makes us remember that as spring approaches (at least for those in the northern hemisphere), the days get brighter particularly when certain birds appear (whether bluebirds or white herons).
      Thanks to your haiku, I learned about the malabar thrush and its call. I think I have learned so much from this experience and the birds poets have written about. ~nan

  2. Keith,
    Maybe someday, I will take the plunge and give re : Virals a try. I am not proficient in using all the ma, wabi-sabi, etc. Terminology. I just know what I like and what I read/interpret and it seems simplistic compared to most of the comments. But, ancaro imparo (I am still learning), and I should give it a go. Thanks for the encouragement.

  3. caged canary singing the blues Dan Campbell sings the caged blues.
    Ruth Hilzer’s flushing pheasant- / both of us / panic-struck been there, done that. Thanks for the memories – AH

    1. Alan,
      Ruth’s started reaction would be mine, too, whether a pheasant or some other creature flushed from its hiding place.
      I wonder if Dan’s haiku is a reference to Maya Angelou’s caged bird.

  4. Thank you, Nancy! I have loved birds forever, it seems! I’m new to haiku and so happy to be able to read all these haiku in Avian Adventures and see one of my submissions. Very grateful to find this community!

    1. Rose,
      I am glad your haiku has found a home here, and that you are enjoying all the adventures. Your haiku makes me smile. We get our share of diving sucks and their tails flipped up in a five is a common scene, but never gets old. Welcome, and hopefully there will be more from you in the future.

  5. It is a joy to read all these fine haiku. Nancy, Thank you for including mine about the owl and the vole. Please help me to understand the schedule. It seems like it has changed. There used to be a submission deadline every Sat. But recently, sometimes I see a message to look for a prompt next week. Is there a schedule somewhere? ?

    1. Seretta,
      You are correct. The schedule has changed. Instead of the weekly submissions, it is now biweekly. The second week will have haiku that are highlighted with comments.
      The powers that be (Kathy and Lori) changed it up in January. I think it was to lessen the work load on the guest editors. At least that was my take on it. From my brief experience, it was intense at times, and I tip my hat to those who went before me. They did a fantastic job week after week,as do Lori and Kathy. Many thanks to them both.

  6. Thanks a ton Nancy for selecting my haiku. Congrats to the many poets whose haiku got selected. Stellar job.

    1. Lakshman,
      You are welcome. I enjoy reading everyone’s haiku each week,too. I am impressed with the variety from poets from around the globe, and feel fortunate to learn from everyone week after week.

  7. Hi Nancy,
    Thank you for including my “pheasant” in this wonderful group of haiku. One that I especially liked is

    feeding time…
    I converse
    in chicken

    Pat Davis
    Concord, NH USA

    It’s light-hearted and yet led me to reflect on how we speak to other species, so often assuming that they understand us. Whether it’s in our human languages or by imitating their sounds, they probably don’t, but I still like to think they do.

    1. Ruth, I know what you mean. I think we all try to communicate with our animals, but Pay lays it out there. The lightness of that haiku is refreshing. Our cat Flash used to speak, saying “now, out”, and even “mom” or so said my husband.

      1. That should be Pat instead of pay. My apologies to Pat, and profound thankfulness to Kathy, Lori, and to all the haiku poets who submitted these past few weeks.

  8. Dear Nancy, I wanted to thank you for considering my poem. Your commentary, the poets’ commentary as well as the poems themselves, are a pleasure to read. I enjoyed reading John Zheng’s reflection that ”…each haiku is a bird chirping…”. Two of the many poems which speak to me are Jonathan Epstein’s haiku about a young boy’s collection of canary feathers. I can imagine him striding proudly, carrying his prized envelope of canary feathers. This poem strikes me as quite intriguing, a story in itself and which brings back childhood memories of my older brother’s rock collection, displayed lovingly in an open cardboard box. Rose Marie Harring’s endearing image of mallard ducks, ”…bottom’s up…” makes me smile. It is always such a darling sight to glimpse a mallard duck upside down at a park lake or city pond, searching its depths for delicious tidbits.

    1. Madeleine,
      I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment of both of those haiku. The pride of a collection and the mallard ‘s bottom in the air. We have a mallard pair which returns each year to our neighborhood. We have a small water feature in our yard. The female barely can fit in, but her mate watches from outside while she dives upside down. It’s funny to watch, but it has become a yearly event.
      Thanks for the kind words about my selections and work during this month.

  9. Thank you, Nancy for this fabulous Avian favorites selection.
    I particularly liked

    uniting generations of trees birdsong

    Roberta Beach Jacobson
    Indianola, Iowa, USA

    Beautiful. The united flora and fauna.
    Just to let everyone know that an anthology by The Wee Sparrow Poetry Press “To Live Here” with the theme “home” in context with mother earth opens for submissions from 1st of March 2023.
    It should be a treat for nature lovers and environmentalists.


    hawk climbs blue sky
    in gentle circles
    tracing the wind

    Ruth Happel
    United States

    What a beautiful imagery! Nothing short of wizardry.

    1. Hi Govind,
      Thanks for the comments. Roberta’s monoku did unite flora and fauna. I imagined trees living many years and watching generation after generation of song birds living and singing. The trees taking in the carbon dioxide of the birds’ songs and giving back oxygen for their continued life.
      Ruth’s hawk haiku riding thermals, tracing the wind…yes, magical.
      Thanks, too, for letting all the poets about the submission period for Wee Sparrow Press. I am sure people appreciate the announcement. ~nan

  10. Another fabulous and heart-warming collection of poems put together. Reading 300 poems every week must not be easy. Highly appreciate the efforts and time dedicated by the editorial team in compiling it.

    1. Thanks, Nitu. You are correct. Kathy and Lori do a phenomenal job with proofing, editing, and helping the guest editors. They are awesome and SO helpful. ~nan

  11. Thank you Nancy for the captivating bird haiku selections, and for including mine.
    Here are a few that caught my eye for their beauty and content. Amazing how so few words can often pack a punch.

    united we stand, divided we fall
    ….starling murmuration

    Nitu Yumnam

    the sound of rain
    in a peacock’s dance

    Baisali Chatterjee Dutt
    Kolkata, India

    I love this one and it’s full use of the senses. Beautiful.

    empty sky. . .
    the shadow loses its bird

    Lorraine Pester
    Texas, USA

    1. Hi Carole,
      I’m glad you’re pleased, Your alliteration with weeding, willy, and wagtail made your haiku. You are right about the punch a few words can make, and you illustrated that brilliantly by pointing out several worthy haiku.
      Nitu’s murmuration paired with united we stand…fall, for if anyone has never watched starlings move together, it is amazing. The first time I watched the birds moving as one, well, it’s a wonder, I didn’t wreck my car I was so fascinated. I still am.
      Baisali’s petrichor and peacocks, again, alliteration and so much more. I have to admit that I have read many haiku using the word petrichor, and I had to look it up. I’ve yet, though, to have ever written one with the word. Ah, someday…
      Lorraine’s haiku, I really liked it too. One of my thoughts was that maybe it might have been a good fit for Bloo Outlier, which is looking for duostich; the second thought was how evocative it was.

  12. I will respond to all of your comments individually on Thursday morning, but I have had a day to end all days. It is late, but I appreciate that you have found so many haiku from so many poets to comment upon (sorry, I hate to end a sentence with a preposition). Until tomorrow…keep writing, keep reading, and keep commenting. Thanks so much to you all.

  13. Thank you, Nancy, for these bird themed haiku treats!
    These are a few that struck me most (other than a few others which I liked):

    a blackbird
    near the biscuit-jar
    widow’s eyes

    Barbara Anna Gaiardoni
    Verona (Italy)

    picture window
    the migrant warbler
    not just passing through

    Laurie Greer
    Washington, DC

    winter into spring
    saying it with

    Lori Kiefer
    London UK

    1. Hi Amoolya,
      Thanks for pointing out these three haiku. They all have much to recommend examining them further as others have done. Laurie’s has some history behind it, I’m sure, and maybe not all good. The house I grew up in had two picture windows, one in the front and one in the back, and we had many a bird, unfortunately, try to fly through. I may be wrong, but I read that into Laurie’s haiku. I hope the bird wasn’t hurt, but..
      Thanks, again, for pointing a few favorites out, Amoolya. ~nan

  14. Thank you, Nancy, for serving as guest editor. Here are a couple of poems that stood out to me this week.

    frozen in time…
    a blur of pigeons
    over Trevi Fountain

    Rebecca Drouilhet

    ~ a lovely idea to write about birds captured in a photograph. I can see their fast movement forever paused. For some reason I picture this as a black and white photograph.

    writer’s block. . .
    on the brick porch steps
    a hawk’s quill

    ~. Can’t think of what to write, then the sight of the hawk’s quill becomes an inspiration, almost placing a pen in the writer’s hand. Nicely done.

    Richard Straw
    Cary, North Carolina

    1. Hi April,
      I like your choice of haiku to comment upon. I agree with you that I saw similar things in both Rebecca’s and Richard’s haiku. Taking photos of birds in flight often create a blur, but sometimes that blur makes the photo…or at least, reminds the person of a vivid memory of a day never to be repeated. In Richard’s I felt that the writer’s block ended with the discovery of a hawk’s feather. Hawk’s feathers are so magnificent that one can imagine dipping the quill into an ink pot, and putting word to the page.
      Thanks for letting us know the value you found in these two haiku. ~nan

  15. I just spent such a lovely time reading all of these outloud. I can’t believe this was the first time I thought to do so. It had such a profound impact on my appreciation for the poems. What a joy to discover many friends and familiar poets but even more exciting was seeing all the new (to me) names. Many of whom I can’t wait to read more from. In particular, Damon Huss who really took me back to my childhood:

    silent Quakers sit
    a black phoebe sings
    near the meetinghouse

    Damon Huss
    Santa Monica, CA

    I was elated you selected my 5/7/5 poem (which I rarely write anymore). Sometimes when I write about something so important in my life I have a much harder time paring it down. I do not envy you the difficulty of selection.

    There were so many excellent poems already here that I can’t imagine what you’ve selected for commentary next week!

    1. Thanks, Eavonka, for your comment. I don’t know that I have ever just read all of them aloud at one time. It does affect the way the haiku is perceived. I know as I read them, when making selections, I often wished I had the time to put certain ones together–that they seemed to work together, or had similar ideas.

      Having read enough of your haiku in the past, I was surprised by the 5/7/5, but I could see that you were telling a story of these birds in your life. It is hard to pare down, but they both worked.

      I really thought Damon’s was excellent. It struck that the phoebe’s plumage was not unlike the Quakers’ plain outfits (or at least in the past), but the difference being that Quaker meetings are generally quiet and contemplative (again, in the past), but the bird can sing. Of course, Damon may have had different ideas about his haiku.

      I only hope that the haiku I have chosen for commentary measure up to the poet’s intentions.

      Thanks for your thoughtful comments. ~nan

      1. Thank you, Eavonka and Nancy for your thoughtful responses to my haiku. I like your take, Nancy, regarding the plain garb of Quakers and the black plumage. Your observation of the juxtaposition of the worshippers’ intentional silence and the phoebe’s natural singing is exactly what I intended the poem to evoke.

        1. Damon,
          You are welcome, and I am glad I read it that way. It just seemed logical to me. Thanks for submitting it.

  16. Each haiku is a bird chirping in the bird garden of Haiku Dialogue offering a momentary stay with nature. It’s like a bird study through watching and listening.

    1. Yes, John, I believe you are right; it is a bird study. I know that I have learned so much about our avian friends these past several weeks. I realize how little I knew about these winged creatures as I researched the birds mentioned in the haiku written by all the poets.
      Thanks for chiming in (or should I say, chirping?); it’s appreciated. ~nan

  17. opening plum blossoms
    a white−eye leaves behind
    its first notes

    Keiko Izawa

    It is the attractive connections that draw me to this. The temporal coincidence, the visual similarity of a white eye and a plum corolla, and the ‘first notes’ also becomes a metaphor for the plum’s ‘opening’. Everything says spring.

    1. Thanks Simonj for commenting on Keiko’s haiku. I thought it had a lovely flow to it (attractive connections), and it does say spring. It may be that we, who live in the northern hemisphere, are all ready for spring, or it just may be me. ~Nan

  18. Dear Nancy,
    Just a quick note to thank you very much for selecting my haiku.
    I did enjoy reading all the haiku you have chosen. I picked out:

    skylarks singing
    behind a wire fence…
    I thought I was free
    — Tony Williams
    I think the poet is very sensitive and can relate to poor skylarks and feels he isn’t free anymore since they aren’t free. This is my humble interpretation…

    I was rather pleasantly impressed by Lori Kiefer’s haiku:
    winter into spring
    saying it with
    They are my favourite birds and a symbol of spring. I always love watching them on my porch. I love dreaming of them in deep winter!

    1. I took Tony Williams’ poem slightly differently, Mariangela, maybe because the way larks rise up and up into the sky, seemingly to disappear, speaks to me of freedom. (They’re actually attempting to draw you away from their ground nesting sites.) One of my favourite pieces of music is Ralph Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending, reminding me of a summer’s day in pristine English countryside (dry and warm, of course!) It’s we humans, as your comment suggests, who put up physical barriers, fencing us off from so many aspects of nature.

      1. Thanks, Ingrid, for taking the time to comment. Whilst I like Mariangela’s take, yours is actually what I had in mind, and you state it well. It is a joy to read both interpretations though!

        1. Thank you for your reply, Tony. I did like your haiku. I wrote it down in my notebook and added it to my favourites.

      2. Thanks ever so much for your reply, Ingrid. I must say your interpretation is fascinating.
        The Lark Ascending is a great piece of music indeed and it certainly speaks of freedom.
        Free as a Bird by The Beatles also came to my mind yesterday…

      3. Ingrid,
        I hadn’t considered this interpretation. I haven’t listened to my Ralph Vaughn Williams’ CD in some time and I believe it has that piece of music on it. Thanks for reminding me of his music.
        Thanks for commenting; it’s appreciated.

    2. Dear Mariangela,
      You are welcome; I really liked the visuals of the eagle and the wildflowers of your haiku. Delicate wildflowers coexisting with the strength of the eagle, and your experiencing both. Perfect!
      Your interpretation of Tony’s haiku was similar to mine. That he no longer felt free since he saw them behind the fence. After reading his haiku, then I no longer feel free, either.
      I am glad you pointed out Lori’s haiku about spring and swallows. I think many of us have some magical symbol of spring that lightens the pall that winter can cast upon us. For me, it is the crocus, but I am glad that for both you and Lori, it is the swallow.

      1. Dear Nan,
        Thank you so much for your kind words about my haiku. They mean a lot to me!
        I too like the crocus very much. It is always a joy to see them growing in the gardens and parks. Daisies, primroses, violets… Spring is coming!
        All the best,

      2. Thank you Nancy, yes there are some great markers of Spring. The crocus is a lovely one and the daffodil! Thank you for a wonderful few weeks of birding! Lori

    3. Hi Mariangela,
      So glad you like my haiku and share a love for swallows! Best wishes, Lori

      1. My pleasure!
        Swallows should come back soon. They usually come to Italy by the end of March.
        Enjoy spring!

  19. Grazie mille Nancy,

    per avermi inserita in questa vivace raccolta di haiku.

    Forse l’haiku che ho più apprezzato è quello di Sudan Burch con
    “luna maculata l’uccello che avrebbe potuto essere”. Così fantasioso, quasi un elogio alla diversità.

    1. Dear Silvia,
      Siete i benvenuti. Sono contento che il tuo haiku sia stato incluso perché mi ha dato la possibilità di chiedermi del passero e delle sue piume e dove era stato e dove stava andando dopo. Abbiamo passeri e sfrecciano dentro e fuori dai nostri cespugli tutto il giorno. Anch’io ho trovato l’haiku di Susan Burch interessante e un po’ triste per l’uovo che non è mai andato a buon fine. Grazie ancora

      PS. Sì, anche il suo haiku ha affrontato un po’ la diversità.

      Silvia, I hope this makes sense.

    1. Thanks, Barbara. I feel like you and all the poets are taught me so much more about birds of the world through your haiku than I previously knew. I spent hours learning about birds that this was an avian adventure for me as well. May we take flight with all our writing haiku endeavors! ~Nan

  20. Thanks again, Nancy!

    Leaving aside the several in which the first or third lines simply ‘explain’ the poem rather than presenting images with an unspoken invitation to the reader to create their own moment of understanding, this was another enjoyable session with plenty of sustenance.

    I picked out:

    a blackbird
    near the biscuit-jar
    widow’s eyes
    —Barbara Anna Gaiardoni
    (the need for someone/something to care for in loneliness)

    in the silence
    of distant lightning
    a screech owl
    —Ravi Kiran
    (neatly expresses the alarming suddenness of lightning at night when no forewarning cloud is noticed overhead)

    caged canary singing the blues
    —Dan Campbell
    (Dan’s wry humour. Canaries are kept in cages for their sweet song…)

    speckled moon the bird that might have been
    —Susan Burch
    (Aww… I have often thought about the pockmarks on the moon and our own imperfections. This puts it nicely in the context of birds with their speckled eggs (this one might not have hatched..) and feathers; and, as the moon is beautiful, helps us accept our freckles).

    fresh turned earth
    one day the robin
    feeding from my hand
    — Harrison Lightwater
    (Prompting reflection on how we make a start in sharing, becoming friends with the wary — even the boldest of little birds)

    a buzzard lands
    in the garden
    — the beady eye of the predator; a slightly chilling ‘haiku moment’)

    And some with charm:

    winter into spring
    saying it with
    —Lori Kiefer

    But the one I marked to my file of favourites for discussion:

    eternal life
    even the cuckoo wants it
    summer night
    —Deborah A. Bennett

    At face value it makes a statement, but I love its originality, boldness and depth. It’s a verse that is more than simply ephemeral, and arouses thoughts about the attachment of all living things to life, from survival and breeding to what we like to think are uniquely human concerns about eventual death. The second line turns out to be more of a question, or a challenge, than a statement. Excellent.

      1. Dear Barbara Anna,
        Thank you! For the haiku itself and reminding me of my grandma, who had a special cookie jar in which she stored her homemade sugar cookies. She always gave us one whenever we visited, and to me, those cookies and that jar represented her love for us, her grandchildren.
        Thanks for the memories. ~Nan

      1. Dan,
        I am glad Keith brought it to everyone’s attention. I found it rather ironic the canaries singing the blues (okay, Keith called it ‘wry’), knowing many pet birds (read: caged birds) are canaries, and they sing beautifully.

        On the other hand, when I was a child, my next-door neighbors had a canary, and my younger sister and I were often over there visiting as we had “adopted Grandpa Saunders” (their grandfather), who sat on the swing on the back porch in the summer. Sometimes, we even “babysat” if Mary had to go out for an hour, spending a bit of time with him. It was his bird if I recall, and when it died, we held a funeral for the canary to celebrate its life, burying it in our garden. As I read your haiku, I also found myself missing the man who became our grandpa. Thanks for the memories. ~Nan

    1. Regarding the second line:

      eternal life
      even the cuckoo wants it
      summer night
      —Deborah A. Bennett

      May we discuss this?
      It seems odd that a cuckoo, a welcome visitor heralding the arrival of Spring, should be so eagerly anticipated, yet we know the bird has no ‘qualms’ about passing on its parental duties to hard-working other avian species to their own species certain demise.
      I keep thinking is there a political statement here?

      1. Oops,
        I seem to have sent this off twice (too much Quick Draw McGraw), and it had been intended as a reply to Keith Evetts’ comment further up.

        Apologies for leaning on the Send button.

    2. Ingrid Baluchi
      February 22, 2023 at 1:16 pm
      Regarding the second line:

      eternal life
      even the cuckoo wants it
      summer night
      —Deborah A. Bennett

      May we discuss this?
      It seems odd that a cuckoo, a welcome visitor heralding the arrival of Spring, should be so eagerly anticipated, yet we know the bird has no ‘qualms’ about passing on its parental duties to hard-working other avian species to their own species certain demise.
      I keep thinking is there a political statement here?

      1. Well, if Nancy doesn’t mind. But why not produce the best commentary for next week’s re:Virals and then put this one forward for readers’ commentaries?…. There’s a lot that could be discussed, from content to craft.

        On Deborah’s poem, I didn’t think of a political interpretation, but more a biological one – a need, the overpowering wish to survive, even at the expense of others. The cuckoo’s way is brutal, yet it has a beguiling song… the verse has many layers, I think. The Japanese ‘little cuckoo’ — hototogisu — has a sweeter song than the cuckoo I know of Europe ( Here in Britain, mention of the cuckoo brings to mind Wordsworth: To The Cuckoo The wandering voice….

        May is usually the time for elections in the UK, and for the arrival of cuckoos, and with politics in mind I did write: “May elections/the first call/of the cuckoo” : Haiku In Action, Nick Virgilio Association May 4 – 10 2022. But not, I think, in this verse of Deborah’s which is much deeper, I think. However, one reader’s interpretation is no less valid than another’s:
            “O Cuckoo! shall I call thee Bird,
             Or but a wandering Voice?”

        — State the alternative preferred. Give reasons for your choice.
        (as A. E. Housman amusingly wrote of academic approaches to poetry…)

      2. Dear Ingrid,
        I can’t wait to see (read) the discussion on this haiku. I do hope that it gets picked up by re: Virals, or even here.

    3. Hi Keith,
      Thanks for bringing attention to some excellent haiku (Ravi’s, Lori’s, Harrison’s, C.X’s, Dan’s, Susan’s, and Barabara’s) and your pithy, spot-on remarks on each, especially the underlying question of Deborah Bennett’s haiku. It would be an excellent haiku for Re: Virals.
      I really appreciate your candor and knowledge in this.
      I have to agree that some haiku chosen tend toward explaining, rather than letting the reader come to his/her own understanding. But then I tend to think that for some English might not be a first language, and the guest editor is a novice and, thus, has erred on the side of generosity in the selection process.
      Thanks again, and do you have the “power” to get someone to suggest (elect) Deborah’s haiku for the Virals section here?
      All my best,

      1. Nan – I have no ‘power’ in re:Virals, LOL. Perish the thought. But sometimes I try the nudge theory… There are only twenty-four hours between the decision on the ‘winner’ and scheduling the post with the next verse. And if a winning commentator does not have a favourite, quality haiku ready to propose and would like some suggestions from which to choose, I have a little list handy. When I was a contributor, before I took on the hosting, I often found that was the hardest thing, as there are loads of verses published that are ‘sorta okay’ but not so many that are really good or really interesting/challenging. Deborah’s haiku is on the list!

        1. Hi Keith,
          I don’t have a problem with the discussion here or at re:Virals. I always find that column fascinating because I learn so much, but I have never braved responding to any of the haiku even though I have an opinion on some of them. Why? I don’t feel particularly qualified, nor do I have a list of haiku that I would feel comfortable to suggest. It is nice to know that you have compiled a list that a “winner” might look over and consider. ~nan

          1. Ah, Nancy, take the plunge! Clearly you can! Every reader’s commentary is valid and valuable, especially to the poet who wants to communicate, also to anyone who is interested in how words work on readers and whether they get through. It has been a delight that several of the most thoughtful commentaries have come from newcomers to the column. Although it’s considerable work (as you know), I learn such a lot from the different perspectives people bring, and from the discussion after.

    4. Thank you Keith. I’m glad you liked mine and agree that the cuckoo haiku is wonderful! Lori

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