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HAIKU DIALOGUE – Migration – Flora and Fauna

Migration with Guest Editor Carole MacRury

Migration is the movement of people from one place to another, with the intention of resettlement. For thousands of years humans have moved and expanded their range over land bridges that no longer exist.  These early nomads followed the food, the climate or fled natural disasters. Historically, mass migration has shaped every country in the world through both conflicts and exploration. It continues today as our world grows smaller due to international trade and travel. There are many causes of international migration. Some people move in search of work or economic opportunity, to reunite with family or to study. My family fits into this category when we left Canada to study in the US, and never went back. Some move to escape conflict, persecution, or large-scale human rights violations. Still others move in response to the adverse effects of climate change, natural disasters, or other environmental factors. And some people were forcefully stolen from their countries to become slaves in another country. These migratory patterns shaped our countries. We wouldn’t be the same without the rich influx in immigrants who enriched our lives through their contributions in science, politics, technology, fashion, food, music, art and so much more. Most of us in the Americas can trace our roots back to another country. Indigenous people have their own unique stories to tell about the effects of colonization on their lives.  We’ll explore this rich topic for the next few weeks calling upon our own experiences with emigration, our own experiences with the migration of flora and fauna, and lastly, our internal migration within our own countries.

prompt: Flora and Fauna

Everywhere, birds and large animals migrate seasonally in search of food or for warmer climates. We’re all familiar with bird migration from the tiny Arctic tern with its annual migration of 60,000 miles between the Arctic and Antarctic to the tens of thousands of lesser geese from Wrangel Island, Siberia, that migrate 3,000 miles to the west coast of BC, all the way to California. Climate change is affecting migratory patterns throughout the world due to drought, fires, and diminishing habitat. The hunting grounds of polar bears are melting. Accidental migrations are caused by humans, such as the escape of exotic pets like the Burmese python which has overtaken the Florida Everglades. Invasive species can adversely affect habitats and bioregions, causing ecological, environmental, and/or economic damage. Plants migrate through seed and spore dispersal through wind, ocean currents and birds. Invasive species, whether flora or fauna, arrive through landscape specimens, contaminated cargo, or smuggling. In my area, the invasive hogweed causes rashes and blistering if you touch it.

The photo is of a sandal overtaken by zebra mussels, an invasive species native to Eastern Europe and western Russia, that arrived through the discharge of contaminated cargo ballast into the Great Lakes and then into the river system. They are smothering and overtaking native species. The South American fire ant has made it to Vancouver, BC, and is a nuisance due to its swarming and stinging abilities. The first Asian hornet arrived close to my home in the US and posed a serious threat to the bee population. It’s thought they hitched a ride on a cargo ship.

Climate change is affecting species around the world. While we all long for the return of the geese, the whales, and other species, we secretly worry about the diminishment of the bee population, or the sickness of starfish and other creatures. Each country has its own migratory patterns plus a list of native, invasive, and endangered species. While I may write about Canadian geese, a poet in India could write about cranes and flamingos, or the rare ghost lily. What flora and fauna do you long to see return? Are there some species in your country that are endangered? Have you seen or felt the effects of invasive species? Write a haiku that shows us your life living among specific migratory species, plants or animals.

The deadline is midnight Eastern Standard Time, Saturday March 09, 2024.

Please use the Haiku Dialogue submission form below to enter one or two original unpublished haiku inspired by the week’s theme, and then press Submit to send your entry. (The Submit button will not be available until the Name, Email, and Place of Residence fields are filled in.) With your poem, please include any special formatting requirements & your name & residence as you would like it to appear in the column. Please note that by submitting, you agree that your work may appear in the column – neither acknowledgment nor acceptance emails will be sent. All communication about the poems that are posted in the column will be added as blog comments.

Join us next week for Carole’s selection of poems on the topic of Flora and Fauna…


Guest Editor Carole MacRury resides in Point Roberts, Washington, a unique peninsula and border town that inspires her work. Her poems have won awards and been published worldwide, and her photographs have been featured on the covers of numerous poetry journals and anthologies. Her practice of contemplative photography along with an appreciation of haiku aesthetics helps deepen her awareness of the world around her. Both image and written word open her to the interconnectedness of all things, to surprise, mystery and a sense of wonder. She is the author of In the Company of Crows: Haiku and Tanka Between the Tides (Black Cat Press, 2008, 2nd Printing, 2018) and The Tang of Nasturtiums, an award-winning e-chapbook (Snapshot Press 2012).

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:

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Photo Credits:

Banner photo credit:
©<ahref=’‘>somchai20162516</a>, <a href=’‘>123RF Free Images</a>

Prompt photo credit:
prompt photo two – Flora and Fauna – Carole MacRury

Haiku Dialogue offers a triweekly prompt for practicing your haiku. Posts appear each Wednesday with a prompt or a selection of poems from a previous week.

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