Haibun for a Reluctant Spring

The day is grey and I am swept along its ways.  Dense, impenetrable, uncertain.

And yet here is the sparrow tree.  It sings out in tangled branches of song, in a chaotic chorus with no melody but infinite cheer.

The path continues with a chill bleakness.  Robins and starlings bathe in puddles of mud.  A sudden startle of dog and wings open, rise.

The wind is relentless.  I regret dressing as if it were spring, as if winter had actually said its final farewell and relinquished its place on the wheel.  My hands dig deeper into my pockets.

Despite the lack of sun, grackles sparkle in the grass.  They watch me—curious?  wary?  amused?—as I stop to take them in.

I have a destination so I turn and travel east.  Blue jays echo my movements in a stop-and-start carousel of cries.  The moist air clings to my face.

emptying my thoughts
to make leeway for feathers–
invisible, light

Frank at dVerse asked for a haibun including the birdsongs of spring. A perfect time to bring out the birdlings.

Also linking to earthweal, where Brendan asks us to consider what serves as a commons for where we live. I would argue that every street in NYC is a commons, but the parks, especially, serve as a place where human and non-human intersect. My haibun is based on several recent walks through Central Park. Birds are everywhere (even in winter). But of course more of them and louder in spring.

63 thoughts on “Haibun for a Reluctant Spring

  1. I love this poem full of birds, especially the sparrow tree. It is awesome that you find that connection in the parks of New York. That is wonderful. Thank heaven for green spaces.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sherry. Yes, I’m glad they thought to keep large parts of the city unbuilt upon. I’m lucky to have two parks within walking distance, and many other small green spaces around as well.


  2. This is glorious, Kerfe. You captured the spring massing, motion, and song of birds–and the birdlings are perfect. I didn’t get an angry feeling from the red. It made me think more of late spring or summer flowers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Merril. I have to admit I was thinking more of flowers, but now that Jane has mentioned the anger it’s hard to unsee it–it looks like too many of those photos in the newspaper of various troubles, human and ecological.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Now wait a minute…this is real, and really good writing…..I mean really, really good….I must absolutely read more of your stuff….stunned….and I have noticed it all, how you get the rhythm and mood of your piece just right, and refrained from glorifying spring…

    Liked by 2 people

  4. We both wrote about spring, Kerfe! I love The image of the sparrow tree singing out ‘in tangled branches of song, in a chaotic chorus with no melody but infinite cheer’, and the haiku is a little song on its own.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The wind is restless here as well and the rain keeps coming. Your sense of imagery adds to the mood of spring. Its been a while since i walked in Central Park.

    I can see all the birds in your artwork.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Spring is not always bright and cheerful. I love the weaving of one’s heavy thoughts into a gloomy day and the much needed release at the end …aww…yes….”to make leeway for feathers”. Beautifully done!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. both poem and artwork are uplifting Kerfe … I thought of flowers with all those bright colours but then reread your poem. You touch on the bleakness, the relentless wind and somehow it feels like you’ve woven the current world conflict into an emerging spring … most skilful 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I have often wondered would it would like to walk across Central Park. Your poem takes me there.
    These grackles that you have in the US sound like amazing birds. How extraordinary that they sparkle.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I love the slow embrace of commons here — a yearning working through a brake of cold to find welcome in birdsong. Commons is something we have to make room for inside for us to enter it.

    Liked by 1 person

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