a story in haiku

As I drive to work
psyching myself for the day
I look up, and there

on the power lines
they sit, like kings or angels
the day’s guardians

watching as I pass
—oh, bestow on my spirit
creatures of the air

robins, your good cheer
occasional snow-plumed hawks,
fierce acuity…

it dawns on me, now,
that most of the birds I see
are doves, offering

the one thing needed
for the living of this day:
Look up. Claim the peace.

Photo: Mourning Dove. FotoGrazio. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.


with thanks to Chiara Hemsley, Monday host of Ethical ELA’s Open Write, for the inspiration to compose a poem around the phrase “look up”

with thanks also to Two Writing Teachers for the Slice of Life Story Challenge every day in the month of March

24 thoughts on “Birdspiration

  1. That photo is striking. I’ve been noticing a group of birds who hang out in a certain treetop on our morning walk. I don’t really know birds well, so they’re just black birds to me, though smaller than crows, who I can identify. They cluster and converse. I’d love to know the subject. Thanks for this flowing set of haiku. It’s a marvel.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love the photo of this dove. As for not knowing birds well: I have started learning quite a bit since they keep demanding that I write of them. I need to know! Thank you for your lovely words about my haiku.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The last line is resonating with me: “Look up. Claim the peace.” It is there for the taking, if we but pause to recognize it. Our weather is clearer today, so I’m hoping to squeeze in some birdwatching after work, if I get home early enough.

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  3. So many wonderful lines, but “the day’s guardians” is the one that captured me this morning. Writing in haikus is a lovely way to capture a moment. I have considered “looking up” as my poetry challenge for April, but still not sure about it. I don’t know if I can 30 days out of it! 🙂

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    • The birds look so watchful, up there on the power lines – they struck me as guardians. I bet you can get 30 days and more out of “look up” for your poetry challenge for April, Leigh Anne; look up information, look up words, look up people on social media, look up family history, look up at sun, moon, stars, clouds, look up to people, loved, living, and dead, look up in faith…it is a theme with so much pull!


  4. Oh my gosh – Fran! You astound me! Beautiful poem – imaginative format (I have never tried that) – and I love the title too. Birds are fascinating creatures. I have a pair of doves that live in a nest right outside my bedroom window. I consider them part of my family.

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  5. I love that these kings and queens, these angels, these guardians, are bringing you that offering of peace. And the way the haiku brings you from stanza to stanza, like the first one – “and there” – I pause with you, almost as if we’re both stopping while you point up at the power line. Beautiful.

    And part of me thinks, too, that there is something to be had in that these are mourning doves. I feel like, in many ways, that *is* what I’m doing in regards to peace – mourning its absence in too many places of the world…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Many thanks, Lainie; and there are surely layers to consider, with ‘mourning’ doves. I mourn the absence of peace in the world as well – that people mean to cause such suffering and harm to one another.

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