March snow

haiku story

gray Sunday morning
in spite of springing forward
it begins to snow

first time all winter
big white flakes now descending
on riotous blooms

purple-pink redbuds
bright yellow forsythia
pollen-laden pines

suspend certainty
while birds rush in, unafraid
of crystallized grass

melting away in soft earth
—seems a sheer delight

to countless robins
hopping with newfound vigor
and the cardinal

on a blood-red blaze
toward the bare crape myrtle
where his mate awaits

and dark-eyed juncos
living up to their nickname
ground-flitting snowbirds

while papa house finch
forages in the clover
on the old dog’s grave

for seeds he’ll carry
to mama finch on the nest
incubating eggs

bluebird on the gate
ruffles his blue-flame feathers
in exultation

two crows come and go
strangely silent, for they know
the benediction

Carolina wren
hidden somewhere in the pines
sings Holy Holy

the earth’s aflutter
with myriad wings and things
returning blessing

in spite of the snow
life springs forward, brightening
gray Sunday morning

2020-0417_CentreCoPA_WestMain_Eastern Bluebird in the snow -01amOBX. CC BY-NC 2.0.


with thanks to Two Writing Teachers for the monthlong Slice of Life Story Challenge

18 thoughts on “March snow

  1. Fran, such beauty in all of the irony of the changing of seasons. The flippancy and uncertainty we feel about that crystallized glass the birds you love so dearly are doing their bird things, singing praise in the cold with Holy Holy. The redbird’s flash of wing on the way to his mate brings rich imagery that there is also cozy warmth despite the snow and cold. Even under gray skies, you help us remember that there is much life springing forward even if old man winter tries to stand his ground. And you know I love a Haiku! I wrote one about a special gift Dad gave me from his attic that I will share one day this week – you are inspiring with the economy of words in powerful ways!

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    • I shall look forward to the haiku about the gift from your Dad, Kim – my curiosity is piqued! The short bursts of the form just seemed to fit the scene of the birds and their activity in the snow – they were undeterred and, in fact, almost seemed to revel in this short-lived and beautiful snowfall, here on the cusp of spring.


  2. Beautifully crafted…small moments that fit together like a blanket. I particularly like the bluebird on the gate ruffling his blue-flame feathers in exultation. That’s quite the image — no photo required. And the crows in silent awe are remarkable too, since they and the mourning doves tend to be the only big talkers on my walks in the burbs.

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    • At first I had “flame” with the cardinal in an attempt to capture his amazing brightness, but when I got to the bluebird, I needed the word and had to give it to him instead. Yes, the crows are usually pretty loud…and I’ve seen the doves all around; they aren’t as vocal at present.

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  3. Your bird theme continues–what a winged menagerie you are privy to! I love the juxtaposition of the colorful birds and plants with the white snow in this poem–and the use of haiku in an extended manner. I am writing in pre-dawn darkness and your offering brings light to my morning.

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  4. Wonderful poem that captures all the differing bird personalities, carrying on with life in the falling snow. Such vivid colours and the power of your first and last verse with the ever present promise of spring, despite the snow.

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  5. “The earth’s aflutter.” Your words are beautiful. Maybe I’ll try a haiku story. I miss the redbuds we had in our yard growing up. Hope your snow is short lived and doesn’t damage the riotous blooms.

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  6. Oh, Fran, I feel like I am watching out your window with you identifying the birds for me. What a lovely haiku story of a springtime snow and the wonders and beauty of the birds. My favorite was the cardinal “on a blood-red blaze” toward his mate.

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  7. Hi Fran! Love your feathered backyard neighbors – so wonderfully drawn – I can see them all so vividly. I have been having so much fun crafting my bird poems. Yesterday was the first time that I saw a mockingbird! I was so excited! Thank you for this bird’s eye view!

    Liked by 1 person

    • A mockingbird! I know you were thrilled. Once upon a long time ago my great-aunt found a blue jay nestling on the ground and raised it. He had a perch in her house and rode her shoulder when she was outside gardening.

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