tiny wings perch, still–
suddenly swoop downward, flash
trail of jeweled light
sudden swoop trails flash
It’s the 8th of the month again! Draw a Bird Day, and Poet’s Choice for Colleen’s #TankaTuesday. This month I’ve taken my haiku and reduced it twice. This is a good exercise for any poem I find.
I chose to draw the Asian Dwarf Kingfisher this month because of its colors. It’s a tiny bird–5″–one of 114 species of kingfishers. I did not realize this species was so large and varied. All nest in burrows and hunt by swooping down from a perched position. Many hunt fish–that was my impression of them–but may also, like the dwarf kingfisher, eat insects, earthworms, and small amphibians.
Dwarf kingfishers, like many birds, are under threat of extinction due to loss of habitat. Their main predators are foxes, raccoons, and snakes.
Nina gave me the set of brush markers that I used experimentally in doing the last 2 drawings (the one on black was done in colored pencil). I am still trying to convince her to start posting again. She’s been doing some painting…maybe by next Draw a Bird Day. In the meantime, you can find me most of the time at https://kblog.blog/.
voices in waves
sea calling gathering in
Seagulls and pigeons are the main birds I see from my window. But I hear robins every morning, and crows have started to visit the neighboring roofs as well.
This is a multiple poem posting for both Colleen’s #TankaTuesday (poet’s choice of words) and Frank Tassone’s “#Haikai Challenge #133 (twittering). Seagulls do not twitter, so I wrote the lines above.
I’ve been wanting to try a gogyoka, so for that I put in a little twittering.
with birds twittering dawn
across each uncharted day
Once again I’m posting for Draw a Bird Day as a place keeper for MeMadTwo until Nina gets back. I’m doing NaPoWriMo at https://kblog.blog/
I wanted to at least keep Draw-a-Bird-Day going for Nina and me, even if we’re both absent from WordPress at the moment. This is an old drawing that I never posted, but it seemed appropriate in many ways for the way the world feels right now.
Black Cockatoos are native to Australia and the surrounding islands, and were already facing habitat loss before the fires. They are highly social and intelligent birds, but they also have mythical and cultural associations. Symbols of change, spiritual freedom, communication, and survival, they are traditionally called on for their rain magic. Black birds in general hold the secrets of alchemy, mystery, and transformation. Our earth is crying out for all these things.
earth needs rain magic
to cleanse despair’s inferno
breathe flowers like stars
I also want to note that when you google “cockatoo” most of the links are about keeping them as pets. Confinement and separation are not a natural or desirable existence for these beautiful creatures, and they can easily become destructive, depressed, and needy without constant attention and the freedom to wander and socialize in large flocks that is their normal way of life.
stories, actions shout, defy
I bought a bird book at a library sale intending to use the photos for collage. Looking through, I was drawn to the same bird in two different sections of the book: the crested caracara. The Cornell Bird Lab says it “looks like a hawk, behaves like a vulture, and is technically a falcon”. Hence my senryu, for Colleen’s weekly challenge with poet’s choice of words. Apply to humans as needed.
Crested Caracaras live from the Southern United States down through Central and South America. They are also known as the Mexican eagle, and are the subject of folklore throughout the region. The only falcon that collects material to build a nest, caracaras are carnivorous scavengers, who will also hunt for small prey by running on or digging in the ground if necessary.
I painted my image first on wax paper using acrylic, intending to do a monoprint, which did not work–the paint was not dense or thick enough. I then painted it on rice paper, also using acrylic. This made the paper shrink in places, but worked better than I expected. I photographed both images, then superimposed the wax paper over the rice paper–strangely they fit together well, considering I did no pencil drawing for either, but just painted each.
Once again, Draw a Bird Day, the 8th of each month, is serving as a placeholder here at MeMadTwo while Nina takes an extended break. I’m hoping she’ll be back in soon. In the meantime, you can find me (Kerfe) at https://kblog.blog/.
owl-shadow, like a prism
scattering the dark
I did a few of these brush-painted flying owls and all of them looked very fishlike to me. I usually think of owls as catlike, but in air they swim. Short-eared owls in flight are described as “moth-like”.
Short-eared owls have wide distribution, occurring on all continents except Australia and Antarctica. The map I saw for North America showed wide declines in coastal populations due to loss of habitat, although those in the center of the United States and Canada seemed stable.
They eat mainly rodents, and are in turn food for raptors and larger mammals because they nest on the ground. Most active from dusk through dawn, they fly low over fields looking for prey.
Also for Colleen’s #TankaTuesday poet’s choice of words. It’s becoming a regular for Draw-a-Bird Day.
Once again, Draw a Bird Day, the 8th of each month, is serving as a placeholder here at MeMadTwo while Nina takes an extended break. I’m missing her, aren’t you?
In the meantime, you can find me (Kerfe) at https://kblog.blog/.
shrinking woodlands, flash of gold–
following your voice
The golden winged warbler is a tiny (5″) bird that is among the most endangered on a long list of endangered birds. The population has been reduced by 2/3 in the last 50 years, mostly due to habitat loss in both breeding grounds (the largest population breeds in Michigan) and wintering habitat (in Central and South America–a long migration away). They are shy, but vocal.
Once again, Draw a Bird Day, the 8th of each month, is serving as a placeholder here at MeMadTwo while Nina takes an extended break. Come back soon Nina!
In the meantime, you can find me (Kerfe) at https://kblog.blog/.
Every beach vacation comes with its own bird. One year it was mockingbirds, one year a very vocal cardinal. One year, crows.
This year we were accompanied by grackles. They would sit on the railing of the beach house speaking in their rusty tongue, lined up like soldiers. If one turned, all turned. Once they saw someone was paying attention they would vocalize a bit more and suddenly disappear.
On the beach they appeared ahead of my walking path and waited for me, foraging in the waves. As soon as I caught up, they flew off ahead again.
Although it’s natural to see their iridescent strutting as a variation on crows, grackles are actually part of the lark family, related also to blackbirds and orioles.
But they do have a connection to crows—all back birds are said to know magic, to live on the borders of the possible unknown.
standing on the edge
between water and shoreline,
you pause, watch me watching you–
our eyes meet through layered light
For Colleen’s #TankaTuesday, poet’s choice of words, a haibun.
Draw-a-Bird Day is placeholding here at method two madness each month until Nina returns. You can find me at https://kblog.blog/ in the meantime.
I’ve also linked to dVerse Open Link night.
jeweled feathers caught
in reflected mist—cloistered
This is another brightly colored resident of the South American cloud forest, the grey-breasted mountain toucan. As with all inhabitants of the world’s cloud forests, they are a threatened species because of habitat loss.
Drawn with neocolors.
caught like a
shadow just beyond
imprinted on the synapse
it flies on
the winds of held breath–
air with blurs
of moving feathers, colors
surrounded by song
My NaPoWriMo poem today has nothing to do with the prompt, and everything to do with it being the 8th of April, which is National Draw-a-Bird-Day. I have never actually seen a painted bunting, but I have painted this bird before, in 2015, when one was spotted in Brooklyn. This version was done with a new set of watercolor pencils I received for my birthday earlier this year.
Outside the visible, the veil persists, a misted crown,
a canopy to shelter woodlands from both up and down–
the spirits dance their circles through the portals of the clouds,
beyond enclosure following the songs of the unknown.
With wings of color bearing light and magic on the air,
the alchemy of green and gold renews and then repairs
this ancient symbiosis moored to currents at its core
awakening new seeds, building a bridge from here to there.
The El Oro Parakeet is an endangered bird living in the Andes cloud forest of Southwestern Ecuador. Cloud forests are also endangered throughout the world. You can read about them here.
This is my first attempt at a rubaiyat poem, the featured form at dVerse for February. I could not make 13 syllables work, so I ended up with 14. I also fudged the rhymes a bit. I don’t usually write long lines, and that was what I found to be the biggest challenge for me.