Story Without A Spoken Word (haibun)


              And while I stood there I saw more than I can tell

                         and I understood more than I saw

                                           Black Elk



This evening, about dusk, suddenly there was pandemonium outside my window that is also a door . . . the raised voices of sparrows, doves and blackbirds, squirrels and rabbits, each in its way screaming the same panic, scurrying frantically for cover . . . and I knew what it was even before I opened the door and stepped out.

                                glints of light

                                  here and there in the trees

                                  blackbirds' beaks


The eagle I had seen but once before had returned.  It circled, dove twice, talons empty each time, and settled in a pine tree, a look less of despair than disdain, looking down at his hunger, so close I could almost reach out and touch him. 


                                 our old story

                                   coming to be told again

                                   across a thousand years


For a moment that will last forever, I could only watch, our eyes meeting for a few seconds in which neither he nor I could look away, a brief moment of recognition and affirmation as though we have always known of each other, and then he lifted into the air still filled with cries and flew off.  Panic slowly subsided and soon all was serene again, the birds and the earth-bound returning to their seeds and cracked corn and acorns; these creatures I feed and whose destiny, on another day, may be in turn to feed the eagle;  a destiny not so different in a way from my own in some dusk of final reckoning.   


                                stillness and silence

                                  then each different sound of rain

                                  on the wind chimes

Poetry by countryfog
Read 761 times
Written on 2015-08-30 at 17:50

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Jamsbo Rockda The PoetBay support member heart!
This is such a great piece. You are the guardian of your landscape. There is a feeling of understanding between you and the eagle. I am reminded of when I was younger and lived in a bad area in the city. How gang kids I knew would nod at me from the shadows as if to say "oh it's you Dave, that's okay you can go this way". Did you know that crows can recognize the faces of people? Maybe eagles too :)

Coo & Co The PoetBay support member heart!
Here is another for our Reading List Black Elk! (Ms Bird makes the addition.)
It's always a treat to read a haibun from you, my friend, and the prevalence of birds in this one is especially treasured at BBP :>)
The chaos at the onset is well described; I felt quite disturbed myself. The blackbirds' beaks are delightful, lending a furtive note in contrast to the openly predatory nature of the eagle. I remember past poems in which you've described the eagle and all are a fitting tribute to his majesty. Here, the meeting between yourself and he is fascinating, leading to some sombre reflections yet a serene final impression via the wind chimes. Applause!