Andrena Zawinski: Singing Bird Haibun
“Sitting quietly, doing nothing, spring comes,
and the grass grows by itself.” Basho
It is not a steely-eyed egret nor heft of pelican but just a singing bird that catches my fancy from a balcony perched across from pines lining the marina. Here I make watch of another shifting sky, distant buoy sounding swells in the bay, common robin chiming in on the wind.
resting in my palm
it might pulse at the heart line
practice its pitch
But this bird makes its roost in the forked trunk, where branches droop heavy with cones. Like this robin, I try to perfect a voice in the intimate language of birds, call back at it, parroting the rise and fall of its wistful warbling, practicing the melodic whistling.
the robin carols
in a cathedral of pine
all feather and trill
Everything readies for something – above, wide wings of dark crows fan the horizon. Below, a ray steers clear of a row. A dog splashes into the water, his boy crying for a lost oar. Twilight settles on tapping riggings and masts, breeze in the tinny chimes, spring in the song.
the clouds feathering
disappear into sunset
the bird still singing
Copyright 2014 Andrena Zawinski. This poem won first prize in the Tiferet Journal 2014 contest.
Andrena Zawinski was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and now lives in Alameda, California. Zawinski has been PoetryMagazine.com‘s Features Editor since 2000. Her latest book is Landings, published by Kelsey Books.