Unless stated otherwise, all poetry on Swimming in Lines of Haiku is Copyright Kirsten Cliff and may not be reprinted in any form without written permission from the author. kirsten(DOT)cliff(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Monday, March 7, 2011

Haibun: Blackbird's pick 'n' mix

My insomnia has me awake early, and I'm exhausted. The low rumble of traffic has already begun, and as my feet hit the carpet I feel the vibrations through the floor. I head out to the lounge, and open the curtains on the dawn of another spring day.

bowing to the gods
the curve
of a lavender stalk

That scruffy blackbird is back. I watch him pluck worms from the wet grass, his jaunty pecks disturbing the disarray of dead leaves. With ruffed-up tail feathers, he finds one worm, then another, and hops to the concrete path in front of the dog-pawed ranch slider. He drops both worms in favour of the cockroach my fiancĂ© stomped on and tossed out last night at my haughty insistence. The worms wriggle apart, and scoot in opposite directions. Which route is safer – heading back to the grass, or towards the house?

The blackbird turns away from me to crunch on the roach - dropping it, prodding it, clasping it once again in his beak. Does he sense my disgust? Or maybe he is too shy to receive my gratitude at having the signs of death cleared away.

all the street lights
flicker off
the sound of wind-chimes

He turns back to pick up the worms, then flies off with his breakfast bounty into the morning sky. I turn and walk to the kitchen to see what the fridge has to offer.

Copyright © Kirsten Cliff
First published in Kokako 12 (April, 2010)
A different version of the first haiku appeared in Valley Micropress (Vol.12, Is.08, Oct 2009)

Photo by Cameron Elliot


  1. You, are one very talented little writer, Kirsten Cliff!