Haiku to the arrival of spring

By Carol / March 30, 2017 /

Spring inspires poetic thoughts and emotions. Here’s a Haiku tribute to the migrating birds I saw during a recent walk.

Cedar waxwings come.
Aristocratic bandits,
Harbingers of spring

A flock of Cedar waxwings let me get reasonably close for this picture. Several more flitted in nearby crab apple trees.

This photo is courtesy of

The Cedar Waxwing is a social bird almost always seen in flocks. They particularly enjoy berries, according to the Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds. Though I have seen them almost exclusively in the spring, apparently they are around most of the year.

What says spring to you?


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  1. Merril Smith on March 31, 2017 at 6:14 am

    So you did decide to dip into poetry, Carol! They do look like bandits. 🙂
    Birdsongs before dawn and daffodils say spring to me.

    I looked up cedar waxwings on the Cornell site. I wonder if they are the birds my husband and I saw last summer flying in a huge group? Apparently they do that.

    • Carol Bodensteiner on March 31, 2017 at 9:38 am

      You inspired me, Merril. As I said in a recent post, I’m re-incorporating writing into my life. Poetry seems to be the form drawing me forward at the moment.

      Here in Iowa, Cedar waxwings are more likely than any other birds I’m familiar with to stay together in a group. Robins flock in the spring but otherwise go it more alone. Cedar waxwings flock all the time. Quite social and fun to watch when you get close enough. They feed each other berries.

  2. Nan Johnson on March 31, 2017 at 8:36 am

    I think Haiku is like ballet. To the casual observer, it appears as though the dancer is leaping across the stage inspired by the music; but, in fact, she is following carefully set choreography. Likewise, haiku is structured by choreographic rules of sorts. It appears to flow effortlessly, but it’s a lot harder than it looks! Nicely done, Carol.
    In Missouri, the Red Bud is one of the first trees to bloom, and as they do, it looks like a purple haze is drifting through the woods. It’s very pretty and an encouraging sign that spring is near. There is also the smell of earthy (stinky?) mulch in neighborhood landscaping!

    • Carol Bodensteiner on March 31, 2017 at 9:41 am

      That’s an interesting analogy, Nan. I’ve never thought of Haiku as ballet, but I see the comparisons now that you mention it. There is much to keep in mind in writing it, and that’s part of what I enjoy about it.

      Redbuds are one of my favorite spring blooming trees. We have three on our front lawn that I can see from my office window. I can see that there is the very first tinge of purple on the branches, so I now it won’t be long. That’s a funny comment about the smell of mulch – very much in the nose of the beholder.

  3. Elfrieda Neufeld Schroeder on March 31, 2017 at 9:26 am

    I have a Japanese friend and I think I’m going to ask her to teach me how to write Haiku. She has done some of that herself.
    I like the juxtaposition of two opposites, “aristocrat” and “bandit” in your poem. It describes these birds so well!
    Spring to me, here in Manitoba, says first of all, the disappearance of snow, and large puddles everywhere. The honking geese overhead, finding their summer home at a nearby lake is also a harbinger of spring, as later in autumn it is a farewell to spring. (That has the makings of a Haiku already!)

    • Carol Bodensteiner on March 31, 2017 at 9:35 am

      You do have the core of a Haiku, already, Elfrieda. Some poets link several Haiku poems together to tell a larger story. You might give that a shot.

      Haiku is a poetic form I’ve always enjoyed. There’s the mechanical 5-7-5 of the structure, the goal of communicating an idea in few, well chosen words, the connection of nature and a life concept. I don’t always get them right, but I like to try.

      Several people I’ve talked with recently have mentioned the geese. I heard the Canada geese a couple of days ago flying over, honking all the while. Happy spring.

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