Haiku to the arrival of spring

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 Morguefile.com

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?


It’s magic. Spring prairie emerges as old growth melts away

Spring in the prairie. New growth begins to displace the brown.

Spring in the prairie. New growth begins to displace the brown.

I tend to take fewer prairie pictures in the early spring. What’s to see? It’s brown. Tall fronts of dried prairie grasses wave in muted contrast to the new green of surrounding trees and grass. The seed heads of purple cone flowers and black eyed Susans are nearly bare, picked clean by birds over the winter. It’s all brown.

“What do you do with it?” asked my brother in law who visited in March.

“Nothing,” I responded. “Eventually, the brown just melts away.”

He was skeptical. As I was when a friend who’s had a prairie for longer said the same thing to me. But she was right. Eventually, the new growth comes on and last year’s dried out plant material disappears. As though by magic.

Golden Alexander

Golden Alexander

Now in June, the green of new plant growth is more evident. Particularly along the edges of the prairie where the plants enjoy more sun.

And if you look closely, you can find the first flowers. Golden Alexander and white foxglove.

Foxglove - one of the earliest prairie blooms.

Foxglove – one of the earliest prairie blooms.

I extended the prairie another twenty feet last fall. I didn’t need to spread any seed. The prairie had already done that. I only needed to kill the grass. The new area is full of prairie plants. Unfortunately, the deer have found these tender shoots particularly appealing. The tallest plants are neatly clipped off each morning.

Eventually, the deer will move on. And I have faith the prairie will persist with its spring magic.


Celebrating spring and poetry

Does spring inspire you to write poetry?  April is National Poetry Month and we are finally seeing the signs of spring here in Iowa. In honor of both, here’s a poem I wrote. An homage to William Carlos Williams.

Prairie, GranddaughtersThe Brown Prairie

so much depends

a brown spring

beaten down by

through a child’s

* * *

I wrote this poem in response to the prompt “so much depends upon.”  If you’d like to respond, in poem form or otherwise, I’d love to know what images that prompt – or the green grass and flowers of spring – trigger for you.