blackbirds above the marsh

the blog of a self-proclaimed haikuist in bud

Category: Haibun

Hungrily Walk On

As daylight wanes, I find a fresher track in the newly fallen snow. I have to follow it. We meander through a harvested cornfield, the windswept field barely registering the deer’s movement. The trail leads to a wooded valley, the wind slowing against the trees, grass, and under brush. The snow collects and drifts.

eyes search to and fro
and my breath drifts away
story in the snow

It’s nose leads the deer to an oak twig rising above the layer of snow. It’s tracks lead me. Different times of our lives on this earth, yet on somewhat the same mission.

hungrily walk on
no acorns in their caps
or deer in the larder

oak twig

Joseph Casey, ©2013.


Crying Tears Into Our Earth

In day dreams, deer slip behind trees in the wooded valleys I call home.
In night dreams, gazelle scatter in fright on the African plains.
Loathe to share their life force for mine.

what I am is known –
crying tears into our earth
I beg forgiveness

cedars in winter

Joseph Casey, ©2013.

Reluctant Departure

The hilltop is home to a grove of shagbark hickory trees. A man is sitting under one, against it’s trunk. A short distance in front of him, a squirrel is searching through the hickory, oak and birch leaves on the forest floor. Spent, rust and brown. The sun plays on the grey fur of the squirrel as it passes from sun into shadow and back. A faint look of wonder is on the man’s face. It dies a little when he notices the sun quickly falling behind the hill to the west. He looks down to the snowy trail in the shadowed valley. With a sigh he grabs his walking staff, and stands. A nuthatch scampers back up the tree above him. The squirrel moves off suddenly. The man moves off slowly, haltingly, to the path that leads downhill.

clasp collar closed
against winter setting in –
an owl glides through pines

wood's entrance

Joseph Casey, ©2013.


I don’t think I get to spend enough time out there in the woods.

One Last Search

I came to the stream, not having wandered here since mid-winter. Among spring’s green-up and dainty white flowers stands three piles of carnage. The mass graves are the man-made thinnings of the valley bottom. Mostly leafless ash and maple trees. Some brush. My eye is drawn to the second heap, wherein a straight sapling lay. Tight, dull golden bark. Straight, sturdy trunk about seven feet long with a root ball the size of my two fists put together.

through the leafy boughs
of ancestors grand, the wind –
come away with me

Though it cannot leaf, the mulberry sapling has seen many seasons standing straight into the skies. My constant companion on my journey with this earth, the paths under trees and along streams. A crack has developed on it’s bottom from the many times it has hit rocky stream beds, or dimpling the earth as it steadies descents down hills. It crosses my mind to preserve it now. The thought to carve my name in ogham along the side comes to me and is quickly replaced with, “Carve it’s name in ogham.” One last search with old faithful.

touch the earth and sky
again, once more –
an old man listens

staff amorels

Joseph Casey, ©2013.

Not In Memory Only

This right ankle going bad. The effects of aging will not destroy our “one with.” Warming winter’s lunch on hobo stove with dry cedar and pine kindling. Bringing wild brown trout to hand in rich autumn spawning hue. Near motionless stalking of swallowtails on woodland flowers. Sitting on moist, warm, spongy earth watching bees visit the bland gooseberry flowers. I swear the beauty will not live in memory only.

ruby-jewelled twigs
reminder of last summer –
lean on walking staff

ruby-jewelled twigs

J. Casey, Blackbirds Above The Marsh, ©2013.


Thank you! to everyone who has visited and followed my blog this past week. I have been most overwhelmed by the attention and hope that I have visited everyone who has visited me. I hope you continue to visit, and hope most of all that I can keep creating.

I have been reading Haibun lately, and though I don’t know a whole lot about it, find it fun to read. So I figured what the heck, why not try to branch out from haiku a bit. I’ve got a lot to learn about both forms, but the only way to get good at them is to keep trying.