Searching For A Shadow

Posted: January 23, 2017 in nature poems

at Michael of Morpethroad has us looking at composing Haibun, which is basically a prose poem with a haiku to finish.


For a moment I fear for the heron’s safety. A bi-plane: all rushing air, flapping canvas, fragile undercarriage. There will be a crash and debris. But it touches down like a feather, shuffles on the edge of water. Turns to stone. Gimlet eyes bore an underworld, insects and fish free of gravity. The whole planet in a bubble. The whole bird wired – waiting for a shadow. The whole clock stopped – waiting for movement.

You miss the fast stab
see a sliver of ingot
caught in sun and beak


This is a photo I took last autumn at Wisley Gardens

  1. I always find herons being such a strange combination of awkward and graceful.. you capture that so well in your prose.

  2. We see a lot of herons here and I love how your heron ‘turns to stone’ and his ‘gimlet eyes bore an underworld’

  3. I love Herons and you have captured their spirit beautifully here.

  4. frankhubeny says:

    I enjoy seeing herons. They do seem to wait with amazing patience.

  5. Grace says:

    I too love seeing herons fly and glide. Beautifully captured moment, like a feather waiting for a shadow.

  6. Iris says:

    This is flawless. I was in awe of every word while reading.

  7. The whole planet in a bubble is a fantastic image for waiting, for beeing there counting the moments.

  8. Michael says:

    Lovely images and description Paul, thanks for the contribution.

  9. Superb, Paul! A great read!

  10. Thotpurge says:

    Nicely built up prose there.. enjoyed it.

  11. kanzensakura says:

    I so love herons. Nice senryu at the end.

  12. Olga says:

    Love the idea of waiting for a shadow. Nature is so aware. ❤

  13. kim881 says:

    Herons remind me of tall, clumsy people – a bit like my husband – all awkward limbs and so endearing. I love that comparison: ‘A bi-plane: all rushing air, flapping canvas, fragile undercarriage.’ You’ve captured the movement of the heron so well.I love observing birds and am looking forward to this week’s Birdwatch weekend.

  14. lillian says:

    ooooh you’ve captured this beautifully! We return for the month of February to Bermuda — I do hope the heron that visited us every day last year will return this year. And yes….they do turn to stone, so intent on watching and waiting….Well done!

  15. Misky says:

    There was a heron on the roof of my house last week. Quite extraordinary!!

  16. ladynyo says:

    Absolutely Gorgeous! That ‘gimlet eyes bore an underground’ stopped me in my tracks. This has such a wonderful feeling about it, it is captivating. A truly lovely haibun.

  17. erbiage says:

    Love the gimlet, the undercarriage. Akward and graceful, like teenagers or newborn giraffes

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