Some things just are

Sorry it’s not celebratory, Lillian. For the dverse open link night, a haibun I wrote at the beginning of the week. Another insignificant death. There are so many here. Compensated a little by finding, the same evening a couple of toads nestled up together beneath a tree, waiting for the rain.


Today a young bird died, a blackbird, sick perhaps or dropped by the hovering buzzard, mortally injured. It crouched in the grass alone, waiting to die. It died before midday, behind the log pile. Refusing to eat, no idea of where was home, drawn to the blackbird fuss from the distant trees and then renouncing. Finches were twittering overhead, a woodpecker chipping away, a pigeon cooing. It died, one wing outstretched, like a hand, not knowing why, knowing nothing beneath the implacable sun, except that death was coming. How many stretch out a hand, a wing, a paw in those final moments? How many look into the face of death and understand at last what it is to be alone?

Sunlight falls

but in those eyes

winter gazes.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

52 thoughts on “Some things just are”

    1. Thank you, Xenia 🙂 It seems disproportionate; it was only a blackbird chick, and Nagasaki was tens of thousands of human beings, but the one seems to encapsulate the other. Death is death.

    1. Thank you, Bjorn! It seems like such an insignificant thing but I found it so sad. I tried to feed the chick slugs and insects but it wouldn’t swallow anything. It just wanted to die.

  1. A heart breaking write….you bring the reader right there to experience this.
    These words “How many stretch out a hand, a wing, a paw in those final moments? How many look into the face of death and understand at last what it is to be alone?”
    I think in the end, we all face death alone, even if we are surrounded by loved ones.
    The haiku is stunning.

  2. I embrace the perfection of the haiku, and add my pleasure to sitting with you at this death watch. I, too, was thinking of Nagasaki today; so your tale of the dying blackbird becomes the perfect metaphor for the day. I was sitting on the deck looking at our 17 year old cat, wondering when we will find him passed on.

  3. Wonderful written Jane! Its always sad to see the death this way. The poor blackbird, and the thousand poor humans every day die all over the world. Lets hope there is another life for them at the other side. Michael

  4. kaykuala

    How many look into the face of death
    and understand at last what it is to be alone?

    A reality that keeps playing all the time. Good observation Jane!


  5. It saddens me also when I see young fledglings or chicks dead on the path. I once went into the middle of the road to retrieve a great tit which had been hit by a car as, even though it was dead, I couldn’t bear the idea of it being squished and squashed by the hundreds of HGVs that went by everyday.

    1. The lane we live on doesn’t get any traffic except the cars of a handful of neighbours and the bin men once a week. The birds and animals don’t have much notion of getting out of the way. Yesterday an engine had been up and down the lane brushing up the surplus gravel of a new road surface and in the evening there was a dead stoat. Got caught by the brusher, I imagine. I took it home to put it somewhere peaceful away from the roadside. Stupid, but we do these things, don’t we?

  6. A heart-wrenching write. The fact that you wrote a poem about the blackbird speaks a lot about your kind and compassionate soul! ❤

  7. Death certainly is a reality that’s hard to face or think about. But it will come to us all eventually and to those we love. The best way to deal with its existence is to be living the life you truly are happy with to the best of your abilities.

  8. This could easily have fit with the Haibun Monday prompt. I was struck by the indifference of nature to the blackbird’s death, as evidenced by the continued tweeting of other song birds. It’s so like how the passing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki days happen each year with a flurry of the usual headlines that are often overshadowed by whaterver current event happens. I can so see both of the cities in the blackbird, too! Wonderful write, Jane!

    1. Thank you, Frank. It’s the reporting of tragedies that gets to me, how something dreadful gets the concerned voices and the interviews with distraught victims then the next story is all about holiday traffic jams or a sports event and the tone changes to cheery and the anguish is forgotten.

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