Empty nest haibun

The dead tree is the thin spike on the right.


In the dead tree, the nail-less finger that points at the sky, high as the tallest poplar, a woodpecker roosts. Each evening it calls from the neighbouring trees, calls a short, one-note cry as it flies to the dead tree, listens as it climbs to the top, but the call receives no answer. The old nest is empty now that the fledglings have flown, mate gone until next season perhaps. Autumn sun setting still strikes the bare tip, the dark hole, woodpecker sized, and fills it with warmth.

round and round the seasons go

the wind

the swirling water in the culvert

and love returns

with the spring



Photo© Gerry Zambonini

P.S. When I downloaded this photo, Wikipedia was down all over the world except here. Occasionally, living in the land time forgot has it’s advantages.

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.

37 thoughts on “Empty nest haibun”

    1. First night as empty nesters coming up. It’s a pretty bird and I feel so sorry for him/her without knowing at all why it comes back to that hole in the tree every evening and why it calls as it gets close. Like parent birds do to tell the chicks, I’m home!

      1. That’s true, too. Our daughters’s colleges were much closer, which was comforting (and convenient–as we could attend events.) Now with older daughter living in Massachusetts, it’s different.

      2. The others all lived at home because we were just a tram ride from the faculties, but the youngest decided she wanted to do a course that is only proposed by one of the northern universities.

      3. The others never even considered going away. French kids in general go to the university closest to home. It’s just as well as we didn’t have the means to send them further afield and pay for their accommodation. At one point there were four of them in college at the same time. One, we can manage 🙂

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