Haibun for raptors



Today was a day of raptors. The outliers of a flock of red kites sailed low and unimpressed by my upturned face; I saw each feather, the pale wing patches, the bright russet red of pinions and the darker head, crook-beaked, bent, searching the grass about my feet for movement.

Speed and grace

in this silent death-bringer

no baying for blood

Then the hobbies, narrow-winged, sharp and rapid, darted past at head height. In their rolling swallow-flight they turned—slate-grey back, pale-flecked underside and face dark-moustached, gone almost faster than sight.

twin graces

speed and light feather-tough

then an empty sky

And the ever-present buzzards, with broad wings owl-like, wheeling over the fields where the hunters have passed by. Now I watch a kestrel hovering, saint-ésprit, searching for voles in the long grass, wings and tail fanned, each feather aquiver.

empty sky

suddenly fills with wings

and I soar


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.

6 thoughts on “Haibun for raptors”

      1. I see lots of flocks of little birds around the house. Don’t know what they do with themselves in the summer, but it’s as though they know that it’s time for the bird food to appear.

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