Haibun for spring thoughts


I couldn’t sleep again last night, too many thoughts and problems to be solved or not, out of my hands. I worried that I had not seen a single hare this early spring around the house, racing, boxing through the grass. So I put on boots and walked the course of stream and ditch, searched for signs that we are not alone.

There were tracks of deer and badger, marsh beaver, hedgehog, squirrel and fox. Holes dug in bank and earth, new homes or just grubbing for food. I walked the nursery; the new trees are thriving, ninety now—we need a thousand more to make a difference. Good signs. Perhaps there will be hares when the sun returns.

grey sky still the day

though nights are full of moon

I wish I could see the magic hares

racing beneath the stars

careless and wild

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.

23 thoughts on “Haibun for spring thoughts”

  1. You are sounding a little bit sad, Jane! But dont worry. The hares are buying eggs for Easter, they have to offer then, like the Roman-Catholic Church allows, too. Lol
    A wonderful poem, with a great intro too.

  2. I too was hit with an inability to sleep last night. Not over hares but my cat, as well as many other things happening in my life. So I can relate a lot to this.

      1. Cats hate moving house, don’t they? We moved from city centre to the middle of the countryside. The cats were terrified of going outside to begin with. Two years later, one of them still is and never dares to go further than the edge of the porch. The other spends all day in the woods hunting.

      2. yeah anything to do with change upsets them. Haha yeah my cat is an outdoorsy type. Was a stray to being with so never got rid of that instinct. Usually pesters me for two things to be let out and to be fed.

  3. I was restless last night, too, and I usually sleep pretty well. (Ricky the cat woke me a few times.) I love those last three lines of your verse.
    I think sometimes there are cycles for animals–perhaps this year there will not be many hares.

    1. Thank you. Maybe it’s the moon?
      My fear is always that the hunters have got them all, although the season for hares has been closed since the end of December. They don’t know what they’re firing at anyway, anything that moves.

  4. I was tempted to comment along the lines of “hare today, gone tomorrow,” but such flippancy is unwarranted. Hares are a wonderful addition to the landscape, deeply woven into our folklore – as hinted at in your lovely verse. There’s an enormous repertoire of folk songs dealing with them; folk singers are forever banging on about hares. We would be immeasurably poorer without them – hares, that is 🙂 (though we need folk singers too, to keep us in touch with the worldview of our ancestors.) I hope your hares come back soon.

    1. I’m sickened. We always have quite a lot of them. This time last year they had already had the first batch of babies and so far I’ve seen one and that was on the other side of the stream not on our place. They are beautiful animals and there is no justification at all for hunting them. Makes my blood boil.

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