Haiku for midsummer

The white bird is an egret. We usually see them in flocks, but this solitary individual (weirdo maybe) was flying with a great flock of red kites. The kites were after the hot-blooded creatures disturbed by the mowing, the egret was after grasshoppers.




beneath drying stalks

once gold

green ribs shine


waves of heat-shimmer

on the meadow break

with poplar-hiss


shade pools

dim as ocean depths where

bramble flowers wink


all these months

the thrush has sung dawn to dusk

through the dark days


light glitters now

damselfly-bright on the last

wave tip of spring


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.

27 thoughts on “Haiku for midsummer”

      1. Congrats, Jane! Now its hunting season for egrets. A little bit horrible seeing the days getting shorter and the nights longer. Want to have my summer back, in the full lenght, without lockdown. Michael

      2. I think the egrets are more or less protected, as long as the kites don’t decide to tackle one.
        Don’t remind me—we’re on the gentle slide back to winter.

  1. I love your descriptive words, “damselfly-bright,” winking flowers, poplar hiss. . .
    But I’m really thinking about that egret. I’m imagining him friends with the red kites. . .and they have adventures together.
    I wonder if birds understand other bird languages.

    1. It was really weird. Those red kites when they’re in a mob like that are a bit frightening. They’re big birds. I was talking across the lane to the neighbour who had come out to admire the haymaking and while we were talking the kites came flying low just behind me and with them, this one white egret, as if it had picked the wrong flock.

  2. That must have been a strange sight. I used to see egrets flying by one of the apartments I lived that was near the river.
    The meadow looks naked. It will be more itself in a week I imagine. (K)

  3. With a “wing tip,” we salute spring and fly into summer. Regarding the narrative, maybe the egret wanted company. I hope it’s an option that’s successful, meaning safe.

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