Gogyohka for heat and birdsong

For Frank Tassone’s haikai challenge.


sun melts and drips

yellow as an oriole’s feathers

into the hush

with the sweet golden fluting

of his song


among the leaves

limp with sun

where wood pigeons croon lullabies

shade dapples flash with spread wings

and the heat sings


molten beams spread


a rising tide

until the evening is awash

with liquid sun


and still the singing

no audience

no applause

only the heckling of woodpeckers

shadows lengthening


and perhaps at the end

before the night

when sleep calls

the satisfaction

of a job well done

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 “Gogyohka for heat and birdsong”

    1. I love listening to them. The song changes all the time, like a conversation, lots of different strophes, and such a beautiful sound, like a woodwind instrument.

  1. Such a pleasure to listen to. The liquid gold that you describe fits so well their look and sound. And sleep calling job well done. Nature’s benediction–nothing more is needed.

  2. Love blackbirds too. Have watched their craziness.
    Can you please hop on over to my blog and see if you can read the latest post? This new editor is driving me crazy.

    1. I love these birds. They keep up lyrical conversations with one another punctuated by crow-like croaking (usually the female) and they do quite a lot of crow-like squabbling.

  3. Beautiful song and beautiful words. I liked the heckling of the woodpeckers, and I hope they do think it’s a job well done.
    The chirping woke Ricky the Cat, but he went back to sleep. 😀

    1. Smart cat. I had warbler songs going for a while trying to work out what was singing outside, and Trixie jumped up on my desk, tramping all over the computer, puzzled she couldn’t see the damn things 🙂

      1. Well, Ricky doesn’t go out, so he doesn’t either. And he’s not very good at bug catching either, though he tries. Mickey was the hunter (but only inside).

      2. I bet you don’t have mice. Hard to believe but we did this winter, until the summer started and they moved out. The cats never caught a single one.

      3. When we did have mice or one mouse–Mickey caught it. It was pretty amazing, too. He sat and watched for over an hour, then leaped up to the top of a cabinet, over 6 ft., caught it and jumped down with it in his mouth.

      4. That showed the rest of them what would happen if they hung about, I suppose. Trixie is out all day destroying the wildlife and sleeps all night. Ninnie chases lizards in the attic and cries for help when she catches one… Oh for a Mickey cat that just does what cats are supposed to do.

      5. I’d be astonished if you didn’t. I have a friend here who had two cats who were brothers. One of them, the lively one that chased things, died about the same time as your Mickey. She has a stray cat moved into her garage but is adamant that she doesn’t want another cat to move in. She feels the gap too much still to want to fill it.

      6. I can empathise. Finbar follows me everywhere and he’s getting old and a bit unsteady on those long slender legs. I’m not sure what he hears now, he seems almost completely deaf. Of course we love them.

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