even the sparrow….Haiku/Tanka

a relentless snow
drifts in consuming whiteout…
will i disappear,
succumb to the vampire wind
that would drain my soul to numb?
these eyes half open
in waking hibernation,
this heart a frail beat.
a frozen flatline…
waiting in emotional
for the morning Sun
to light… this desolate sky…
to wake… from this sleep…
the ambivalent
stare dead eyed past the wounded.
yet time and again
your brown eyes warm my shadows,
and mend these oft broken wings.

Hope turns skyward now…
beyond… this Season of Fear…
snow… falls ever white…
and Winter’s death has it’s Spring,
even the sparrow… finds food.
watercolor pencil, pencil,
black and white marker,
white acrylic paint
12″x 12″ vellum paper,
sourced from various pics
and my imagination
click for larger image

105 thoughts on “even the sparrow….Haiku/Tanka

  1. Welcome back my friend, a beautiful piece and your picture is gorgeous and I’m glad you did not succumb to the vampire wind.

  2. Beautiful in more ways than one, especially with the art piece. Lovely to see your verses again 🙂

  3. hocuspocus13 says:

    Reblogged this on hocuspocus13.

    • geez hocuspocus13, what an honor to share your pages.
      ty so very much. peace.

      • hocuspocus13 says:

        the honor is all mine to have your wonderful words so I may share…

        have yourself a great day


      • wow, you are amazing, what a wonderful way to begin the day! ty again hocupocus13.

      • hocuspocus13 says:

        you know your right

        started my day with your words and a cup of strong hot Columbian coffee

        nothing better


      • oh we think alike hocuspocus, poetry and strong coffee,
        makes for a great morning. well maybe not in that order lol!

      • hocuspocus13 says:

        coffee is the morning is a must

        I actually drink it most of the day
        with a brew (hot tea) late evening


      • yeah i do too, sip it alllldaaay, couldn’t live without it.
        though i can’t drink tea at all, it’s odd but the caffeine
        gives me the jitters. but give me a tall glass of ice lemonade…..

      • hocuspocus13 says:

        drink decaf tea, green tea is actually very good for you antioxidant, and decaf tea can be found easily

        right now…it’s morning coffee time and in the morning only a good strong cup will do

      • sorry for the late reply hocuspocus but my daughter is visiting this week and Mr Dad’s been busy lol.it’s 1am, the time i always wake up and begin to write when everyone else is asleep…and my trusted companion is my coffee. i love the whole ritual of making it, and the first sip is just a slice of Heaven!

      • hocuspocus13 says:

        especially in the morning, that first sip so good

        have a great day


  4. Laura Bloomsbury says:

    artist and wirter – the good Lord spoiled you! No emotional ambiguity here only the strong frailty of survival. This was just lovely!

    • heh, maybe now i’ll finally begin to feel spoiled rather than burdened. writing poetry fearlessly showed
      me i really have nothing to fear anymore. i’m done with it! and yes, the frailty of our survival.
      you absolutely nailed it Laura, ty so much!

  5. It is so good to see you back. Your words and artistic ability amaze me! Both are wonderful.

    • it feels wonderful to be with my friends again sweet Skye, i can’t wait for my daughter to see
      this drawing. she has my genes and it is in large part due to her fearless creativity and encouragement
      that i took up my pencils and brushes again. i guess we’ll have to share them now! lol!

      • Well, please thank her for me for encouraging you!! I am sure we would all thank her, actually. I live in a house of artists, as well. It is a beautiful thing to watch their talents unfold.

      • i will, she’ll be beaming when she arrives later today. she is far ahead of me when i was 13,
        and has a very discerning eye. i’ve been giving her pointers over the years, so it’s been great
        to see her progress.

        hhmm, now you’ve piqued my curiosity…house full of artists?

      • I have four children that are all very musically and artistically gifted. I do not deserve such blessings, but God gifted me with them, and I could not be more grateful.

      • sure you do Skye, we all do! that’s a lot of constant inspiration
        you are surrounded with, good on you for creating such a rich, creative environment.

  6. markrenney1 says:

    I find myself revisiting and rereading this because it makes me both sad and hopeful. A beautiful poem and thank you for writing this.

    • ty mark, i really appreciate your heartfelt response. it was written from the well of sadness
      just below my surface. i’m a survivor, i’ve been through a lot in this long life but even when
      all seemed truly lost, there was always a spark of Hope that i would make it through.
      without Hope, we are lost. i write about it a lot.

  7. Sky Vani says:

    I’m so happy to see you again. Mr. Who! And I love the sparrow. Why haven’t you done this before?

    • hi Sky and ty for liking the sparrow, i’m really surprised it came out so well.
      why?….well, it’s a long story and a very sad one. probably something i’m now
      ready to write about….the short answer: fear and doubt. i’m a little embarrassed
      to tell you i haven’t done a drawing like this in decades. 2 weeks ago i said ENOUGH!
      and started drawing the sparrow.

      • Sky Vani says:

        I am glad that you did! You should have never stop. I hope that you don’t mind for reblog, I am so happy to see you writing again. I should have ask first, I know, but but I did it spontaneously without thinking. If you do, please say.

      • Sky…you humble me. ty so much. this truly puts a smile in my heart this morning!
        no, i shouldn’t have but fear is a tricky thing, my own expectations were a burden
        i couldn’t overcome. writing poetry brought me back here, among other things so i’m
        grateful for that.

  8. Sky Vani says:

    Reblogged this on STAIN and commented:
    My very first WP friend and the real artist… I’m so happy being able to read these pages again and even happier to meet another side of his creative personality.

  9. milah says:

    Nice! ❤

  10. rjl2727 says:

    a) welcome back on the scene – we missed you. b) damn, you come back swinging for the upper deck. this is among the very best of your writings. a very nice one and i dig the art. i envy your immense talent.

    • ty for the welcome back bob, glad to be able to share again. i needed this down time
      for a variety of reasons but even though i’m new to poetry, i realized after 150 poems
      since March my words were getting a little stale. i think i’ll post less going forward
      but with more conviction, more polish, maybe once a week. that will give me time to create
      a drawing as well. ty so much for your compliments bob, they mean an awful lot.

      • rjl2727 says:

        hey man, i totally relate and agree. i’ve written so much, so fast that i feel the same danger of becoming repetitive and narrow. i always felt some need to post regularly, every day or two, but am backing off to allow some new perspectives to emerge. peace to you.

      • i understand, i felt that pressure a bit too but i think i’m
        past that now. at least for me, it’s about being true to my creativity,
        not forcing what might not really be there. in painting and poetry,
        the negative spaces are crucial, profoundly important. or as my favorite
        painting teacher preached, ‘turn the canvas to the wall’ peace brother.

  11. Ever talented…words and now drawings pour from your heart and hands. Beautiful, brother, of mine. Just beautiful.

  12. Muddletation says:

    So happy to see you are back. This tugs at my heart, but it is warmed by the last verse and the sight of that lovely brown sparrow…You are very talented both in art and verse my friend.

  13. SirenaTales says:

    You are a snow phoenix, MasterWho, rising from the numbing, frozen depths of drifts, lit and lifted by the indelible love of warm brown eyes: to create and recreate. Truly lovely poetry, verbal and visual, my friend. Rock on, baby–I will try to join you. xo

    • there might be some truth to what you say Chloe, my little deaths are
      usually the harbinger of something very new. unfortunately, i have to
      come apart before i can be put back together.lol!
      and ty dear Chloe, your kindness lights the way!

  14. MicheleMariePoetry says:

    There is such feeling in your words ~ And that image of the sparrow is exquisite!!! Beautiful!

  15. Absolutely beautiful poetry. And I love the illustration. What a way to start my morning (along with a nice hot cup of joe with cinnamon on top). Thank you for sharing your gifts.

  16. wunderwench says:

    I love your drawing and can’t wait to see more of your wonderful talent. Of course your poetry is filled with winters melancholia with just that hint of hope that keeps us going… love it, truly. All the best to you.

    • ty so much wunderwench, i was kinda’ excited for you to see the drawing since we shared some thoughts about painting. and yes there will be more to share, looking forward to more of your artwork too! peace.

      • wunderwench says:

        I am excited to see your work, you have no idea the 😀 it brings to my face! I draw the “real” stuff very poorly and envy anyone with the ability to do it well. Not sure why I get so nervous about sharing my art here… never good enough and all that nonsense I suppose…

      • i guess i’m the opposite, purely imaginative and metaphorical work like the painting you posted is not my forte at all. it’s one of the many complex reasons why i set my brushes down years ago. i am a realist, always have been and in the ’80’s post school,there seemed to be no place for my work. i’m not political by nature so i had very littleto ‘say’ as an artist except what i saw.

        if i remember, your painting garnered a lot of interest and positive comments. i’m not tryingto pressure you wunderwench, forgive me if i seem pushy but i guess i know a little about the fear and doubt ‘thingy’ unfortunately. lol and just don’t like seeing others suffer the same fate.i don’t give praise about artwork flippantly, your painting struck a chord from the title, to the image and colors and execution. you have vision and talent wunderwench and i’ll share a passage from my dearfriend Tiffany Coffman’s comment to me on this post (a poetess i think you might enjoy);

        ‘Don’t let fear and doubt ever diminish this gift you were given.
        If you weren’t trusted to have it, you wouldn’t have been given it
        in the first place. Know that.’

      • wunderwench says:

        Humbly, I thank you, for the vote of confidence, the understanding heart, and the encouragement to be BRAVE! 🙂

      • WW, we artists have a responsibility to support each other, who knows better than us what struggles we endure with our creativity. your ‘earth BOUND’ piece was magnificent, i keep going back to look at it.

  17. your watercolor is sooo beautiful ,as is your poetry

  18. thesewordsiwrite2012 says:


  19. Tiffany Coffman says:

    I feel so completely emotional looking at your artwork because I can’t comprehend stuffing down this remarkable talent of yours, and yet, at the same time I do understand it, having stuffed my own writing down for several decades.

    A co-worker of mine recently lost his father, and when going through his things, the siblings found notebooks filled with stories the father had been writing about his life. They were completely gobsmacked to find their father was a writer at heart. It was a mixture of sadness, because they didn’t know, but also offered them a closeness to him as they caught a glimpse of the man in his entirety, not just this father.

    Because your daughter has been gifted with your talent, it’s so important that you share that with her in ‘the doing’. It’s how she’ll connect with you, find a sense of herself as the artist from you, and learn about you as the man she dearly loves through your art. It’s all pieces of you which are ultimately pieces of her. There’s such tremendous pride in that. The kind that roots you in who you are and where and who you came from. This shared biology, bond, will provide great comfort to her in developing her own talent as she matures. And it’s a closeness, a rare gift, she will take inside her for the rest of her life and beyond yours.

    It’s so beautiful that you’re drawing again. Don’t let fear and doubt ever diminish this gift you were given. If you weren’t trusted to have it, you wouldn’t have been given it in the first place. Know that.

    Beautiful poem. Beautiful art. Thank you for finally sharing what you’re made of. Tenacity. xx

    • so sorry for delayed reply Tiffany, i wanted to wait until Cbear saw my drawing and everyone went to sleep so i could relax and respond. i wish you could have seen the look that slowly came over her face when she finally realized the sparrow i showed her online was mine…it was priceless. i turned to the page in my sketchbook, her eyes were as big as saucers as she poured over the details and she slowly got up and gave me a great big hug. she said, ‘i feel like drawing now!’

      one of those precious moments, ya know?

      ‘Don’t let fear and doubt ever diminish this gift you were given. If you weren’t trusted to have it, you wouldn’t have been given itin the first place. Know that.’

      Tiffany it’s this and the passage in your poem i cited about ‘trusting your hand’,that was so instrumental, finally, in knocking down the last door of fear. there weremany complex and sad reasons for setting down my brushes and pens when i did, but they have no relevancy now. in the end as i saw myself write poetry without fear, the causes and doubt seemed so downright foolish i could no longer justify them.

      we are such odd creatures, us humans! lol

      we had a wonderful time tonight, she shared some of her poetry from a school project about the Holocaust, she also can only write from a place of sadness. and you are right, she will eventually understand more over time what her gifts mean to her, how important our blood connection is and why she has those incredible gifts. i’m an anomaly in my family gene pool, there were no artistic or creative people in my bloodline, unless someone like your friend’s dad was hiding away their art.

      all i can say is that i’m beginning to feel the blessing now, and not the burden of creativity as it has been. ty Tiffany, ty so much for your incredible passion, and intelligence. you are treasured here. Love and Hugs to dear poetess.

      • Tiffany Coffman says:

        Dare I say your little Cbear just fell deeper in love with her father? Yes. She did on that day. By the way, I call my middle daughter ‘bear’.

        Without you going into detail, I understand the complexities and sadness of setting aside a talent. I set my writing aside at 17 and only picked it back up a year and a half ago due to those same parameters.

        Your daughter, only writing from a place of sadness … well, she just found a spot in my heart that I set aside for ‘looking after’ people, if only energetically from a distance. She’s a sensitive, like me, and so I really felt that deeply when you said that. A bit of ‘heart dropping’ for her because I know what only writing from a place of sadness can do to a person over time. And I also know that it means she feels every thing so deeply: far deeper than most. Keep an eye on that little gem; that she doesn’t over-empathize to a fault, hurting her own heart.

        I’m so happy the two of you are able to share your gifts with each other. Like you, I was an anomaly in my bloodline. Grew up in a house with no music or art. Viewed as the overly sensitive, creative one who was punished and squashed for writing or singing. Made to feel wrong for who I was. Odd to find myself then giving birth to 3 girls who did not get my abilities: my love of writing and music. So again, an anomaly. Alone in it. I’m known as the very practical, analytical mom who sometimes, on rare occasions, drifts into poetic territory and is greeted with a ‘What?’ My girls don’t want to read my work. It’s foreign to them. They have no interest.

        I think that’s why it hit me so emotionally hard when you began drawing again, and even harder when you shared it with your daughter. You both have the same gifts. A shared understanding of the creative mind. She NEEDS you to make her ‘right’. And you need her… x

      • what you refer to as a ‘sensitive’, i suspect you mean an empath which i am, and Cbear is too. she has a much more disciplined, scientific mind than me (she wants to be an astro physicist), so she is able, at least to this point, maintain an emotional equilibrium. most times, i cannot. but i do have my watchful eye on her for sure.

        i’m even more sorry now about the loss of your relationship after reading what you shared here, the singularity of your day to day sounds a bit like me, well a lot like me. lol i understand he was a poet as well, seems like you really need a creative companion. any chance you can join a band, are all your former bandmates still playing music?

      • Tiffany Coffman says:

        I live in a small border town near Mexico with the nearest cities hundreds of miles away. I’m in a vacuum so to speak. There are no live music venues here for local musicians, no art, no writing … nothing. I’m essentially trapped by my surroundings. No one here knows I write. The people here have that small town mentality having never left the town they grew up in. I basically have to hide who I am because on that rare occasion it slips out, I just get met with strange looks.

        Whatever musicians are here are just burnt out in their garages playing classic rock covers and tweaked out on pot or meth. Nothing good here.

        And yes, I did mean empath. I am one as well, which is why I have a tendency to isolate. I feel/hear everything off people. Can be a bit much. I also have a very scientific mind like Cbear (math, science, medicine, etc…), but I use it as a way to shut the other side off. I refer to it often as my “Spock” mode. Not necessarily good, but it’s how I cope at times. My handy little switch.

      • i don’t know why, but all this time i thought you were British. lol
        it’s so odd how we assume other’s identities online. the isolation you describe sounds attractive to someone like me, i spend so much time wishing i could pack up and live full time on our farm.

        the farmhouse is set well off a gravel road surrounded by thousands of acres of crops. this year will be corn, and when they’re fully grown it’s like a hidden fortress. just the antidote for escaping the intrusive throngs here in Chicago.

      • Tiffany Coffman says:

        Bloody hell! That’s too funny! I’m afraid I’m a boring, small town American girl. lol

        I actually would love the kind of isolation you describe – in nature, far away. But this ugly city is not quite the same. It’s all sand

  20. beeseeker says:

    vampire wind ?
    Hmmm, fine phrase.

  21. lifelifedeathdeath says:


  22. Miranda Stone says:

    Profoundly beautiful. I love the message of hope this poem conveys. My favorite lines are “your brown eyes warm my shadows,/and mend these oft broken wings.” And your artwork is gorgeous! You are very talented indeed.

    • ty so much Miranda, i just love when i can use the word ‘oft’!
      and as i’ve said a few times in this thread, my abilities are
      beginning to feel again like the blessing they are, rather than
      the burden i let them be for so long. ty for your wonderful comment
      Miranda, i’m so grateful to be among such creative friends like you!

      • Miranda Stone says:

        I’m so glad you’re now able to see your abilities as a blessing. I wonder if every artistic person suffers a little more than others, simply because he or she experiences life so deeply. And the feeling is mutual–I’m delighted at the lovely friends I’ve discovered here, including you.

      • sorry for the late reply Miranda, but my daughter is visiting this week and Mr Dad’s been busy lol….well, every artist i knew suffered in one way or another, i think it’s written in our genes. i am doubly blessed/ burdened, i’m an empath so i also shoulder the world’s pain. all artists need these creative outlets to channel all that we feel, but i think i’ll allow myself to suffer less now and simply enjoy the sharing.

  23. So wonderful! I had no idea you were so artisitically talented as well 🙂 I’m jealous!

    Beautiful work sir 🙂

    • sorry for the late replyMelanie but my Cbear is visiting this week and Mr Dad’s been busy lol ty my friend….well, it’s a secret i’ve been keeping from myself as well,
      this is the first serious drawing i’ve done in decades.

  24. Julie-Boolie says:

    These is really nice and sums up the Midwest winter pretty perfectly! Love the illustration as well!

    • hi Julie-Boolie (love your screen name ) ty so much and a very warm welcome to you.i have to say after 25 years in Chicago, this Winter has really taken it’s toll on my psyche, and i will certainly celebrate Spring with extra joy this year!

  25. Noora says:

    Welcome back! I’ve missed you.

    What a majestic comeback, my friend. You ARE multitalented. I’d love to see more of your artwork.

    The little sparrow and your poem touched me deeply – vulnerability at its finest. Thank you for sharing your gifts with us. You’re an inspiration.

    P.S. I’m not a fan of winter either. Days are really short in Finland. The lack of sunlight is overwhelming. I’ve found some help from “light therapy”.

    • oh i had no idea you were in Finland, is that your native country Noora? i’m not sure i could exist happily full time there, the lack of sunlight for that length of time would be fatal for me, like living in Portland here in the states! lol!

      the little sparrow seemed to touch a few hearts, i’m overwhelmed at the response this poem and drawing received..ty so much and yes i will be illustrating all my poems from now on, it finally feels like the right thing to do.

  26. Kenne says:

    I am very moved by your drawing of the Sparrow – which is so soulful and genuinely profound – filled with emotion. I am also touched by all the mutually supportive comments in your blog. I feel very touched by the open exploration of how it feels to grow up and be an artist/empath in a less sensitive world – it is such a hole of meaning; a disorientation of our expressive equipment. We must be like you, and PUSH THROUGH our own developed resistance to a full expression of life! Thank you for incredibly inspiring verses and a superb original drawing.

    • kenne, ty for taking the time to write such a soulful comment, reactions like yours are the true inspiration, why i keep pushing my self to share more than i ever thought i could or would.

      this has been a brutally cruel winter in Chicago, and it never ceases to amaze me that wildlife make it to Spring on their own in such an inhospitable urban environment. i have a flock of sparrows i feed every day,

      we all…need a little help along the way in this life.

      peace brother.

  27. LadyBlueRose's Thoughts Into Words says:

    Welcome back…..
    your whispers are soft and flowing as ever they are beautiful….
    Take Care…You Matter…

  28. Ah.. what a beautiful painting.. and yes for the little sparrow the winter has to be a tough experience… what a joy to read the hopeful note of winter’s end…

  29. brian miller says:

    nice…i like the description of the vampire wind…it def is this time of year…and winters death into spring…the season of darkness and fear…will soon be beyond us….

  30. A very unique take on wint…(I don’t even want to say the word)!
    I adore the little sparrow…such beautiful artwork!!

  31. Beautiful artwork and poetry.

  32. This is beautiful!! Captivating words and stunning artistry! I am so happy to have discovered your blog! Loving the eclectic feel of it! Looking forward to reading more! 🙂

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