National Poetry Month — Haiku

not good enough
cardinal in reflection


Every day this week a female cardinal has come to our bay window and flown against it.  She’s flies off to sing, returns and flies at the window again.  This is right beside were I sit at my computer.  What a persistent girl.  May we both see more clearly.

About T A Smith

Just one of the literacy scholars on this site who wants to explore writing in all its complexities.
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31 Responses to National Poetry Month — Haiku

  1. Pingback: Day 16/ NaPoWriMo 2012/ Circled Blue [Poem] « poetArt

  2. CiCi says:

    With our simple human minds, it is hard to understand doing something over and over, especially something that must hurt. She must be getting something out of hitting the window though. Maybe she is seeing clearly and she likes what she sees.

    • Yousei Hime says:

      The more comments on this bird, the more I see myself in her. She definitely sees something in that window. Maybe I should go have a good look tomorrow morning.

      I’ve enjoyed reading your blog on my Google Reader, but it’s less convenient commenting that way. Really enjoyed your latest stories of helpful, caring neighbors. Thank you for stopping in and commenting. 🙂

  3. aloha Yousei Hime – it’s an interesting situation. i’ve had two – one where it was dark in side the room so the window acted like a mirror from the outside – so birds thought it was more space they could fly through to get to the trees – which were the ones there were flying from reflected. the other was where windows were on both sides of the room and birds not seeing the glass simply saw the trees on the other side of the building and tried to fly through again. in some cases they flew hard from far enough away that hitting the glass stunned them or worse. so yeah, i hope she figures it out soon. she must think there is something very appealing about that space she is trying to fly into or through.

    the self in this ku is that old critic (imo – we are our own toughest – and may be worst – critic if we listen to that part of our self) – i’ve decided that my old harsh critic has to let me play. so i tell him he can watch in silence and join in the fun when he’d like to, but i get to do what i want to do my way. i think he’s beginning to get the idea that playing is much more fun. and i’m getting the idea that it’s okay for me to be right where i am. after all, i get to try again every time i wake up. and that’s fun.

    window bird
    the trees on the other side

    • Yousei Hime says:

      I suspect you are exactly right. I haven’t gone outside to try and view the window myself, but there are trees near it, as you can see in the picture. She hardly stops, even on cloudy days. At first I thought it was only in the morning (that window faces the sunrise), but she comes back in the afternoon too. Funny girl, most certainly. Thankfully she hasn’t stunned herself yet.

      I am trying to learn to silence my doubts and self-criticism. For a person who doesn’t talk out loud much, my inner self is all too verbose. You are right of course. Enjoying writing is so important, and I still want to write better. I’d say my recent frowns are from frustration, rejections on submissions and wondering how to write for publication. Should I even bother? Should I just write for myself? Write to create something I find beautiful (which is a high hurdle on its own)? So many of the bloggers/writers I visit and admire have been published. Bit of envy and more envy, I’m guessing. Better to just focus on my own writing. 😉 mumbling to myself here. Thanks for your visits and sharing. It encourages and challenges in such good ways. Your haiku, spot on. 😀

      • Shawna says:

        “who doesn’t talk out loud much, my inner self is all to[o] verbose” … I hear ya. Crazy, huh?

        You should definitely try to publish. But you’ll probably have to be mindful of where you’d like to publish so that you can tailor your writing accordingly. I’m sure certain publications look for certain things. I have a feeling that if everyone wrote exactly what they wanted, nothing would ever be published. Writers are not in charge.

        • Yousei Hime says:

          😛 Yes, I’m finding that out. Irks me, actually. Still, won’t keep me from writing, and honestly, I see areas that need improvement. When i can’t see anymore and still can’t get published, then I’m really going to worry. Conforming has never appealed to me, so I’m in for more struggling. I suspect you know something about non-conforming personalities. 😉

          • Shawna says:


            Your writing is amazing, and you should have no problem getting published. Yet brilliant writers are rejected all the time. I wouldn’t even know where to start if I wanted to move in that direction, but I know I haven’t written anything good enough yet. I’d have to be intentional about writing with purpose and format. I don’t do well with that. I’m just a bounce-around kind of girl. 🙂

      • i’m slowly (because i’m slow) coming to the realization (which may have to take place many times yet before it actually sinks in and takes) that the writer arts mind has to be different than the visual arts mind when it comes to publishing/showing and the peripherals around that dance.

        i’m steeped in the visual arts mind – even if it’s a weak tea. writer arts mind is a whole ‘nuther challenge for me. one i’m not sure i’m ready to play – or even want to play. i think writers have to play in that peripheral dance – including the thick skull dress – in order to be read. or recognized at least.

        okay, visual artists have to play in the same version of the dance that belongs to their peripheral dance sphere too. …just… in a slightly different way.

        interestingly enough the same phenomenon happens (at least it has for me) – the very thing that is rejected by one judge and judgment is accepted with honors by another. …that’s where the thick skull dress is formally required and at least suggested.

        (imo) believe in yourself. go through the process early and often so that when you do find you have the writing you want published you’ll know the ropes to the puppet dance so well you will know the strings that are going to be pulled and you can snip them. that way you can dance to your own lines and (hopefully) publish too. it’s a journey. might as well dance. …and laugh along the way as well. aloha. (and please disregard any of this that is inappropriate or inaccurate – it is entirely the fault of the author – just take the fun stuff when it makes sense)

        • Yousei Hime says:

          😀 It all makes sense, I find nothing inappropriate, and I enjoyed every letter of it. Thick skull dress, indeed. Thick skin too, I’m guessing. I probably have a thick skull, though usually viewed from my spouse’s perspective. Thick skin I’ve never had. It will be tough and probably tearful, but I’ll dance on. Thank you for the food for thought to go with the heartening tea of camaraderie.

          • yes, the thick skull dress is designed to be placed over thick skin. double armor so to speak for the dance.

            it’s a funny (not so much haha funny – more curious funny) edge that flips back and forth under and within that sensitive emotional side of the artist/writer/creator. because on one side tears. yet on the other side it is what enables subtle beauty and sensitivity within what we create. so without it i think our work would not have nearly the depth and radiance and beauty that is possible with it. yet. yes. it’s the same thing that brings out that liquid overflow from the tear ducts of the eye. and still, there is a way to handle it. …i just cant always remember that way when i’m in the midst of… an eye full of liquid that over flows. so, i just let it over flow when that happens. and when the flood diminishes… fine, i go on with my work the way i want to do it now.

            • Yousei Hime says:

              Just so… not much fun, but so worth the final beauty. I will confess to being a bit thicker skinned after twenty years of marriage and eighteen plus years of motherhood to two boys. If that doesn’t toughen one up, very little will. Still, writing is a different and personal thing, harder to step back and turn it over to objectivity. At least for me it is. Ok! *slaps both her cheeks* Enough flowery whining and complaining. Time to write and learn. 😉

  4. Jeannie says:

    I love that picture and haiku! Poor little bird…I wonder if she’s looking for company…:)

  5. ManicDdaily says:

    Wow – that is an amazing picture. Wonderful. And wonderful poem too, but I’m really amazed at the picture! K.

  6. nonoymanga says:

    May be she found a new home!!! Thanks for sharing Nonoy Manga

  7. Raven says:

    This is a really marvelous haiku. Did you know that more birds are killed each year by running into windows than … bummer I can’t remember. But it is a huge amount especially in cities with glass skyscrapers. I put up on my windows, deterrents that I get from bird specialty stores. I have clear leaf cutout that the birds can see and then I have black large cutouts of crows on my windows also. They work quiet well.

    • Yousei Hime says:

      I have four outdoor cats. You would think they’d do something to deter that behavior. There is usually at least one around that area looking for birds, but not lately. Now I’m wondering what they’re up to. Thanks for stopping by and reading.

  8. slpmartin says:

    I have a road runner who likes to show me his/her catch at my back porch…usually a small lizard which it waves at me…as if to say “look what I’ve got!” 🙂

    • Yousei Hime says:

      How lucky! You’d think, having lived in Texas, that I would seen one. Never have. Sounds like quite the character. Thank you for reading and sharing a smile.

  9. Shawna says:

    Gorgeous! I love it. That includes that beautiful pink bird, of course. Are you a pink bird?

    I just love the word “reflection” for its multiple meanings. The same is true of “cardinal.” Here are some possible interpretations:

    Your reflection is not you; it is a bird. You want someone else to see the bird and think it is good enough, to think you are good enough—the you with wings.

    Reflection as a reverse image. The opposite of your presentation is actually the truth.

    If “cardinal” is a shade of red, then perhaps it represents anger, passion, or a temperament of fire.

    “Cardinal” also means most important, so perhaps this has to do with priorities being out of order.

    But I actually just think the cardinal is reflecting on who she is and doesn’t think she’s good enough. 🙂

    • Yousei Hime says:

      I’m pink today, 😉 . Enjoying your interpretations (as usual). It hadn’t even occurred to me to read it with those meanings for “cardinal.” Thank you for showing me even more possibilities. 🙂

  10. Hi Yousei, Always interested in your posts and poems! Have you read Madeleine L’Engle’s “Walking On Water: Reflections on Faith & Art?” As I recall she referred to her “decade of failure” and the very long time it took to get ‘Wrinkle In Time” published. All the best, Ellen

    • Yousei Hime says:

      L’Engle is one of my favorite authors, but I’m not familiar with that one. I’ll have to go to the library and hunt a copy down. It is a comfort to know someone I admire so struggled with her writing as well. Thank you so much for your visit and kind comment.

  11. brian miller says:

    the first three words are enough to evoke emotion for me…ha maybe we both need to see more clearly…oy we used to have them beat against the storm window at my parents…

    • Yousei Hime says:

      We’ve had birds do this before, but I’ve never had one so persistent. She must frighten off all her potential lover-boys. Yes, that first phrase is really me talking to myself. Not to happy with my writing lately (too many rejections, lol). I’m determined to fly at the window until I find what I’m looking for or break through. Then I plan to do it all again. 😉

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