Cowbird’s Lament


Today I watched a cowbird on my window sill having a standoff with his own reflection.  Seeing himself in my tinted windows, he apparently thought it was another bird.  He sat and stared as he flexed his feathers and fluffed himself twice as big as normal. Even when we tapped on the glass he did not want to leave. He was not about to give in to this intruder. He stayed around for ten or fifteen minutes going through his ritual of fluff and peck.

Cowbirds Lament  (a Haikai)

Window reflections

Chasing images not there

Strutting his feathers


Natures instinctive urges

Show of force is not enough



His image remains

Feathers flex // wings are spreading

Intruder copies


Minutes go by // dance repeats

Looks like a stalemate to me



I am trying a new form of poetry, for me, called Haikai which has the traditional haiku lines and then two lines of seven syllables continuing on as long as one choose.   The haikai developed from waka, a more serious form of poetry requiring thirty-one syllables in a 5-7-5-7-7 form.  The haikai is a linked poem that can continue on and have more verses. 

This is new for me so I hope I have done it justice.

Photos: Dwight L. Roth

21 thoughts on “Cowbird’s Lament

  1. a stale-mate indeed for the cowbird – interesting creature (we have cuckoos) and even more interesting poetry form – when writing haiku I especially enjoy the 7 syllable line – allows more flow for “chasing images not there”


  2. Pingback: Crazy Bird | Roth Poetry

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s