I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world, to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

3 February 2016

Finding the Core

'Where would you come back to?' he asks. 'And would you come back as yourself ... perhaps you'd return as a bird?' When I ask this of my inner stillness, dropping into deep knowing, my outer mind is faintly surprised. I don't choose the Tweed Valley, where I have spent the happiest years of my life – where natural beauty and easy friendships nurture me daily, and where I shall most likely end. No, I would go back to the place of cold rain, of slippery frosts and insularity – yet where my earliest friendships were born, and its own particular beauty sustained me. Yes, that island. 

That island, yes; of dark mountains and cold streams. Above all I would go back to Richmond Bridge strangely, as it was not a frequent haunt. But my Dad loved it, and I loved it too through his eyes and my own. That was before I became disillusioned in him. We would pass it on family trips from Launceston to Hobart and back – from one end of the island to the other, so we didn't do it often. (There were not the fast highways then.) We loved its simple arches, its ancient stone, the slight rise in the centre coming to a point. We loved its perfect shape, a lily needing no gilding. (The bridge at Ross is beautiful too, but more ornate.) I would be a bird, I think, perching on that bridge, making a nest nearby. A magpie, able to stand up for itself and its young: killer of snakes, aggressive guard against intruders, feeder of the helpless. A magpie warbling its most beautiful song to wake the morning, and later farewelling the day as dusk descends.

'Who are you?' she asks. 
I am a bird on a bridge 
in a small island.

This photo, by Gabriella of the dVerse team, provided the original inspiration for this piece, reminding me of Richmond Bridge which I refer to. 

Linked to Haibun Monday #6 and to Poetics: Coming Back, both at dVerse, as well as to Poets United's Midweek Motif: Identity. [The concluding verse is perhaps more senryu than haiku. I hope it qualifies.]


  1. A lovely vignette. An eagle flew over me today while I was driving, swooping majestically overhead, but I am even fonder of the small birds in their own ways: the magpies, the wrens, the twittering chickadees. I would fly to an aspen grove inland, where my aunt lives, and listen to the singing leaves, if I were a bird.

  2. What a perfect and well thought haibun. To really find that perfect moment, and that place.. I love that bridge and could really understand how it could take you there.

  3. A lily needed no gilding.. I enjoyed your description of the place.

  4. I love how you used my theme on the Haiban prompt. The place is beautiful....

  5. This is pure perfection :D love the haibun.

    Lots of love,

  6. When I read of Tasmania I get a lump in my throat, as I enjoyed a wonderful week and a couple days there! Sigh! And how wonderful to be able to be on that bridge as a bird, singing a beautiful song.

  7. I love the way you use the haibun and the place and then the bird there. It links so wonderfully. I grew up near the other Richmond Bridge in Surrey on the Thames. Maybe too many people to be a bird there now but I loved the river. Your island and the rain seems so special.

  8. A haibun so well constructed and delightful to read. It would seem that we all have a at least one place of meaning in our lives! Thanks for sharing yours.

  9. Oh damn, I have managed to delete a comment from Gabriella, saying she could understand wanting to go back to such a place, and that it reminded her of England. To which I was trying to reply that many people say Tasmania is like England, though others say it is even more like Ireland.

    I also said that Gabriella's photo was my original inspiration, reminding me of the bridge in my childhood, so I have now included her photo and merely linked to one of Richmond Bridge.

  10. Combining three prompts, you've nailed it Rosemary. To me this wonderful haibun speaks of beauty and strength.

  11. I love the gentle, assured searching and knowing in this piece - it is often not the 'obvious' places that feel like home..that we would like to go back to..the last question and answer seems to say it all

  12. I love this...I want to share a poem with you....from The Singing Creek Where the Willows Grow...the rediscovered diary of Opal Whiteley...

    I shall be coming back to you
    From seas, rivers, sunny meadows,
    glens that hold secrets:
    I shall come back with my hands full
    Of light and flowers...
    I shall bring back things I have picked up,
    Traveling this road or the other,
    Things found by the sea on in the pinewood.
    There will be a pine-cone in my pocket,
    Grains of pink sand between my fingers.
    I shall tell you of a golden pheasant's
    Will you know me?
    "I Shall Come Back"
    Hilda Conkling (age ten), 1922

    After my husbands death, the first day I went out, I went to the bookstore without purpose, I walked to the back of the store, and reached up and pulled down this book, and opened it to read this poem....

    1. That gave me chills, Annell.

    2. A ten year old wrote that? I'm stunned, and what an amazing gift for you to come upon it like you did, Annell.

    3. Thank you Annell, how perfect is that? That is actually one of my very favourite books but it is some time since I looked at it and I had not remembered that poem. Also, by a piece of synchronicity, today is my late husband's birthday. A beautiful piece to read as I am thinking of him.

  13. "I am a bird on a bridge
    in a small island."

    I am deeply, deeply enamored of this, Rosemary. To the core.

  14. This has such a contented, peaceful feel. Love it.

  15. This was so beautiful. This was perfect.

  16. Rosemary, this is an amazement of a poem, truly. One of my favourites of yours. Finding the core indeed. I love "I am a bird on a bridge." This poem drew me right in and was utterly satisfactory in every possible way. Wow.

  17. Beautiful...beautiful piece, Rosemary. Deeply moving metaphors cited.. taking a holistic look at one's linkage with nature!The concluding lines are absolutely fascinating and deeply riveting... :)

  18. I like how this reflects your core, your connection with your father, a bridge and a bird. The images are so vivid. Enjoyed reading this so much.

  19. indeed, a lovely song of life

    have a good Wednesday

    much love...

  20. This is beautiful Rosemary! And for me, it feels deep--

  21. This is deeply emotional on so many levels, Rosemary...I love it and the haiku is perfection!

  22. This is a stunning haibun. I am sure we all have places from our past that we can identify with and where we feel comfortable and fit in.

  23. What an exquisite return as a perfect parent in the form of a bird. If only things would be as sweet as we choose to remember them! The little island is so uncomplicated and freeing!

  24. I have to agree with Sherry I think this is one of my favorite of yours. A bird perched on that bridge..such a lovely image.

  25. Beautiful ending haiku ~ This is lovely reflection of your journey, smiles ~

  26. I am so thrilled by all your lovely comments. This one did go very deep for me, and was a revelation to me about my own 'core'.

  27. A magpie warbling its most beautiful song to wake the morning, and later farewelling the day as dusk descends...such a glorious haibun. I would like to go that perfect place as well. Spectacular.

  28. your poem is so charming. I loved everything about the bird...and the bridge too.

  29. SMiLes.. i Love Seagulls
    and remember my
    Uncle telling me..
    hey.. things aren't
    that bad.. you
    could be
    a seagull

    no apPeal..;)

  30. Perfect. That's the word.

  31. I absolutely love the contrast of your haiku. This is so gracefully written and intriguing. Thank you!

  32. so very pretty and I could feel the melancholy and your haiku really got to me

  33. Bird of bridge
    swoon of heARt..
    fly so hiGh

  34. Rosemary I love the dialogue you have with the reader and perhaps your younger self. After the many life journeys, how fantastic to discover where you would live and how.