We were driving across the flat North Norfolk landscape after a visit to my father-in-law, dark beet fields stretching out on both sides of the road and no other vehicles to be seen. It was dusk, the clouds were low and the car’s heater couldn’t shake the chill in the air. Light was fading fast.
Suddenly, there was a knock and a shadow in the driver’s window. I turned my head and saw a barn owl, the circles of its eyes like small headlights, inquisitive but not threatening. It hung there a while, barely moving its wings, and then swooped across the windscreen and disappeared into the winter sky.
wind rushes sea-like
across naked brown beet fields
an owl shadow drifts
Kim M. Russell, 2017
My response to dVerse Poets Pub Haibun Monday: Fukuroo—Who? Who? Who?
Victoria tells us that the mystique of owls came home to her when a friend gave her a book of poetry by Mary Oliver: Owls and Other Fantasies, a collection of 26 poems about owls and other birds. She says there is a number of associations between owls that underlie a sense of mystery, darkness, night, wisdom and clarity, and that owls seem to be a bird of winter because they are more often visible among the trees’ bare branches. She tells us that the Japanese associate the Kigo, FUKUROO, Owl, with the season of winter.
For today’s Haibun, Victoria asks us to write a short (less than 200 words) paragraph or two of non-fiction, considering the Fukuroo/owl. Follow that by a traditional haiku that includes a seasonal reference, not necessarily to winter.