Animal Poems

crows

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i wrote most of these poems just after observing a particular animal, bird or insect. but sometimes, an animal would come to mind and i would just write something down. they are written in the direct japanese zen style, but not keeping to the restrictions of the haiku 5-7-5 syllable format, which i felt restrictive. i have written many over the years, but have just listed a few here. I will add more as they come up.

i dedicate these simple poems to all those in the animal realm.

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 1

Dawn

dusk

two wonderful gifts

that stare us in the face every day

unnoticed by my cats

their only interest being breakfast and supper

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 2

While people gaze admiringly at the exotic birds

I gaze at the sparrow

there is nothing dull about you my friend

what a beautiful song you sing

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3

The blackbird watches the cat

the cat watches the blackbird

a great samurai standoff

who will make the first move

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4

An early may morning

light just breaking

a chill in the air

the birds outside are chirping

I hear their message to me

don't worry

the sun is coming

the sun is coming

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5

I am not sure who values my monks robes more

me or the moths

---

 6

Hello mr pigeon

starring at me through the kitchen window

I like to think you come looking for friendship

but in my heart

I know that food is all that is on your mind

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7

There is a snail in the garden

that acts like he owns the place

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8

The crow on the roof

has been chattering away for 20 minutes

but I still haven't the foggiest idea what he is on about

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 9

Dawn breaks

stepping into the garden I bow and say good morning to a snail

in his own way he returns the complement

a thrush looks on in disgust

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10

I see that the house martins are back again

busy building their nests

I have lived here for 17 years

but I am sure they don't remember me

---

11

Seagulls circling above my head

looking very busy

but they have no plans

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12

luckily the butterfly on the orange blossom

does not know how beautiful he is

as he would be impossible to live with

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13

The poor fox

no enemies until mankind turned up

now his beautiful red coat is just a target

---

14

They shout out

save the whale

save the dolphin

they cry out kill and eat the tuna

kill and eat the salmon

I don't understand

---

15

The dragonfly

using the floating leaf as a raft

how clever

---

16

Geese flying overhead

what a joy

I hear their voices

---

17

When I was young

I used to hear the cuckoo in the mornings

now I never hear him

has he gone away or have I

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18

All the insects in the world

when I am still

I can hear them crying

---

19

Travelling on the early morning train

we pass by the river

glancing out of the window I spot a lone heron

standing serenely in the mist

---

20

I know that my youth will never return

but still I live in hope

that I will again hear the sound of the cuckoo

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 21

As the cat sits on my lap

a flee jumps on to my arm

that's ok my friend

you can live on me

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22

A shadow darts here

a shadow darts there

be quick or you'll miss it

a hungry bat at dusk

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23

When you see a fly

please do not kill it

look close

it is beautiful

---

24

Careful how you tread on those fallen leaves

as little lives may dwell below

---

25

Birds just fly

fish just swim

insects just crawl

it all seems so easy

---

26

 I used to think that I owned three cats

but I am beginning to think that they own me

---

27

I step outside to hear the dawn chorus

but the mornings are now darker

and all is silent

just a lone hedgehog

drinking water from the saucer

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28

On these dark mornings

the birds stay asleep

it's easier to dream of breakfast

than to search for it

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29

Perched on the overhanging branch

the kingfisher looks half asleep

don't be fooled mr fishy

---

30

Each time the orca kills

he knows that he needs to for survival

but each time he does

he sheds a tear

for the fate of his fellow creatures

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31

An old pond

not a frog in sight

no sound

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 32

As much as I love to hear the sound of the distant pheasent

my advice to him is

keep your head down and don't make a sound

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33

A flock of starlings in the garden

I thought they were making quite a racket

until I listened closer

and realised that they were chanting the heart sutra

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34

Ah the early morning coal tit

what a pleasent mantra he chirps

in between mouthfuls of seed

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35

The pigeons of boudhnath

gobbling up the offerings of food

no interest in the dharma here

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36

I hear that some of those in the animal realm

are close to extinction

how wonderful that they may soon be free

of this world of suffering

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37

The hedgehogs are back after their long sleep

spilling the water from their saucers all over the patio

they still don't seem to have grasped

the concept of table manners

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38

The dawn chorus

catch us if you can the birds mockingly sing

to the half awake felines

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39

A warm summer evening

strolling in Ensenada

the sound of cicadas

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40

Robes hanging out to dry

now decorated with pigeon poo

that's ok

---

41

Is that a cuckoo I hear

no

sadly just a distant memory

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42

hey mr lobster

don't be fooled by the fishermans smile

it's the smile of death

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43

I require a smart tie

demands the office worker

thus the silkworm is boiled to death

his silken clothes removed

how cruel the human race

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44

To the top of the kitchen window

a snail has climbed

I'm sure he could climb mount everest

if he put his mind to it

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45

3.30am a cold dark morning

I step outside to bow to the moon

an owl offers a twit

I offer back a twoo

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46

A moth enters my room

basking in the scent of the incense

help yourself my friend

There is no charge

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