Coloring Spring, Haibun, NaPoWriMo, Day 19

Today’s [optional prompt] for NaPoWriMo, Day 19: “to write a paragraph that briefly recounts a story, describes the scene outside your window, or even gives directions from your house to the grocery store. Now try erasing words from this paragraph to create a poem or, alternatively, use the words of your paragraph to build a new poem.”


So, early this morning, I wrote the paragraph below, which described what I saw while sitting in my usual kitchen spot. I didn’t change it, except to add the last line—because the sun did come out—briefly. This became the paragraph part of the haibun. Then I used Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday prompt words for the haiku. I used “accruing” for gather and “feathery” for soft. This was to give me new words, so I was not simply revising.

Finally, I took words from both parts of the haibun to create a new poem. Works in progress!


Outside the world is grey with mist, and yet the green of evergreens and new spring growth provides color in the gloom. A red-breasted finch sits in the bird feeder at the window. The cats take their morning naps, one on my lap, the other in the basket in front of the window. Soon, children will walk out their doors to go to school. But now, I see the sun breaking from the clouds.

pale sun shines through

turning feathery clouds gold

accruing spring light


Grey and green

the world from my window,

feathery, the mist, drifting between trees.

But what colors does the red-breasted finch see?

Greyer greys and emerald greens,

vivid hues–

to me unseen?

I hear him sing—

such heartfelt joy–

as the pale sun caresses,

draping his shadowed shape with light,

turning his chest to fire,

to ring in the colors of spring


Isn’t this document box with finch exquisite?

Document Box, Philadelphia Museum of Art











And I’m going to link this to dVerse Open link night, too, where Grace is poet bar tending. Because, why not?  🙂



39 thoughts on “Coloring Spring, Haibun, NaPoWriMo, Day 19

  1. That box is beautiful – thanks for sharing it! A portion of what I love about this post is that you let us into your process, which is the part that I find so compelling. The colors that you use give the whole thing this soft, spring-like tint. Marvelous writing and crafting, my friend!

  2. The little red-breasted finches frequent my feeder along with their bright yellow cousins. When they’re joined by the cardinals there’s a bouquet at my feeder! Now I have to make note of what it is THEY see. Interesting thought!

    • What a lovely thought–the bird bouquet. We never have the yellow ones, but we do get cardinals and other birds.
      I know they can see colors we don’t see, and just this morning, I saw something about birds having a protein in their eyes that helps them navigate.

  3. I love the Red Polls and House Finches. I’ve been feeding them so they can make it into spring. This was quite lovely, Merril – the haibun is fabulous and so is your poetry. ❤

  4. Pingback: NaPoWriMo / GloPoWriMo 2018 – Day 19 – “Quiet Me Of What I Know” by David Ellis | toofulltowrite (I've started so I'll finish)

  5. I love seeing your process of writing the haibun. I have two red throat hummingbirds coming to the feeder outside of my kitchen, and I feed other birds in my backyard. Lovely haibun, Merril.

  6. Pingback: #TANKA TUESDAY POETRY CHALLENGE, “Gather & Soft,” NO. 80 RECAP, #SYNONYMSONLY – Colleen Chesebro ~ The Fairy Whisperer

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