#TankaTuesday Today

The hummingbird on her nest right outside my backdoor several years ago.

This week’s prompt is to use synonyms for change and growth in a syllabic form. I decided to write a haibun because it’s a form I feel comfortable with. I like the expansive quality of the haibun. It’s a prose poem, followed by a haiku that sort of furthers the poem or comments upon what comes before. I prefer the prose portion to be aligned on both left and right sides, forming a box, but I don’t know how to do that on WordPress.

My inspiration was the hummingbird mother I reported on years ago on this blog and then two years ago it happened again that a hummingbird mother helped her more immature baby.


How to Mother

She builds an elastic nest of spiderwebs and leaves, twigs and lichen, so small and round it fits in a child’s palm. Then she lays two white eggs, the size of cannellini. All month she warms them with her tiny body and only whirs away to feed on nectar and then whir back again. When the babies burst through the shells in all their wet messy glory, she begins the rapid rhythmic constant search for food for their always open mouths. After the first one leaves the nest, she spends all afternoon with the other demonstrating how to fly. The metamorphosis from nesting to new flight is complete.

The mother directs
life’s forward move, inspiring
her babies to thrive.


Have you tried writing syllabic poetry for the #TankaTuesday prompt? If not, give it a try!


Filed under #amwriting, #TankaTuesday, Poetry, Writing, Writing prompt

35 responses to “#TankaTuesday Today

  1. Beautiful, Luanne. So tender. 💙

  2. You met that challenge very nicely, Luanne.

  3. Good to revisit the hummingbirds. Super poem, Luanne

  4. Loved this! I enjoyed having a hummingbird nest outside my window last summer, but did not get to observe this particular aspect. The mother was very cagey about approaching the nest if I was watching.

  5. Very beautifully done, Luanne. Even the prose is poetic

  6. The patience of a mother. (K)

  7. Wow, you were lucky to have the nest so close by, Luanne!

    • So very lucky. Almost every year we get a nest near the house. I’ve even seen them build one and then discover it’s not the best location and move the nest. But the year where I watched the mother teaching her baby all afternoon she had built it in the direct sun, and we were worried, so my husband had stapled up a piece of cardboard that you can’t see in the photo and that really helped keep the babies from getting too hot.

  8. Lovely, Luanne. What a perfect depiction of a hummingbird mom. One of my students has written a haibun each winter for the last three years — Snowbird I, II, and III — with loss and the fear of loss in Florida.

  9. So nice. Plus I learned hummingbird facts reading the comments!

  10. I love this, Luanne! How cool to be able to watch hummingbirds nest and welcome new little ones. Thanks for sharing!

    Yvette M Calleiro 🙂

    • Oh, it’s wonderful to watch these guys. I love when they make their nests so close to the house that I can watch through the window or even set up a camera.

  11. I’ve only seen a hummer once in my backyard at a butterfly bush… lovely. I had to look close to fing her in you image.

    I’ve been lucky though to watch robins nesting in my hedges.

    I enjoy haibun too.

    • Hi Jules, oh, I love robins, too. Are you European or American robins? I grew up in Michigan, and our state bird was the American robin. We have lots of hummingbirds. If I go to my kitchen window and wait, within an hour a hummingbird will come by even when it’s not nesting season.
      Haibun are one of my favorite forms!

      • I moved around quite a bit (in many states), more than less settled in PA, USA.

        I also get Cardnials, several wren, owls (mostly I hear them) and woodpeckers. Several blackbirds as well as hawk and falcon. One neigbor thought they saw an Eagle. We also have some vultures and near some protected pond areas (close enough to other waterways) some seagulls.

        I had a place for sugar water…but I think too many squirrels passed by. I have seen other critters too… Once I saw a brown bat during the afternoon – I think it may have been started from where ever it was sleeping.

        I used to have family in AZ and went to a wedding a few years ago in NM. Natural areas are quite beautiful anywhere one goes 🙂

        I just wrote another haibun smashing four prompts here’s the link; Dedicated Literary Artist

        Continued success with all your writing 🙂

        • Thank you so much, Jules. There is so much natural beauty everywhere! I love all the birds. I haven’t seen a vulture in a long time, though! Weeks ago I had a white egret fly in front of me when I was driving, and that was quite an event to see it in flight so close.

  12. Wonderful haibun! I like the softness you have captured with your words.

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