Micro-Season: “The Springwater Holds Warmth” (2023) — Naturalist Weekly

We have entered the micro-season of “The Spring Water Holds Warmth”. This is the second micro-season of the mini-season Minor Cold. To celebrate this season, we will learn about springs, aquifers, and read seasonal haiku by Basho, Issa, and Shiki.

Micro-Season: “The Springwater Holds Warmth” (2023) — Naturalist Weekly

My response…

giant snowflakes fall
—soft carpets of bright green moss—
hot springs melt each one


Pairings #3


A delicate oriole nest 
hanging near the end
of a willow branch
with long green leaves
swaying on a gentle breeze

In late Spring
I watched the bustle
weave and hustle
flashing orange and black and yellow
feeding in and flying out

One day a sort of panic 
as mother fluttered frantic
from edge to edge
while fledglings visited
and father brought provision

In that nursery next morning
mother slumped and bent
silent and unmoving
crumpled in her little tomb
spent and color fading 

Affixed to the nest
a tender chick
pinned and deadly tethered
by its small upright back
still and downy feathered

Snagged and tacked
unable to fall or fly
poised in death
its tiny wings outspread
facing toward the sky

Now both softly rocking
in their transient home
I wonder at her natural
gift of living 
beyond herself alone


Our Father 
who sees each sparrow fall
who counts the hairs
of our troubled head
give us strength
when we have none

*Matthew 10:29-30; 2 Corinthians 12:9

Photo by Frank Cone @ Pexels

Pairings #2


Our lagoon 
is first to freeze.
Long and less deep,
beside a Great Lake.
On sun sparkled ice
fall-fattened geese
land and slide, 
not so gracefully, 
then plop down.
I drop onto the
wooden bench. 
My winter jacket 
of down feathers
slowly absorbs
the cold bright sky.


You ask me, why.
Who can give birth to ice?
Who begets frost from the sky?
Who can kiss
water to stone?
Whose breath alone
can freeze the abyss?

*Job 37:10; 38:29-30 in paraphrase, with poetic license

Photo: Queen’s Lake Nature Reserve, New South Wales
by Christopher Hill at Wikimedia Commons