grey butcher bird
the whole body

Quendryth Young


A handsome bird in shades of grey, black and white, some might think a little drab, but this particularly widespread Australian bird has a most colourful song – and what a song it sings! Accompanying a broad range of calls and sometimes mimicry, the grey butcher bird might lift its head, hop to and fro, stretch its wings and wobble its whole body announcing its presence in a most enthusiastic way – the whole body / singing –  So likable are these guests to our garden, so endearing their rollicking manner that they sometimes incline me to singing. This superbly simple haiku captures the spirit and character of these bird in a very lifelike way and its mood of lightness is a good example of karumi.
the whole body / singing – is one of those lines . . . of classic quality, a pleasure to read over and over and in fact is the title of a collection of poetry by this author.

Haiku Dreaming Australia, October 2006, ed. John Bird

The Whole Body Singing

Selection & comments by Simon Hanson

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