The Drought – Haibun by Paul Vincent Cannon

At dVerse Frank is hosting Haibun with an invitation to write about the eagle.

dVerse Poets – Haibun – Eagle

Photo: showing a wedge tailed eagle.

“Fierce eagles do not produce timorous doves.” Horace

The Drought

45c and the road, straighter than straight, rolling beyond what the rusted sign advised. Blues, liquid, twelve bar, driving through this dry land. Paddocks hollow and stricken, rain forsaken for so long now, nothing holds in this dust. Crows picking the eyes out of everything that ceases to move, that cadaver buffet for pall bearers.

The gates blur in fifth, the barbed wire whispers strained songs of lament and I weep as I pass the delusion of hope trying to bale non-existent hay, the sadness of twenty bales to a hundred acres. And I weep for this place where endings complete and there are no obvious beginnings.

I slow as I see the spectre eyeing emaciated sheep. The angel of death eyes me and I nod in deference, better an ending than tortured horizons. I wave my blessing, thankful that the feathered euthanasia will ease the shepherds pain. In this moment the eagle is surgeon, priest and mourner, holding a ritual, taking death for life.

Life now surrendered
throat offered for sacrifice
feathered friend loves life

©Paul Vincent Cannon


Filed under awareness, death, farming, Haibun, Haiku, life, nature, prose

33 responses to “The Drought – Haibun by Paul Vincent Cannon

  1. Tragic, but beautifully-written and empathetic haibun, Paul. ❤ Destruction by drought is as sad as other natural disasters, but we have to suffer longer watching it happen. Take care. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Beverly Crawford

    You’ve captured the tragedy of drought in such a way it grips the heart. The final stanza is riveting.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Tragic commune with nature, where everyone is on the same page. I pray never to witness a drought as you describe.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. A gripping piece and a good look at reality. Splendid piece!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Very powerful and very up to date in our unpredictable climates.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I felt that drought. Sometimes we need to look at the reality of nature full in the face.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Drought still lives with us in many parts of Australia, Paul. There is a lot of grief and slim pickings.


  8. I wrote my response to this prompt about wedge tails as well. 🙂
    So good to have rain this year – I hope you’ve had some too. This time last year our dam was dry, this summer it’s overflowed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, the poem was looking back to a bad couple of years in Merredin but not when I was farming. When we did farm, we were so fortunate to be in a safe rainfall area near Northam, so we did not live with that awful reality, but many of our family friends sure have and it is so horrible as you also know. So glad to hear your damn has water, such a great thing. Thank you for sharing Kate 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Evocatively written, Paul.


  10. Cheryl’s comment nailed it.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Lady Robinson

    It very Interesting reading this poem 😉Drought driven by Tragic is sad but loved how you emphasized Drought👍Great Poem Mr Paul🤓

    Liked by 1 person

  12. lync56

    Wow took me back – powerful and sobering poem


    Liked by 1 person

  13. Spectacular poem, Paul

    Liked by 1 person

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