dVerse Off the Sidewalk

               Coming, going, the waterbirds
               don’t leave a trace (Dōgen Zenji)

A Smear

Black jackdaw  
leaves its mark on the fog.

Walking on a hobble.
Left. Right. Hop.

It takes flight, and
smears black across white.

The fog’s left standing, bereft
                         of its shadow.

written for dVerse  “Off the Sidewalk” – image by Pieter Bruegel the Elder “The Hunters in the Snow”, c. 1565  © Misky 2020

41 responses to “dVerse Off the Sidewalk”

  1. Great economy here – these few brushstrokes and I can see the bird, it’s gait and the fog’s regret. Just lovely.

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  2. Minimalistic masterwork, Misky.

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    1. I’m glad you liked reading it.

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  3. Stark and sharp lines, haunting imagery of black and white.

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    1. Thank you, Grace.

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  4. This is incredibly deep and profound, Misky! 💝💝💝

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    1. Thanks! ☺️

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  5. Wow, strong and spare. Excellent Misky.

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  6. This is quite haunting imagery, especially in the final lines. I gasped. I also loved this verse the most:

    “Black jackdaw
    leaves its mark on the fog.”

    Something about it captivates me, perhaps it’s the imagery which you masterfully do so well. Another beautiful and brilliant poem. This is thought-provoking.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Lucy. I’m delighted that you enjoyed it.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I like the visual of a black bird smearing across white fog, like Japanese calligraphy (if that’s the term.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh! I love the comparison with shodō. Fantastic. Thanks so much.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are very welcome, Misky 🙂

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  8. Simply stunning! Observation leads to insight.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I admire the way you describe a familiar image and make it new and startling, Marilyn. The simple title and opening lines already conjure the bird in my mind – and then you shake me up with ‘Walking on a hobble. / Left. Right. Hop.’ It makes me smile. And the final line is just perfect – as Lisa said, like Japanese calligraphy..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I actually enjoy writing something, and then cutting it down to the bone. Perhaps I should’ve been a butcher. 😂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Or a sculptor! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Wow: such a precise use of so few words to create something stunning. Love what you’ve done with the prompt! The perfect image to accompany your words, too.

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    1. Thank you so much! I’m a fan of Pieter Bruegel (both father and son).

      Liked by 1 person

  11. yes agree with Lisa, you have painted this with such mindful brush strokes – I can see the bird and its lasting impression

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much!

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  12. A tightly written piece, and yet it paints such a picture.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Such beauty in so few words. I can see this and it makes me smile.

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    1. Thanks, Lillian.

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  14. You skillfully conveyed much with few words. Bravo

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  15. Such a vivid image from so few words! Well done.

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    1. Thanks very much!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. wonderful movement in this (K)

    Liked by 1 person

  17. This is like a calligrapher’s brushstroke …. a whole word captured in a master stroke.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m delighted your like it.

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  18. The fog’s left standing, bereft
    of its shadow…. howdy Bob, that is good!!!

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  19. I really enjoyed the brevity, works beautifully with the line you chose.

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    1. Thank you, Helen.

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  20. One of my favorites and a stark image: the black jackdaw.

    Liked by 1 person

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