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Kindred Spirits

Chris D. Aechtner Avatar Chris D. Aechtner - Premium MemberPremium Member Send Soup Mail Go to Poets Blog Block poet from commenting on your poetry

Below is the poem entitled Kindred Spirits which was written by poet Chris D. Aechtner. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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Kindred Spirits

~(tanka haibun)~


    Awakened from my walking reverie by movement ahead, I spy a Red-Tailed Hawk perched upon the wrought-iron railing of the flood-wall. The hawk is regal, stoic beauty. I stop walking in hopes of urging the bird of prey to stay its perch. It does, filling me with a sense of relief. I wonder why it let me get so close; if it was my calm, thoughts-up-in-the-clouds, meditative stroll that somehow rendered my thoughts and steps silent enough to catch the bird unawares. We eye each other, a bitter gust of mid-winter wind blows against my face; ruffles the back-feathers of the hawk. I am overwhelmed by a sensation how the two of us know exactly what we are, who we are, what we are supposed to be doing overall, but we are presently caught in a moment of unknowns, letting these unknowns erase the lines that keep us separate -- beast from human. 
I take a step closer, causing the hawk to finally alight, and I am struck by its vibrant feathers adding a dash of colour to the surrounding monochromatic grays. 
The hawk flies only a short distance ahead before landing on the railing again, so we re-enact the scene of this play. I come closer, closer, closer, until the hawk lifts up, flies a bit further along the river-walk, before landing again, until eventually it probably decides, that indeed, this human is going to traverse the entire path, for the hawk flies up into trees located further ahead. As I walk past the trees, the hawk launches out of an evergreen, with twigs in its talons. The bird flies over the river; a river made tumultuous by ice-melt.

in Winter's gray light
a Red-Tailed Hawk paints the sky 
with its feathers,
my soul lifts, follows the bird
over an ice-gorged river

The hawk lands on the base of a church steeple, and disappears behind an ornately carved corner. It appears as if the steeple is attempting to pierce the snow-clouds with its tip, trying to tear gashes in the sky, until spring blue bleeds into gray. On this Tuesday afternoon, does the church seem personified because it is devoid of Sunday parishioners milling in and out of its thick wooden doors? No matter how hard the steeple tries to break-apart the clouds, the grand sky dwarfs the church, causing it to look like a toy model. The church fluctuates between looking like a miniature-scale model, and an architectural feat.

with defiance
the steeple pierces clouds
looming overhead -
the snow-laden clouds
make the church appear small

Passing the church, I find it ironic how today the church is empty inside, yet on its steeple and roof-lines, countless animals are nesting, making this House of God their sanctuary. Slowly making my way home, I ponder about the hawk, how it is not only a predator amongst prey, but a predator amongst predators -- it flies around in plain sight, yet also hides right in the middle of the city. Coming up to the path leading to the back-door of my home, I scan a small trail of footprints in the snow. The footprints vary, but all are familiar to me. 
It is at precisely this moment that I fully acknowledge the Red-Tailed Hawk and I to be kindred spirits; how similar we really are.

the path leading home
is a winding snowy trail
of few footprints,
for only my loved ones know
where I truly live



.

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  1. Date: 5/3/2013 11:25:00 PM
    Following are my favorites. I am struck by its vibrant feathers adding a dash of colour to the surrounding monochromatic grays. in Winter's gray light a Red-Tailed Hawk paints the sky with its feathers, my soul lifts, follows the bird over an ice-gorged river The church fluctuates between looking like a miniature-scale model, and an architectural feat. is a winding snowy trail of few footprints, for only my loved ones know where I truly live (Divine.....)

  1. Date: 4/23/2013 8:14:00 PM
    This was very inspirational. Always, Laura

  1. Date: 3/15/2013 5:02:00 PM
    Your penmanship when it comes the the beauty of nature is excellent glad I stopped by to read this xxx

  1. Date: 3/8/2013 7:02:00 PM
    an awesome and enchanting write Chris.....thanks for stopping by...best wishes

  1. Date: 3/4/2013 10:57:00 AM
    Just the tankas alone, are enough to enhance a picture in my mind.....but the prose is captivating.....and I find more meaning than at first glance....perhaps I am reading too much or looking too much for a more complex understanding....either the simplicity or the complex....either way it has me reading it again and again. You are darn good at what you do!

  1. Date: 2/28/2013 11:26:00 AM
    This is a stunning piece. You are a master of descriptive insight! I could picture every single line in my mind. Adding this beauty to my faves :)

  1. Date: 2/26/2013 12:58:00 PM
    You've mastered haibun so well Chris.I love your last tanka..very profound.Charma

  1. Date: 2/23/2013 7:57:00 AM
    wow, Chris, you are GREAT with descriptive writing. I love this kind of poem from you. Hey thanks for catching "yearns" for me. I was typing it up frantically from the paper it was written on because PD had just closed her contest and I had to put up a blank page for that dark contest of hers util I could put my poem there. As for the word "stay" I think it is correct. It's the infinitive minus "to" Think "he did no wrong but (to) stay. . . (well I hope it's right)

  1. Date: 2/22/2013 6:24:00 AM
    Masterful Chris!!

  1. Date: 2/21/2013 6:49:00 PM
    Lekker Sop Pos!

  1. Date: 2/20/2013 9:13:00 AM
    You always start off strong, follow through and then end with lines that just fill the page, if ya know what I mean. So good. Hey, now you don't take me as the type of guy who would spend time poking through the links over there <--- well, check out poems, now look down at forms, click on free verse, now go to the top of the page, click on Best Free Verse Poems, :) See anything? Makes sense you'd be there. Great stuff. You bark like an artist. Hugs, hope you're not "here" cause weather SUCKS.

  1. Date: 2/20/2013 4:18:00 AM
    I love this haibun for many reasons...personal and powerful...

  1. Date: 2/19/2013 9:39:00 PM
    oh...oh... When the response is long...it means that my comment was not clear enough. I didnt say I didnt like your haibun; I said Im not a fan of this form...yet! I said that the repetition of clouds confuses me because after reading the lines, before and after the pivot (looming overhead), I couldnt "see" a new meaning (or image); I keep seeing the same clouds. Of course, the focus of the scene is on the church and how the persona sees-perceives it. I think there is a powerful metaphoric concept you want to share with us... and 5 lines are never enough, I know...

  1. Date: 2/19/2013 3:03:00 PM
    I respect & enjoy how you skillfully provide multidimensional characters for the many things on this Earth most of us, most of the time ignore or disparage because we refuse to acknowledge the real dynamism & juxtaposing qualities in everything - you make the misconcieved ordinary sensational again Chris - I'm sure Cosmos admires your talent, evidenced by the quality of your inspirations - J.A.B. %

    Bordner Avatar Justin Bordner
    Date: 2/19/2013 3:06:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    'Blue bleeds into grey...' professional art - hawks are majesic creatures; those tail feathers are really beauty - J.A.B. %
  1. Date: 2/19/2013 6:56:00 AM
    Excellent prose, my friend! and your tankas are outstanding. I never even thought that perhaps a haibun could be written with tankas instead of haiku. Very nicely done, very creative, and with wonderful imagery in both your prose and tankas. love and hugs, Catie :)

  1. Date: 2/18/2013 10:56:00 PM
    Im not a fan of this form... yet. However, I can enjoy the 3 tanka. They're amazing. The second one puzzle me with the cloud repetition... but...just in case...dont listen to me...it's my fault...it's my fault! : )

    Aechtner Avatar Chris D. Aechtner
    Date: 2/19/2013 1:26:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    I would find it interesting to read a haibun of yours, if you ever decide to write one(and post it).
    Aechtner Avatar Chris D. Aechtner
    Date: 2/19/2013 1:23:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    *preceeding prose
    Aechtner Avatar Chris D. Aechtner
    Date: 2/19/2013 1:21:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Ruben, obviously it is perfectly fine for us to have different tastes. Maybe someone will be able to eventually sway you? The repetition of the middle tanka was quite obvious to me right away. I tried changing it around a bit, but settled with the extra repetition of the clouds. The middle tanka is the most repetitive one, regardless if I use "clouds" twice or not -- the other two tanka have a little extra info in them with regards to the proceeding prose leading into the tanka. I can always re-structure the middle tanka to see wot else I can possibly come up with. Thanks for reading. If you were able to enjoy at least one section of this haibun(even just one tanka), this is good enough for me.
  1. Date: 2/18/2013 8:46:00 PM
    Chris, I really enjoyed the work, which became more intense for me as I read of the footsteps to your back door. "Kindred Spirits, Indeed!" But your last 10 words, "for only..........," hit me like a "sledgehammer". That has been a mantra for me for a very, very, long time. Well said my friend. JT

    Aechtner Avatar Chris D. Aechtner
    Date: 2/19/2013 1:12:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    John, it is nice to see you posting poetry and also dropping by for a visit. I am glad if you can relate to the ending of this haibun. Actually, I enjoy your comment very much.