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The well worn paths of the forest floor feel like home to me. They are only a starting point to something more. Perhaps something no one has ever seen or touched. My feet often wander off trail to investigate a mossy log or to find that magical spot where land meets water.  I pick up rocks for future painting, caress the bark of an old oak tree and savor the scent of dampened leaves before the first snowfall. I look for the smallest of creatures, putting nature under a microscope.  I know he’s out there…..somewhere but I have not yet encountered the silent flier. Natives of the Chippewa tribe call him “Gookookoo”.  I have displayed calendar pictures of him on preschool walls, spoke of him in simple terms, but his magnificent eyes have never met mine. He lurks where I do not search. His screech has yet to reach me. Legend says that is a good thing.


muted feathers soar

over unsuspecting souls

deer mouse holds his breath




For Haibun Monday at dVerse Poets Pub.

Victoria is our host.  WHO can join in? You can.

The prompt begins at 3 p.m. and is open all week!


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25 responses »

  1. Wow. This is spectacular. A lovely haibu n and a haiku of a rare beauty. This story from the Chippewa is wonderful. It puts me in mind of the tale from the Cherokee, also of a silent forest flyer. Beautiful!

  2. I went looking for the legend of gookookoo. I found a story told by parents to scare their children – of being caught up by the great owl like mice.

    Perhaps it is a good thing that you do not hear it. Ha.

    I got a little shiver reading. It reminded me of visiting the woods and exploring as a kid. We went far and wide exploring, always finding a bit of magic or the unexplained. Ironically, the native americans believe the owl to be closely associated with magic as well – which fits your piece.

    woh o woh

  3. This is beautifully writ….rich in details. I appreciate the Native American lore you’ve shared here. And yes….your last line of the haiku took my breath away….The owl after all, is a predator.

  4. Love how you took up legends… there is something so spooky and yet cool about owl… and this was good… love that line that not hearing the owl might be a good thing

  5. “muted feathers” – perfect. Owls are creatures of myth, aren’t they? I brought a Welsh myth into my haiku. I probably should have explained it.

  6. I enjoy legends, especially of the Native Americans, and this one is magical as it’s about owls. I love the haiku especially, Mish.

  7. Oh, I’m loving this. I’m so entranced at the Native American view of animal totems and this wandering/wondering in the woods is so full of sensory details that I feel like going for a short drive and doing the same. Thanks for sharing this, Mish.

  8. What a wonderful story. Thank you for sharing this. XX

  9. Different forest, same feeling that nature is in charge. there’s a sense of balance in this poem, peace.

  10. “They are only a starting point to something more.” … I love that.

    Also these:

    “My feet often wander off trail to investigate a mossy log or to find that magical spot where land meets water.”

    “He lurks where I do not search.”

  11. Magnificent eyes, muted feathers and excellent imagery……beautiful!

  12. I have not seen an owl either perhaps because I am not searching for them. I hope the legends are right that that is a good thing.

  13. I too have not seen an owl but have heard of tribal stories about him. Those muted feathers of the owl are magnificent hunters ~ Love your haibun Mish ~

  14. This is very beautiful writing. Mythical………loved it.

  15. Sometimes, it is better to not have seen as darkness may follow. I have found the owl is a messenger and when one enters my life I listen.

  16. Ooh. I hope you find them one day. 🙂

  17. “I look for the smallest of creatures, putting nature under a microscope.”…Love this. Surely you’ll meet him one day.

  18. ” … spoke of him in simple terms … ” – just wonderful!

  19. Very fun. Stories of your painted rocks, your teaching, native american names and the mouse with bated breath — very fine.

  20. Outstanding, Mish! I did see an owl flying through the woods once. We were hiking, not on a trail, and it fly right past us. We never heard a thing. truly amazing!

  21. exquisite and rich! A wonderful haibun, indeed!

  22. Interesting owl legends…wonder-full haibun on Gookookoo!

  23. Sounds like you grew up on nature walks. I’m jealous ☺. A lovely haibun!

  24. Wow! Glad I stumbled across this post of yours:)


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