magpie calls
the verses we exchange
by email

20 Responses

  1. Alan Summers Says:

    British Library archive: magpie calls:

    magpie calls
    the verses we exchange
    by email

    —Peter Strider

    We are all magpies as in collectors of things we deem necessary for our survival, and for us much needed poetry can be a boon.

    My webmail is often filled with verse alongside the more pressing concerns of global injustices. I need my balances and checks.

    Even in silence there is noise:

    Early morning rain
    the sound between
    the sound

    Alan Summers
    Asahi Shimbun (Japan 2013)

  2. Brandon Bordelon Says:

    belying feathers
    of black and white–the magpie's
    gray morality

  3. haikuapprentice Says:

    Beautiful response Brandon! And a poem delving into philosophy – one of my favourite topics but one rarely able to be turned into poetry without cloying or kitsch. But you have done it magnificently. So many questions and discussions could arise in response to your poem! Thank you for such a thoughtful poem!

  4. polona Says:

    screeching magpie
    down under its namesake
    replies with a song

    nice to see an outstanding commentator among contributing authors as well

  5. haikuapprentice Says:

    Thank you Polona for the kind comment, and for keeping our magpie exchange going with yet another verse of your own. As you well know, my poem would have remained at best an egg in a nest without your inspiring guidance.

  6. Claudette Says:


    Congratulations on your first published haiku:) I hope there are many more
    to come.

  7. haikuapprentice Says:

    Thank you Claudette. Though to be honest, I much prefer to read other people's poems than my own (since it then allows me more opportunity to spout ;-)

  8. Peter Newton Says:

    to the magpie
    all that glitters
    is gold

  9. haikuapprentice Says:

    Thanks Peter! I really like the double meaning in the first line of your response.
    And you are quite right, to this magpie, even the slightest glitter is golden!

  10. Jayashree Maniyil Says:

    Congratulations Peter Strider!!!

    I was excited to see your name pop in my inbox this morning. A nice poem that speaks of the reality of sharing poems over the internet these days and how we exchange our views with each other. This medium has certainly brought many who are so far from each other, together, and share our experiences and common interests. Seems just as natural as one magpie answering the call of another. That is how I see it anyway.

  11. haikuapprentice Says:

    Thank you so much, Jayashree! I really like the natural way you craft your comments – here and elsewhere – and weave them through with a connection to everyday life. You have a genuine poetic temperament and your insights are rich, so you certainly don't need to apologize for your interpretation. I look forward to reading more comments by you on Tinywords in future!

  12. haikuapprentice Says:

    Thank you to all the kind subscribers on Tinywords who by sharing their poetry and commentary over the past few months (and years) have inspired and continue to inspire my love of modern English-language haiku and short-form poetry. It is such a wonderful community and a daily delight. Thank you especially to the editors who make the site possible. It is one of the loveliest and brightest places I know on the internet.


  13. Alan Summers Says:

    I was actually the first to comment but as I had a British Library weblink to a magpie call it might not go up alas. Enjoyed the haiku very much.


  14. haikuapprentice Says:

    That is wonderful. Thanks Alan, I look forward to it. I know it will be thoughtful and instructive!

    Ironically, I posted a response to yesterday's poem and included a YouTube link of David Attenborough and a Lyrebird, and only after pressing submit and nothing happened did I realize there is a disclaimer at the bottom of the comments page that links will be moderated!

    Oh well! I look forward to hearing your magpie recording! As Polona intimated in her haiku response, there is a big difference in the songs of Northern and Southern hemisphere magpies. I believe in Europe they are quite screechy, whereas in Australia they are actually very lyrical and a beautiful accompaniment to the neighbourhood soundscape.

  15. sanjuktaa Says:

    Congrats, Strider…enjoyed it!
    Had been waiting to hear this magpie call…

  16. haikuapprentice Says:

    Sanjuktaa, thank you for your kind comment!
    Hopefully we will get to taste some wild berries of your own some time soon

  17. dawndream1 Says:

    Nice to hear your poetic voice. I love this haiku.

  18. haikuapprentice Says:

    Many thanks indeed, Dawn. Though I think perhaps my poetic voice is better directed toward other people's poetry, through commentary.

  19. seaviewwarrenpoint Says:

    I've just realised who you are, Peter (I'm a bit slow on the uptake tonight after a week-long residential writing course!)

    I really like the ku :)


  20. lorin ford Says:

    Catching up on the archives a little! Whether or not this will go through and you see it, I don't know. Nevertheless…
    That must be a very lovely email correspondent that you have, Strider.
    I love our magpies. There is no bird I've heard that compares with their songs. Especially the solos I hear in winter (even where I am,now, close to the the city) Are you familiar (I somehow think you may be) with John Shaw Neilson's 'Magpie in the Moonlight'?

    – Lorin

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