Audio · Haiku · Poem · Poetry

Loving Too Much

A fledgling’s last gasps

choking on seeds of bounty

from the human hand


I wrote this Haiku in memory of one day when my husband and I found a fledgling bird. I’m not sure if it was a starling or a robin. We only knew that it had fallen from its nest like leaf from a branch in an autumn breeze. There it lay on the ground, its mouth open for its next meal from its mother. We tenderly laid it down on a comfortable bed of tissues in a box which we kept out of the way of cats. Then we pondered how to save this small, helpless creature. Well, we remembered that birds ate seeds, so we found seeds to fill the fledgling’s small mouth with. It choked them down. Then we reconsidered whether that was such a good idea, so we thought about it some more and decided that the bird’s mother probably presented her baby with chewed worms and the like. In that case, it would be more appropriate to feed the little thing some wet cat food. Indeed, it went down well, so we kept it up – offering our little pet nibbles of wet Fancy Feast. I’m not sure how long we had this tiny baby, but we found that our generous meals were too much for the little tike. The shock of its fall from the nest, the stress of being an orphan in the hands of giants, and the inability to digest the seeds and cat food finally took the tiny bird’s life.


This experience taught me that sometimes nature knows better than I about what to do with the weak and the sick. It occurred to us that maybe the fledgling had been pushed out of the nest for a reason, making its survival unlikely to begin with. Moreover, if this chick had been healthy and had somehow just fallen out of the nest by accident, it is still unlikely we could have nursed it back to health and least likely its mother would have taken it back since it would have stank of human sweat. I realized finally that nature is not as cruel as we were. In our attempts to comfort the ailing fledgling, we simple loved it to death. The other option for this small patient of ours would have been a swift yet quiet and private death in a soft pile of leaves, not a cardboard box in a foreign land.

Copyright © 2017 Barbara Harris Leonhard


Audio · Poem · Poetry

Upon Awakening

Your truth  –  a mountain; stand in your power.

As rainbows stretch from arms of innocence,

The forest behind you, a solitary journey of One.

Along the rainbow’s edge, a scary ride, yet joyful,

You surrender on the slide of colors and affirmations.


All that caged you, just illusions,

Feathers of dead birds confined to lonely cells

With no bars but their eyes closed to clouds

Beckoning for them to take flight on stars,

Not knowing the truth of aloneness

Is a personal quest with hazards beholding bliss.


Be as the Blind Swordsman on a journey of One.

With but a small bundle and good will on the route,

Feeding on light and sleeping on clouds.

Cunning yet calm in his soul of souls,

Where he listens in the Now,

Trusting intuition as a compass

On his humble journey into darkness,

A light unto himself, and truth his lamp.


Be as that light; make that cane your sword,

A totem of your truth which you alone bear

Despite those mocking the Fool,

Who trods this path on rainbow’s edge.

Be a watcher of your half self;

Ego is a traitor, not a half brother;

He can blind you to your knowing.

This path is inward; his is illusory.


Join with Consciousness;

It guides the Blind Swordsman as his eyes,

His inner seeing on his soul journey.

Carry with you stones and crystals holding the rainbow’s light.

Your past, a burden, carried off by ants

Foraging for bits of your old soul,

Slain by a crystal sword to birth a new one.


You are innocent of knowing, but not of yearning.

This is your departure in a child’s shoes laced in joy,

And your eyes brighten at the forest’s edge

To an eternity of rainbows – curtains on the soul,

Opening for a view of that mountain,

Where the path ends in the Self.
Copyright © 2017 Barbara Harris Leonhard



Audio · Ekphrastic Poetry · Poem · Poetry

Free Climber

You are the mountain;

I, the free climber,

In awe of you

And timid,

Yet I ascend.

Parts of you open.

My fingers and toes

Take foothold in

Your stoic rock face,

The backbone of your Spirit.

But I, too eager,

Unsteady, I slip,

No rope to spot my fall.

Harder, I grip;

Upward, I embrace

The expanse of you:

Cold slate, blue shadow,

Whispers of wind entwine us.

You have me against you.

I am you;

I am the peak of you,

All around us the stars.



© Copyright 2017 Barbara Harris Leonhard