Posted in Haiku

Tiffany Shaw-Diaz’s Hummingbird

my thoughts come
and go

(1st place in the 21st Indian Kukai)

© Tiffany Shaw-Diaz (USA)

The hummingbird symbolizes the enjoyment of life and lightness of being. Thoughts here may indicate changes in mood. The swift movement of this bird can also be related to the thought process. It seems the person is indecisive or restless due to these thoughts.

– Hifsa Ashraf (Pakistan)

This lovely haiku could mean many things to many readers. The hummingbird’s wings move in the pattern of an infinity symbol—suggesting eternity, and continuity. The hummingbird totem indicates the sweet nectar within, and so it has a deep mystical quality. In meditation, our thoughts come and go, in fact, meditation is in part a process of letting go of thoughts that keep coming, not to fight them or hold on to them, simply letting them go. So, there seems to be nothing negative implied here—it’s all positive. It’s about inner growth, transcendence, and finding the heaven within us.

– Martha Magenta (UK)

It’s about finding one’s centre in the midst of impermanence.

– Malintha Perera (Sri Lanka)


– Ronald Kleiman (USA)

I’m sitting here with my eyes closed (not while I am typing this) and can see in my mind’s eye the flitting and diving of the hummingbirds that visit my yard, often flying directly in front of my face and hovering, as if asking “what are you doing here?” Then flying off somewhere so quickly it is hard to see them go. Kind of like my thoughts. I’m hearing something being said which makes me think of something else, and off goes my mind, flitting and diving, missing what else is being said. Thoughts, coming and going, like a hummingbird, are what makes us alive, what makes life worth living.

This is a wonderful haiku.

– Dana Grover (USA)

The interesting thing to me here isn’t that thoughts come and go, but how much they move when they are seemingly in place. A hummingbird, even when hovering, is a very busy, restless, bird. As an unsuccessful meditator, I can relate to this poem. Even in moments of apparent stillness, my mind is unable to rest.

– Dave Read (Canada)

Since the content has been commented on extensively, I will touch upon the sound and rhythm of the haiku.

The most prominent letters in the poem is “m” in “hummingbird” and “my,” and “o” in “thoughts,” “come,” and “go.” The “m” sound mimics the flapping of the hummingbird’s wings, and the “o” sound provides a feeling of leaving or passing, which the last two lines discuss.

The rhythm of the haiku is meditative, especially with the ellipsis. From the rhythm of the haiku, you can feel the state of meditation the writer was in.

This haiku is like a Zen koan without the riddle, in that it puts you in a state of pure awareness without thought.

– Nicholas Klacsanzky (Ukraine)

What do you think or feel about this haiku? Let us know in the comments.



Meditator, writer, editor, musician.

One thought on “Tiffany Shaw-Diaz’s Hummingbird

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