Julie Emerson tells us how she got inspired to write her haiku “a crow’s nest” which won Best B.C. poem at the 2013 Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku Invitational:


“When you walk around Kits Beach Park, you can see the Oshima cherry trees with the lovely white blossoms. There are also various types of gulls, ducks, grebes, and occasionally an eagle from the huge nest nearby or a Great Blue heron from the Stanley Park Heronry. But it is the crow who will accompany you on your beachwalk, who will examine and finish your sandwich. The crow is the noisiest and nosiest bird around. The contrast between the sturdy black crow and the silky white blossoms of a cherry tree is striking.

In March, the trees have not leafed out, and you can see the birds and their nests clearly. Trees offer some building materials for the birds’ nests and the sites, and the cherry trees in particular also produce blossoms. March is a windy month, and you often see a crow perched in a tree, swaying in the wind. (Did you know that the full moon in March is traditionally called the Crow Moon?)

When I wrote my haiku in 2013, I was appreciating these natural phenomena of early spring, and I was enchanted by the white cherry blossoms and the birds.

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An original oil pastel copyright Julie Emerson - www.julieemerson.com

An original oil pastel copyright Julie Emerson – www.julieemerson.com


When, another year, I decided to create an oil pastel image of cherry blossoms every day of the season, I was inspired by only pink blossoms. I saw them as Sakura in the City. I liked the contrast of the pink blossoms in the urban landscape. Blossoms fall not only on grass but also on cement and stones and gratings, on bricks and bicycle racks, on windshields and newspaper boxes.

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It’s a pleasure to experience cherry blossom season in a creative way. When I write a haiku, I am drawn to the ephemeral pure white blossoms; when I paint, I want to capture the tender pastel pink blossoms.”


a crow’s nest –

the wind drops

white blossoms

Julie Emerson

(2013 Winning Haiku, Best of B.C.)