I Saw a White Sparrow

I Saw a White Sparrow


I stopped walking

On the top of neatly trimmed bushes along a park stroll path

I saw a group of about ten… perhaps twenty sparrows perching.

One of them is white!


Milk white from its head to shoulders,

The rest of the body is a little brownish.

But it’s definitely a white bird.

I stood awhile watching it.


Suddenly the birds flew up.

They flew to a nearby fence and perched on it in a row.

Just then a park attendant passed by on a bicycle.

I stopped him and asked,


“That little white one on the fence, is it a sparrow, do you think?”

“Oh, that,” he squinted his eyes at it.

“We’ve received reports about seeing a white sparrow in this park.

“That must be it. This must be your lucky day, seeing that.”


He rode off on his bicycle without showing any further interest.


Returning home, I picked up the telephone.

I wanted to call up a TV station.

I thought a white sparrow would be an interesting piece of news.

And it shouldn’t be difficult for them to find it at the park.


“What did you say? You saw a white sparrow?”

The woman I was connected to on the phone almost shouted.

“Are you sure? When and where?”

She seemed to think it was worthwhile to look into.


But, just then, my bad habit took over me.

I just hung up the phone.

I was simply urged to hang up and I did so before knowing it.

I’d often wonder where such an urge comes from.

In many occasions I am unpredictable to myself.

I do things and I know those things only afterwards.

Because of this I have often been a white crow at schools and work places.

I thought it was some kind of a mental disorder, and I kept it secret.


And lately, I chanced to read a psychologist say,

“Your brain makes you do something before you decide to do it.”

This means my own behavior is predetermined

by something, or someone, other than myself.


Then, my behavior is basically subconscious.

I am a slave to that subconscious mind.

Scary! I might do something horrible a second from now

without my knowing.


I didn’t feel like calling the TV station again. No urge.

Instead, I found myself walking back to the park.

I only knew I wanted to see the white sparrow again

to make sure I have really seen it.


The sparrow’s domain isn’t all that big.

I walked around only an hour or so before I could find

a group of sparrows on a maple tree near the edge of the park.

In the group, there is definitely one that’s white.


White but not all that conspicuous, and this gave me a relieved feeling.

“Leave it alone. Let it be free,” I thought consciously.

Both the sparrow and I may be slave to the subconscious mind

by which we are commonly possessed.


The white one was merrily chirping like giggling like others.

The difference in the color of their feathers doesn’t mean a thing to them.

I stood there and watched them

until they flew away out of my sight.


(AshiAkira, 11-24-2010)


25 Responses to I Saw a White Sparrow

  1. canandanann says:

    ¿Dónde se han escondido los colores
    en este dia negro y blanco?
    La fronda, negra; el agua, gris; el cielo
    y la tierra, de un blanquinegro pálido;
    y la ciudad doliente
    una vieja aguafuerte de romántico.

    El que camina, negro;
    negro el medroso pájaro
    que atraviesa el jardin como una flecha …
    Rasta el silencio es duro y despintado.

    La tarde cae. El cielo
    no tiene ni un dulzor. En el ocaso,
    un vago amarillor casi esplendente,
    que casi no lo es. Lejos, el campo
    de hierro seco.
    Y entra la noche, como
    un entierro; enlutado
    y frío todo, sin estrellas, blanca
    y negra, como el día negro y blanco.

    Where have the colors all gone to
    today, that is so black and white?
    The leaves black, the water gray, the sky
    and the ground a sort of faded white and black,
    and the mournful city
    is like an old steel engraving by some roman tic.

    The man who is walking is black,
    the startled bird is black
    shooting across the garden like an arrow . . .
    Even the silence is harsh and faded.

    Dusk falls. There is nothing gentle
    about the sky. In the west, an indecisive
    yellow light that almost glitters
    and almost doesn’t. Over there, fields
    like dry iron.
    ‘ And the night comes, like
    a burial; it is all wrapped in black
    and cold, no stars, all white
    and black, like the black and white day.

    J.R. Jiménez

    • AshiAkira says:


      Thank you for the poem. Just beautiful. I can’t say anything more. To me, it contains something very important and instructive. I thank you again.

  2. Alismcg says:

    sparrows gossip too / earth-tone like their chatter – / whites share poetry

  3. ronkozloff says:

    early light on bricks/needle branches no do notice/time lost among them

  4. beezknez says:

    a message in peace ~ written in the quill of flight ~ sparrows ~ the dove of ghosts left behind
    This is one of my very favourite stories written

    • AshiAkira says:

      Thank you, beez, for reading this one. I’m glad you liked it. I also saw a white crow in the same park only a few days later. This made me feel something strange. Seems like it meant something special that I saw the two birds that were white while normally they shouldn’t be white. And the whiteness reminded me of some experienced that had been buried for a long time deep in my mind. I will write about that and will post it here when I can.

  5. Yousei Hime says:

    I’ve enjoyed perusing your blog. Thank you so much for visiting mine. I look forward to your visits.

  6. Carmel Grimley says:

    So much there Tokyo friend! Just love your moment of awareness of being driven by the unconscious! Complexity expressed with such graceful and deceptive simplicity.How wondrous consciousness is-the very ground of being. Thank you again Carmel

  7. A white sparrow! How magical. Free and at peace.

  8. Meredith says:

    So beautiful & very meaningful.

  9. and i saw this afternoon on a tree a blackbird, in the very middle of the city, singing his head off for pedestrians. First time i thought it was a musical box, we were few people to stop around the tree and talk about the invisible bird, couldn’t find him. But today i got the chance and feel so happy How a little black and singing life made my day ;o)

  10. missmonsoon says:

    Asolutely loved it… i would love to see white sparrows or a crow..they would be intresting sight. and i d hope to visit the imperial guard’s garden someday and hopefully find the family od same sparrow you hav been so engaged with 🙂

    • AshiAkira says:

      You might see some other strange things in that park. The building that housed the headquarters of the regiment still remains. It’s now used as a museum of modern art. You might see something in there, too. 🙂

      • missmonsoon says:

        Something as strange at that or something historical? either way i would fancy visiting it. Art has always fascinated me 🙂

      • AshiAkira says:

        I don’t know how many army officers strolled in that park before they were sent overseas to die. That’s where the Martial Art Hall is located. I’m sure you’ll be able to see it on TV when the Olympics will be held in Tokyo in 2020. 🙂

      • missmonsoon says:

        Ummi had no idea olympics is to be held at tokyo..hm then i mit actualy get to see em..although mayb i wil see them in person sooner 🙂

      • AshiAkira says:

        Are you planning on visiting this part of the world. I thought you are in London for a medical license there. Are you accomplishing your purpose there so soon? 🙂

      • missmonsoon says:

        Not very soon though..But yes i am planning to visit around. I am still in LOndon Mr Ashiaki. i am afraid i am very far from license i still have not clear the ielts..its english language testing system. the marks i need are very high. i havn yet get thru but i will soon thn i wil b aperaing for license exams. hopefully within this year 🙂

      • AshiAkira says:

        I wish you all the best and luck. I’ll keep my fingers crossed. 🙂

      • missmonsoon says:

        Thank you.. ^_^!

  11. laura taylor says:

    I just saw a sold white sparrow with a big flock in ohio got pics

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