No Hands



No blueprints. No diagrams. No plans.

No stop at the Rona or Home Depot.

Not even a local lumber yard.


Needles from blue spruce.

Hair from the tail of a horse.

Some strands from a cloth.


With no hands it is built.

With no plans it becomes.

With love it is a home.


Birds sing without sheet music.

Build houses with no hands.

Use our trash for their treasures.


Maybe we can learn from them.

How to make something

from the frayed and broken?


The Master taught them flight.

Building of nests and such.

Birds are counted by Him too.


No permits. No rules. No HOA.

No need for inspectors either.

Except maybe that blackbird!


For Open Link night at dVerse.  I had something comedic in mind, something sarcastic and in line with my frustration with courier companies today. But looking through my photos I found this one of a small bird’s nest. Made of spruce needles and horse hair and some thread. I realized there was more poetry in one small nest than in anything I could imagine. So my humble tribute to the unknown avian builder of this little masterpiece.  May you always have a song and strong wings!



  1. brian miller said,

    July 9, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    ah i think there is def something we can learn from the birds….the treasure in trash…and always being willing to sing in particular….smiles…and def no HOA…ha

  2. Laurie Kolp said,

    July 9, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    I love birds… this poem really puts things in perspective.

  3. Tony Maude said,

    July 9, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    This really serves to remind us humans of how unskilled we really are at some things.

  4. Grace said,

    July 9, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    What a treasure your words are ~ May we learn something from these builders of nests & homes ~

  5. Beth Winter said,

    July 9, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    I love birds although when they try to leave the nest, I want to help and cannot. I hear you about the blackbirds but I have to say that bluejays are a pain as well. I keep getting dive bombed! Very much enjoyed.

  6. July 9, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    I loved the lesson here–and so beautifully stated!

  7. July 9, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    I love it. Those little nests are amazing

  8. July 9, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    oh, how i loved this poem, especially this:

    With no hands it is built.

    With no plans it becomes.

    With love it is a home.

    such tender writing, ty for leading me here with your like and comment.

  9. Victoria said,

    July 9, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    Yes! This is just a good example of nature’s beauty and skill. We have a mourning dove that returns year after year to nest–a bit messy but so wonderful. And our blue spruce is home to so many quail. I just love birds.

  10. Mary said,

    July 9, 2013 at 11:58 pm

    Lovely verse. If we could learn to make something beautiful from the frayed and broken, that would indeed be a wonderful thing. Each bird’s nest is definitely a work of art.

  11. ManicDdaily said,

    July 10, 2013 at 12:19 am

    Well, birds do do a great job. On the other hand, glad to have some inspectors. One reads about terrible building collapses in places like the one in Bangladesh – and some in India – it is terrible to deal with inspectors, but maybe worse without? I don’t know. Anyway, very cool poem, thanks Shanyns. k.

  12. kelly said,

    July 10, 2013 at 1:27 am

    I spend so much time watching the birds, this poem really spoke to me. We do have much to learn from them.

  13. Waltermarks said,

    July 10, 2013 at 1:36 am

    That’s great. Birds and other animals are master builders. It sounds like a proverb. Thanks

  14. Mama Zen said,

    July 10, 2013 at 2:42 am

    This is lovely!

  15. claudia said,

    July 10, 2013 at 4:13 am

    oh we can surely learn from them…i just love how they use just everything they can find and make it fit their needs…Birds sing without sheet music…ha…love that…i sing along

  16. grapeling said,

    July 10, 2013 at 5:26 am

    I enjoyed the pace and images of this write ~ M

  17. July 10, 2013 at 5:37 am

    Truer words never spoken. The blueprint is in the mind, and the materials are in the gathering. Well done.

  18. Pamela said,

    July 10, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    There is something we can learn from all of nature, Shan. So eloquently put here.


  19. Marya said,

    July 10, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    Shanyn, I love this! The list of materials sounds like a witch’s brew — fabulous. There is definitely so much beauty and complexity in something so simple. Beautifully noticed and expressed. Thanks for sharing the photo, too.

  20. clawfish said,

    July 11, 2013 at 3:59 am

    from anothers nature we learn a lesson or two , this is beautiful and i enjoyed reading a lot, also those blackbirds are very fussy

  21. Ed P said,

    July 11, 2013 at 6:30 am

    with no plans it becomes… i have long fantacized about having a treehouse, and it’s not long before i start wondering if the birds know how they are envied. birds flying away and nesting where they please speak to every person who ever lived, i think.

  22. kaykuala said,

    July 11, 2013 at 8:06 am

    It’s instinct so they say! But amazingly enough these birds are not taught. It’s a God given gift. Something to learn from nature yes! Very well crafted, Shanyn!


  23. Nara said,

    July 11, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    Beautiful. Yes, we could definitely learn from the birds. Also love the idea of a nest as a word of poetry.

  24. July 20, 2013 at 3:49 am

    Wow, Shanyn, this is lovely and moving. It’s true, we humans think we are all that and a bag of chips, yet, left to build a home for ourselves, could we be that resourceful? Home as nest is a nice theme, too. Thanks for this, you lifted my spirits! Amy

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