POEM: Avian Game Theory

a murder of crows harasses a hawk,

out to steal the meal that wriggles in its talons.

the hawk giving its all to fighting crow will lose its squirming prey.

no crow is match for a hawk,

but no hawk is match for the murder,

and so all birds go hungry.

POEM: Engines of Desolation

That stubble, once a forest full of trees,

now rides the hills down to the turd brown sea.

I’d heard the drumming coming from the banks.

An army of axe men formed into ranks.

Firing up engines of desolation,

scarring the earth in ragged ablation.

And down the river, those drums went silent.

Modern man wondered where the tribes all went.

 

In ancient temples they’d preached mysteries.

Lost to the burning of the histories,

by purists who’d gathered in mankind’s flanks

to massacre all of the mainstream cranks.

 

And they sang their songs of faith and nation

to the tune of engines of desolation.

Five Farm Haiku

gleaming steel
plow blade turns the dirt, but
dirt taxes the blade

 

a weed pulled
in due time, beats one hundred
plucked too late

 

stalk stubble,
the haggard mourning face
of the field

 

mile high crazy quilt
viewed by climbing passengers,
brooding nature’s mood

 

when light is short,
but field days are marathon
harvest gloom

5 Haiku on Emptiness

white space,
where readers’ eyes go to
rewrite stories


when thoughts cease,
senseless pictures form;
minds abhor stillness


Plato’s pupil knew:
“nature abhors a vacuum,”
if not much else


the fog wall,
flush with the land’s end,
invites guesses


endless dunes,
stretching far as eyes can see
yet never the same

Nepal Haiku

birthing Buddha,
distant looming mountains
breed wisdom

 

glassy lake,
mirroring boat hulls,
a world below?

 

standing aside
as beam-totting porters
pass us on the trail

 

tea-house quarters
cozy and quaint lodging,
’til snoring starts

 

cool air in face,
trudging up — oblivious
to cloud-freed snowcap

 

glacier gone,
scoured trench, gouged in earth —
maybe next year

 

monkey overlook,
from sacred stupa to
the human warren

 

5 Haiku on Silence


harsh silence,
lost beats steal word’s
authenticity

 

silent snows
seen through crossed muntins,
drifting eerily

 

fog resting on
Coconut Grove’s soil until
chased by dawn’s din

 

ridge rows,
in waning shades of gray
end in white void

 

creek burbles
hushed to unheard drips
from icicles

POEM: Pillar Rock

enshrouded in cloud,

a Chinese painting transplanted to India,

gnarled evergreens grow from cracked granite

like the bonsai that twists into a broad bloom of foliage,

i’d have thought the great white space, simple shapes, and gorgeous deformity

wouldn’t appeal to the Indian mindset —

so taken with vibrancy and fullness,

and yet crowds throng round,

staring in wonder,

ensnared by the same scene as

Shen Zhou when he painted, “Poet on a Mountaintop”

or

Fan Kuan as he painted, “Travelers Among Mountains and Streams,”

like two lovers fixated on one moon.

Desolate Snow Haiku

boot crunch
‘a cloudless night,’
he concluded

 

old coat of snow
nary a track in sight
beauty abandoned

 

snow blind
trudging and slogging
pure torture

 

crust of snow
over dry powder
bone cold

 

drifting flakes
add a wedge wall
to a farmhouse

POEM: Sinkhole of Now

If you discover an experience for which the mind relentlessly snaps back to the now, do it.

You are that experience. Any fissure between you and it will heal together — a decreasing entropy unseen in mountains. Crevasse. Cleft. Crevice. Scratch. Scar. Smoothness.

If your wild mind becomes ordered by the gravitational pull of the moment — a sinkhole of now formed of a vortex of sensory experience — pursue that thing.

India Haiku


Srinagar,
drifting on Dal Lake,
mirror of mountains



blossomed branch bobs,
twisting on wind as a bee
hovers, seeking sync



hill station hut
rain trounces the ground
lulling reveries



monkeys grooming
in a triangle, and I wonder
will they turn on 3?



from Shimla town
summer leaves hide the giant
orange overseer