Zen Garden Haiku

I
evergreens,
twisted and bent
to gnarled beauty


II
arched bridge
forms a wide eye
with water’s mirror


III
the garden
designed, aligned, and kempt —
nature, but not


IV
peace-filled
by tranquil sights —
soul programmed


V
sitting on grass,
the rocky outcrop
turns island

Cold Night Haiku

I
a winter moon
is seen clearly between
breath fog plumes

 

II
starry skies,
through the tent flap,
herald cold’s bite

 

III
cold slinks in
once sleep has taken hold,
settling in bone

 

IV
winter midnight —
sunlight, a distant memory,
or so it feels

 

V
how bright the moon
in the mid-winter sky —
yet, no heat

Three Kyōka

I
the post-perched bird
remains still, but for its eyes,
which dart about —
below, fish shoot and jink,
thinking the post oddly shaped


II
the mountains reflect
off of that glassy lake
with such clarity;
all know which mountains are true
except for the fishes


III
behind the barracks,
some local women gather
to bath at the well.
he pretends not to look
they pretend not to be seen

Cataract Haiku

I
thundering falls
sing a mind into trance —
timeless sound


II
nearing the falls,
the grand spectacle becomes
a fog wall


III
yamabushi
sit under the cascade —
nails unhammered


IV
seeking earth’s center,
the river drops as far as
land allows


V
a round boulder
sits at the precipice,
refusing to roll

Fragile & Ephemeral Haiku

I
a breeze tousles branches
then, in stillness, red leaves
cascade downward


II
hawk and half-moon
in one blue, morning sky
then clouds come


III
pine tree tips
droop flaccidly over
the road


IV
the divine madman
sows havoc, showing neither
reason nor angst


V
too little water
kills the plant; too much water
kills the plant

Rainforest Haiku

clouds crawl in,
hiding whole mountains —
i await, “Ta-Da!”


sun comes out,
flash-boiling droplets —
steam breathing


life abounds, it’s
max. occupancy living;
yet, none are seen


plants grow from stone
wall becomes a hedgerow…
but shaggier


elephant ear
leaf is played by the rain
like a mad drummer

Clouds & Mountain Haiku

I
clouds enshroud
mountainous monoliths
faking world’s end


II
gnarled tree
growing from a crack
in worn rock


III
waiting to fall
precarious rock column
stands in rock time


IV
the clouds rise
revealing split rock —
peek-a-boo


V
god’s bonsai
a faint tracing seen
through cloud webs

Rainy Day Haiku

I
in corn country,
the scent of rain often
outpaced the clouds


II
a slanting rain,
sounding machine-like
pounds the ground


III
with these mean rains,
my invite to outdoors
has been revoked


IV
mossy mountain,
its flipside is dry grass –
yin to its yang


V
hanging droplets
on the fringe of fungus
drip in due time