Breathing Haiku


the mountain
sets my mind on each breath —
thin-air teacher


air rushes in,
but the sinuous seedpod
merits no gasp


in the stillness,
my body skips breaths —
sometimes I notice…


in balance —
my mind clear and at ease
stomach gliding


watching each breath,
none is the same, otherwise,
all of them are

Tree Haiku

two live oaks
stretch toward each other —
a faux hug

silver trunks glow warm
in setting sunlight

one tree field,
its canopy echoes
floating clouds

a faint smell —
the secret message of an
arboreal cabal

in tree time,
the world must unfold in
seasons — not days

Haiku that Move

a little rain
on a little slope
races seaward


the world blurs,
my brain strains to track
its motion


in stillness
one loses the world’s
steady spin


i throw myself
to silly dance — joyous
that i can


the perched raven
still swivels its eye
in stone mode

Hibernation’s End Haiku

yellow light
of the setting sun
warms high branches

city unlocked,
birds and beasts return
to the background

crow perches
on a cast iron railing —

wary people —
spring-thawed hibernators
rejoin world

bright flowers
bloomed, lived, and died
in my absence

Graveyard Haiku

a headstone
worn unreadable
stone outlived bones

fresh flowers
and wild tufts of grass
tell mixed stories

granite mourners
draped over gravestones,

no pyramid
is so sublime the Pharaoh
welcomed death


the potter’s field
has mystique unknown to

A Few Senryu [Day 13 NaPoMo: Senryu]

[Senryu is a Japanese style of poetry that’s identical to haiku in form, but different in content. While haiku rely on images (usually natural and often seasonal) and the juxtaposition of such images — devoid of analysis, commentary, or judgement — Senryu poetry explores human nature. In other words, while humans appear rarely in traditional haiku (and, when they do, it’s as a part of nature;) Senryu are always about humans and they do present commentary — often intended to be humorous.]

two dodge bird poop
the missed credits himself,
the struck curses birds

when floors must be swept,
some needn’t be told, some must,
and some told they can’t

having virtual parties,
while I read

Blake said,
“The cut worm forgives the plow.”
What of the plowman?

boredom exempt:
creatures who use their teeth, feet,
or their brains

the hungry snake
doesn’t begrudge the winning

Rainy Day Tanka [Day 10 of NaPoMo: Tanka]

[A tanka is a Japanese form closely related to the shorter form, haiku. In fact, a haiku can be thought of as the upper phrase of a potential tanka. Traditionally, the tanka (a.k.a. waka) is a 31-syllable poem. In modern notation, the additional 14 syllables are  put into two seven-syllable lines below the three haiku lines, i.e. 5 – 7 – 5. (That said, there are many — myself included — who feel that the 5 – 7 – 5 – 7 – 7 approach applied to English language poetry loses the sparse, Zen feel of Japanese poetry because English syllables can be — and frequently are of — much longer duration. Personally, I’m more partial to the 2 – 3 – 2 stressed beats approach.) Historically, a haiku presents an image devoid of analysis or commentary. In Tanka, there is a pivot and the lower phrase often presents a response to the image.]

dry season
afternoon downpours
come daily
like one bird nesting
in another’s nest

soggy forest
oppressed smoke hangs low
unseen, but smelt
bone dry wood exists
but only within flame


drippy garden
a bright orange flower
hangs its head high
you warm my mind,
if not my bones

Solitude Haiku [On the Third Day of NaPoMo]

let us now pray
for short people with no one
to reach the top shelf

sitting on a rooftop
hugging knees

silent morning
awakened by the sounds
that aren’t

closing eyes
seeking faces forgotten,
sadly failing

what void
holds the millions

[Since it’s National Poetry Month (NaPoMo,) I’m trying to do a different form each day. So far: limericks, a sonnet, and haiku. If you know of any obscure forms, I’d be glad to hear of them, because I don’t think I know 30 flavors of poetry, presently — relatively short form, of course, I don’t have the time or skill to do an epic narrative in a day. (Though micro-narrative will certainly be a thing.)]