Varanasi Haiku

Sacred Ganga,
Welcome to our city.
What gifts you’ll take.


Narrow warren,
lanes lined with bright-hued goods,
bangle blind and lost.


Cattle herd
roams the parched mudflat,
kicking up dust.


A golden bridge
visits each morning, and
exits silently.


Wood stackers
endlessly working
the burning ghats.

Urban Wildlife Haiku

crowded skies,
circling raptors weave
invisible baskets.

little chipmunk,
screeching relentlessly,
stop! all are warned.

rat slinks away
as cat creeps near,
despite edge in size.

popsicle monkey,
crowd coos, “Cute copy-cat,”
idly stuffing faces.

Mumbai leopards?
Hollywood mountain lions?
cats seeking parts?

Lake Haiku

alpine lake,
depth a guarded secret,
mirroring mountain

ships sit
on your sandy bottom,
yet, you’re called “lake”

in sunlight
your glistening canvas,
a bowl of diamonds

winter ice cracks
with steel cable song,
sending shudders

barren pine
beside mud-rimmed lake,
heeding drought

Monsoon Haiku

outside? muggy;
from inside: gray skies look
like Viennese winter


cool mornings,
after a rainy night,
soothe the spirit


the guard shack,
topped by a wading pool
only I can see


rain song
absorbs harsh sounds,
hushing the city


trust old people
with umbrellas more than
the blue in the sky

Death Haiku

scorpion corpse
sitting atop a wall
why die there?

vultures circle
i give them wide berth
they’ve yet to choose

ant-swarmed mantis
i thought you a leaf
do the ants know?

fresh flowers
mossy flush-set headstone
unseen, not lost

the potter’s field
out near the back fence
closer to the world

Bamboo Haiku

bamboo copse
groans in subtle wind
no space between

crows rule

the bamboo arch

over the road

bamboo grove
carpeted in grainy beige
alien landscape

plastic cup

gripped in crow’s beak

frat boy style

pink blossoms
will soon bleed onto
bamboo pollen

Mountain Haiku

pounding drums
echo down the valley
birds calm

deep breath
fog dissipates
common peril

fog follows
will it catch us
before the pass

cow grazes
on the high trail

glaciers glow
in sunrise orange
forge iron, not

on the ridge
falls can be lethal
worth it