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has been revoked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

Stormy Shore Haiku

I
waves bash stone —
volcanic rock walls pocked
a grain at a time


II
crashing sounds —
perfectly formed waves to
sizzling foam


III
beach sweeping
waves push and pull sand
step tales erased


IV
gray skies
the typhoon unseen
but expected


V
wave doubles back
upon hitting the stony shore:
return to sender

POEM: Nature’s Spotlight [a Haibun]

Under cottony clouds, my gaze fell upon the borehole by which slanted shafts of light found the ground. A divine spotlight that shone only on the liquid metal surface of a smooth flowing river at a point just before the rapids were reached. A closed-eyed kayaker might feel graced by the warm sunshine on his face. But only for the moment before being cast into a dim and turbulent transition from heaven to hell.

divine spotlight
a beam of sunlight burns
through gray clouds