Painted World [Haibun]

The river glides like a glassy sheet. It seems to steam, but it's just fog forming over the frigid water that is nevertheless a reservoir of heat compared to the freezing air above. The fog erases the sharp edges that make the world seem real -- neither painting nor figment. The far shore is a brush-dabbed fiction... and I may be, also. The early morning cold affects my brain in the same manner that the fog influences the scene. 

river fog
makes the cold morning
a painted scene

Wet Winter [Haibun]

The clouds hang gray this mid-winter day, while streets glisten with the watery sheen of rains that never break for long. Wheels roll through, throwing the water into a swish-slosh song. All seems clean, if perpetually dreary. The air looks clear, though some funk clings to one's shoulders as one walks through town, and every scent is compressed in intensity at street level. 

streets glisten,
the city slick from rains
that linger   

Life Amid a Winter Scene [Haibun]

The forest is silent, and winter has painted the woods in earthen hues. Bare black loam is spottily strewn with beige to brown leaves -- dried to a curl and crunch that's almost crumbling. If any animals are moving, it's only at the eyes. There're no skittering feet, no frantic digging, no chirped warnings, and no explosive attempts to flee.

Then, at the base of a downed log, there's a lively scene of vibrant green moss and tender, burnished-orange fungi caps.

winter forest --
all seems dead or dormant,
but one tender scene

POEM: The Ekstasis of a Warm Bed [in a Cold, Snowy Land]

-To watch powder cling to sill and muntin through the frosted panes,
but not be chilled by that crisp whiteness

-To slacken on the back of spastic release – lulled by discordant heartbeats,
while feeling that they — and all — are in perfect accord

-To drift into slumber with no urgency and to awaken noncommittally,
sinking ever deeper into mattress and mind

-To love the snow for its beauty
as much as for its lack of reach

POEM: Awaiting Winter [Sonnet]

The winter skies are drifting slowly in,
and soon the snow will begin to amass —
the powder settling so scant and thin,
accruing between blades of withered grass.

How many times will skies sputter, thusly
without it piling up or drifting deep?
Just coating soil like the world went dusty —
not snow one shovels but the kind one sweeps.

A child’s and an adult’s prayers differ.
While grown-ups are content to prolong Fall,
kids wish that winter will get here quicker —
but all wish Christmas snow will come to call.

“And when will snow liven our bleak doorstep?”
A question I once asked, but now forget.

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

Still Winter Haiku

icy river
all the world stands still, or
pretends to



snow deadens
sounds and signs of life
a blank slate



the breeze dies
then the snow fall ceases
time freezing



deep footprints
tell of a man and a dog
hunting rabbit



an old church
the surrounding snow
is unmarred

GREEN WINTER HAIKU

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a crow caws
standing on a stout post
black eye watching



a child wonders,
beyond this rainy valley,
is it white?



nothing scurries
but mushrooms sprout
wet forest floor



lonely bus stop
one man waits for a nearly
empty bus



streaks of blue
viewed through cloudy skies
a bird hops

COLD HAIKU

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bitter winds
slice down from the north
so bone cold


damp air sinks
hangs as a cloak of cold
a straitjacket


starry skies
viewed through tent flap crescent
arctic outhouse


cold awakens
each moment, a moment lived
satori by ice


brisk joy
the skater’s frisson
feels electric