Monday, January 31, 2011

haiku retrospective xxii

running out the door
past the hanging brown monkey
past the scattered toys.

tossing too-long curls
swift glance at the bronze wind chime
rush of fevered notes.

a pause, a pressed hand.
have a lovely weekend, do.
good-bye, my dear friend.

monday brings more work
champing at the writing bit,
pulling against reins.

a moment of shared silence
amidst noise and haste.

7 November 1997

Sunday, January 30, 2011

haiku retrospective xxi

samhain night

tomorrow as you
watch your costumed children,
remember bonnie.

eyes behind those masks,
bodies decked with fantasy.
bonnie will be there.

carved pumpkins welcome
visiting beloved friends.
come on in, bonnie.

set an extra place
at the samhain night table
for a guest gone beyond.

weave another wreath
with all my love for bonnie
cast it on the fire.

love just doesn't die
though our bodies age and fail.
my heart remembers.

the samhain spirits
are not evil ghouls of fear,
but beloved souls.

those we've loved and lost
beyond the veil of darkness,
westward with the sun.

ancestor worship?
acknowledge those who have gone
before, life to death.

i never told her
about my conversations
with the dark goddess,

her feared enemy.
did bonnie see in her hand
the gift of mercy?

did she make her peace?
another prayer for bonnie,
a wish, release.

one more samhain night.
the feast of the beloved dead,
honor, remembrance.

30 October 1997

Friday, January 28, 2011

haiku retrospective xx

i used to write you,
heart writing to my own soul.
unbroken mirror.

you used to hold me
heart the light half of your soul.
hand fits perfect glove.

word blows land squarely,
soul fist smashes my heart's curve.
crumpled glove in dust.

apologies later.
smooth snake oils troubled water,
soul's mirror of lies.

circle of prison
hold heart pawn to soul's pattern.
unseen reflection.

soul's eyes flashed anger,
heart's soul's lips formed fantasy.
lies the fortress' gate.

soul's mirror shattered.
you watched the ravening wolves,
heart's carrion feast.

17 October 1987

Thursday, January 27, 2011

haiku retrospective xix

those who must stow thrones
shouldn't live in glass houses.
stowed thrones break the ice.

about those breeches --
what's that man got stowed in his?
a syntax checker?

breeches in the breach.
hang those breeches out to dry.
grammar's seeking bet.

never understood
the loincloth references.
primitive? that man?

yesterday morganne
wanted to make a loincloth.
(would i make this up?)

we got down the book
to look at tribal designs.
the simplest garment.

loincloths and bear grease?
i suggested morganne go
native with grass skirt.

wore plaited grass skirts for dress.
little mud for warmth.

radical mamas
those bare-breasted ohlones.
babies need not wait.

indian women
soon learned to cover their breasts.
catching Christian shame.

modern children find
appropriate climate garb,
run naked all day.

malcolm wears a belt
around his toddler belly.
and not a stitch more.

let's bring back grass skirts,
suitable for men, women.
let the kids run bare.

1 August 1997

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

haiku retrospective xviii

our old turntable
dies lamentably slowly.
click, click, click, turn, click.

after bonnie's death
records called, a cold comfort.
click, turn, spin -- music.

jimmy cliff a prayer --
the harder they come, oh yes,
sitting in limbo.

this reggae music
loosens kodiak girl sprite,
faces of ghost boys.

cat stevens -- why not?
adolescent memories.
my mom, my uncle.

how can i tell you?
oh, my young uncle steve, oh,
my sexy mother.

dancing, sipping wine,
singing with their two guitars.
their laughter, their loves.

renaissance candles,
molding wax with my fingers.
their passionate eyes.

baby cousins sleep.
my brother and i, elbows propped,
watch them and listen.

their lives in their words.
they forget us as they talk.
little pitcher's ears.

flirtations, affairs.
their hearts yearning for something,
young and innocent.

their hair gone silver,
their loves small hearthside blazes,
eye jewels faded.

oh, please wait. come back,
i have questions to ask you!
oh mom, oh steve, *oh*.

the tears fall at last.
imaginary demon, time,
steals all that's precious.

stop! wait! slow down, please.
that tiny tick-tick goes on,
the sands of my life.

22 July 1997

haiku retrospective xvii

for Bonnie, wherever you are

she's got everything
she needs; she's an artist;
she still gets laid.

15 July 1997

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

haiku retrospective xvi

the third of july,
three young men, the grim reaper.
drinking, driving, death.

a party joy-ride.
car slams into china grade tree.
the music stops.

boulder creek parade.
girls hugging on the sidewalk,
tears on their faces.

parade floats stream by.
red, white, and blue flags flutter.
guerneys in the morgue.

children splash in pools.
teenage driver up on counts,
seven felonies.

paramedic's son --
"class of 97 rules" --
a best friend's funeral.

walk across platform.
wear graduate's cap and gown.
one final mistake.

life in death in life
rose climbs decaying trellis.
snip of pruning shears.

6 July 1997

Monday, January 24, 2011

haiku retrospective xv

go to the river.
the girls wade amongst islands,
malcolm throws rocks -- splash!

clear dead alder brush
to make family river seat
on smooth gray tree trunk.

mallard ducks in flight,
scattered sun on rippled pools,
waterfall delights.

unpack microscope.
focus on sand, centipede,
leaves, catkins, fingers.

climb the river hill
past the highland games picnic,
fancy garb and all.

past the softball field,
narrow lane lined with currants,
past the june wedding.

wind through the redwoods.
we the five little piggies
go all the way home.

28 June 1997

Saturday, January 22, 2011

haiku retrospective xiv

slow spiral switchbacks.
scoots skyward, sniffing shyly.
scampering squirrel.

jet-black, gentian-blue.
jeering, jesting, jawing jack.
jumping jay ju-ju.

prowling predator.
panther patrols parade ground.
petted pussy purrs.

4 June 1997

haiku retrospective xiii

gray california.
incoming front brings squabbles.
low pressure system.

people do better
under pressure (atmosphere).
oh, what that implies.

on the western front
all's quiet before the storm.
ears prick for thunder.

dandelion clocks
close as the weatherglass falls.
birds perch in the shrubs.

poetry gate creaks.
disused syllables flow slow,
winter molasses.

out of tune haiku
walks on unsteady stilt legs,
mind out of practice.

22 April 1997

Thursday, January 20, 2011

haiku retrospective xii

thank you for sharing?
traveling truckers always
faithful husbands, what?

if fidelity
is the only measure of
good marriage, shoot me.

good friends breaking up
over this issue. i want
to say, "don't do it.

wait. there is more to
life than fucking. don't blow it.
think about your kids."

forgiveness is hard,
but so's single parenthood.
where's the rainbow's gold?

outside, bouncing ball,
pedaling a bicycle,
petting kittycats.

family commitment,
renewed minute by minute,
uphill climb and all.

9 March 1997

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

haiku retrospective xi

silver arrow, south.
boulder creek to santa cruz,
on to watsonville.

coastal rainforest
every mood known, beloved,
the held hand of home.

climb through spring's green hills
guarded by sentinel oaks --
california's soul.

east to hollister
land of the seismic shivers.
earth speaks pinnacles.

up pacheco pass
semi trucks carry bounty,
central valley's gifts.

gusty los banos
begins central valley farms.
vast agriculture.

as a child, i thought
the great plains were reflected
in glacial-scoured flats.

sacramento and
san joaquin valley vistas
showed me horizon.

the children remark:
the central valley's boring,
unrelieved flatness.

toy cattle graze hills.
cotton wagons abandoned.
nectarines in bloom.

flooded rice paddies
orange, almond, olive orchards.
farm equipment yards.

99 south to
madera, breadbasket depths.
california's heart.

sierra's hint: stone.
pebbles appear. outcrops of
granite say "mountains."

sierra foothills:
blue oak, white oak, digger pine.
the great climb begins.

children feel mountains.
road curves obey the terrain.
folded continent.

oakhurst: last outpost.
3000 feet in foothills.
wilderness above.

sierran winter
game: when will the snow begin?
4000 feet? no.

north slope, snow patches.
south slope, traces of snow melt.
the snow level's high.

daily, the snow melts,
nightly refreezing solid.
snow's compacted ice.

too hard for child skis.
too hard for many snowballs.
too hard to sculpt snow.

ideal for sledding,
cold, packed, icy-slippery.
children in free flight.

26 February 1997

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

haiku retrospective x

saturday morning
children fed, dressed, and happy.
time to start working.

open framemaker,
figure out what needs doing,
open documents.

my mouse pad's dirty;
better wash it, scrub and dry it.
pat with lint-free cloth.

return to my desk.
might as well clean mouse ball, too.
unscrew cap, ball drops.

there, they're all clean now.
eager to get back to work.
oh dear, my tea's cold.

must be breakfast time.
slippered feet pad to kitchen,
kettle, knife, plate, cup.

domain class creates.
fingers tap keys, eyebrows scowl,
text coalesces.

incoming mail dings,
check, see if it's important.
hmm. fascinating.

where was I again?
right here, all i need to do...
"mama, please watch me jump!"

get malcolm's balloon.
"heather, please check these schedules."
drag brain back to page.

skreek! balloon escapes.
sigh. maybe i'll take a break,
write haiku, sip tea.

15 February 1997

Monday, January 17, 2011

haiku retrospective ix

"you mean peace to me,"
he said that last afternoon.
his coffee mug steamed.

green eyes search green eyes,
reading hidden currents' depths.
ways to say goodbye.

"through all the turmoil,
you have been my oasis."
hand grips my fingers.

joy shining through me.
connection can't be broken.
terns wheel and return.

saying our goodbyes,
a mutual benediction.
the joined hands unclasp.

one lane road ahead.
the rest is commentary,
miles and miles of it.

9 February 1997

Sunday, January 16, 2011

haiku retrospective viii

cement clouds pour rain
on kodiak, alaska
in seventy-nine.

black sky a castle --
turrets and crenellations.
edifice of rain.

the rain never stops.
black sky, black sea, black mountains
etched electric green.

rain flows through my hair.
rain murmurs in the spruces.
rain fills the muskegs.

rain clings to my hand,
follows me down the continent,
parts in seattle.

end of eighty-one,
i go north to meet the rain.
it follows me home.

flood of eighty-two,
the raucous redwood laughter
echoes weeks later.

storms rise in my veins,
gather on the horizon,
mass for invasion.

pace, irritable,
waiting, waiting, and waiting
for the storm to break.

the first sweet drops fall.
open my arms to the sky,
receive the blessing.

two point eight inches
of bliss fall on my mountain.
shining dance of life.

22 January 1997

Saturday, January 15, 2011

haiku retrospective vii

dingy warm front sky.
teething toddler arches back.
digging fork abandoned.

mishy's castle runes --
enigmatic carved stones --
sagely keep silence.

last week's social feast
a smorgasboard of beliefs,
exotic thought-tastes.

unanswered questions.
mind's hamster wheel is churning,
circling round and round.

stillness at center,
the heart of life in turmoil.
balance in chaos.

shield left unfinished,
reminder of constant change --

hermit remembers
nose to grindstone, to grindstone.
silence ringing there.

voices fill the heart,
calls of beloved beings.
connection's richness.

the householder's path.
satori in attachment,
bliss incarnate.

19 January 1997

Friday, January 14, 2011

haiku retrospective vi

the rains have returned.
a winter mist covers the
damp green salad world.

coastal rainforest.
the redwoods stretch their limbs to
embrace the gray sky.

distant ridges blur
to black-and-white woodblock prints,
chinese ink drawings.

poignant mystery.
the dark sky, pregnant with rain,
gives birth to the land.

rain beats the bright gold
from the limbs of the maples.
naked silver wands.

two bar creek rises.
children splash up the road to
hear the water roar.

small boy at glass door,
befuddled by pounding rain.
claps to rain's tattoo.

rain songs. "it's raining,
it's pouring. my love life is
boring me to tears" trill.

"stop singing, mama."
four year old hands cover ears,
"some hot chocolate, please."

measuring cocoa,
"prepare the storm to come for it
surely looks like rain."

sing in thunderstorm
atop mount whitney, lightning
strikes all around me.

'twas real unschooling.
those lessons packed a wallop.
survival matters.

20 November 1996

Thursday, January 13, 2011

haiku retrospective v

intrepid toddler
scaled the dining room chair heights
achieved table peak.

crossed the tablecloth
to the table's center where
an oil lamp waited.

slowly, carefully,
he slid the glass globe off, rolled
it across table.

it stopped on the brink.
then, calmly, he dismantled
the thin glass chimney.

set it down gently,
explored the mechanism
of open oil lamp.

scooted back and down
landed with feet on the chair
fussed for a parent.

daddy came in, saw
oil lamp taken apart, parts
whole and unbroken.

lifted the toddler.
"what a clever boy you are.
pretty careful, too."

took him out to tell
mama about his table
top wild adventures.

intrepid toddler
snuggles down for a quick nurse
eyes fall into sleep.

18 November 1996

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

haiku retrospective iv

natural bridges --
the eucalyptus trees bear
butterfly blossoms.

a driftwood seesaw.
children hover over beach,
soar towards the sand.

butterfly boardwalk
winds through the saltwater marsh
muffled foot thunder.

boards cut to fit curves;
outside wide wedges taper
to mere fingerwidth.

a great deal of work
for a boardwalk through the marsh.
surprise show of art.

lay on our backs
under masses of monarchs
dreaming insect dreams.

clumps of butterflies
fall from the waving treetops
break into free flight.

15 November 1996

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

haiku retrospective III

leaf butterflies float
holding summer memories
in their brittle shapes.

u s r demo
pentium modem connects
where is my popcorn?

ten base two running
wealth talks to prosperity
the autumn sun sets.

nt the marriage
between unix and windows.
puzzling their offspring

(okay, really it's
vms and windows' child --
don't know vms.)

disks mirror my files.
which is the substance and which
is the reflection?

at the end
of the endless day
there is more work.

2 October 1996

Monday, January 10, 2011

haiku retrospective II

a misty rain falls
on the heads of the redwoods.
rain's breath stirs the chimes.

1 October 1996

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Haiku Retrospective

In celebration of my 50th birthday, I'll be posting a selection of haiku that I've written over the last 15 years.

The earliest haiku were 5-7-5 ditties without juxtaposition, seasonal references, or any of the things that I've come to believe make haiku haiku.

salsa-stained jammies.
dirty spoon, empty teacup.
morning's work untouched.

chi fountain flowing.
wooden cutlass abandoned
in brick block debris.

garlic and basil
linger from last night's party.
memories of friends.

small boy on keyboard
sister's voices rise to meet
exuberant sound.

clearing chi spaces.
in her joy, she is divine --
burning girlhood flame.

real life in action --
family on Sunday morning.
love builds and love grows.

the moment's enough.
beauty enough in each hour
to last a lifetime.

25 August 1996