Monday, October 31, 2011

haiku retrospective ccliv

columbia falls
the first golden poppies bloom
along the highway

2 February 2003

a fatty piece of lamb
in the roasting pan

2 February 2003

muddy yard
the girl pirouettes in
forget-me-not blue

3 February 2003

Sunday, October 30, 2011

haiku retrospective ccliii

As a Quaker, the subject of pacifism is central to who I am. I struggle with the difficulty of following the path of peace all ways in my life. I experience a lot of ridicule because, even though pacifism might be morally sound, people think that it's impractical.

I've been thinking of John Woolman lately. Woolman was an American Friend in the early 18th century. He was a strong witness against the practice of slavery, and he opened many hearts to his concern.

indigo dye
the lash of the whip
on the slave's back

I also think of George Fox, who refused to take part in the British Civil war almost 350 year ago. Yet when William Penn asked whether he should resign his commission in the army, Fox said, "Carry thy sword while thou canst." By this, Fox meant that Penn's conscience was not in his keeping.

nuclear arsenal
carry thy sword
while thou canst

I look forward to sharing what we can, disagreeing when we must, and learning from our differences.

open hearts
is every step

31 January 2003

Saturday, October 29, 2011

haiku retrospective cclii

blue winter sky
the forest hidden
behind the trees

30 January 2003

grandmotherly kindness
the sound of ducklings
hitting the pond

31 January 2003

columbia falls
the first golden poppies bloom
along the highway

2 February 2003

Friday, October 28, 2011

haiku retrospective ccli

As a diversion from making the "blacklisted" web page, I collected the following middle lines from a number of my haiku and rearranged them into the following new haiku. I added prepositions and adjusted cases when necessary, but left the lines as untouched as possible.

Enjoy the surrealism.

trees glow green
a hippopotamus opens
the sound of an ornament

bumpy flight
guatemalan security checks
the blur of insects

the woodcutter shaves
a large raven rummages
on the beach freeway

storm clouds gather
every trail leads
to reflections of children

a dead leaf spins
the old woman stretches
the silence between ticks

layers of sunlight
the bean vines climb
on spider silk

the red poppy buzzes
tree branches toss
the sine wave's scamper

the child climbs on my lap
a red m&m melts
roses explode

yellow leaves among the green
sun glints off the tail
of a swallowtail butterfly

all colors fade
the truck dumps asphalt
on the out-of-town guest

layers of color
tooth marks in the frosting
of the vegetable feast

a single willow leaf spins
dumping the water out
of the puzzled haijin

a blackberry stretches
reflections from the water
the duck's neck extends

the ripples of their footsteps
a jet roars across
the spout of the teapot

a fingerling leaps
the sedges' leaves dip
into a swarm of sand fleas

the duck family emerges
a leaf detours
around the rock-throwing boy

green kingfisher
the diving boys climb
a craggy oak branch

a rock skips through the reflections
a wave of cirrus clouds breaks
so many dreams left

a boy cannonballs
two streaks of silver and
the smell of sewage

the hiss of the ocean
the dragon princess growls
at red, white and blue bunting

speed bumps
a corona around
the frayed american flag

three ravens circle
the stars and stripes hang limp
against tarred road felt

a storm of yellow leaves
the old man drills bolt holes
in his twin horns

the prelate dawdles
his open hand cracks
the mountain ridge

upturned garbage carts
women exchange soup recipes
carved on fallen branches

29 January 2003

Thursday, October 27, 2011

haiku retrospective ccl

Five different takes of a snail crossing the road or five snails?

the earth turns
a snail crosses
the road

warm front
a snail crosses
the road

early robin
a snail crosses
the road

snow melts
a snail crosses
the road

morning pastry
a snail crosses
the road

29 January 2003

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

haiku retrospective ccxlix

winter picnic
another orange peel
hits the compost California, where it's a sunny 60F today and the children have decided to eat their lunch outdoors.

oranges and sunshine
he runs his bare toes
through the grass

too early for dandelions
the cat finds another
place to nap

28 January 2003

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

haiku retrospective ccxlviii

One might try:

enron's america
“in greed we trust” 

I think that tolerance of bad haiku is necessary to the development of good haiku. Many haiku don't work, but we have to do the best we can. If we're going to learn how to write haiku, we need lots of practice, and some of that practice will produce flops.

 Sometimes, when a person posts a bad haiku, someone else will post a variation that's positively brilliant. I find that process highly educational. Thus I encourage people to post the haiku they can't get to work, as well as their masterpieces.

joe's diner 
“in grease we trust”

29 January 2003

Monday, October 24, 2011

haiku retrospective ccxlvii

mission town
cracks in the stucco wall
on paseo padre parkway

27 January 2003

state of the union
shadows of chains
beyond the swings

29 January 2003

picture books
all the ideas i wish
i thought of

29 January 2003

Sunday, October 23, 2011

haiku retrospective ccxlvi

double vision
seeing middle earth through the eyes
of my daughter

26 January 2003

for the kettle to boil
no flame

27 January 2003

wasted food
the runaway shopping cart

27 January 2003

Saturday, October 22, 2011

haiku retrospective ccxlv

a redwing blackbird's song
fills my heart

25 January 2003

midnight hush
the afterimage
of the clock's luminous dial

26 January 2003

superbowl sunday
a slice of cold pizza
straight out of the box

26 January 2003

Friday, October 21, 2011

haiku retrospective ccxliv

greening hills
the neighborhood live oaks
a little more gnarled

25 January 2003

city sidewalk
a small child walks
in the gutter

25 January 2003

bay view
the breaking waves of clouds

25 January 2003

Thursday, October 20, 2011

haiku retrospective ccxliii

old hometown
the corner soda fountain
now a starbucks

in berkeley
they spell "milky way"
MLK jr Way

Martin Luther King Junior is a saint in Berkeley, both for his dream of racial harmony and his use of nonviolence. Berkeley was one of the earliest school districts to practice busing for the purposes of racial integration. Most of us went into integration with high ideals, which were tested by the reality of trying to mix two cultures by force.

king junior high
color wars
hiding my telltale face

Race relations weren't always amicable in the first years after integration, but most of us tried. Most kids were nice, and wanted to be friendly, but we were also scared, and knew that you couldn't rub the color off your face.

the nice black girl
tells my japanese friend
they won't attack the chinese

When I was in the Berkeley schools, the population was 45% white, 40% black, and 15% Asian. In that time, in the 70s, there were uneasy relations between Asians and blacks. Asians were a minority, so there was some fellow feeling, but they emulated white customs, so they were often called "bananas" (yellow on the outside, white on the inside) by people to whom "oreo" was the worst insult in their vocabulary.

old hometown
a rainbow of faces
on the streets

Going back to Berkeley, I feel like I'm home because there are people of every color on the streets. I don't realize until I go back how much I miss living in a diverse multi-cultural community.

25 January 2003

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

haiku retrospective ccxlii

dinner argument
that cold stew

22 January 2003

americans in paris
my mother tells them
she's canadian

25 January 2003

crude star map
a few haiku scribbled
around the margins

25 January 2003

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

haiku retrospective ccxli

fuzzy slippers
his dreams on the silver screen
a little tarnished

19 January 2003

winter mindscape
the open curtain reveals
the fog

20 January 2003

first light
my dreams

22 January 2003

Monday, October 17, 2011

haiku retrospective ccxl

At first I wrote:

cracked work gloves
the smoke from the brush fire
mingles with the fog

Then, remembering the brush fires in Costa Rica, I decided to try:

cracked work gloves
the smoke from the brush fire
mingles with the night

Then I read it to my daughter, and she suggested replacing “night:”

cracked work gloves
the smoke from the brush fire
mingles with the wasps

cracked work gloves
the smoke from the brush fire
mingles with the mist

And I tried a few more:

cracked work gloves
the smoke from the brush fire
mingles with the gnats

cracked work gloves
the smoke from the brush fire
mingles with the stars

cracked work gloves
the smoke from the brush fire
mingles with the dawn

But I think I like this one best:

cracked work gloves
the smoke from the brush fire
mingles with the trees

19 January 2003

Sunday, October 16, 2011

haiku retrospective ccxxxix

winter moonrise
waiting for the right kind of dishes
to fill the dishwasher

19 January 2003

director of marketing
curried beef stew
on his tie

19 January 2003

jackrabbit in the lupine
a haiku writes me

19 January 2003

Friday, October 14, 2011

haiku retrospective ccxxxviii

flu epidemic
internal censor on strike
for better working conditions

16 January 2003

another fallen oak branch
he says i used to smile more

19 January 2003

sunlit crocus
beside her sickbed
a thin smile

19 January 2003

Thursday, October 13, 2011

haiku retrospective ccxxxvii

afternoon lull
i left my brain
on google

13 January 2003

haiku by the fire
another beetle
in my knitting bag

14 January 2003

strip mall
a sluggish line of ants
collecting crumbs

14 January 2003

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

haiku retrospective ccxxxvi

winter sleep
at last! a break
from the vomiting

13 January 2003

late night chill
the sick child too still
on his pallet

13 January 2003

limp paper snowflakes
a flash of sunshine
on the redwood's new fronds

13 January 2003

Monday, October 10, 2011

haiku retrospective ccxxxv

every morning
an hour of sleep
lost forever

10 January 2003

winter flame war
it's entirely their fault
as usual

12 January 2003

hard at work
i gaze out the window and
sip my tea

13 January 2003

Friday, October 7, 2011

haiku retrospective ccxxxiv

withering wind
your eyes in the face
of a stranger

8 January 2003

shattered fir branch
my hood muffles
the sound of rain

9 January 2003

no wind
raindrops outline
the redwood's needles

9 January 2003

Thursday, October 6, 2011

haiku retrospective ccxxxiii

morning light
her clothes in a heap
on the floor

5 January 2003

first light
i reach over to turn off
the night light

6 January 2003

obsidian arrowhead i think i get the point

7 January 2003

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

haiku retrospective ccxxxii

morning prayer
the fire flares
to life

3 January 2003

improvised dance
tap a few lines
and the rest of us will fake it

3 January 2003

after lovemaking
we pee
in separate stalls

5 January 2003

Monday, October 3, 2011

haiku retrospective ccxxxi

I no longer experience the wonders of Christmas; I engineer them.

My childhood Christmases were big, fancy events with lots of relatives, lots of big meals, lots of alcohol, and a feeding frenzy under the tree.

dancing with excitement 
the tinkle of broken glass 
from the fallen tree 

Yes, one year, I knocked the Christmas tree over in my excitement. I managed to stand it back up by myself and never, ever told my parents.

rich foods 
rich colors 
playing with my fork 
while i wait for the adults 
to finish their coffee 
so we can open our presents 

christmas morning 
only my grandfather awake 
when we tiptoe downstairs 

christmas afternoon 
the men play 
with our new train set 

christmas evening 
playing aggravation 
with a side of pie 

Times of transition.

Most of the men in my family of origin have problems with alcohol and substance abuse. The women work their fingers to the bone and throw their annual holiday tantrums. I want something simpler, more meaningful. I want to spend my holidays with my children rather than in the kitchen.

We usually have Christmas at home, just us. We open presents slowly, over Christmas Eve day, and take time to enjoy each one. We sing together, and read special stories together. Everyone hangs a stocking (even us parents).

christmas tree hunt 
our youngest child finds 
the perfect pine 

nat king cole's carols 
the children hang ornaments 
any way they want 

december 23rd 
giggles, scampers, slamming doors 
another awkward parcel underneath the tree 

christmas eve 
a cup of cocoa 
by the fire 

christmas morning 
chocolate on his face 
before breakfast 

christmas night 
fifteen-two, fifteen-four, 
and a double run for twelve 

 3 January 2003

Saturday, October 1, 2011

haiku retrospective ccxxx

winter night
the steady ticking
of the cuckoo clock

2 January 2003

evening solitude
tea strainers drying
on the drainboard

2 January 2003

midnight solo
drawing a moonbow
across my viola

2 January 2003