Wednesday, November 30, 2011

haiku retrospective cclxxxiv

concrete wall --
forsythia stiff
against the breeze

2 April 2003

blind curve
dogwood flowers open
in the rain

3 April 2003

storm's end
a shower of fir needles

4 April 2003

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

haiku retrospective cclxxxiii

wind and rain --
wisteria blooms entwine
the barbed wire fence

2 April 2003

march skies
dust motes and spiders fill
the woodshed

2 April 2003

potted pansies
carpenter ants mill
in the shower

2 April 2003

Monday, November 28, 2011

haiku retrospective cclxxxviii

swallows return --
a small boy roosts
in the oak

8 April 2003

first drops of rain --
a backhoe parked
among the hyacinths

10 April 2003

clematis buds
the cracked lights
of the old trailer

10 April 2003

haiku retrospective cclxxxii

empty stands
the roar of the crowds
in the batter's mind

27 March 2003

golden poppies --
the small boy wears shorts
under his umbrella

1 April 2003

blue and gray --
their eyes meet before they
pull the trigger

2 April 2003

Sunday, November 27, 2011

haiku retrospective cclxxxi

popping gum
the vacant look
in her eyes

27 March 2003

naked sycamores --
the horse's ears twitch
in different directions

27 March 2003

riverside tryst
box elder bugs mate
on the outhouse walls

27 March 2003

Saturday, November 26, 2011

haiku retrospective cclxxx

march rain
the tight twist of wool
in the skein

27 March 2003

false spring
the minty freshness
of his kiss

27 March 2003

stacked plates --
the gurgle of water
from the dishwasher drain

27 March 2003

Friday, November 25, 2011

haiku retrospective cclxxix

distant bombs
a thin wisp of smoke
from the chimney

26 March 2003

country road --
pounding the dents
out of the mailbox

26 March 2003

granite in the sun
a marmot makes off with
my wool sock

27 March 2003

Thursday, November 24, 2011

haiku retrospective cclxxviii

march skies
wood chips and spiders
in the woodshed

Does this haiku give you the idea that there's not much left in the woodshed except wood chips and spiders? Would it help to state it more explicitly? I've tried a few different ways, and every one has made it less of a haiku rather than more of one.

26 March 2003

march skies --
the rumble of trucks
on the distant highway

26 March 2003

war news
dead bean vines rustle
in the breeze

26 March 2003

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

haiku retrospective cclxxvii

stifling dissent --
with enough heckling,
we'll do it for them

In my small town, someone shot out the windows of two shops because the owners had signs supporting peace. At $800 a pop, these small business people cannot afford to keep replacing their windows. They've had to move their peace sentiments inside and out of the public view.

shotgun justice
keep free speech inside
where it belongs

20 March 2003

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

haiku retrospective cclxxvi

remote control
i can turn off the TV but
not the war

Now that the chickenhawks have ridden roughshod over world opinion and the desires of the U.S. peace community, they want us to stifle our dissent. It was okay to argue against the war before it started, but now we should support our troops by silencing ourselves. To dissent in the midst of a war is to “give aid and comfort to our enemies.”

This reminds me so much of what the Southern gentlemen said to the abolitionists before the Civil War. “You may disagree with slavery, but, as long as slavery is in existence, you must put your consciences on the back burner and help slaveowners retrieve their property.”

Dissent, and even civil disobedience, are not merely the right of citizens in a free society. Dissent and civil disobedience are our responsibility to our society. Crimes of conscience have always stood on the front lines of the struggle for freedom.

For more than 350 years, Quakers have believed that war is morally wrong, against God's plan for humanity, against Jesus' commandments to his followers. We will not stand silent now.

dark nights
stand firm
in the Light

20 March 2003

Monday, November 21, 2011

haiku retrospective cclxxv

saint patrick's day
an order of genocide with a side
of famine

17 March 2003

spring cleaning --
news of tomahawk strikes
on the radio

20 March 2003

news of the war
i knit my worry
into this sweater

20 March 2003

Sunday, November 20, 2011

haiku retrospective cclxxiv

We are peace vigilantes, taking peace into our own hands.

Saturday, we attended a peace march in San Francisco, starting at the Civic Center and taking the march into the black community.

direct action
the peace march heads
to the fillmore

babies in backpacks
police helicopters circle
the marchers

Yesterday, we joined the prayer vigil in Ben Lomond (population 3000). 125 people with candles gathered on the corner to witness for peace.

candles in the wind
many voices join
in song

17 March 2003

Saturday, November 19, 2011

haiku retrospective cclxxiii

A series of haiku built around places:

june dusk
the golden gate bridge vanishes
in the fog

fog off the coast
the painter switches rollers
on the golden gate bridge

direct action
the peace march heads
to the fillmore

summer drought
the pinyon pines
of el paso

autumn clarity
the rough face
of mount saint helens

sudden toothache
an unexpected gap in the lights
of manhattan

15 March 2003

Friday, November 18, 2011

haiku retrospective cclxxii

war on the horizon
in the rain

13 March 2003

lowering skies
cherry blossoms painted
on shop windows

13 March 2003

president's speech
the radio suddenly
falls silent

17 March 2003

Thursday, November 17, 2011

haiku retrospective cclxxi

march warmth
a tie-dyed water balloon
hits the deck

12 March 2003

spring warmth
she draws another bug face
on her algebra

12 March 2003

the scent of new grass --
moonlight scatters
through the clouds

13 March 2003

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

haiku retrospective cclxx

evening news
a scowling old man
in my husband's chair

12 March 2003

new book --
the hands of the clock move

12 March 2003

march warmth
the taste of curry
on his lips

12 March 2003

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

haiku retrospective cclxix

heavy thoughts
this thick mud
in the spring rain

9 March 2003

silver branches
the maples open their leaves
to the sun

11 March 2003

greening garden
she scatters rapeseed
for the birds

12 March 2003

Monday, November 14, 2011

haiku retrospective cclxviii

march sunshine
forget-me-nots in the chinks
of the brick pile

9 March 2003

broken shovel
forget-me-nots sprout
from the brick pile

which I think is better.

This brings back memories of the aftermath of the '89 Loma Prieta earthquake, which destroyed downtown Santa Cruz.

wrecking rig
black willows push
through the rubble

....which doesn't do justice to the willows. After 100 years beneath the stone foundations of large commercial buildings, the willows sprouted and covered the gaping holes of the downtown with exuberant greenery.

At the time, walking the downtown streets with a grieving heart looking at the wreckage of my city, I thought "War is worse than this."

A WWII image from the London Blitz that haunts me:

september sunshine
children play four square
in gas masks

11 March 2003

Sunday, November 13, 2011

haiku retrospective cclxvii

first daffodil
ah, here we are

7 March 2003

willow buds
the sound of rushing water
beyond the thicket

9 Match 2003

birthday party
a big, black dog stretched out
on the sofa

9 March 2003

Saturday, November 12, 2011

haiku retrospective cclxvi

february clouds
an ant on the cup I use
to wash ants down the drain

22 February 2003

bare trees
mourning doves still
against the fading light

25 February 2003

cloud hands
her frosty breath drifts
past her mitten

7 March 2003

Friday, November 11, 2011

haiku retrospective cclxv

white narcissus
sunlight through the slats
of the new fence

18 February 2003

spring gale
raindrops on the raw wood
of the new fence

18 February 2003

winter's end
another bite
of green curry

19 February 2003

Thursday, November 10, 2011

haiku retrospective cclxiv

pacific storm --
a sprouting yam
on the windowsill

american pie --
pumpkin peels everywhere
but the compost

winter storm --
tater tots sizzle
in the toaster oven

winter storm --
the three-year-old howls
outside his sister's door

sudden chill --
my aunt corrects
the children's manners

winter weekend
the splatting of raindrops
against the skylight

dinnertime conversation --
picking the crumbs
from the cornbread pan

15 February 2003

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

haiku retrospective cclxiii

orange alert
the children surround the bowl
of tangerines

15 February 2003

spring cleaning
cumulus clouds pile up
against the ridge

18 February 2003

spring starlight
she adjusts the frames
on her new glasses

18 February 2003

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

haiku retrospective cclxii

roses and glory
tonight on fox

not yet delivered
osama's valentine
to george

korean missiles in flight
now i lay me down to sleep

15 February 2003

Monday, November 7, 2011

haiku retrospective cclxi

roses and glory
for the masses

blood and roses
a heart-shaped wreath
for the hero's casket

red hot candy hearts
with the enemy

15 February 2003

Sunday, November 6, 2011

haiku retrospective cclx

hard frost --
the cast iron gate burns
my hand

9 February 2003

autumn reflections
her face in the back
of a soap bubble

10 February 2003

break in the storm
six small zucchini
in her grocery cart

13 February 2003

Saturday, November 5, 2011

haiku retrospective cclix

a jet of blue flame licks
the oak log

6 February 2003

lost teacup --
wandering through the house with the teapot
and a handful of sugar

8 February 2003

sensuous lips
the young man tells me
about his fresh fruit

9 February 2003

haiku retrospective cclviii

winter clarity
sunshine on one side
of the trees

6 February 2003

smoke above the lawn
the same measure over and over
on the piano

6 February 2003

I found God
among the trees --
blowing his snows

6 February 2003

Thursday, November 3, 2011

haiku retrospective cclvii

A tanka:

rays of light dance
on the taut spiderweb
with no thought of beauty
I turn my attention
to today's headlines

5 February 2003

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

haiku retrospective cclvi

lingering heat
a long dust plume behind the pick-up

3 February 2003

quaker to-do list:
sit in silence and stillness

5 February 2003

the road to rack and ruin 

straight and narrow under our feet

5 February 2003

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

haiku retrospective cclv

I've been reading a lot about Basho recently (and some about Buson, Issa, Shiki, and other Japanese poets). For the poets of Basho's era, poetry was very much a social vehicle. The more skilled poets might later pretty their pieces up for publication, but most poetry arose out of human relationships.

fishing limit the trout at the bottom of the pool

I'm coming out of a rule-bound, restrictive period in my haiku-writing. I am feeling more experimental, and more prone to break rules that get in the way of what I want to say.

This might or might not be progress. I've written some really bad haiku lately. They've scratched a certain itch, and unleashed other, better haiku.

Juxtaposition, though. I do not find juxtaposition easy. I don't think I truly understand juxtaposition. I keep finding little bits of the puzzle, but I don't have a complete picture.

I don't think juxtaposition is something that can really be understood intellectually. I think it's more like balance. I have to read and write a lot of different haiku before I have the sense of juxtaposition.

Maybe I'm not even talking about juxtaposition. Maybe I'm talking about what makes a haiku sing.

danse' sacre et profane another false note on my viola

In my trip backwards through Japanese time, I'm turning up heresies. Basho, for example, liked to stand poetic phrasing and images on their heads. That was his juxtaposition, and it suited the time in which he lived. Shiki preferred shasei, and condemned Basho's little parlor tricks. Haiku, however, contains both of them, and also Issa, who was capable of flashes of insectoid brilliance in the midst of his moralizing.

I know nothing about haiku. Better to stick to my beginner's mind and just play the way I feel it. I might learn, eventually.

dead lilies the children's hair bright in the sunshine

There's a new form, called the gilklue. Written in three lines, containing an accusation, with elements from 20th century parlor games and tv series.

back in the bottle
it was jeannie in palm beach
with her harem pants

true or false? smoke blows through the sun-dappled trees

2 February 2003