Sunday, October 14, 2012

the haijin plays on (cdxxxv)

The haiku retrospective is over, but the haijin keeps on writing.

deep shade
the homeless guys invite me
to share their curb

9 October 2012

the sound of rain
i burrow deeper
into bed

10 October 2012

autumn chill
the blind poodle tangled
on the phone cord again

12 October 2012

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

haiku retrospective cdxxxiv

empty bottle
we start singing
another old tune

18 July 2012

dry season
the grass fades
from gold to tan

19 July 2012

...and that's all.
Thus ends the haiku retrospective I began in January 2011 to celebrate my 50th birthday.

Monday, October 8, 2012

haiku retrospective cdxxxiii

single place setting
she lifts her water glass
to her reflection

What is missing in my haiku is my father.

My very sociable mother had to come to terms with being alone after my father's death in 2009. Her dining room is a room of many mirrors. I imagined her, with her table neatly set for herself, lifting her water glass to her reflection before eating her solitary supper. I replaced the wine (her beverage of choice with her evening meal) with water to underscore the aloneness in the haiku.

I am happy to report that my mother has a new boyfriend as of December and is no longer having to come to terms with her loneliness.

Funny that I set this haiku in the dining room. My mother keeps my father's ashes in a fancy soup tureen on the sideboard. She had no other place to keep them in her small apartment, and she didn't want to put my dad in the closet.

Since my father's death, she has been taking film canisters of his ashes to all the places they loved, all around the world, and scattering them. It was a centering activity for her, a way of remembering and letting go.

manhattan park bench
she points out the flower bed
where she put his ashes

Recently, she has been talking about scattering the remainder of his ashes in one place. I guess she is really ready to let him go.

Her new love calls her frequently when she is out and about in her busy life. She talks about him incessantly, stars in her eyes.

cell phone chime
she blushes when i mime
a tiny violin

12 February 2012

Sunday, October 7, 2012

haiku retrospective cdxxxii

tart raspberries
evening comes earlier
and earlier

18 October 2011

chemo drip
i wish i could give you the moon

8 May 2012

waning moon
the cricket behind the fridge
starts singing

16 July 2012

Saturday, October 6, 2012

haiku retrospective cdxxxi

The idea of people from La Belle Epoque sharing their thoughts online made me grin. Gentlemen in top hats and women in leg-o'-mutton sleeves forcefully hitting carriage return manually on steampunk Internet terminals as they send off their flames to the other turn-of-the-century Internet users.

thread drift
she pokes the flames
with the tip of her parasol

10 October 2011

stacked dishes
the clean-up crew switches
to loud techno

10 October 2011

geese in formation
the old man doffs
his cap

18 October 2011

Friday, October 5, 2012

haiku retrospective cdxxx

Leaf Fall

The Santa Cruz mountains, a place of hot, dry summers and long lush rainy seasons. The maple trees soak up the winter rain and store it in their leaves. Even on the hottest days of summer, the maple leaves whisper about last year's rain. They seem to promise that the heat will break, that clouds will once again cover the relentless sun, that life-giving water will return to all the creatures of our coastal rainforest.

summer maples
we walk from one shade oasis
to the next

The maples act as living rain and heat gauges. In hot, dry years, the maples start dropping their leaves in August. In cool, wet years, they hang onto their leaves past the first rains. Many years, the leaves turn gold on the trees, only dropping when the first good wind storm drives them to the ground.

There's a pumpkin farm up our road where parents and teachers take children for an autumn afternoon. The children go on hay rides, feed the farm animals, and bring home one perfect pumpkin to carve into a jack-o'-lantern.

pumpkin traffic
the maple canopy still green

As reluctant as the maples might be to let the seasons change this year, the change comes.

autumn street
a small brown maple leaf
worn around the edges

There's a fine drizzle overnight. I turn on my windshield wipers as I drive to town in the morning.

full circle
a small golden leaf caught
in my windshield wiper

This leaf doesn't have the staying power of the famous leaf of 2009, however. I watch it flutter for the mile and a half into town.

bus stop
the leaf dances off
on its next adventure

I can almost hear it whisper, Hey, thanks for the lift!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

haiku retrospective cdxxix

rash decision
red leaves
on the dining room table

When my grandparents moved to California from Texas, my grandmother asked my grandfather to pick a bouquet of the pretty autumn leaves for the dining room table.

Neither of them had ever heard of poison oak.

1 October 2011

autumn trail
the sound of heavy rain
from the raven's beak

9 October 2011

gray morning
a phone call from a friend
i'd almost forgotten

10 October 2011