Winter Haiku 2017

The town’s turned all white
with the first December snow —
Useless to fight, I know

I awoke to find
the ground wrapped in swaddling clothes —
Snowy rind. Red nose

Crunchy underfoot,
the backyard an empty page —
Snow in my boot – rage

Christmas weeks away,
the new tree arrayed with lights —
I pray. Fam’ly fights

Santa doesn’t come,
to some kids in my old ‘hood —
Bum, they were e’en good

What if ol’ Christmas
didn’t come around one year?
Bad business, I fear

Shoveled all morning
and now my back’s all janky.
Warning! I’m cranky!

Because of my current creative speed-bumps, I thought I’d go back to the start of it all for Poet Joe–haiku. Of course, knowing me, you’d expect at least a little wrinkle. Yeah, I tried to rhyme the first two lines within the five measly syllables of the final line. Mission (sorta) accomplished.

Passages ~ A Haibun


If islands could cross paths in the heat of the doldrums, it would be you and I. Some seismic instigation overcoming emotional inertia, pushing each toward an Equator where we awkwardly touched, Ancient Mariners of the Tradewinds, individual albatrosses in place, brushing one another. It was an awkward kiss, on a downhill glide from one squall on the way to another. The slantless sunbeams, ever in squares of ninety degrees, never foreshadowing these memories logged in a bold black hand, soon enough ripped from the bindings, yet never discarded. We each to our own hemisphere have kept since that fearsome time, when we lowered our colors, but never our guard, without salute, just a passage of singular islands trying to prove John Donne wrong when we were certain those noontime bells tolled for the other thee and not for we.

Summer sun’s heartbeat
its heat echoes off sea and thee
yet coldly we passed

Poem #17 of Poem-A-Day NaPoWriMo. Robert Lee Brewer asked for a haiku today. That’s how I started writing poetry, feeling safer within that 5-7-5 syllabic hug. Here’s my effort, though, as usual going a little too far. It’s a Haibun (俳文 ?, literally, haikai writings), combining prose and haiku. The range of haibun is broad and frequently includes autobiography, diary, essay, prose poem, short story and travel journal. I think I jammed them all in here.

Haiku and Senryu 1


Rosy eye closing
beneath purple and red lids–
Fall’s bruised horizon.
As the oak leaves turn,
Nature orders, “Curtain up”–
cue this year’s third act.
Blackbirds harry Hawk 
from their leaf-bare maple home.
Hawk humors them though.

Eyes watch in hiding 
as we walk through red forest;
they fear us; we, them. 

The searchlight full moon
wore a veil of windblown cloud—
a November bride

Chains of starlings stretch,
shivering, from pole to pole—
roadside rosaries

Wind carries the cry
 of coyotes’ prey brought down:
White doe runs away.


His locked box opened,

she gave flame to his desire—
scarring a true heart.

“I’ll never hurt you,”
Angel carved into his heart –
A promise unkept.
“I’d never do that,”
The angel professed to me –
They all do, in time.

Gratefully, I taste
her Chinese tea and oranges –
Not Suzanne, but close.
In whose image, first,
was the other created—
Man’s god or God’s man?

Hot coffee and gin 
kept him warm every night. 
Anger kept him hot.

Over at dVerse Poets Pub today, my friend Gay Reiser Cannon is discussing poetry forms. She’s a treasure house of poetry form knowledge, often beyond my skills. But today she is discussing the form with which I started my journey as what might be called a poet.  That is the Japanese short form style of haiku and senryu.  I’ve called it writing inside a warm, tight hug. After argued with myself for a while (a frequent exercise that I inevitably lose, one way or another) if I should post any of them on the blog, Gay helped me decide once and for all.  I’ll love playing at this form until I can’t breathe on a page anymore. That’s what they are, my small poetic respirations, how I start each day.