Tag Archives: Poems

Haiku 365: October

#276: 10/1/2015
Let’s hunt unicorns!
And if we can’t find any,
then let’s just hold hands.

#277: 10/2/2015
Sing an apple-song,
thank the tree for bearing what
our steel cannot build.

#278: 10/3/2015
Fluorescent airport
full of soft curving steel lines
far too posh for us.

#279: 10/4/15
Narrow antique walls
whisper old stories loudly
while we try to sleep.

#280: 10/5/15
Drizzling firmament
matches puddle-rich sidewalks
synchronized in gray.

#281: 10/6/15
Rippling red dragons
watch like sages from their poles
revealing nothing.

#282: 10/7/15
Night in the city,
doors barred – strains of old guitar
caress thinning crowds.

#283: 10/8/15
Juggling fire at dusk.
Torches arc above the throng,

#284: 10/10/15
Languages of stone –
whispering buttresses recall
silent centuries.

#285: 10/10/15
In what museum
will shards of our work lie still
under glass someday?

#286: 10/11/15
The wonders of Earth,
proud, bright, have this in common:
that they are not home.

#287: 10/13/15
Down the rabbit-hole,
curious, curiouser,
till sunlight wakes you.

#288: 10/13/15
Consider the hair:
deaf, blind, cut back endlessly,
undeterred it grows.

#289: 10/20/15
Stubborn evergreens
hold out against fiery fall:

#290: 10/20/15
For your ears alone,
irrevocably private,
the neurons whisper.

#291: 10/20/15
Cold is not a thing
but an un-thing, lack of heat,
yet it sings like fire.

#292: 10/20/15
Dry plants in old pots
await a soil afterlife,
deep, and free of wind.

#293: 10/20/15
A cluttered house is
life in motion. Should home be
antiseptic, clean?

#294: 10/20/15
Shh! All-Hallow’s Eve
creeps near, pumpkin candles bright
like the eyes of saints.

#295: 10/20/15
Cars save us effort.
That’s why we drive them to gyms,
where we exercise.

#296: 10/21/15
Plans like doves fly forth,
now and then returning stained,
weary, branch in beak.

#297: 10/22/15
Voices and voices
press in through this box of light,
urgent, seductive.

#298: 10/25/15
Win yew lye a loan
awl knight, ore wok four daze, a
lass! Yore mined gits week.

#299: 10/25/15
Rebellious body:
knees complain, stomach grumbles.
King Brain’s restless serfs.

#300: 10/25/15
The best thing about
finishing a book is that
now you can start one.

#301: 10/26/15
Don’t listen to me.
Especially when I say
“Don’t listen to me.”

#302: 10/27/15
Chimney’s silhouette
gazes lean, benevolent,
over pre-dawn street.

#303: 10/28/15
A car, an airplane,
Google Maps, unite two friends.
Evening of laughter.

#304: 10/29/2015
Gale screams, thunder cracks.
Eerie grey portal unfolds.
Bats swarm free like ants.

#305: 10/30/2015
All Hallow’s Eve, Eve:
pumpkins grimace, spiders spin,
gramarye grows thick.

#306: 11/2/2015
Low-level sickness,
just enough to make you tired,
crawls inside and purrs.

How I React When People Want to Read Me Their Poems (part 2)

‘As to poetry, you know,’ said Humpty Dumpty, stretching out one of his great hands, ‘I can repeat poetry as well as other folk, if it comes to that—’

‘Oh, it needn’t come to that!’ Alice hastily said …

-Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass

How I React When People Want to Read Me Their Poems

‘So much obliged!’ added Tweedledee. ‘You like poetry?’

‘Ye-es, pretty well—SOME poetry,’ Alice said doubtfully.

-Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass

Haiku 365: September

#246: 9/8/2015
“Penny Lane” flows from
my dark, reticent speakers,
calling on old homes.

#247: 9/8/2015
Just like poetry,
wildfire surges and consumes,
guided by stern tools.

#248: 9/8/2015
Like castles of old,
today’s fortresses stand fast,
founded on pixels.

#249: 9/8/2015
Flowers are patient.
No meetings, nowhere to go,
sun-touched and sky-soft.

#250: 9/8/2015
Each new beginning
carries a whiff of failure.
Therein lies the test.

#251: 9/8/2015
Pair of sandwiches
await, mute, oblivious,
their executions.

#252: 9/8/2015
Betsy and Brian
take afternoon walks, explore,
whisper together.

#253: 9/8/2015
Little plastic Thor
stands in my kitchen, god of
thunder and pastries.

#254: 9/9/2015
Heavy ambition
means light sleep, furtive hours
snatched like fireflies.

#255: 9/11/2015
Morning by morning
Nature marks her round canvas –
blind, but full of light.

#256: 9/11/2015
Deep in the basement
what creeps on unfinished walls?
Here there be dragons.

#257: 9/13/2015
Washer and coffee,
heater and Betsy and I
stir, yawn, and arise.

#258: 9/13/2015
What fathomless hand
has scoured our firmament? Where
did it take our clouds?

#259: 9/14/2015
Day of laziness.
Mind creeps, craving and fearing
useful energy.

#260: 9/15/2015
One more day adjourns.
I draw up tomorrow’s plans,
hoping I can build.

#261: 9/16/2015
Rough air, placid earth,
pearls of dew, flames of the sun.
Four-element day.

#262: 9/17/2015
Today’s proud giants
loom on streets, rectangle heads,
selling svelte perfume.

#263: 9/18/2015
Present will be past,
future will be past. This, our
deepest mystery.

#264: 9/19/2015
This close to midnight,
scent of tomorrow seeps in,
warning, beckoning.

#265: 9/21/2015
Fresh week, fresh journeys,
morning by morning, grasping
unsullied secrets.

#266: 9/21/2015
Ah! Thumbprint cookies,
each stamped with Betsy’s sigil,
filled with love and jam.

#267: 9/22/2015
Stories spin like plates,
flouting doubt and gravity,
magically mundane.

#268: 9/23/2015
Early morning rise,
grasping dawn cold-fingered till
it evaporates.

#269: 9/24/2015
Whose songs are these? Whose
hymns chant at midnight, whose notes
whisper midday myths?

#270: 9/25/2015
“Draft”: a word that means
text to edit, or cold ale.
Hmm … coincidence?

#271: 10/1/2015
Who can synthesize
laziness and energy,
can invent all things.

#272: 10/1/2015
In the barefoot world,
none dream of cotton cocoons.
Socks are miracles.

#273: 10/1/2015
When am I grown up?
Will I get a plaque when I’m
not the child I was?

#274: 10/1/2015
All you need is love:
two of us wearing raincoats
when I’m sixty-four.

#275: 10/1/2015
Listen! Rushing ants
scout the earth’s secret places,
scribbling obscure maps.

Haiku 365: August

#215: 8/1/2015
Drinking an O’doul’s
is like walking a nice old
dog: no bark, no bite.

#216: 8/3/2015
Little clay bluebird,
thimbleful of dark coffee.
Fairy garden tour.

#217: 8/3/2015
Brown furtive rabbits
leap from dawn to dawn, round-eyed,
tracking dusk and dew.

#218: 8/4/2015
Hard, unripe apples
clutch their branches, then plummet
to the placid earth.

#219: 8/7/2015
Fence gets painted white,
becoming by slow degrees
ever more ghostlike.

#220: 8/7/2015
Writing a letter:
thoughts overflow, stain paper;
I send them away.

#221: 8/7/2015
Hourly miracles
sustain us. Scent of apples.
Knowing how to walk.

#222: 8/12/2015
Early morning work,
lunch, and pleasant afternoon,
make for easy rest.

#223: 8/12/2015
Betsy picks peaches.
Trees we planted together
yield up their reward.

#224: 8/12/2015
Jacob the trickster
has grown into stern Israel,
he who strives with God.

#225: 8/12/2015
Audacious squirrel
snatches what he wants, and eats
staring through window.

#226: 8/12/2015
Bullets are crucial
for police officers and
people who like lists.

#227: 8/13/2015
Shining afternoon:
pure sky, fences like beacons,
nearing summer’s end.

#228: 8/14/2015
My decaf coffee,
my non-alcoholic beer.
Faux buzz beats no buzz!

#229: 8/15/2015
Rising in darkness,
stumbling over blank bare tiles
in search of waking.

#230: 8/17/2015
Two o’clock a.m.
In between late and early,
witching hour’s prelude.

#231: 8/17/2015
Banana peel sags
on coaster. Even fruit dies.
Yellow, brown, and black.

#232: 8/18/2015
Brain has turned to mush.
Is it a safety hazard,
typing with mush-brain?

#233: 8/19/2015
Dead men tell no tales,
but living dead can edit.
At least, I hope so!

#234: 8/20/2015
Black six-legged speck
scuttles on screen’s flat landscape,

#235: 8/24/2015
Thirtieth birthday
passes softly, like a friend
showing me the way.

#236: 8/24/2015
The Empire Strikes Back
and Return of the Jedi.
Betsy’s one of us.

#237: 8/24/2015
are paragons of English,
flawless at there jobs.

#238: 8/24/2015
A one-year-old walks
fearlessly: joyful, lurching,
heedless of her falls.

#239: 8/25/2015
Critiquing strangers:
an exercise in prose, grace,
and diplomacy.

#240: 8/26/2015
Let go, summer, peace.
Embrace autumn like a son.
Peace, summer, at last.

#241: 8/27/2015
Electric house-lights
enshrine my dim wakefulness
in a land of black.

#242: 9/8/2015
Behind on haikus!
Days late and syllables short,
my keys scramble back.

#243: 9/8/2015
First sip. The booze hits
quick, no obstacles in stomach,
proceed straight to brain.

#244: 9/8/2015
Old sun fades westward,
following its ancient call,
looking for deep rest.

#245: 9/8/2015
Dreams turn inside-out,
filling daytime with their hues,
softening twilight.

Haiku 365: July

#184: 7/1/2015
Mozart pirouettes,
singing like bells. Beethoven
smashes and sinks deep.

#185: 7/2/2015
Lonely apple tree
stands, spine erect, while two more
bend like verdant crones.

#186: 7/6/2015
Young Sylvia Plath
smiling in Paris, as if
burdenless and free.

#187: 7/6/2015
The editor must
cultivate wild text, tending
jungles like gardens.

#188: 7/6/2015
Sirens caterwaul
and fade; my own life goes on,
glib, without crisis.

#189: 7/6/2015
To bed and to rise,
each day, with my wife. Fortune
radiates like stars.

#190: 7/7/2015
See the rains gather,
assembling as for council:
they judge, then disperse.

#191: 7/8/2015
Grand spiderless Web,
linking eyes to eyes, what prey
will you snare tonight?

#192: 7/12/2015
Old friend on Facebook.
What paths have you taken for
these decades apart?

#193: 7/12/2015
Handwritten letters,
inefficiently charming,
back and forth and back.

#194: 7/12/2015
This “gluten-free beer” –
gluten-free, I understand.
Are you sure it’s beer?

#195: 7/12/2015
Talk to us, Pluto.
Grant us your deep-space wisdom.
Teach us how to chill.

#196: 7/14/2015
Quiet streets are like
quiet lives, pensive and poised
to find the freeway.

#197: 7/14/2015
Tower, Hermit, Fool,
Emperor, Death, Justice, Moon:
what sayeth the cards?

#198: 7/15/2015
One slim rainless sky
beams triumphantly, and then
slinks back into gray.

#199: 7/16/2015
New book, virgin draft,
innocent of revision,
clean and paper-white.

#200: 7/17/2015
Sliver of lightning
slices gray paper heaven
like a razor-flash.

#201: 7/19/2015
Two cups of coffee
before speaking words aloud.
One thing at a time.

#202: 7/19/2015
Dusty oasis
glitters like frigid lightning,
sapphire on the sand.

#203: 7/20/2015
Verses and chapters
build a tower to heaven
strong with many tongues.

#204: 7/21/2015
Sunlight in my eyes.
Bright and dark blind equally.
Only gray can see.

#205: 7/22/2015
Balance in all things;
failing that, hearts are better
heavy than empty.

#206: 7/23/2015
Dinner with Betsy
and friends comes to a close: now,
hand in hand, alone.

#207: 7/24/2015
Writing a novel
is lonely symbiosis,
author and the world.

#208: 7/27/2015
Maps are devices
for turning cities to dots.
Travel turns them back.

#209: 7/27/2015
Tears are contagious;
when our basement pipe joints weep,
why then, so do we.

#210: 7/27/2015
What sage inventor
first melded PB and J?
Build him a statue.

#211: 7/28/2015
Pixels from Pluto,
gossipy tweets, alike are
Turing’s legacy.

#212: 7/29/2015
Plaintive beeping of
toaster oven; its sole job,
only song it knows.

#213: 7/30/2015
Secret nighttime talks:
words land softly on pillows,
hidden by darkness.

#214: 8/1/2015
Scrabble fast and loose:
bingo’s automatic win,
“wubo” is a word.

Haiku 365: June

#153: 6/5/2015
Fierce sun and soft moon,
bloody gold and chaste silver.
Yang still chases yin.

#154: 6/5/2015
Windows on childhood
sit, framed and shielded by glass,
like mute time machines.

#155: 6/5/2015
Sandwiches, pickles,
A/C. Who says a picnic
has to be outside?

#156: 6/5/2015
Whose comet is this?
What stern celestial empress
calls this omen hers?

#157: 6/5/2015
Where does the light go
after you flip off the switch?
Can I keep a ray?

#158: 6/6/2015
Scent of kitchen paint,
fresh cabinet doors, new hinges:
Rhapsody in White.

#159: 6/7/2015
Sunday: Kroger aisles
full of colors, cereal.
Toddler grins at me.

#160: 6/8/2015
Slow gray phantoms drift
in nameless herds, crossing our
stern Ohio sky.

#161: 6/9/2015
By morning, those old
ghosts have ambled on. Bluer
heavens shyly wake.

#162: 6/10/2015
The song of black storms
slithers over virgin land,
weeping tornadoes.

#163: 6/11/2015
Low helicopter
rattles our placid windows,
grumbles, passes on.

#164: 6/12/2015
Ah! Banana bread
on a clean plate, fresh coffee.
Exquisite Friday.

#165: 6/13/2015
Dabbing off brief tears
in the cool dark; haven’t laughed
that hard in a while.

#167: 6/14/2015
Soft carpet footfalls,
spinning leaves: faucet drips as
hours like scrapbooks fade.

#168: 6/15/2015
Launch of the new week.
Sunday’s countdown is over,
fresh ambitions rise.

#169: 6/16/2015
Tabula rasa,
thoughtless mind. Sable coffee
percolates the void.

#170: 6/17/2015
Nine decades of song,
Fred Astaire to Eminem,
congregate in bytes.

#171: 6/18/2015
Nations of carpet,
an Everest of oak shelves.
Spider soldiers on.

#172: 6/19/2015
Fresh frantic morning.
One by one, sober plans duel
daylight obstacles.

#173: 6/21/2015
Bruschetta and wine,
children and servers, gather
for the matriarch.

#174: 6/21/2015
Journeys and journeys
convey us afar and home,
questing and resting.

#175: 6/22/2015
Typing with hands cold
from cold water. Fingers, chilled,
seek kinetic heat.

#176: 6/23/2015
CHUG, washing machine’s
morning anthem: CHUG, water
overturns earth, CHUG.

#177: 6/24/2015
Lucy and Linus,
chaos and order, children
old as time, born fresh.

#178: 6/25/2015
Tempus fugit: hours
flee my embrace, promising,
never tarrying.

#179: 6/29/2015
Ecstatic! New job,
marriage equality. W00t:
two red-letter days.

#180: 6/29/2015
Still awaking from
late night, minimal slumber.
Neurons sputter, yawn.

#181: 6/29/2015
All the dewy world,
dark with dreaming, lit with day,
stirs in its cool nest.

#182: 6/29/2015
Movies with Betsy.
The Royal Tenenbaums, Spy,
Good Night and Good Luck.

#183: 6/30/2015
Time for something new.
No rough beast has come; this hour
belongs to humans.

Haiku 365: May

#122: 5/4/2015
Eating ice cream straight
from the carton. Keeping it
classy, Buckley-style.

#123: 5/4/2015
Re-painting the fence.
Body gets to be outside,
mind wanders. Win-win.

#124: 5/4/2015
History, symbols,
mythology, and Carl Jung.
Reading addiction!

#125: 5/4/2015
Like the lawnmower,
my mind needs a couple pulls
to start its engine.

#126: 5/5/2015
Night has descended:
whence this dim sunless ghost-light
lingering on high?

#127: 5/6/2015
Slim young apple tree
stands up straight, blossoming pink,
nuzzled by cold fog.

#128: 5/7/2015
Brown leaf on driveway
hunched in its evening shadow
like a surly toad.

#129: 5/9/2015
Focus on haiku.
A helpful wall blocks my view
of dirty dishes.

#130: 5/9/2015
When will the rain come?
How much work before sky-drops
send us scurrying?

#131: 5/10/2015
Morning of yard work,
wearing sunscreen, feeding grass.
Sniff – now I smell green.

#132 – 5/11/2015
The rustling forest
calls at dusk, whispering old
songs, promising charms.

#133: 5/12/2015
The eyes of the wolf
pierce darkness, cleave midnight mist,
apprehend moonlight.

#134: 5/13/2015
A thousand faces
for but a single hero.
Whither his bright blade?

#135: 5/14/2015
Calligraphy needs
steel resolve. Shaky thumbs make
shaky majuscules.

#136: 5/24/2015
Peter’s Neverland,
the looking-glass of Alice:
what realm waits for me?

#137: 5/24/2015
Drifting toward summer,
lazy sunlight and brief nights
welcoming solstice.

#138: 5/24/2015
Eyes of hurricanes,
the Eye of the Sahara.
Earth is watching us.

#139: 5/24/2015
Breathless, unblinking,
frigid angels of the Deep
fear no hook or net.

#140: 5/24/2015
Nickels and a dime
jangle loose in my pocket.
Pipsqueak percussion.

#141: 5/24/2015
Clumsy number eight
could slip on rounded feet, fall,
become infinite.

#142: 5/24/2015
Poets love the moon.
Does it hang in space, august,
judging motley verse?

#143: 5/24/2015
Dear sir or madam:
Do you enjoy short letters?
Sincerely, B. B.

#144: 5/24/2015
Do you make mistakes?
I once vowed to be faultless.
That was a mistake.

#145: 5/24/2015
Deep in the Great Plains,
sea of grass and sea of sky
watch each other dream.

#146: 5/25/2015
Dying smoke alarm,
nestled – where? All day we hunt
that infernal beep.

#147: 5/26/2015
Jealously we guard
our rectangles of trim grass.
Fences loom like walls.

#148: 6/5/2015
Just before midnight:
I’m an isle of consciousness
in a dream-wracked sea.

#149: 6/5/2015
Blind, dark, and heavy,
that was depression. Viscous.
Future’s fluid now.

#150: 6/5/2015
My orange slices
sit on their newly-shed skin
like five plump reptiles.

#151: 6/5/2015
This burned-out light bulb
ought to symbolize something.
Hmm…you work it out.

#152: 6/5/2015
Quoth the raven: “It
might not happen for a while.
But, I mean, who knows?”

Friday Link

One of my favorite poems: Philip Larkin’s “Next, Please.” I find it wise and sad.

Which is, you know, just what you want on a Friday. I’m a lot of fun at parties, let me tell you.

Have a great weekend!

Haiku 365: April

#92: 4/1/2015
Never trust the warmth.
Ohio giveth, taketh.
Winter hides, returns.

#93: 4/2/2015
Radishes and cheese.
When you grow up, you can eat
whatever you want.

#94: 4/5/2015
An ode to beets. Ahem:
Somehow this scant root contains
all that I despise.

#95: 4/5/2015
Rabbits arriving,
buds on trees. Evidently,
nature’s wheel has turned.

#96: 4/5/2015
Girl, seven months old,
concerned with toys, noise, and milk,
but not the future.

#97: 4/6/2015
Stories of the day
shared from spouse to spouse: these threads
weave a shared lifetime.

#98: 4/7/2015
Schemes set in motion
gather momentum daily.
Zenith approaches.

#99: 4/8/2015
Lunch at Panera –
sitting with Betsy, watching
rain-soaked people rush.

#100: 4/9/2015
Rain in the morning
and the afternoon. Who keeps
refilling the sky?

#101: 4/10/2015
Chatting and smiling.
Kind woman, pleasant office.
Needle drinks my blood.

#102: 4/11/2015
Errands and coffee,
conversation and sunshine.
Happy Saturday.

#103: 4/12/2015
Starting a new book!
Crisp cream pages, stark fresh ink
conjure a hero.

#104: 4/16/2015
Falling behind! These
haikus are all so tiny,
they slip through the cracks.

#105: 4/16/2015
Birthdays approaching:
wife, friend, and self, all thirty.
Are we grown-ups now?

#106: 4/16/2015
Violence to the grass,
wrought with gasoline and steel,
seems to please the birds.

#107: 4/16/2015
The broad black blanket
of night clouds, snuffing starlight,
settles on the world.

#108: 4/17/2015
Teetotaling perks:
three stiff drops in a shot glass
fly me to the moon.

#109: 4/18/2015
Sun through east window
blares and blinds me, showing off,
then heads up to work.

#110: 4/20/2015
Are you so certain
vast Earth and sky still exist
while you blink your eyes?

#111: 4/20/2015
Wind leans on the tree,
murmuring portents to leaves,
scaring squirrels off.

#112: 4/21/2015
Read the book aloud.
Let the cadences roll out
your throat, rich and raw.

#113: 4/22/2015
Electric light bulbs
lack the sun’s radiance, but
their schedules are free.

#114: 4/23/2015
Look – my old car gleams
silver, seats immaculate.
Faithful, humble, proud.

#115: 4/26/2015
Writers hoard books like
dragons keep gold, sleepy, fierce,
hiding from the sun.

#116: 4/26/2015
Thirty candle flames
puff out; thirty blackened wicks
send up silent smoke.

#117: 4/26/2015
Following sidewalks,
we peer at the mute houses.
What do walls conceal?

#118: 4/30/2015
I trap the spider
in a cup and set it free.
Mercy, or habit?

#119: 4/30/2015
Sullen post-rain clouds
drift overhead, ushering
sunset to the west.

#120: 4/30/2015
In the beginning,
light on the darkness, a word.
Fiat lux. And then?

#121: 4/30/2015
Nearing end of week
and end of month. Cycles and
cycles; the wheel turns.