Haiku of the weeks 08/16/14 – 08/28/14

These past two weeks (and their resulting poems) have been full of promise and fear; sort of like a caffeine overdose – jittery exciting and wearisome all at once. Instantaneous furious flurries of anticipation  flushed with hope are hummingbirds that swoop in,lively thrumming, feed and speed away. I’ve been pendulummed between that glitter-eyed giddiness and it’s flip side, the anxious exhaustion of analytic dream-squashing pessimistic realism. I will be doing so until some of these unknowns begin to manifest themselves.

The good news is no knee surgery is required; the bad news is, there’s no fixing it until it’s so bad it needs replaced, and insurance is done with PT for this year so we’ll just have see how much activity I can tolerate. The good news is the offer was accepted on a new house; the bad news is, ours hasn’t yet sold; the good news is we can fix it up; the bad news is we’re tired of staying up late working on it; the good news is the guy can come refinish our hardwood floors this week; the bad news is it’s taking twice as long and we’re homeless in the meanwhile…

Oh, I suppose stability would become irritatingly boring after a while…but I think I’d be willing to give it a try at this point!

caterpillars must
become defensive to first
raise their cocoon walls;

to squeeze rubbered lungs
into tight, glossy segments,
stretch growing-pained limbs;

to shift from plodding
chewing to nectar-licking;
from plant death to sex.

what if I treated my soul like my house plant?

wilted, thirsty leaves
wait patiently for me to
save my captives’ lives

empty window creaks,
plucks my soul, syncopating
my inner clamor

smooth haiku chortles
as it’s smoked thru hookah pipes
shared amongst us all

eyes enfleshed, focus;
we’ll exhale through our pupils,
soften our gazes

our lungs are redwoods;
rootings gnarled towards vast skies
large enough to live

“now” finds us enoughed;
if we could only stay here -
soft, strong, and enlarged

wan skies seep towards earth:
the scent of destiny wafts
like cottonwood fluff

floats upward/away
just how glitter disperses
when we shake the globe

country yard work

snapped twigs twang loam-some
sorted/sordid pasts become
trailering piles

second verse

dumped in a shiny
pickup as skittering sticks
lift like strands of hair

perhaps we were birds
cooing and preening on lines
in between our flights

08/25/14 reprise
what if, like cheetahs,
we had only enough sprints
to eat for today?

husked, heavy-eyed,
hurtled hurried urgency
recedes – fatigued

drippy clouds plastered
to blurred distances came loose;
(unfastening time)

cast their barbed hooks on
boulders we’d hoarded; stacks of
dark, crawdad regrets -

pebbles once skipped
across skybound reflections
from those ancient heights

now ruminated,
they plunk like lost tooth anchors
swallowed, rippleless

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Haiku for the week 08/09/14 – 08/14/14

I have rolled my eyes at myself a lot this week, annoyed with my surliness and irritated with my reluctance to write…to do physical therapy on my much maligned knee…how my internal warfare parallels that in the world, so much unnecessary harm in Isreal-Gaza, in LA and Ferguson, Robin Williams…excuse my funk, but I think it’s warranted…

swaying peaches hum,
radiantly enfleshing
febrile sunsets

gnats in ointment, pea
among mattresses – pathways
to resilience

08/12/14 Upon seeing his long lost daughters
gap mouthed, glassy-eyed:
enamored by his ideas
of us, us as his

jet’s scissoring lines
feather chemtrail delusions,
streaks of certainty

08/14/14 apparently
zithering insects
slash unarmed black youth, either
so easy to kill

It’s been a long week, let’s hope things ease up a bit!

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Haiku for the week 08/01/14 – 08/08/14

Those thick-tongued days of deep summer make silvery strands of insight tough to snag, even on my calloused fingertips. These haiku attempt meditation through immersion in setting:

yellowed cottonwood:
Septemberings reddening
August’s early fall

weedy fur scruff wears
thin on sandy bluffs, wind burnt
whiskers shimmer heat

white yucca buds now
spear black stalks of swollen pods;
these thin nights linger

twitterings thresh the sky,
gristing haiku mills

Other images this week were hauntings from old wounds of mine and old wars among others:

A damaged child’s
chimeraed soul: pain and play
in equal extremes

uneasy; raw with
shallow anticipated
held-breathed awkwardness

who else will if we
won’t tilt that small chin to ours
smiling with wet eyes?

and then here, finally, a reflection them both, nature and pain, and on how the world itself provides some measure of comfort:

dawn’s mystic fingers
skim our murky, chlorophylled
souls, ripening hope

for 08/07/14 (written 08/08/14)
moon’s primal soaring
lights gleaming worry stones in
dark backyard pockets


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Haiku for the week: 07/26/14 – 07/31/14

And a part of me wants to explain that I love living in the prairie, how the sky feels taller there and how the weeds have familiar, childhood names like foxtail and clover. And although it is tedious to drive for hours through it, the horizontal landscape is safe and snug, I tug it up over my shoulder and take a nap.

this hilly land tilts,
dottering down encropped grounds-
layered planes of grains

I also have a need to announce that this family reunion I drove through the Midwest for was so very welcoming and nostalgic and filling and other things that are unnameable though immeasurably pleasant and belongingful…yet it also shifted things within that I had long thought were stacked neatly away. That damn growth…it’s harbingers are discomfort and danger.

for 07/28/14 (written on 07/29/14)
liquid silence bleeds
lungward, surges statickly
into word bubbles

A squinch of perfume,
hairspray, jingling keychains…
you’d leave – ceilings shrank.

how scents swoop in like
bats from the past, flashbacking
inner eyelids dark.

you still haunt me, leave
red nails pincering earflesh…
I waken, wincing

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Haiku for the week: 07/18/14 – 07/25/14

So the good news is that I’ll get to keep my leg…

I really feel like I need that kind of melodrama to maintain my perspective in this summer’s ongoing saga between my left knee and me. (spoiler alert, It wins). I’ll know for sure tomorrow if it’s more physical therapy or another surgery (whee!!!) so tuning inward and filtering my thoughts past this betrayal body hasn’t been my first priority. But I’ve still written – imagining myself into the world again, looking out the windows at life going on around me and trying to stay enchanted with it all…

eucharistic hosts
(flat discs in the x-ray films:
hovering knee caps)

floating in mid-air:
dislocated potentials
(suspended like faith)

a pair of black-winged
triangles cartwheel the trees,
drunk on fresh-cut grass

(veined leaves) fingertips
open palmed and seeking sun
(edged in red from its light)

filament fragments
stretch longingly, haunting
doorways: webs unslung

love; an unclaimed bruise.
no memory of the pain
though damage was done

for 07/24/14 driving through Iowa
Queen Anne’s lace dainties
cornfield fringes of gingham
yellow vetch meadows

tree-limbed mosh-pit swerves
wind-whipt; lightening strobed stage-lit
stormy live music


You should probably take a brief moment of reflection now, and thank your left knee for all it does for you – even when it doesn’t do it well, because (after all) it could be worse. Right?

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Haiku for the week: 07/11/14 – 07/17/14

The grasshoppers are voracious…I’m not sure what makes them so persistent or ubiquitous, but there you have it. The week in haiku began and ended with the boogers chewing up leaves, irritating me and my happy garden hopes…upon reflection, this week’s haiku are a smidge pessimistic – I’ll have to blame those pests.

grasshoppers slingshot
from pock-marked greenery as
I brush past, mourning

no blood-guttered streets,
no locusts belie my plague:

and when the day stills,
squat sun spills off the pages,
writes her own ending

pink taffied skies
throb olive-pined abrasive
just before dawn

A fellow member of a facebook group of haiku writers posted a poem about a Freudian slip. It was elegant and and concise. While mine isn’t necessarily either of those things…it was inspired by actual events:

07/16/14 when we asked the art major about her college sports team
my daughter said she
didn’t care, then gasped, “I meant
I don’t know…must’ve

been a Freudian
sleep” she gasped again and laughed,
“I may be tired”.

stability of
tripods: irrefutable.
why have just two legs?

why would we have discarded
our primal, prehensile tails?

(written 07/17/14 for 7/11/14)
for now, it is rain
drops, not grasshoppers, that ping,
unnerving the leaves.

So, I’m not willing to spray the grasshoppers or anything. They are an ephemeral, if not annoying, malady. Like most things, they will be outlived. My best to you and yours – may your life this week be substantially more resistant to grasshoppers (figurative or actual) than mine!

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Haiku of the week: 07/04/14 – 07/10/14

I have some new worlds for you to visit. These poems are adventuresome and discordant collages for you to try on…

history of an abandoned dependence

teal-arced window eyes
x-raying my smuggling
salty-fingered stance;

sand-blasting graveyards
tended by invasive birds,
reclaiming those ghosts;

sifting ruined dunes
plaiting truths, warped and wefted
thread through meadows’ sighs;

drop-stitch clairvoyance
tweaking spokes, circled truths: we’d
captured each other

his hands kited sky
wards, skittering hisses strum
windblown lines to earth

sunlit tractor beams
orange your dark eyes, eyelash
your finger tipped mouth:

overexposed film
erases your white spaces
dark dreaming; gleaming

parsing sparse barbs which,
nettling within neural nets,
spawn bright, spare insight

what instincts

school fish to swarm, then
scatter, silver-flashed, and slice
against the current?

are we all feathered
birds to you, hovering at
your limbs, decorative?

Roadkill Rapture

Bloated grey corpses
sleep off their rash injuries,
nursing green-grassed dreams.

Leave them where they lie,
all ruffled fur bent supine
on crack-baked asphalt.

Shovel the homeless aside
let them rise from the ditches.


I double-dog dare you to write a little each day. Maybe just 17 syllables…see where they lead you!

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