Monday, December 28, 2009

ode to spring

A bit of wishful thinking - spring in the midst of winter:

Oh spring,

if you were but mortal,

or better yet, that I

was the May breeze,

you and I could make

such delicate love,

for I have long been

enamored with you.

Like loving fingers

through cascading hair,

I would weave magic

in your meadow grasses

and flowering trees.

I would move over your

greening landscapes

with a most ardent touch

and spread the intoxicating

fragrances of your

blossoms as a priceless

perfume for the only

one I could ever love.

I would caress your

billowing clouds, ferrying

them gently about, and

we would lie naked upon

their undulating waves

and allow the sun to warm us.

God, what a dreamer! What

a spell spring has cast.

Oh, if I were but the breeze.

Monday, December 21, 2009

first light

first light
song sparrows scale
the clematis ladder


tree-lined road
the accelerated turn
to gold

Both published in Third Issue, Notes from the Gean

Saturday, December 19, 2009


I am
as this dead
fly, scraping
back and forth
along the
window sill,
by currents
of stale hot air.
My life is
as meaningless
as the dry
husk of this

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

into mist . . .

river's mouth
the osprey disappears
into mist


cicada husks
clinging to the screen door
...autumn deepens

Published in Issue Three of Notes from the Gean

Friday, December 11, 2009


Snow fell steadily the night before,

falling on both the wealthy and not so,

coating with cleanliness, purity all who

do not deserve and the very few who may.

The snow descended coldly and deeply,

blanketing gravestones and angels alike.

Distinguishable only by their shadows

and heavenward stares and stances,

they continue to designate where bodies

lay and bright hopes are finished.

Despite the softness and the silence,

above the solitude and endless white,

the boundless rage of ended dreams

seems to penetrate upward, to shriek.

First published in Magnapoets

Friday, December 4, 2009

Sunday, November 29, 2009

above silence

morning snow
a canyon wren singing
just above silence


the belly of a storm front
southbound geese

Thursday, November 19, 2009

brother's tear

The tear of a brother
who is slipping into, out of
confusion, oblivion,
A tear of recognition,
of reassurance.
How to weigh this tear?
How to preserve it?
What value
this tear?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

tear of recognition

Bing as he is nicknamed is my older brother. Visiting him at the veterans home in Boise, Idaho, he appears a shadow of the man he was and seems far older. He's deteriorated since the death of his wife and doctors say he has dementia and is extremely weak. Having just survived pneumonia, his normally bright blue eyes are gray and appear distant, confused. He doesn't seem to blink. He watches other aging veterans move about the visitors area and doesn't speak unless asked a question, then replies with few words.

seasoned aspen
buffeted by a bitter wind
shuffle of old men

Although I am taller than him, I think of Bing as my bigger brother because he has always stuck up for me. Always. He has been a caring older brother and as children would allow me to tag along, pedaling me around on his rickety bike. Now I lament that there is nothing I can do for him. I doubt he will ever leave the veterans home. I was afraid he didn't recognize me until as I was about to leave. A single tear has appeared in the corner of his eye and is making its way down that pale, wrinkled face.

a leaf flutters
in an abandoned web
. . . these gray clouds

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Morning's color

The sleet
falls harsher,
colder than
I've experienced.
The morning's color is not
a color, only achromatic, and
my heart warms neither
to this canvas, nor the
brushes, nor to her
smile, not even
to the dog.

In neutral

Neutral seems
to be the sum of
all my colors - any color,
any combination - no matter
what I mix on this diminishing
palette called my remaining years,
all that emerges is futility
and grayness. Is
this what my life
has become?


Sunday, November 1, 2009

breeze in the lilies

The breeze comes in from the south, moving over the cornfield at the edge of the cemetery to lightly stir the lilies on Sarah's casket. Sarah's son Tom puts his head in his hands as the preacher says something about Sarah departing for a better life. Tom had just buried his wife the week before after she lost her battle with cancer. Now he's burying his mother.

a dandelion seed
gyrates on spider silk
then floats away

I don't know Tom that well, but well enough to know I like him and well enough to know he's a good man. I wonder what it must be like to lose the two most important women in your life, both within a week. Tom's leathery face holds little clue, except for the glistening streaks. He tells me it was a "double whammy" - his sunken eyes tell me it was far more.

darker today
this shadow across
her stone

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

safely home

Somewhat along the lines of "Dreams of My Father", only Dream About My Father . . . my father died when I was three, but that doesn't stop the occasional dream. You grab what you can of those things that matter, even in dreams.

safely home
in an autumn dream . . .
the father I never knew

Friday, October 23, 2009

faded photo


I feel sad today - maybe pensive is a better word. My father died of tuberculosis when I was three years old and I have no memory of him. Three old photos is all there is to tell me about him, and this one which was given to me recently provides me with the most insight.

When I was much younger I awoke from a nap to him standing over me. It was a beautiful feeling, even though nothing was said. When I fully awoke he was gone, but I know he was there. The feeling was too special. That feeling and the photos are all I have of him.

I would have liked him, immensely, and not just because he was my father - I can tell because my mother chose to marry him and because of the company he keeps in a faded photograph.

a leaf flutters
in an abandoned spiderweb
. . .  these gray clouds

Monday, October 19, 2009

butterfly moment

Watching him slowly move in the meadow, weaving his hands through the tall grass, he reminds me of a butterfly. I wonder what he's thinking. Or what he's feeling. Does he sense the beauty of the turning leaves around him?

Autistic, they say. Of my six grandchildren he seems the one who is first to show his excitement and affection. And yes, there is something in his far-off look that wants to speak to me. I'm just learning to listen and I like what he tells me.

his popsicle wrapper
swirling with the leaves
a young boy deep in his
butterfly moment

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

iron rails


A version first published in Haigaonline, autumn/winter 2007

Monday, October 12, 2009

cat's tail, and others

humid night
only the cat's tail stirs
the curtains

First place, Kigo Theme, June 2006 Shiki Monthly Kukai - Haiku World

morning light
on the frosted oak –
your smile


the constant
cawing of crows
autumn downpour


the blind dog bumps
into his child gate


on grass where
the dappled fawn had lain
dappled sunlight


the glisten
of rails in passing rain
a far-off rumble


autumn evening
poet and aspens reflect
on the lake

pond haiku

a damselfly dips
and the redwing bobs
. . . wind in the reeds


stillness moves in
with the night fog
a loon's cry

"Stillness" First published in Simply Haiku, Autumn 2006, vol 4 no 3

marsh wind
redwings back and forth
on swaying reeds

Friday, October 9, 2009


The new puppy "apparently" has trained me well, or so my wife says. "Chewy" as we have very appropriately named him, has ascertained that if he takes a dump in the house and brings a warm lump of that stuff - forgive me but I am going to call it what it is - a turd - if he brings a turd to my chair I am going to give him a doggie treat to get him to drop his prized jewel. You can tell he's ready for an exchange - his mouth is slightly agape, just barely concealing his offering, and he has this self-satisfied look in his eyes and one of those - you know what kind - grins. I admit that he does seem highly intelligent - you can see it his face.

Yes, it's disgusting, but my wife has pointed out that Chewy has trained me to give him a treat in exchange for his gift of the turd. He usually drags the exchange process out, mouthful by mouthful, and earns 2-3 treats before his latest stockpile runs out. So, it stands to reason that Chewy "could be" a little more intelligent than his "master" (That's Jan's supposition - not mine). I just figure I'd rather not have to get out of the chair to clean up his mess and this way I can just "reach out" and claim Chewy's newest gift for me. Chewy is a strange mix of shih-tzu and cairn terrier - strange, indeed. Must have an extremely large brain to outwit me. However, He does have to wait a few minutes before I'd allow him to lick my face - you know, the nasty mouth - so I'm not so stupid.

stepping into the dog's
earlier deposit


swirling leaves . . .
the old dog and I
forget our ages

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

nothing profound

I can see it would be tough blogging every day - especially when you have nothing profound to share. Heck, I'll always have a problem in that department.

Frost destroyed what tomatoes might have been on the vines. Only tomatoes left were some green romas. I mentioned the dogs had taken to picking the ripe tomatoes off the vine and eating them - well, they're still picking, picking the green romas, taking a bitter bite and leaving their plunder on the deck when they come in. Must be half a bushel of green, nibbled-on romas laying around on the deck (exaggeration, of course). We have three dogs (the little guy on bottom left died last December):

We still have plenty of green tomato relish left over, so don't get after me about doing something with the green romas on the vines. 'Sides, there aren't that many left now. Folks, that's as profound as I'm getting today.

Friday, October 2, 2009


Note: The first snowfall of the season for our area fell softly Sunday morning, much like the fluff from mountain cottonwood that I love to watch in the spring, only much colder (umm, makes sense). It's way too early for me - I expect to see Indian summer last a long time. But while it snowed, it seemed the world grew hushed - such a pleasant, encompassing feeling. Maybe two inches at the most, but it's still there this morning (Monday). Got a haiku or two from the experience - hopefully - they're still fermenting.

But, despite the little bit of snow, there's that magical, almost otherworldly feel in the air these days - the kaleidoscopic colors and pungent fragrances of autumn that seem to weave a spell upon one's senses - the barking of high-flying geese, the raspy cries of boisterous crows, the fine, hovering mist, and the renewed energy of old dogs and people. What is it about fall that rattles the synapses and seems to hand us back our childhood, at least temporarily? Just to smell decaying gardens and rain-soaked piles of leaves is enough to give me a natural rush - who needs needles, pills or chemical fixes? We've got it all just outside the door - haiku are waiting for us to shed our apathy . . .

autumn sunset
a song sparrow climbs
through the brambles


hollow log–
the forest wind
blows out of tune

Translated into Russian for

прогнившее бревно -
лесной дух выдувает
неверные ноты


deep woods
a shaft of sunlight
finds its way


leaden sky . . .
as my mood darkens,
a white butterfly

The same thing will happen this winter when I smell coal smoke and feel the tingle of sub-zero temps in my nose, and this spring when I see the blur of whites, pinks and purples and smell lilacs. At such times, I want to live forever. Is life perhaps just a series of sensations and experiences to be woven into memories and poems for later? I wonder.

Song sparrow haiku first published in Simply Haiku Autumn, '06
A version of deep woods haiku first published in Haiku Harvest Spring & Summer 2006 - Vol. 6, No. 1 and now published in Magnapoets.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

reflection . . .


Haiga by Warren, haiku first published online in
"A Procession of Ripples" - an anthology of selected poems by over 100 poets, compiled by Laryalee Fraser, see "Ripples" .

Wednesday, September 30, 2009



First published in Simply Haiku,  Autumn 2006, Vol. 4, No. 3

Those stains . . .

Life can be full of its funnier instances, if you are open to them - today my wife, Jan, took our dogs to the vet for regular shots, and while there the vet noticed green staining on one of the dog's snouts. "Does she roll in the grass," he asked. "No," answered my wife, "it's probably when she reaches up to pick tomatoes". All three of our dogs have taken to reaching into the tomato plants and picking their choice of ripe tomatoes, and like good dogs, eating them on the spot. I guess it took the vet a minute or two to regain composure.


field mice
forage the corn bin . . .
harvest moon

First published in The Heron's Nest, Volume X, Number 1: March, 2008

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

rush hour

rush hour–
a beer can bounces
along the curb

fish moon

fish moon–
the ghostly movements
of a night-heron
Honorable mnetion in the The Mainichi Haiku Contest 2007, Tokyo, Japan




First published in Magnapoets


hazy afternoon . . .
a grasshopper leaps
into my thoughts
First published in Magnapoets


raucous crows
crowd the dead oak
city soup line
First published in Magnapoets