GALE (AND OTHER HAIKUS)

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I sat on a bench

confessing love, while a bird

watched me from a branch.

 

Regrowth

The patch of green grass

growing from dead dirt reminds

that life will go on.

 

Narcissus

They were so busy

staring at their reflections

they missed the white fish.

 

Disown

A doll made of sticks

lies in shambles in the dirt

as the girl stomps off.

 

Gale

A wind this restless

engulfs the valley in fear.

Even the stones shake.

——

 

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MAKING FACES

Those parents who threatened me

that if I kept making faces,

my mouth would end up frozen

in a two-fingered grimace, forever

 

clearly never considered that the Buddha

has a smile that long outlived

all the pairs of uptights and unenlightened

who concentrated too much on his future.

——

 

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LOVE POEM #69 – WHISTLIN’ IN THE DARK

I laughed at Don Lockwood for dancing

out on the damp, dimly lit sidewalk

when I first saw him singing in the rain

just ‘cause he got kissed by some brown-haired babe,

 

but when I was walking home last night

after all the lights on eleventh had gone out,

I could hardly contain the skip in my step,

much less the whistle wrenched between my teeth

 

and as I came across a lone, flickering lamppost,

I embraced it wholeheartedly, as he had,

as though it were the one that had shot me full of electricity

and upgraded my black-and-white life to full Technicolor.

——

 

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LAKEBED (AND OTHER HAIKUS)

Lakebed

An empty lakebed

is the memory of life

cracking at the seams.

 

Messy Desk

Look at the piles

that I let build over time

like half formed towers.

 

Return Home

Dust lines the doorway

as hosts do at a party,

with cob web banners.

 

Speckles

The blank, white tiles

were mundane till the artists

speckled them with paint.

 

Good Night

Dear all seeing moon,

only you may know my life

when the sunshine leaves.

——

 

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THE JOKER

You can’t laugh your way out of this one.

The walls are closing in on all sides

at the family dinner table

that treats you like a hospital patient.

 

You’re shackled to that fork and knife,

the silver gauntlets that force-feed you

under the pretense of a household bonding;

yet one bad joke and it’s off to your room.

 

The Arkham Asylum, as you’ve named it,

where your solitary confinement

hides the hurt with a jacket of hugs

and your parents get to be the Batman

who locked you there for treatment.

——

 

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LOVE POEM #68 – OUR SWEETEST KISS

Behind the bleachers after Homecoming

was the crème de la crème for a long time.

The crowd cried out in victory

and our careful embrace lasted an eternity.

 

It wasn’t until that night on the ocean

after the sun had set, and the surveyors

had disappeared into their dreary vans

that the moonlight granted us a silent usurper.

 

But the sweetest of our kisses

is one you have no doubt forgotten

in the passing time between then and now

as our bones grow stale with senility.

 

It was under the cedar tree on our daily walk

when our weary legs begged for a moment abench.

The wind was blowing like any other day

and that peck you thought nothing of

left me whirling along with it.

——

 

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DIVING BOARD (AND OTHER HAIKUS)

Window Thoughts

Staring through the pane

to see a magical world

beyond the sunset.

 

Christmas Town

Carols and cocoa

waft over the merry streets

while children go by.

 

Goodbye Balloon

Goodbye my red friend.

I found you on a park bench

trying to fly free.

 

Growth

Towering above

is the bud we planted, back

when I could still see.

 

Diving Board

Close your eyes, breathe in,

open your arms to the sky,

and savor the fall.

——

 

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SUMMER READINGS

If I piled up the pyramid of books

that I promised I would peruse this summer

I would have a tombstone so great

that even Giza would be impressed.

 

But when scattered about in my room,

along the seats of my car, or still nestled

cozily on the shelves of the dusty library

they could hardly dwarf the statue of a gnome.

 

Which is why when I go to water the yard now

I see Eliot and Wilder standing guard,

reminding me how my time here is too short

to spend wasting away on this silly computer.

——

 

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LOVE POEM #67 – LES MÉMOIRES

Walking into the cozy French café

might stir a whirlwind of lost memories

long forgotten, like the postcards

from Nice and Paris, fluttering into view,

that I cherished and burned a lifetime ago.

 

Or Le Moulin, playing softly in the rafters

might remind you of a dance we shared at midnight

to a song that wafted through the window shutters,

reverberating into the walls of the wood apartment.

 

Or the booths might do it.

Like Dorothy in her bedroom,

those red cushions will lift you off to Oz,

where the echoes of laughter sit, waiting

for the ghost of her to apparate across from you,

 

but then the server comes crashing down

like a house dropped from a million miles above

ripping you from your fantasy

as if you had stolen their most precious pair of shoes.

——

 

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OUR LAST CAT (AND OTHER HAIKUS)

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Under the blue sky

an image blocks the sunlight:

“Eat like you mean it.”

 

Leisure

I sit cross-legged

drinking the inspiration

of fresh morning dew.

 

Crescendo

The drum of fingers

tap against the countertop

waiting for their cue.

 

Seeing Faces

A face in the grass

smiling in the windy air

blinks out of my sight.

 

Our Last Cat

He left deep gashes

in the memories of home

carved into the chairs.

——

 

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