Cat Resolutions (and Other Haikus)

Birthday Cake

The candles flicker

atop the cloud of frosting,

dripping tears of wax.

 

Reading Poetry

The words start to stack

like a cairn of inky stones

on a paper shore.

 

Pizza

Molten triangles

of soft bread and sticky cheese

tempt my mouth with burns.

 

Board Games

The metal pieces

march down the board, conquering

with drums beat by dice.

 

Cat Resolutions

This year I won’t scratch

the couch, the rug, or the bed

unless I’m hungry.

——

 

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Cat Reading (and Other Haikus)

In Translation

It’s as if their tongues

learned how to dance the tango

while mine learned to waltz.

 

Outside Chico’s

On this street corner,

I look like the mannequin

posed in the window.

 

Shuffleboard

Two boys at the board;

one calmly moves the ticker,

one bangs his proud fist.

 

Strangers

I thought I knew her,

so I called a name and waved,

but she kept walking.

 

Cat Reading

His eyes follow close

as I turn from page to page,

tensed by the bleak plot.

——

 

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Door Dog (and Other Haikus)

Release

A breath like fire

flows as steam through my nostrils

until the heat fades.

 

Crush

A hundred heartbeats

crammed into half a second

marks when I see you.

 

Too Much Reading

All the words seem blurred;

the ink blended like black rain

bathing a blank page.

 

Breakable

Hollow and heart shaped

forged in a hearth just for you.

Please handle with care.

 

Door Dog

He waits by the door

hoping that I will take him

or he will stop me.

——

 

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Hungry Dog (and Other Haikus)

Old Shoes

Stained so that the dirt

doesn’t discolor the strings;

rather it dyes them.

 

No School

The sky looks more blue

and the sun seems to suggest

we go out to play.

 

Book Ends

The grim lion heads,

cemented with their grey eyes,

oversee the books.

 

Lungs

Rising and falling

like a feather caught aloft

by a light updraft.

 

Hungry Dog

His nubby tail

bobs along the tile floor

as he begs for scraps.

 

——

 

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Cat Greetings (and Other Haikus)

Voyager

The bark slid down stream

as though it was sailing off

to a brighter shore.

 

Exhaustion

The glaze on my eyes

fades the golden hues to gray

with each grudging breath.

 

Finishing a Book

The letters trail

down into the empty space,

but I’m still spinning.

 

Addicted

My eyes pulled away

from the provocative screen,

pushed by unseen force.

 

Cat Greetings

Their black ears perk up

at the jostling of the door

and they pad closer.

——

 

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Cat on the Table (and Other Haikus)

Table Outside

Gliding through the dust,

my fingers draw a smile

in the table dirt.

 

Morning Coffee

So much depends on

the small, yellow coffee mug

perched on the counter.

 

Boy with a Hose

The boy with the hose

spots me walking by his house,

smiles, then sprays me.

 

Packing Bags

My life would seem lame

were it not for the novel

peeking from the bag.

 

Cat on the Table

A leap to the chair

then one more to the table

just to say hello.

——

 

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This is the poem i wrote in eight minutes.

This is the poem I wrote in eight minutes.

 

It probably didn’t hit home as hard as I had hoped.

The stanzas are haggard and heavy,

but the lines are as hollow

as a hanging tree’s moral code.

 

The poem itself was swallowed

in the cesspool of modern scholarship

where the student ponders bad textbooks

and the teachers teach to a code.

 

“It’s all about the A to Z,”

is what the fedora-wearer said to me,

standing at the head of class

by his chalkboard learning scheme.

 

A will get you in the academy

and Z will zip you away

with a ten-thousand dollar piece of paper

and a square cap to put on display.

 

It’s too bad those two letters

can’t sandwich my life together

like the pieces of wonder bread

I ate on the way to school.

——

 

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DRESSING UP

The formalist would put you in a suit.

He would knot the tie so tight

around your tiny little neck,

that you would strangle to death.

 

The romantic would demand that you disrobed,

down to your silken stockings,

so that he could describe you walking

in all your splendor through the dusk air.

 

And then there is the Victorian,

who would worry more how Fra Pandolf’s hands

worked at the canvas of your throat

than how his ink depicted your dress.

 

Only chance would place him side by side

with Prufrock though, who would sooner put you

in a gas mask than a marriage gown,

so that they could ponder the sea together.

 

Yet who am I but another suitor

come to parade you across the palace floor—

for a minute. Another to curl the strands of your hair

over your ears and whisper sweet nothings to you.

——

 

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CRACKS (AND OTHER HAIKUS)

No Time

I trust that you know,

now will leave just as quickly

as never arrives.

 

Runaway Reader

I gripped the covers

like reins to a wild horse,

tearing through the words.

 

Bird Sounds

The rustling song

slipped between my dreaming eyes

to usher the morn.

 

Bed

She twined our fingers

like the lace of her bodice

that lay on the floor.

 

Cracks

Between the concrete

and the aging wooden walls

we hide our hubris.

——

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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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