Friday, August 12, 2005

two from the train

knock knock! who’s there?
chance of rain —
a crow perched
on a satellite dish

summer clouds —
the dog stretches
then lies back down

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

blackbird in Belize

Has it already been more than a month since any of us has posted to haikuworkshop? Sigh.

I’ve been wrestling with the image of blackbirds in Maya Beach, Belize, where Mary and I recently spent 9 very pleasant, winter-free days. I was struck by the fact that so many of these pitch-black birds seemed undisturbed by the hot sun. If I were a blackbird in a tropical climate, I’d be nocturnal!

A related haiku began:
Maya Beach sunrise —
the blackbird’s
long shadow

Then I decided that it wasn’t all that important to note the specific place, and that it was redundant to describe a shadow at sunrise as “long”. I wonder, however, if I’ve taken my editing a bit too far...
sunrise —

Monday, February 21, 2005

february snow

happy new year folks!

it seems that life circumstances tend to offer more or less time for haiku...

sometimes more...

sometimes less...

i've been playing with the following for a few weeks now:

february snow i stir coffee with a second cube of sugar

february snow i stir coffee with a second sugarcube

february snow into my coffee another cube of sugar

a second cube of sugar
turns with the spoon
february snow

or should i be thinking of a second cup of coffee?

second cup of coffee
wind stirs the new snowfall

i hope to be here more often...

Friday, January 21, 2005

Downtown Crossing

Mary took this photo for Subway Serenade, but at the time I had no haiku to accompany it. I’m still not sure that this attempt distinguishes itself from the photo enough to be a worthy complement, but I offer it nonetheless.

Downtown Crossing —
a lunch date
with the pigeons

Saturday, January 15, 2005


tulips in a glass vase
into the light


Tuesday, January 04, 2005

airport security

My twenty-one year-old daughter has a knack for entering a new situation with an impressive combination of focus and curiosity. This often manifests itself as an embrace of the immediate present to the exclusion of the recent past, or at least that’s the way it would seem to her overly sensitive Dad.

Case in point: when I brought her to Bloomington, MN to start her freshman year of college over three years ago, we had a wonderful day moving in and getting to know the campus. She was tearful when I had to say goodbye, but quickly cheered up when her roommate came by to accompany her to dinner. The two of them walked toward the cafeteria chatting up a storm, while I quietly walked toward my rental car in the opposite direction. I kept peering over my shoulder, secretly hoping that she would do the same. She didn’t.

The same thing happened yesterday when I brought her to Logan Airport after a very pleasant holiday visit. We said goodbye at the security gate, and that was it: she walked forward while I lingered and sighed.

I’ve been trying to capture this bittersweet moment without being overly sentimental or resorting to cliches. The obvious solution would be to simply report the facts:

passing through security
my daughter
doesn’t look back

“Doesn’t look back”, as a figure of speech, seems too weighty, therefore even though it’s an accurate description, I think of it as too distracting.

airport security —
my daughter doesn’t see me
wave goodbye

This is also accurate, although I wonder if it’s too much of an “awww” moment.

winter rain —
my daughter doesn’t see me
wave goodbye

“airport security” replaced with a seasonal reference. I don’t like this as much as the second. Back to the cooling board...

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

the light goes on

Mary took this photo about two years ago when we were compiling material for "Subway Serenade", but I've never managed to write a haiku worthy of it. Would anyone like to take a try?

Here's an old one dating back to the earlier days of the Shiki list:

an artist’s bedroom —
four bare walls
and a broken light