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A Haiku a day for a Month

A little more than a month ago, one of my work mates proposed that she, a math teacher, and myself write a haiku a day for a month. After 37 haikus (I wrote more than one some days), I am going to stop the exercise. I think that my fellow English teacher proposed the undertaking in order to make her write everyday. I do this already, so it did not motivate me to write. I did find it a calming activity most days: a time to stop and think about what was in front of me either physically, mentally, or spiritually. However, it also deflected my attention away from other poems I had been working on. Usually I post about 15 or so poems a month (sometimes even pushing to 20). In October, because of the haiku event, I posted 38 new poems. I like haiku, and like writing them. Usually I make up parameters for my writing in an arbitrary and random manner. During the exercise, I used the traditional 5-7-5 syllable count, although I have in the past ignored that stricture focusing more on the brief flash of attention than on a numbers game. Figuring the syllable count is more of a guideline than a law. I don’t plan on giving haiku up; I’m just not going to sit down each day to write one. I have always written in small snatches of time, never having the leisure to write for extended lengths during the day. So, haiku, and imagism, lend themselves well to going from start to finish in the brief time I have to write. However, I also like spending time in my head as I go through the day, thinking about a longer piece. Therefore, as I stated at the beginning of this ramble, I am going to end my participation in the project. Thanks to all of you who read and liked the work I have posted over the last month.

(October 31, 2019)

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Hansel Grows Old

Bread crumbs were not enough—

insubstantial as memory 

flitting away like sparrows

through the trees. He was lost,

tangled in possibility’s inevitable

collapse; he could not pull past

the brush to a salient interpretation:

where he went, where he was going,

or what language he now spoke.

She had fled years ago,

escaped to the witches who

had forgiven her childhood

sins. She no longer believed

in the lies of her father,

the long walks in the woods

with her brother. She returned

now for some redemption,

only to find him not at home.

(October 25, 2019)

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Within a Dream

The sound of my last dream

will be silence: the silence

of fog, the silence of fear.

My last dream will echo

the clack of high heels

on wet London streets.

My last dream will be warm

like your bare skin beneath

my hands late at night.

My last dream will linger

over the thousand, thousand

kisses: your lips soft,

warm, hungry for more.

My last dream will be free

of doubt, secure in coherence

with all the lines blurred.

My last dream will not wake

to return me to a place

it can never know.

My last dream will be

a harbor, a sanctuary, 

a last whispered breeze.

(October 15, 2019)

Before Completion

from “Rendition of Change,” a work in progress

The old tortoise-shell cat slips

cautiously through the grass

as the storm approaches.

This-too-shall-pass provides

small comfort in the moment’s

chaos and fear. Lightning strikes

often and nearby. As rain

starts to fall, the cat watches,

motionless, from the stair.

(July 3, 2019)

One’s End’s Ambiguous

The labyrinth

bends into itself:

one thought feeds

bits of fear to the next;

until, teeth crack

on broken bone,

and it ends

without a beginning

to begin again.

One’s end’s ambiguous

as one’s beginning.

Indecisive and vague,

the end’s no different

than any contingent.

The end ends

with a flailing

of the mind

through a stark

unawareness

of where we are,

where we have been,

and without a why

to justify

the confusion

of the scattered pages

across the floor,

and the ash in the air.

(May 12, 2019)

Nearby

Rose petals on a ground

Like flowers in a slow conversation’s

eddy, he floats through his circular day.

Nothing’s amiss. Almost, as memory,

the pattern persists; almost as if he

whispers to someone who listens nearby.

Each flower’s petals fall, by troubled turns,

until the air is not enough to hold 

the incoherent world; and, like glass,

it shatters into the composting earth,

oblivious to its own slow demise.

The flower unfolds into its silence;

the swift flutter of bird song in the trees;

the rough caress of dry leaf on dry leaf;

the winter wind’s incessant pulse and pause;

are nothing to his flower’s petal’s fall.

(March 20, 2019)