Thursday, September 15, 2016

Non-seasonal














they count, too –
haiku moments
I couldn’t put into words











after the funeral
stretching out
in my childhood bed










dregs at the bottom
of my teacup
taste of sugar






lone guest gone –
the ticking
of the parlor clock



due for a haircut –
how many more
on this old head?














talking things out –
a iron bench  
too cold for sitting










death rattle –
that brief flutter
as the candle’s blown out








reading the label –
the old man’s pullover
inside out












that gay whistle –
a man rummaging
through the dumpster














held together
by its label –
a crushed whiskey
bottle









forbidden to touch,
underfoot
our shadows mingle












Hollywood
laughfest –
ticket for one












books clutched
to her breast, the librarian
locks up









Father’s tool chest –
every word
he never spoke



















night rain heavy;
sometimes light –
my loneliness





bitter words –
the harsh zip
of her flight bag















far from home –
Jesus
in stained glass














a shade bluer than the sky –
the sliver of a moon’s
remainder












the old homestead –
a yardstick
taped to the kitchen jamb
















lonely day –
the last rainbow fades
from the window prism















on my father’s
withered bicep –
a clipper ship tattoo







lonely night –
I listen to the traffic
up and down my street















on the high shelves,
her prized teapots,
never once stained by tea














outside the funeral parlor
an old man
leans on a broom













skin and bones,
my father
buried in the root-veined ground













as if from the earth’s belly,
the moon rises
from a deep gorge









the waitress
misplaces her pencil
in her bun











mailbox in distress –
the red flag
upside down












rainy day –
wandering a house
full of shadows















going by,
the one moon,
a hundred different names

















on the list of repairs,
the stain of the mechanic’s
fingerprints














chatting with a neighbor;
his name eludes me
but the dog is Jack




a solitary tea –
the soft punk
of the kitchen clock


















between cuckoos
the painted bird
lets the old house be












pine grove –
the slant of the hills,
the verticalness of trees











same smell of tobacco  
on their clothing – 
my son, late father











pallbearer –
hands full,
I taste my tears









heated argument –
the silence
of a closed door












worn in places
to the bare clay –
the golden buddha










3 am –
the traffic light
changing for no one












tea with a spinster aunt –
the old house complains
of my presence





softly I depart
my mother
asleep in her chair


















funeral parlor –
the trumpet lilies’
white silence






choosing a pup;
will she, I wonder,
outlive me?






















dry thunder –
God’s chair scraping
heaven’s floor





after a spat –
sharing
a small kitchen
















beginner’s mind –   
always there
where I left it










the old homestead –
a chin-up bar on the door
to my room





cold shoulder –
the silence
of her heart-shaped tattoo








dawn stirrings –
my neighbor
cranks his truck


















light rain –
a truck rolls by
on the rural road




















flag ceremony –
the old vet’s uniform
hangs loosely













bridge night –
trying to remember our last
passionate kiss














asked to stand,
the new boy in class
studies his shoes













  


the ruins of a house –
a porch board’s
lament
















morning zazen –
the hum
of the Frigidaire
















guttering candle –
low in the west,
a yellow moon
















nursing home lobby -
the potted plants
dust-laden













hiking the mountain –
at every turn,
its lonely immensity












work day over –
my shadow folded
against the barn door
























toddler to dodderer –
walker to walker,
the seven ages now



























a hole in the meadow –
lowering
the farmer’s body







the old farmer roams 
his apple orchard;
the trees no longer bear

















Saturday night –
the old bachelor
presses his Sunday shirt









a daunting swim
across the channel –
first touch of the bottom










early morning quiet;
the hollow knocking sounds
boarding a rowboat

























threat of rain;
a peal of thunder rolls
the length of the sky











one foot in their own –
those gathered
at my uncle’s grave















exit stage left;
the man in the moon
offers his profile







twilight stillness –
on the porch, the steady rocking
of Grannie’s chair











dust upon the bric-a-brac;
the widow asks after
her late husband







slicing
through a field of stars –
the sickle moon












homestead cemetery;
how deep in the clay
does title go?










hand to his heart,
the elderly Jew
speaks of Jerusalem








the cries of unseen gulls;
a tugboat
parts the river's mist







mountain campsite –
only back in civilization
is it Thursday


















barn dance, to and fro
across the neck –
the rosined bow








travelers still catch
the Greyhound there –
the boarded-up diner






the stillness of the lake
quietens
the wooded twilight






















rumble of thunder;
the weathercock wheels
to face an approaching storm






my father’s eyeglasses –
bent to the shape
of his head










always hazy now,
the moon –
these aged eyes













I roam the neighborhood;
dogs bark
behind their fences













factory tour –
the foreman shouts  
above the machinery 
























evening traffic roars by;
at the sharp curve,
brake lights flare













freeway flat tire –
sand in the trunk
from our beach vacation











windy day –
tree shadows
animate the underbrush











winds howl,
the moon
un-budged



















another birthday;
we have the same father –
the morning star and I
















along the fence shadow,
racing –
a shadow squirrel













another birthday;
same age -
the morning star and I









prairie gloom;
a radio tower’s
distant lights











midnight express –
signals flare
at the empty crossings

















the old vet’s 
purple heart;
ribbon faded to mauve













on spindly legs
the wooden bridge
wades upstream
















grandpa's fiddle -
to and fro,
the blue tick's tail











rain lets up –
reflections in the lake
become clear again











rain lets up –
a mist moves in
from across the pond











free of the grove,
my ears add a roar
to the brisk wind











workers gathered
at the factory gate;
light rain falling











small plane –
a white cross

in the blue sky









boarded up
Shell station -
regular $1.09











call to prayer –   
the pulled rope,
the pealing bell









so loud! 
shooting, dribbling
in the empty gym












leaving a white furrow –
a jet plowing
the vast blue sky










boarded-up theatre –
letters missing  
from the marquee











 day-long rain;
I organize   
my watercolors










grandpa’s fiddle –
to and fro,   
the blue tick’s tail










toting it home with me –
the mountain
solitude 










always out of plumb –
my portrait   
in Mom’s hallway










rainy day –   
inside the window,
a bottle fly’s buzz









my uncle’s burial –
the mourners huddle
under two umbrellas










solitary nights –  
the same old moon
Ryokan couldn’t give away










after the rainstorm –
daubs of sunset  
in the oyster shell drive











daybreak –  
the multifarious clangor
of a garbage truck










a vesper sparrow
on the gate post   
surveys its kingdom














just another stony field –
wrens flitting about
the graveyard  










day long rain –
my breath  
fogs the window










having leapt the fence –
a whitetail deer  
among the cattle













mountain aerie –  
somewhere in the valley,
a church bell tolls















vast silence –
moonlight  
stills the sylvan glade




















morning worship –
a gray squirrel   
praying on a fence post















down the valley one side,
over and up the other –
cloud shadows













creaks and murmers –
a north wind this morning
rummaging through the pines













crow
on a bare branch –
eyeing me













I rarely go there –
the end of the gorge
where the sun never shines




















after the storm –
the sky
a celebratory blue











wielding an axe –
someone deep
in the hardwoods










dousing the last lamp,
moonlight pours
through a vaulted window















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