Tag Archives: haiku

Single-minded

Single-minded

2:33 in the morning.
The owl screeches like a thought’s hinges.

One that keeps opening just a crack
but nobody steps through.

I turn over my pillow, squint into the dark
yard, knowing nothing will clarify.

Whatever you are thinking
I am thinking, too.

The Switch

The Switch

–then everything else which turns off at night
is the switch that turns on the crickets

is there a thing at all in cricketsong
that means I remember

that bridges the slow heaving wave
of frozen ground between years

is there anything
by which they know they go on

do they need to when they hear
with their legs by which they leap only forward

and sing with their wings which cannot take them backward
what else must a cricket do to prove it needs

no memory

*

behind my house at night I forget
I am in a city the song is so loud

like the earth breathing in and out
the owl marking his territory in the pitch dark

is absorbed into the song it seems impossible
there could be as many crickets on the ground

as there are cricket voices in the air
till the sun climbs over a rock and shuts them off

in the morning which is the switch
for ten thousand starlings to fill the space

with another season–

Driving Through A Small Town Full of Churches on a Friday Around Dusk

Driving Through A Small Town Full of Churches on a Friday Around Dusk

 

The buildings vibrate like an old color
postcard whose message has faded

time lifting the letters off the back
one dark bit after the other

which now gather wordless on the horizon
rising without a message to take back

the sky which for a moment shows red
through the church steeples with no bells

Still Life

Still Life

In the walnut branches the birds of September begin to gather.
Late August. Empty chairs. My mind’s dinner guests.

The woman who bought the house next door pulled up the ivy
on the property line, and with it tore the bird-hollow branches

of the butterfly bush from their roots. And with that
the flying leaves of fall whose nature is not to fall will not

find my front yard. They who could bear thoughts of enormous weight
over great distances. Now I must take this thought

far up in the sky, where this poem will cast the shape
of it, its shadow only, on your mind’s green ground.

I am exhausted, ready to drop it all, when I see
I am carrying nothing. Down below you have found

a perfect place to plant a butterfly bush. It’s late August.
On the back patio the empty chairs await the arriving guests.

Small Song

Small Song 

A late August night, a day after my father’s eighty-third birthday.
High in the walnut trees the cicadas make a sound that can’t be spelled.

It is there like a leak in the sky, behind the tall walnut trees.

It is the air being let out of the summer.

Letter to an Old Envelope

Letter to an Old Envelope

The emptiness you carry now
says more to me than words you once held

whatever it was long gone
not the message but the fact it was held

is why I held on to you
you carried those words across the decades

to where I would finally understand them
and now even empty you carry the name

of what became of what I wasn’t ready for