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Haiku and the Yearly Round

Summer | Autumn | Winter | Spring


Yellow straw bales
Cooling on the fields:

Winter flakes

An oak cluster
Already turning yellow:

July fifth

Wisteria's full green
Trailing blue orphans
Aging in the afternoon sun

Summer Heat

In the thicket of trees
The enormous black bull:
Balls and eyes hanging

Karen's Sunflower

Sunflower's face still
Nodding at Eleven


The sad-eyed man
At the Solar Fair
His arms full of sunflowers

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Daniel Marlin - Bay Field
Daniel Marlin - Bay Field Neponsit, New York


A single leaf

Starting the car:
Your moist mild dark
So long coming to morning

To Eda At Nine

Overhead the sky flew westward
Half moon winked in the moving stream
I asked the air to where they're going
My breath followed in a cloud of steam

Lone cricket trilling
To the tinted moon:


The Professor

Campbell tells how to die
And just out the window
Brittle brown leaf waves

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autumn by Helen
Photo by Helen Buttfield


Praying for my mother
A moment silent
By the winter rose vines

Dedicated to Rose Cecelia Ray
April 21, 1914-April 13, 1969

Stand here in the frozen stubble
The snowy adieu
December leaves

"Poor January babies
Friends broke--
Just forget about a present"

Opal Minor, Willits, January 1991

January frog
Rough warbling in the garden
With Bessie's Hot Five

Falling winter
Yellow yoke sun
You break my heart

White moth tracing
The long edge of window-pane:

Many more winter weeks

Bats weave twilight;
Frogs tuning;
Bamboo leaf shivers:

February rain

All winter rising
To prepare the bowl for her
Our new-buried cat

Rains slanting on the goat
And the dropping sun:

Early February

Wind! Rain! Darkness!
Oak trees crashing!
Sky split with lightning!
And everywhere:

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Winter photo from Tao Te Ching Jane English
Photograph by Jane English


Lit from our table
Diamonds of first Spring rain
Make up for the stars

Nature's First Rust

In the unceasing winds
Furls turn tassels then spikes
Become rusty slick drooping hands
Sun gives them their green
Darkening they rise and spread
As oak leaf, a skin far from bone
The density of our own

Thin scarecrow hanging on the fence
He'll get fat this summer

Van Gogh, Beeches

Mansfield Mass. Beech Tree

We didn't know the tree's name
Only its sweet heaven fragrance

High ridge back of the house
Half my life I drank your waters

Distant lights of town in window
She works at the bright cloth
Aging girl

Spring morning working on the gate
Fleeting rainbow in the West

Quail plump as softballs
Skip to snip the young shoots

Cleaned window to 'Appalachian Spring'
On the floor
A brindled moth

Under cherry tree
The cushion of wet petals
Rained to earth

The downed orchard trees:
Their tips just coming into blossom

Plum blossom petal
Blown by the storm
To my car door

So much life

Herons feeding in the wetland
No more rain today

Grey heron near the cattle
No enmity on the creatures' earth

Pinto herding the kid
Nod once, twice, good--
You're in the goat band now

The llama comically alert
To buttercups across the road

Saxophone meanders soul to soul
Fingertips rest on the cloth threads
Bartok, Satie, our Jewish George
I shut my eyes the blindness is warm
Sounds suffuse and grow
Dust motes rise and fall
The universe of
A morning in June

Seashell ear at the night window
Oh the cricket myriads

A lone sparrow
My hand curved in the river:

Early morning

Sunlight in the web
Of my thumb and forefinger
Early morning Tai Chi

For A Married Couple

On the pond two ducks
Drifting together in sleep
Sunlight will wake them

Across late sunlight
The speeding birdflock--above
Clouds flying faster

Gwendolyn The Dog

Brown eyes big as suns
Still there blinding me
In the West

Little Richard on Macon Georgia

"When the rooster crow
And the train go by--
You done had yo' nightlife!"

Old Memory
Seven Haiku

Though asleep
I knew you lay nearby
And touched your side
We were joined once

As you slumber
I touch the rib
Formed while you slipped
Soundless from my side

As you slumber
I touch the rib
We shared before soundless
You slipped away

You sleep
I touch your side
When did you slip
From my heart?

Asleep I touch
A perfect form
When did you slip
From my heart?

Soundless you slipped
Out my side
In the dark now
The dream is not finished

Soundlessly you slipped
Out my side
We sleep floating onward
In the dream

Theban Girl, Photo by Roloff Beny

Great rain
O great

The Tao

Life brief
Gods obscure
Nothing still

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Flowering trees photo from Roloff Beny
Photo by Roloff Beny

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