“Haiku-like haiku are not particularly bad.
But haiku that don’t seem haiku-like at all—
nowadays that’s the kind I’m after.”
Writing, it might be said,
is the interior making visuals,
in hopes of lasting.
Santoka’s poem about the bell
at Eiheji, reminds me of remembering you
when hearing the bell
The wife and grandson sleep
in the next room. The coffee cup
is empty. Light comes
to the window, calls the pen
to love the page.
Unless the determination
of value is your own,
What to make of it all
is often dressed down
as too impractical
to be addressed
in light of all
that needs to be done
in order to be done
with it all, after all.
Fremont CA is flatland, off the bay’s edge,
along the edge of north-south I-880—
walls buffer freeway noise, and more walls
the noise along its four-lane interior roads.
The only elevation here is the freeway overpass,
rising slopes of grass, peppered with trees
full with fall—the slopes bottoming at fences
bordering a sea of backyards.
If moved to look down through the trees,
to the leaf-softened stretch along the fencing,
to look for a sign, a trace, feint leavings
of passing breaths, one finds none.
Tea leaf residuals
I still take notes, but without thinking
I’ll ever consult them—aging
teaches influence imprints
its own way. Its time
is my time.
Awe is that rising
rooted in gratitude.
There’s this impulse, this movement toward
whatever the discernible limits—even in the comfort
of the forest clearing, we dream what’s out there
will come for us with morning.
The room’s silence is often disturbed
by books leaning this way and that,
piled akimbo, papers, scraps, jutting here,
bunched there, so many teasing fingers,
lovers and friends reaching out for me
to reach back.
To Steve B.
You once said poems
I’d addressed to others
you didn’t read, because,
well, how could you expect
to understand? So, this one
is for you. Hope you do.
Early morning young skunk
starts to cross the road—we stop
and turn, we two, grateful for the light
that holds us both,
for each other.
Night time rains give way to sharp chills
above wet streets. Sidewalk lights click off.
The hardware store guy elbows his way
through the back entrance. I wade the stream
of someone’s cooking breakfast.
Trees lean every which way for light enough
for their needs—we too lean and reach
for the sense we need
of what our senses need
to bring to us.
a quivering branch,
and that quick-headed
Fortunate for us
no one word