there’s a tennis ball in the backyard when you come to get your mail. there isn’t anything for you because I throw away everything with your name on it. when I burp it tastes like roma tomatoes. I stand on the deck wondering if the neighbors can see me. the tennis ball is covered in mud. I don’t know whose it is. why is it here? what does it mean? you say it must be the dog’s. the dog doesn’t care, even though you whistle. she runs from you and pees in a pile of leaves.
soap bubbles –
an empty wine glass
on the windowsill
I doodle, you ku — twenty-seven
the last time you flew
you came home with pockets full of denmark. silver bracelets and bright feather earrings that tickle your neck. strange white rocks that remind you of the beach—how the air was warm but the water was way too cold. every time you call me I hold my breath. belize. madagascar. barcelona. I open the door on this ohio backyard. it rained last night; now everything smells like turning. fall is finally here. somewhere a hawk screams and my little dog wants back inside. when I hear the phone ring, I wait—just a minute. I know where you’re going this time.
yellow leaves moon
I climb the mountain but
you’ve already gone
cattails (January 2014) | haibun
the old man is in my kitchen, whistling. he came through the window that should be a door. leaves cover the floor like an exhalation. the old man wants a knife; he wants to carve pumpkins. he scoops seeds with his thin brown hands. he lays them out on the newspapers like a body, like sacrifice. he breathes cigarette smoke into the silence: a hymn, a prayer. ash falls from his arms like feathers. his fingers are wet—he holds them in the air. children are here, he says. answer the door.
a child’s voice—
when the papers fell
cattails (January 2014) | haibun
“Well,” said Pooh, “what I like best,” and then he had to stop and think.
Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a
moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were,
but he didn’t know what it was called. – A.A. Milne
first snow –
that moment just before
haiku share day 31
“This is Serious,” said Pooh. “I must have an Escape.”
So he took his largest pot of honey and escaped with it to a broad branch of his tree, well above the water, and then he climbed down again and escaped with another pot … and when the whole Escape was finished, there was Pooh sitting on his branch, dangling his legs, and there, beside him, were ten pots of honey….
still, the sting of her
hot pepper jelly
nahaiwrimo — jam
excerpt from “Winnie-the-Pooh,” “In Which Piglet is Entirely Surrounded by Water”
One fine winter’s day when Piglet was brushing away the snow in front of his house, he happened to look up, and there was Winnie-the-Pooh. Pooh was walking round and round in a circle, thinking of something else, and when Piglet called to him, he just went on walking.
“Hallo!” said Piglet, “what are you doing?”
“Hunting,” said Pooh.
“Tracking something,” said Winnie-the-Pooh very mysteriously.
“Tracking what?” said Piglet, coming closer.
“That’s just what I ask myself. I ask myself, What?”
I take the back road
nahaiwrimo — ice
excerpt from “Winnie-the-Pooh,” “In Which Pooh and Piglet Go Hunting and Nearly Catch a Woozle”
Piglet lay there, wondering what had happened. At first he thought that the whole world had blown up; and then he thought that perhaps only the Forest part of it had; and then he thought that perhaps only he had, and he was now alone in the moon or somewhere, and would never see Christopher Robin or Pooh or Eeyore again. And then he thought, “Well, even if I’m in the moon, I needn’t be face downwards all the time,” so he got cautiously up and looked about him.
He was still in the Forest!
cold winter day
I hear her voice in this
nahaiwrimo — grief
excerpt from “Winnie-the-Pooh,” “In Which Eeyore Has a Birthday and Gets Two Presents“
He trotted along happily, and by-and-by he crossed the
stream and came to the place where his friends-and-relations
lived. There seemed to be even more of them about than usual
this morning, and having nodded to a hedgehog or two, with whom
he was too busy to shake hands, and having said, “Good morning,
good morning,” importantly to some of the others, and “Ah,
there you are,” kindly, to the smaller ones, he waved a paw at
them over his shoulder, and was gone leaving such an air of
excitement and I-don’t-know-what behind him, that several
members of the Beetle family, including Henry Rush, made their
way at once to the Hundred Acre Wood and began climbing trees,
in the hope of getting to the top before it happened, whatever
it was, so that they might see it properly.
six more weeks —
he puts lettuce seedlings
in the cold frame
nahaiwrimo — frame
excerpt from The House at Pooh Corner,” “In which Rabbit has a busy day,
and we learn what Christopher Robin does in the mornings”
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