Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas afternoon at my daughter’s house. Lulled by good food, holiday music and family cheer. Realizing too late we have stayed too long.

a spreading whiteness
as darkness descends—
the intense quiet

Street not plowed. Almost no indication where curbs are. We open the side windows to see better. Heavy- laden trees and bushes reach out to grab at the car and lash us. Can’t make a hill. We back down and try again. A longer run this time, but still not quite. Once more we back down and slide into a drift.

wind-blown snow
the slow slog back
to family

Presence, January 2006

Monday, December 8, 2008


cold sunshine
yesterday's footprints
remain in the snow

Presence, Winter 2007

below zero
the cold moon
still sends its light

Presence, Winter 2005

Sunday, November 30, 2008

In memory of Lucy Combattente, May 9, 1904 - Nov. 30, 1982

a lone old woman-
dried leaves swirling
around her feet;
she looks in my direction,
and you return from a long way

a bite in the wind-
her hand lifts to secure
her ruffled hair;
from somewhere in memory
you tell me to button up

snow by morning-
the old woman tightens her belt
and shudders;
I move to help her along,
but she's lost in the shadows

Ribbons, Winter 2007

Thursday, November 13, 2008


A hint of red bleeds through fog shrouded trees.

the drip of moisture
from leaf to leaf-
mist on my glasses

Seeing the lane one tree at a time. The almost silence, just white noise in the distance.

the crack of a branch-
a squirrel down one tree
and up another

Simply Haiku, September 2004

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


the lanquid nights gone-
chill winds, hinting of winter
chase away lovers;
bare branches let in the sky
and the earth turns brown

Anglo-Japanese Tanka Society Journal, Jan. 2005

November winds
rippling across my back-
your hand on mine;
the feel of each bony knuckle
warms me through

Presence, Sept. 2005
Ash Moon Anthology March 2008

autumn leaves
brightened with mist
like jewels;
mine to borrow
again this year

Ribbons, March 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


for Hector Combattente, Date of death: 10/27/1995

October's chill-
from the old man's window
leaves dying slowly,
a beginning race with time
and the weather

all night the rain
and the knocking wind-
he speaks in whispers
and waits for a morning
that doesn't come

clearing skies-
the dull thud of damp earth
on the coffin;
how can a hundred and six years
be confined in so small a space

Ribbons, winter 2006/2007

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Our House

We live in the country now, a ranch house with large windows. Chores become lighter when glancing out these windows. The shape and solidity of trees, the swift motion of birds, the dizzying chase of squirrels. A living world beyond the glass.

Misted in fog, awash with sunshine, covered with snow or tinted with silvery blue moonlight. A different mood daily, sometimes hourly.

Gradually we begin to fit into our new home, adjusting the fit to where it is most comfortable. Like a garment, we have let out and taken in our expectations. Paint and wallpaper, hammer and nails, power saw and rakes. We have adapted the house to our style and our style to the house.

the morning sun –
polished old furniture
takes on a new look

The Country and Abroad, Sept. 2007

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Autumn Haiku

piles of dried leaves
hardened by last night's frost
more crunch in my step
Stylus Poetry Journal, April 2006

late autumn...
driving toward the sunset
all the way home
The Heron's Nest, May 2002

scurrying through rows
potato diggers
watching clouds
Modern Haiku, 1972

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Nantucket in October

a mid-week sail
solitary in the bay
one buoy light blinking

squabbling seagulls
on an empty stretch of beach
the white sand

clattering footsteps
over cobblestone streeets
darkness comes early

end of season
brown leaves fill the doorways-
a shop bell jangles

the six o'clock ferry
huddled over hot coffee
waiting for sunrise

heading home
white caps against the bow-
mist turning to rain
Green's Magazine, Autumn 2003

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


A few tanka

the sun still warm
so late in autumn
a gentle slowing down
nothing to do but give in
Modern English Tanka, Summer 2007

newly married-
a Friday night date
at the Laundromat
we hold hands
between cycles
Moonset, Nov. 2007

hydrangea bush-
one blue blossom
amidst the pink;
how strange it is
to be so alone
Red Lights, Jan. 2008


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Some early published haiku and a haiku sequence

riding on the waves
gone-out to sea
Modern Haiku, 1971

alone in the woods-
dusky silence
filling the spaces
Dragonfly, 1973

spattering rain
in the woods ten minutes
and still not wet
Dragonfly, 1974

Mouthe, France

chickens scratching in the road
the flying dust

at the lumber mill
only the river noises
and the wind

moss-covered church-
creeping through the open door
the warmth of May

in the graveyard
one freshly weeded patch-
the sharp lettering
Modern Haiku, 1974