Thursday, December 26, 2013


Daily Haiga, January2, 2012
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Sunday, December 15, 2013


                                             THE BALDWIN HILLS DAM 

 December 14, 1963.  The peace of a Saturday afternoon shattered by helicopters.  Police cars cover the streets, bull horns at full volume. 


            People rushing outside. What dam?  Where?

            "Didn't you know?  In those hills." 
            "No, we didn't know. Just moved here two weeks ago."

                                                courtyard Christmas tree–
                                                silver ornaments
                                                reflect the sun


Turn off the oven.  Grab the two children, bottles, diapers.  What else?  We don't know.  Take one car.  Don't be separated.  Lock the door.  East?  West?  North.  To my mother's house.

Rock and roll on the car radio. Jingle Bells and Rudolph.  Where's the news?  Another block, then another.  A slow moving line of cars.  Tense faces and short tempers.

"It's going….going…It's GONE!  Gushing water… gaining momentum… cutting a swath down the hillside along Cloverdale Road."  The announcer, reporting from a helicopter, is breathless.  "Still coming…292 million gallons…trees uprooted…houses breaking apart…cars tumbling." 

Our apartment is not in the direct path, but still…  In silence we worry. Traffic begins to thin out as we travel further north.

                                                puffy clouds–
                                                at a neighborhood playground
                                                children play dodge ball

We watch the news at my parents' house.  An hour and a half to empty the dam.  Nine feet of water on the Village Green apartments.  Five dead.  Eighteen rescued from roof tops and collapsed houses.

Early the next morning we are allowed in the area temporarily. Already a sour smell from dirty water and debris. At our apartment door, a water line at two feet, but only a puddle inside.  Our Volkswagen–the engine, clogged with mud.

It could have been worse. 
                                                Sunday church bells
                                                to and from the door
                                                the sucking mud         

Shamrock #5, Jan. 2008

Monday, December 9, 2013


                                    nearly winter
                                    the days pass with a quickness
                                    there is no point to ask
                                    why I didn't pay attention

                                    along the trail
                                    a thatch of moldering leaves–
                                    the smell
                                    of old wine barrels
                                    in a dank cellar

Tanka Society of America
2006 anthology
Anglo Tanka Society Journal, 1/08/2005

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Sunday, November 24, 2013


Haigaonline summer 2013
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Saturday, November 16, 2013



 Once it was a shade tree, pale green in the spring with the sun slipping through.  Darker green in the summer, a canopy providing a respite from the heat of the sun.  In the autumn, a burst of gold, glowing even in rain and fog.  In winter, a sculpture of shapes reaching for the sky and moving shadows on the snow.  Now, just a dead maple tree, wrapped with red poison ivy vines for a final display.
                                               the sun
                                               just over the horizon
                                               tree cutters at work
Contemporary Haibun print journal spring 2004

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Monday, November 11, 2013


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                                                 sweeping leaves
                                                 from the patio
                                                 helped by the wind

                                                 through a doorway
                                                 a whiff of decaying leaves
                                                 in the morning dampness

Stylus Poetry Journal, Nov. 2004
Hokku Web Page, Dec. 2003

Monday, November 4, 2013


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World Haiku Review, December 2012

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


                                        A PUMPKIN PATCH

A cold, rainy night. The gardens and meadows of an historic house are covered with carved pumpkins. Each glowing with a flickering candle, each unique, from menacing to beautiful.  Tiffany stained glass, skeletal hands, skulls, faces of the famous, a garden of bugs and birds, boats, animals, the moon, a sea bed of fish, abstract art.
Three thousand pumpkins. The setting up, nightly candle lighting and the cleaning up when the display is over, done by volunteers.

 Nearly as many visitors as pumpkins. Noisy, but orderly. We follow a path snaking through and around the displays, umbrellas up, trying to keep dry and not poke the person in front of us.  My head spins.  Left, right, up to the house top, along a raised bank. A pirate ship, a witch, Frankenstein, Dracula.                 

                                            lightning flashes–
                                                 a shivering rumble
                                                         rolls through the crowd
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Saturday, October 26, 2013


 A Hundred Gourds, June 2012
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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Haiku Calendar

The Haiku Desk Top Calendar for 2014 is now available with haiku by Adelaide B. Shaw and graphic images by Sarah Bertochi. To review and purchase go to:

Chapter 2 Graphic Design Studio,
Click on: SHOP, then the image for instructions on ordering.

Friday, October 11, 2013


                                              THE PALACE

Long ago there was a fairy tale palace. Very grand in size.  Everywhere one looked– velvet, gold and bronze.  Mirrored walls, crystal chandeliers and thick carpets.  Stairways wide enough to hold six abreast. Sweeping in a curve, they rose up toward a domed ceiling with a glass skylight.

A princess comes down the stairs.  Regal, beautiful, bedecked in glimmering jewels, wearing her best dress and Sunday shoes. Her subjects bow.

 "Your Royal Highness," they murmur as she passes.

 "Out of my way, peasants," she says, moving past them towards the palace doors.

"Come on, come on," says a page wearing blue pants and a jacket with gold braid. He gruffly hurries the princess outside and ushers in those waiting for the next scheduled movie.

                                                  the walk home–
                                         squinting in the low sunlight
                                                she scuffs her shoes

Presence, winter 2011
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Thursday, October 3, 2013


                                                 autumn damp–
                                                 old leaves composting
                                                 on the back lot

                                                 the cool of evening–
                                                 a hint of spiced apples
                                                 from a house

                                                 piles of dried leavaes
                                                 hardened by last night's frost–
                                                 more crunch in my step
Daily Haiku, 12/08/09
Hokku Web Page, 11/2003
Stylus Poetry Journal, 4/2006

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Thursday, September 26, 2013


                                                    on a hill
Posted by Picasa                                               autumn leaves vibrate
                                                    in the sun;
                                                    so much to absorb
                                                    on any single day

                                                    fall outing–
                                                    the choices to make
                                                    gathering leaves
                                                    I try to pick the ones
                                                    that will last

Ribbons, autumn 2009; Never Endig Story
Multiverses, 2012

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


                                  morning mist
                                  the tick...tick
                                  of leaves falling

                                  morning sharpness
                                  rain soaked leaves
                                  sticking where they fall

                                  turning the corner
                                  crimson maple trees
                                  dripping rain

Heron's Nest, Oct. 2002
Daily Haiku, Oct. 30, 2009
Dragonfly, Jan 1974
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Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Daily Haiga, July 16, 2013
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Thursday, September 5, 2013


                                       THE ZEN OF BRAIDING 

My hair has grown long enough to form a single braid extending down my back.  A braid I cannot make satisfactorily.  The finished product swings to the right or to the left.  I feel unbalanced, lopsided. 

“Don’t talk.” My husband, standing behind me, gathers my hair in his hands.  His expression seen in the mirror is neutral, as if his thoughts are elsewhere.

Divide the hair into three equal shanks.  Right shank over the center.  Pull taught.  Left shank over the center.  Pull taught.  Repeat to the end. Secure with a rubber band.

He steps back and admires his work.  I turn around and look with a hand mirror.  I, too, admire his work.  Neat, tight and centered.

“The secret,” he says, is not to think about it.  To have a blank mind.”

spring dusk
pulling in the silence
of a white lily

Frogpond, summer 2011

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Sunday, September 1, 2013


                                               INSECT HAIKU

                                               mosquito landing–
                                               the light touch on my hand
                                               before it bites

                                               summer reading
                                               the dot of an i
                                               moves down the page
                                               humid night
                                               insects and I

                                              jumping contest–
                                              a grasshopper lands
                                              on my shoulder

Daily Haiku cycle 8, 2010;Hijinx,8/2010;
Gean, autumn 2009; World Haiku Review, 3/2009
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Monday, August 26, 2013


                                     tree lined Main Street
                                     on this summer afternoon
                                     only the air moves
                                      hot and humid
                                      another day
                                      dripping summer

                                      sticky heat
                                      at the family dinner
                                      a pot boils over

Pipe Dreams, 9/26/2011
A Hundred Gourds, 9/2012
Presence, Summer 2013
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Wednesday, August 21, 2013


                                                  each day
                                                  taking me closer
                                                  to the horizon;
                                                  I try to slow the trip
                                                  with exercise and vitamins

Tanka Cafe
Ribbons, summer 2012

Thursday, August 15, 2013



There is an almost tangible sadness about abandoned buildings.  Up here in the mid-Hudson Valley, one sees, in the midst of healthy farms and vibrant villages, far too many.

There is the old Bennett College for Women, closed since 1970 and left to the persistent attacks by nature with no counterattacks by man.  Built in the Adirondack style of country lodges.  Rough wood and stone.  Rambling, with several porches and chimneys.  Now, a crumbling ghost at the entrance to the village.

On a road, near a thriving dairy farm, are the remains of another farm.  House, barn, stable, silo, hay rick and other out-buildings.  Down to bare wood, with some shadowy hints of red and white paint.  A rusting tractor with plow attached. Barren fields, mud soaked and weed thick.

An empty store front, Quality Antiques, missing the Q and the A, the other letters still faintly visible on the window.   A Victorian house, windows boarded, porch sagging, chimney bricks blown to the ground, a garden of stubble.

What happened to the people who once filled these buildings? Was it death, financial problems, poor health or simply bad luck that caused their departure?
                                               new spring grass
                                                growing each day
                                                the dreams of youth

Published, Contemporary Haibun On-Line, June 2008
Henry, a Hudson Valley Journal, May 2011

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Friday, August 9, 2013


Haiku Reality, Dec. 2010
Ambrosia, Aug. 2010
Stylus Poetry Journal, Jan. 2009
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Sunday, August 4, 2013


                                                     hay bales
                                                     in a sun-drenched field
                                                     goldenrod waving;
                                                     we pass it by knowing
                                                     tomorrow will bring changes

Kernels, #  1 April 2013

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Wednesday, July 31, 2013


Contemporary Haibun and Haiga, #14
Spring 2013
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Wednesday, July 24, 2013


                                            THE BREAKUP

So, now he was alone with his pain.  A red hot poker in his belly.  Searing coals ready to sizzle his insides.  The episodes were coming at shorter intervals, each more intense. 

“It’s  been three weeks since I’ve seen you, and you still don’t look well,” Libby had said, as she began to straighten up the mess in his apartment, a mixed look of concern and disgust on her face. “When are you going to see a doctor?

“I did, I told you.  Ulcers.  Gotta watch the chili peppers.”

“I mean a specialist.  I think that diagnosis is wrong.”

“And what do you know, Dr. Libby Sullivan?  Miss couldn’t get through any high school science class without my help?  Stop butting in where it’s none of your business.”

His words and tone had the desired effect.  Libby left again.  Maybe she would stay away for good, this time.  He was as rotten as his insides.

There’s nothing in it for her.  A lot of self-sacrifice and TLC around the clock.  Three months?  Six months?  Too long to watch her eyes cloud up with his pain.  Too long to see her lips quiver as she fed him or wiped the sweat from his face.  Too long to watch her watch him.  Too long to see her love turn to pity.  Better that she hate him.  It was the least he could do to show his love.

                                                          end of summer
                                                      a cold draft
                                                      in all the rooms

Contemporary Haibun On-line, Dec. 2007

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Friday, July 19, 2013


Simply Haiku, January 2012
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Saturday, July 13, 2013



It is quiet now.  No cars on the road.  No neighbors about.  The light is going.  Overhead, a solid cloud cover.  A breeze stirs the pines creating a rushing sound as of a stream pulsing over rocks. After a few seconds it reaches the copper chimes on the porch, sounding its bell tones, low and fleeting.

                                      summer rain–
                                      the gentle way
       -                              you touch my hand 

One Hundred Gourds, 9/2012

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Monday, July 8, 2013


Simply Haiku
Summer 2012
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Wednesday, July 3, 2013


                                   long ago beach days
                                   coming back with the tide–
                                   slow walk with his cane

                                   late afternoon
                                   the beach odors change
                                   from fries to kelp

                                   high tide
                                   filling rock basins
                                   eroding them

An Unknown Road 2008
World Haiku Review, 2002
World Haiku Review, 2003
Haiku Harvest 2006
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