Monday, March 25, 2013


                      A DRIVE IN THE JURA MOUNTAINS 

It is a gray Saturday, hardly a picture postcard kind of day.  We decide to ignore the weather and venture forth.  Behind us are the Alps and Lac Leman; ahead of us rise the Jura.

                                             layers of mountains
                                             fused with mist…
                                             the cloud peaks

Our destination—nowhere in particular.
Curving and twisting, we meander upward, past farms and through villages.  Dark, weatherworn, dung –colored houses and barns, unchanged for a hundred years.  Only the flowers are fresh and vibrant.

                                               flower splashes
                                               spilling out of windows
                                               filling the gardens

                                               stone houses,
                                               their crumbling walls patched
                                               with geraniums

Jumping a hundred years we pass tractors and binding machines.  Twentieth century noises blending with timeless rural sounds:  cows with clanging bells munching grass, raucous crows brazenly flapping after a tractor.  And everywhere smells punctuating what we see and hear.

                                               from an open barn
                                               the odor of hay and manure
                                               and climbing roses

We pass through a winter sports town.  Ski runs, now grassy slopes, the skating rink a meadow wild with flowers and colored banners announcing the kermesse(village fair).

                                               with easy swiftness
                                               summer tourists
                                               walk the ski runs

We stop by a thick grove of beech trees.

                                               looking for sky,
                                               seeing only mossy trunks
                                               and wild ivy

                                               the seeping dampness
                                               sitting on wet rocks…
                                               the hot coffee

Voices….another family in the woods.
                                               gathering berries,
                                               listening to the plink, plink,
                                               then silence

We start back but are soon slowed.

                                               plot, plop on the road…
                                               cars follow the cow trail
                                               to the milking barn

Late afternoon, the mist fading, outlines appear.  The glue-grayness gives way to the greens and gold of the wheat and corn fields checker boarding the hills.  Our perseverance is rewarded by a weak sun.
                                               clearing skies
                                               summer comes dribbling
                                               between storms

  Modern Haiku, Vv, No. 3, 1974
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Friday, March 15, 2013


  Posted by Picasa                                          incoming fog
                                          a forgotten memory
                                             comes in flashes

                                               fading light
                                           from first to last
                                          a poem not written

DAILY HAIKU, cycle 8 2009

Thursday, March 7, 2013


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                                              gray and cold–
                                              a hothouse bouquet
                                              for his widow
HSA anthology
The Temple Bell

Saturday, March 2, 2013


                                                   CITY SIDEWALK 

Snow on the sidewalk, front and rear steps, the paths around to the back and the trash pit.  Grandpa’s job to clear it. Until he died.  Now it remains, this first snow of winter.

 We stomp through it, trample it down.  Scatter ashes and sand. Manage to make the sidewalk passable, but not for city officials.  A citation and a fine, increasing every day.

With the promise of hot cocoa and donuts, my sister and I hack away. Just the official width, no more, no less.

                                                      snow flying–
                                              the rhythmic scraping
                                                  of Grandpa’s shovel
Modern Haibun & Tanka Prose, Issue 2, Winter 2009

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