Wednesday, December 14, 2016


 A Hundred Gourds

Monday, December 5, 2016



                                                              ANOTHER WORLD  

Where do we go when we dream? Do we enter another world of unexplainable time, where past and present mingle?

 There is pleasure in seeing loved ones no longer alive, nostalgia and amazement in visiting places from my childhood.

                                                      summer porches
                                                      the nightly click of glasses
                                                      and neighborly talk

There is fear and anxiety as events unfold not as they happened, but jumbled and disastrous. Failure in school, missing the last bus at midnight, driving alone and hopelessly lost on a dark road, an intruder in the house. There is confusion when I appear as an adult with husband and family in my hometown. No one has died and the neighborhood is the same, only I have changed. What does it mean when I must walk in the ocean to reach my destination, drive along a road with a steep precipice on either side, walk barefoot and coatless in snow or climb mountains of mud? Where am I? Where do I go?

                                                   the trip back
                                                   on a foggy road
                                                   remembering nothing

Contemporary Haibun, Oct. 2014

Monday, November 21, 2016


                                                       KINDERGARTEN–THE FIRST DAY

Outside the classroom door, I hesitate, unsure, anxious.  Softly crying, “I want to go home.”

Inside, a young teacher.  Slender, soft voice, pretty hair, pretty dress.  Still… “ I want to go home.”

“All mothers must leave.  It will be fine.” 

No.  Not fine.   “ WANT…TO…GO…HOME!"

"Stop that or you'll get a spanking."

 I don’t like her.  She’s shaking me and she’s not pretty.   My new shoes slip across the floor as she pulls me to a place on the rug.


The other children, all looking.  Beginning to sniffle, whimper, cry.  Getting louder.  I’m louder still.


"Come here!"

 A different voice.  Deeper.  Older.  A giant in a dark dress.  Stiff gray hair pulled back and steel gray eyes behind steel-rimmed glasses.  She’s pulling me to the front of the room, to a chair where she sits.  Lifting me up and over her knees.  A brown leather strap in her hand, like Grandpa uses to sharpen his razor.   One Whack! Across my bottom.

"Are you going to stop that noise?” she asks, “Or do you want another spanking?"

Silence from the other children. The giant and I look at each other. I don’t like her, either, but I say nothing.  Sniff back the mucus and rub tears from my face. And still say nothing.  All morning, I say nothing.

Just before school is over, a summons to the principal's office.  The giant again, sitting at a large desk. "For being a good girl the rest of the morning,” she says.

                                             bouquet of flowers –
                                             small hands hold tightly
                                             the wet stems

Presence, 2008

Sunday, November 13, 2016


Daily Haiga
Daily Haiga
Simply Haiku

Saturday, November 5, 2016


                                                                INDIAN SUMMER  
There is a lot of country in the country.  Meadows and farms.  Vineyards and orchards.  My head swivels.  Left, right. Up the brightly colored hills and down the roads.
In the car's wake, leaves swirl.  Ponds and lakes offer up clear reflections.  A mélange of colors and odors–manure, hay, wood smoke. Today is different from yesterday, as tomorrow will be different from today.
                                                              news of her death
                                                              the colors drain
                                                              from the trees
Cattails, summer 2016

Friday, October 28, 2016


                                                                      REMEMBRANCE I
                                                                      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
                                                                       REMEMBRANCE II
                                                                       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, 2007

Monday, October 24, 2016


                                                               windfall apples
                                                                I cook the fruit
                                                                in a dented pot

Modern  Haiku

                                                        late autumn
                                                        driving toward the sunset
                                                        all the way home

Heron's Nest
May 2002

                                                meadow grass bent by the wind the purple plumes

Presence, winter 2009

Thursday, October 13, 2016


                                                                  THE BATES MOTEL     

It's a rundown Victorian converted into six apartments. Our daughter has a one bedroom flat on the second floor. The stairs wobble and creak. The oak banister, grimy and sticky, is loose. Hallway paint is peeled away exposing bare plaster. The dim ceiling light is out half the time. The Bates Motel our son calls it.
Stepping into the flat is a step into an earlier time. The walls are a pale yellow, decorated with animal and flower prints. The mahogany mantel is polished to a high gloss. The gray marble fireplace surround gleams with specks of white and blue. The shiny brass fire tools reflect the sun pouring in from the high windows which are hung with lace curtains. Beyond the windows is a balcony with a wrought iron café table set and window boxes filled with red geraniums.  The view…the view is of the Hudson River and a Technicolor sunset.
                                                           in Grandma's trunk
                                                   a postcard from the Taj Mahal
                                                           wish you were here

Contemporary Haibun-on-line
Sept. 2016

Saturday, October 8, 2016


Daily Haige

Thursday, September 29, 2016


                                                             SUMMER OF 1944
Daily headlines in the local newspaper:   POLIO.  INFANTILE PARALYSIS.  POLIOMYELITIS.  Whatever it is called, it's talked about in whispers.  Like a dirty story. 
 Beaches, parks, movie houses, all remain open.  Hardly anyone goes. It's in the air; on the benches; on the toilets. Stay home.  Stay inside.  And so we do
 On one Sunday afternoon my father can take only so much of my sister and me.  He reasons that with most of New Haven staying home, it would be safe to venture out. And there we are, tripping off to the beach on the open-air trolley. Anticipation mixed with disappointment. No one singing or laughing, no large party groups out for a good time. 
The beach at Lighthouse Point is nearly empty. Only four or five families.  And a lonely lifeguard in his tower. We spread our blanket, yards away from anyone else.
"Stay away from them," my father warns.  "Don't play with those children." 
We hadn't played with anyone since Billy O'Hara was rushed to the hospital by ambulance two weeks earlier.  Will we get sick?  Will Billy die? Rumors rolled down our street like a loose ball.  He's dead already.  He's alive. He's paralyzed.  He's in an iron lung.  He's only 10 years old. 
                                                    low tide water line–
                                                    a little girl races
                                                    her shadow
Presence, #29 May 2006

Tuesday, September 27, 2016


                                             house for sale
                                             dried leaves scatter
                                             this way and that
                                             fog in the hollow
                                             the cadence of leaves
                                             dripping on leaves
Simply Haiku
A Hundred Gourds

Saturday, September 24, 2016


                                       EARLY AUTUMN   

A sunny, crisp day.  Here and there a splash of red, a tinge of yellow. In the maple, one thick branch glows golden.  The rest remains green. The coloring on most trees is random, almost quixotic, except for the dogwoods along the fence. They look to be painted by an artist obsessed with symmetry, dark red on the tips of the leaves, dark green towards the stems. Each tree a copy of the others.   

                                          full palette–
                                          holding the brush above
                                          a blank canvas
Nisqually Delta Review summer 2007

Monday, September 12, 2016

Tuesday, August 23, 2016


                                                      BEING ALIVE

 Unrelenting heat. The old man with dazed eyes accepts an ice cream. The first taste sends a flicker of acknowledgement and pleasure. Although I don’t know this man or the woman who is helping him, I feel the sting of tears.

I am afraid to see myself in his role, afraid to think of a life imprisoned by mind and body, afraid to think of needing constant care and attention.

                                                    sweat between my breasts
                                                    the unpleasant awareness
                                                    of being alive

CHO, Oct. 2013

Sunday, August 14, 2016


                                              Tanka for Summer

                                                cool wine, sharp cheese
                                                a loaf of bread and you
                                                in the summer shade
                                                when hair was dark and limbs strong
                                                and life was still to be lived

                                                wind on the hill
                                                coming from the north
                                                my gift to you
                                                if I had the power
                                                to cool on this sultry day

                                                a river view
                                                between the vee of trees
                                                smaller each year;
                                                what I could hve seen
                                                in an earlier life

Tanka Cafe, Ribbons
Simply Haiku, Never Ending Story

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Haiku sequence


                                               Evening Walk

                                               walking at dusk
                                               sprectral sounds from the woods
                                               shadows jumping

                                               ripe wheat fields
                                               listening to the swoosh, swoosh
                                               as rain clouds approach

                                               waist high in weeds
                                               short-cutting through a meadow
                                               fighting the gnats

Dradonfly, 1975

Wednesday, June 29, 2016


                                                   dinner at sunset
                                                   rainbow bubbles
                                                   on the koi pond
Presence, 2011
Haiku Calendar 2014

                                                  black angus
                                                  milling around in their pens
                                                  the first drops of rain

Modern Haiku, 2011

                                                      neighbors shouting
                                                      from the wild grapes
                                                      multiple bird calls
Pipe Dreams, 2011

Saturday, June 18, 2016


                                                  the trellis anchored
                                                  we drape climing roses
                                                  across the top
                                                  ignoring pricks and scratches
                                                  we start a  new life

chosen as Excellant,
Karuizawa 8th
International Tanka
Festival, June 5, 2016

Saturday, June 11, 2016


                                                   NOWHERE SPECIAL

After several days of heavy rain, dawn comes up dry. The sun, as it rises, evaporates the beads of water on plants, the puddles in the driveway and the soggy low places on the lawn. Pines gradually lift their rain heavy boughs until they are again well above my head. The breeze is warm; the sky is a spotless blue stretching into infinite space.

                                                    journey’s end
                                                    a country road
                                                    curving nowhere

 A Hundred Gourds, 2014


Tuesday, May 31, 2016



Published on Haigaonline

Tuesday, May 17, 2016


                                                          GROWING UP

The teenage girl sits on the café stool and orders a latté and a muffin.  A pretty face, smooth and rosy, long light brown hair silky like a cocker spaniel’s.  Her short tee-shirt rides up higher as she moves her arms.  Her tight jeans slip lower, lower, revealing inches of flesh and a peek at where the flesh divides.

She chats on her cell phone.  No pausing to swallow her muffin.  Bite, talk, swallow, talk, drink…  So much to say.  So much to hear.  All the news.  Hurray.  Pass it on.

                                                        a gull in flight
                                                        the speed of its dive
                                                        to snare a fish
 Frogpond, summer 2009

Wednesday, May 4, 2016


                                                       downhill trail
                                                       along a stream
                                                          lilacs in bloom
                                                          giving the dustmop
                                                          three extra shakes

                                               field of dandelions
                                               thousands of wishes
                                               going unused

A Hundred Gourds
Shiki Kukai
Heron's Nest