Sunday, June 30, 2019

Haiku for Summer

                                                                         strains of Vivaldi
                                                                         the heat of the day remains
                                                                         in the stone patio

                                                                          morning chores
                                                                          pushing a broom against
                                                                          the heavy air

                                                                          heat wave
                                                                          again I learn
                                                                          to slow down
World Haiku Review

Saturday, June 22, 2019


The Casbah

Exotic Morocco.  Heat and odors. Sweet flowers, spices, dust, overflowing sewers, diesel fumes. A desiccating hot wind that pulls moisture from one’s eyes.  Ship whistles, shouting voices, car horns, motors, riveting engines, music.  Before and behind, hidden and in plain view.

veils and tambourines
sounds of rock and roll

"Be your guide?"  A young boy tugs at us.  "Casbah.  Guaranteed fun."  We say no and take a taxi.  "I show you," he says, waiting for us at the entrance to the Casbah.  His own taxi, perhaps?  Or a magic carpet?  We relent in the presence of such mysterious powers and cleverness. 

The Casbah! A maze of shops, stalls and living quarters, as well as a mosque or two.  Thick with people. Women weaving in doorways, helped by rheumy eyed children.  Mostly silent as they work.  

                                   weaving our way up
                                        to the top of the Casbah-
                                    this desert het

Mohammed pushes us past some shops, pulls us into others.  "Buy, buy."  Whispered conferences in the corner with the owner.  We buy a leather hassock.  "Good bargain," we are assured. 

                              our twelve -year old guide
                              pushing aside hot crowds-
                              promises of mint tea

Cooler at the top.  A plaza with an open tea room and street performers.

toothless snake charmer                                                   pauses to grin at the crowd  
 the waiting cobra

coiled in a basket,
the cobra's eyes
not quite closed

The end of our tour..

our Moroccan guide
looking cool in his long robe
hand out for a tip

Raw Nerve

Saturday, June 15, 2019


Dog Days

The very hot days of summer, usually late in July, the time when people suffer and dogs can go crazy. That's the popular belief carried on down through centuries. Actually, the origin goes back to the ancient Greeks and Romans. To them, the "dog days" were when Sirius, the dog star, appeared in the heavens, coinciding with the hottest days of summer.  They are here now, and our suffering dog has his own way of coping.

His tongue hangs out all day. He pants continuously. Sleeps wrapped around a sweating toilet bowl. Doesn't want to go out, and, when he must, wants in immediately. He slobbers water on the floor in his haste to cool his thirst. He looks at me with sad eyes as if I could do something. I give him some of my ice cream. Happy for the moment, he retreats back to the toilet bowl.

two- week heat wave
cooling in the fridge
salads and underwear


Friday, June 7, 2019

Haiku in Lavander

cutting brush—
over the Russian sage
bees power-up

spilling over the fence
the neighbor's anger

freshly plowed field
purple wildflowers
outside the fence
Haiku Lines
Bottle Rockets

Saturday, June 1, 2019


THE SUMMER OF 2012     

The village is a piece of small-town America, a one traffic-light town, a main street lined on both sides with honey locusts. Tubs and window boxes filled with flowers. Old brick buildings. Neat houses and well tended lawns and gardens.  A variety of shops.  Once. Not now.  Not this summer.  For sale signs in front of many houses.  Some empty, the gardens and grass left to go wild, wither and die. Empty store fronts. The pharmacy gone.  The general store gone.  A restaurant gone. A card and gift shop, antique shop, real estate, children’s shop, food shop.  Gone.

People come up with ideas and plans.  A community playhouse in an unused building. A housing development on the edge of the village where stands a deteriorating girls’ school.  A lot of talk and no action. A lot of questions and no answers.  We wait.

white hot sky–
with an ancient dance
we pray for rain