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Category: My poems

haiku: 12 January 2023

a flicker of blue light
against the winter glass
an old woman seeks company

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12 January 2023
State College PA

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haibun: 11 January 2023

This morning I had a clear memory of our little electric fireplace. It had been the last one at Home Depot. When we got it back to our apartment we discovered the box had been opened and someone had stolen the screws used to attach the legs. I found a mismatched collection of ill-fitting screws and managed to make the thing stand upright. It made the living room so much cozier, although the slightest bump would knock it askew.

deceptive warmth:
our electric fireplace
its wobbly foundation

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11 January 2023
State College PA

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haiku: 10 January 2023

everything I read is sad
perhaps the reason
isn’t everything I read

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10 January 2023
State College PA

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POEM: Wake

Wake

I’m still surprised that we ended.
Some days I wake up and remember
and I just can’t believe it.
Taking a step back, I wonder
if that isn’t a hallmark of my life:
constantly surprised by things
others saw coming.
My son once offered to tell me
how he describes me to his friends.
I said no, terrified by what he’d say.
“He never really figured life out,”
someone will say at my funeral.
“He tried, but he never got there.”

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9 January 2023
State College PA

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haiku: 9 January 2023

green shoots of hope spring
up through the muck despite
the best efforts of the boot

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9 January 2023
State College PA

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haiku: 7 January 2023

the room is a little too warm
Bing is singing the classics
later there’ll be snow

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7 January 2023
State College PA

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haiku: 6 January 2023

the cold has returned
the men are stacking
bottles of wine on shelves

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6 January 2023
State College PA

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POEM: Margaret

Margaret

I’ve looked and looked,
opening heavy doors,
stepping into dim chapels.

I’ve lit candles,
knees pressed into velvet,
eyes raised to painted clouds.

I’ve sung along to melodies
familiar and new,
sat for hours in stillness,

waiting for the voice
to come
or to go.

I’ve felt a tingle in my chest,
a tear on my cheek,
the hard pew against my back.

I’ve read the words
and heard them read
searching for someone

to whom I can
address these lines.

Yet again I speak the question
into existence.

Yet again I listen
for the answer.

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5 January 2023
Lemont, PA

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haiku: 4 January 2023

I saw every dog today
and all of their humans
it’s 1° warmer than Tucson

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4 January 2023
State College PA

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haiku: 3 January 2022

navigating the tiny rivers
running along the streets
too warm for this down vest

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3 January 2022
State College PA

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POEM: Guillotine

Guillotine

They all wrote
poems about him
in the little orange book.

In the little orange book
they all wrote poems
about him and

every time his name
was mentioned
the poems got smaller.

The poems got smaller
when they mentioned him
and his name got bigger.

As his name got bigger
it was harder to see
the poems in the little orange book.

As the poems
became harder to see
the poets got up one by one.

The poets got up one by one
to leave the room
with their heads hanging low.

As the poets
left the room
he walked to the table.

He walked to the table
and picked up
the little orange book.

He picked up
the little orange book
and tossed it

into the fireplace
where the orange flames
gathered around it.

As the orange flames
gathered around it
he laughed and laughed.

He laughed and laughed
and his laughter
carried out to the street.

His laughter carried out
to the street
where the poets shuffled.

As the poets shuffled
they heard his laughter
and wept.

The poets wept
and with each tear
they faded.

They faded until
like the little orange book
they were only ash and memory.

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2 January 2022
State College PA

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haiku: 2 January 2023

the soft whoosh of infrequent cars
past the bagel shop
the snow mounds, nearly gone

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2 January 2023
State College PA

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haiku: 1 January 2023

the sound of a dog
lapping water from a bowl
January thaw leaves deep puddles

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1 January 2023
State College PA

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