EDGE OF WINTER (FOUR HAIKU)

The clouds build slowly
threatening to overtake
the maple’s red leaves.

October cloud knives
Slice branches from saddened trees
Leaves fall in mourning

Dogs peer at dawn’s sky
And slowly don winter coats
Knowing geese take flight

Tomorrow the snow
Will not fall from evening clouds
But soon, very soon

DROPPING

As night settles in
the clouds grow uncertain
of their intentions.
It is hard to realize
that a boundary
is silently crossed
and summer has
retreated into the past,
leaving a new season
in its wake, harder
to know that tomorrow
we will awaken into
an autumn that at first
seems no different
then her mother, only
the promise of fall-
ing leaves soon painting
her in her true colors.

MARCHING ON

 

He notes with alacrity
that modern man has stripped
all logic from time, rendering it
an arbitrary temporal system
based on mechanics, and even that
is quadrennially imperfect.
Once it was seasons, which came
and went in orderly fashion,
but heating was never a science then.
Later it was the moon
a reusable calendar and what
was an odd month here or there
if the crops were in the ground.
Now it is sweeping hands
that carry off the dust
which is all that remains
of our once logic.

PROGRESSION

It is between the pushing away in the pulling back that it happens. It is there that the seasons progress, one to the next. Winter cedes to spring and is, ever reluctantly, replaced by summer. It is there, as well, that the leaf emerges from the bud and reaches into the sky. And feeling the taste of the sun, unfurls, welcoming rain, which it channels into the earth, the earth where it will, all too soon, fall, there to decompose, only to repeat the cycle at some unimaginable point in the future. We see none of this.

PADDIES

At first it is a checkerboard of ponds
neatly arrayed, reflecting the sun,
the work of man, for God so rarely
plays geometrician with creation, less
often still using right angles.

Soon enough green blades reach up
through the shirred surface, random,
reaching for a sun they can never touch.

Later, it is a field, the water
pooling at the roots is lost
in the emerald sea, its waves
now generated by the wind
from the distant mountain.

It is marigold yellow now, fading
day by day to curry, the spikelets
slowly letting go their grip
on the grains that will soon lie
on the bamboo mats, drinking
the last of the sun they will know.