VESPERS

The sun slowly starts
it’s daily retreat, setting
the thinning clouds ablaze.

The birds return, ibis,
egrets, anhinga and kite
and even the limpkin
march slowly across
the lawn to the preserve
that abuts our yard.

They take up their perches
on the trees and bushes
and on the limpkin’s call
begin quietly to recite
their evening prayers
as we bow our heads
in reverence to their faith
that the new morning
will soon dawn for us all.

LEAVING

The trees seem to know
that we are leaving,
why else would they
shed their leaves
so early, the only tears
they are allowed to cry.
It cannot be a blight,
or so we think it,
just our departure
that has caused
this premature pining
for a winter we all know
will arrive too soon
any arrival being that.
We rake them gently,
lift them into bags
positioned under
their once homes,
waiting for the truck
to move our lives,
anther to take them away.

MUSING (4 HAIKU)

Out the plane window
a lake or a sea of clouds
Why does it matter?

 

during an eye blink
the butterfly spreads its wings
galaxies collapse

 

Cats curl in furred sleep
the moon crawls across the sky
a monk awakens

 

leaves cling to the trees
the rivers flow more slowly
the stone is unmoved

DISTANT SONG

I thought I heard
a woman singing
somewhere in the distance,
an ethereal song whose melody
floated over me, dropping
momentarily into my consciousness
then as quickly flitting away.
I walked off
the carefully tended path
stepped into the clutching brush,
the smell of Juniper
filled the air.
Pushing through a thicket
I thought I saw a woman
retreating into the trees
but the melody lingered
and I sat and listened
never seeing the singer
only hearing the song.

IN ABSENCE

The dawn failed to appear this morning.
There was a slight lightening of the sky,
more a change of grayscale shade
that a shift in time-honored by the sun.
The crows seemed to notice, why else
would they stay silent, so unlike
most days when the first rays of sun
were the call to take up the cacophony chorus.
Even the squirrels noticed, and hid in the trees,
knowing this was not a normal day,
but soon emerged when the siren’s call
of nuts outweighed their fear.
We trod on into the park, picking
our way through the piled snow,
cursing winters cruel approach, our path
lit by our fading memory of summer.

NI HAIKU 二俳句

a great blue heron
watches the morning sun rise
ginkgos awaken


newly hatched goslings
watching the trees take flower
imagine summer



大な青い鷺
朝の太陽を見る
イチョウ覚醒


孵化した新芽
木の花を見て
夏の夢

(daina aoi sagi
Asa no taiyō o miru
Ichō kakusei


Fuka shita shinme
Ki no hana o mite
Natsu no yume)

 

THREE TOKYO SCENES

Scene I

Just off Shinjukuchuokoen North,
nestled in the courtyard
of the Green Tower, hides
Jyoufuji Temple, serene
in the first light of morning,
the sun dancing off the ceremonial
bell its striker poised, as if
waiting to catch the wind
and to it sing its resonant song.
Inside, the prayer mats await
the first supplicants of the day
below the sandalwood alter
and above it all, behind
the gossamer curtain, sitting lotus
Buddha smiles at the oneness.

Scene IV

In the small yard
of the matchbox house
the lone Ginkgo,
twisted by time,
feels the barrenness
of winter’s tongue
and mourns
its solitude.

Scene X

The ancient trees are twisted
and gnarled, clinging
to the small band of soil.
They lean as if to hear
some whispered word,
held in place by the braces
fashioned carefully,
their trunks wrapped in bark
tied neatly with twice,
to sooth against the chafe
of the brace, of the
unrelenting wind.