December 1rst 2015| a jay’s sreech

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a jay’s
····screech—December’s ice-storm turning
··········blue

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25: December 1rst 2015

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The morning began with indefinite clouds and blue sky between. The sun caught in the highest trees; but by noon the rain began. The roads and trees had soaked in the 18 degree nights; and the sticking rain turned to ice. Getting home was slow and, once home, the world was a quiet place. The grass and stones glistened. I heard a jay’s cry off in the blue-stained hillside.

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a jay’s
screech—the ice-storm turning the hillside
·········blue

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I’ve been reading Bamhill’s translation of Basho’s haiku — my favorite. I notice that Basho often revised or tweaked his haiku, and sometimes couldn’t seem to settle on a favored try. I guess I join him in that tradition.

November 30th 2015 | late November

On the first night of December:

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finally—
····apples fallen and the tree laden
·············with stars

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24: November 30th 2015

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Was out late tonight. The night is cold and unusually clear for November— and the stars brilliantly glitter. But then, in just an hour and a half, it will be December. The night, in truth, is really December’s.

November 29th 2015 | chickadees

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snow
····and stove-ash coming and going—
···············chickadees

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23: November 29th 2015

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I finally put the bird seed out. I used to feed them year round but we began to be overrun by rodents—mice, rats, voles, nattering and quarrelling squirrels. The mice liked to store the seeds in our walls. I replaced a window this summer and the space between the jamb and rough opening was stuffed full of seeds—years and years of them. I’ve also hung the feeder over the brook immediately  behind our house. The water carries away any seeds the birds drop. It didn’t take long for the chickadees to find the feeder. A pair of cardinals, long-time residents in our back wood, also showed up. The chickadees reminded me of snow the way they’d come and go out of the fir trees.

November 28th 2015 |November

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more
····light in clouds than in the sun—
········November

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·I was reading Buson and Basho for inspiration today. I felt as if a haiku might not come; now almost midnight. I was remembering today—a real November day—the chilly sun and the black trees. There were only glimpses of blue sky above the layers of cloud and when the sun, once or twice, did filter through, it was as cold as none at all.

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less
····light in the sun than in the clouds—
········November

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I had gone to bed and was thinking on the art of haiku, the subtle difference between a mediocre haiku and a good one, and it occurred to me to change the emphasis from “more light” to “less light”. The revision also ends the pivot on clouds rather than the sun. I think this second version is much better.  I’m also thinking I might try to write an online journal—Tiny Poems: A Minimalist’s Guide to Poetry.

22: November 28th  2015

November 26th 2015 | golden rod

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November—
····will my bones will be beautiful as the golden
········rod’s?

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There’s still been no snow to lay down late summer’s flowers. The golden rod have all turned copper. I picked some, a lady’s slipper, aster, and some burdock (for which I’ve always had a fondness) and Meadowsweat which, though it looks dead, continues to live through the winter. The stem is green when snapped. Now I have my vase of November flowers on the kitchen table and next to it a book called Wildflowers and Winter Weeds. I thought of a poem I might write. A first line occurred to me: ‘November has its flowers too’. We’ll see if I can make a poem out of that.

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November
sunsets—remembering when golden rod
···················was gold

 

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Listening to Bach’s First Cello Suite as I write this. When I was out for my walk today, the golden rod, bleached a beautiful beige like tufts of wool, turned gold again catching the late fall’s sunset. The edge of the field was momentarily aglow.

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20 November 26th 2015

November 14th 2015

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walking
····home in November—the schoolgirls closer
········together

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8 November 14th  2015

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  • Two schoolgirls were singing  as they walked home. The wind was strong enough to carry whole curtains of leaves from one side of the neighborhood to the other.  When a November’s dust and rattling enveloped them, they drew closer together and their singing a little

November 13th 2015 | too cold

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too
····cold outside—the mosquito stays inside
········too

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7 November 13th 2015

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  • Can’t make this stuff up. Issa, as with so many readers, holds a soft spot in my heart. One of my all time favorite haiku by Issa (because, in the end, I’ve always experienced the world with a sense of humor) is this one:

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One man
One fly
In one room.

~ Issa

November 10th 2015

out
····of the horse’s skull—the gaze of a field
··········mouse

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4: November 10th 2015

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  • This haiku, based like most of my haiku on what I actually saw, originally revealed a little barn swallow. The horse’s skull was hanging on the side of a house and a barn swallow had nested in it (and was warily eyeing me). Given the brevity of a haiku, and not wanting to have  to explain that it was actually hanging on a wall, I thought a field mouse made more sense. No swallow would nest on the ground.

Three Summer’s Erotic Haiku

the heat!
vying
············for the wet spot.·

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later—
····she brushes wild-flowers from her floral
············dress.

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rain
····on her back—rain pooling
·········inside.

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3: Three Summer’s Erotic Haiku • November 9  2015

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  • The first haiku is a bit of a joke, obviously; but the joke is a stab at Japanese haiku. Anyone who’s read enough Japanese haiku will recognize the common complaint—’The Heat!’ It seems to have been a tradition that included Basho, Buson and Issa, among others, to begin their haiku that way. Thought I’d give it my own irreverent twist.