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Autumn:

Five a.m., but can't
get back to sleep.
Autumn sky.


The plop of an acorn
on leaves where I just stepped
missed me--went through me.


In front of the warehouse:
"No Trespassing". That leaves
only the autumn woods.


Manhattan Autumn--
all the stoplights
turning yellow.


Fall wind's touch tickles
fallen leaves; they curl up,
Babinsky reflex sound.

The Babinsky reflex is the one where, if someone strokes the sole of your foot quickly, from toes to heel, the foot curls inward if the reflex is sound or stretches outward if unsound. It's a test done on babies. A poem with such an esoteric metaphor is clearly senryu, not haiku, so I'm cheating here.


Me, some cars. Perhaps
elsewhere in autumn alone
my friend is walking.

I'm not cheating here. This is the real thing - if it works. Or maybe you had to be there. The friend with whom I was accustomed to take such walks was no longer on speaking terms with me. And yet, his absence, while a loss, was also an enrichment, maybe, for clear autumn days create a spacious sort of aloneness.


This way,
that way--
a leaf pretends
it will never
touch
the ground.


"Closed For The Season"
I too. Not even autumn
can touch me.


My car makes the trees
blur past, but somehow I see
one leaf slowly fall.


Falling leaf darts
this way and that,
but its shadow catches it.


That leaf and I,
watching,
falling.

The idea, of course, is to suggest an intentness in which the viewer of the leaf becomes the leaf. Easier said than done. I mean, this is a really great and profound haiku, except maybe it isn't. Maybe it's a little TOO easy to say. However, I enjoy it's raising so many possibilities in so few words.


Last leaves -- too brittle
to chew on anything as
solid as sunlight.


Autumn morning,
soft heft of air,
lilt of light.

This one plays with word sounds in a showy way (lilt of light) that I enjoy, but it is NOT perrier -- I mean, it's not haiku.


On the pond
yellow leaves slowly go round
between two skies.


Which is the sky?
Am I upside-down?
Not one ripple tells.


The leaves
hesitate in air
whether to fall
up or down...


In mid-street a leaf
rattles two inches and stops:
The air hiccupped.


Crow alights on a branch,
shaking loose
two more leaves.


Crow swoops off
with a loud caw, shaking loose
the last leaf.


Still a few gold leaves
atop that sapling - you'd think
they'd have gone first...


Walking at night,
autumn air crisp
with reds and yellows.


Autumn dusk. A fugue -
each theme throws wheeling shadows
in the changing light.


Autumn - the crackling
of little bones in the
chiropractor's office.


Autumn - falling,
falling in red-gold heaps, all
the football players.


Crow alights on a branch,
shaking loose
two more leaves.


Crow swoops off
with a loud caw, shaking loose
the last leaf.


Skinny bald tree trunks,
stalagmites
made of rain.


Vertical lines
of rain and bare saplings
and no birds flying.


Raking last fall's leaves -
a dove circles overhead,
confused.


Last night, ice cream,
this morning gray drizzle:
plop...plop..plopplop...


Crickets, still clear night.
In me my past; cold twinkle
of exploding suns.


Autumn afternoon,
air so clear I can smell
what I'll eat tonight.


Autumn sun -
an old woman smiles at me.
How lovely she once was!


Fall sunset -
grains of sand cast long shadows
on the sidewalk.


Grass...black, rake
hard to see, but leaves
white with full moon.


Just missed me! Oh -
a leaf. It had a heavy
shadow.


Low autumn sun, air
so clear even sand grains streak
the walk with shadows.


Five a.m., but can't
get back to sleep. Autumn sky.
I'm wide and awake.


Against the sizzling bulb
a fly pings and buzzes,
pings and buzzes.


Fly buzzing on his back,
gently turned over, totters,
falls on his back.


I turn on the light,
spotting the shade with dead flies,
autumn rain outside.


Late fall, snowing out.
I flick the switch: yet more
dead flies in the shade.


I write about dead flies
specking the lamp shade,
THEN clean the lamp.


One more singed fly
on his back, legs working --
I'll toss him out tomorrow.


Fall. The flies die
like flies, legs up, flailing,
on each window sill.


Dark morning. By my cheek
her face; fly buzz-buzzes
the cold window.


Fly buzzes against the pane
just above where it's open...
Ah! Out!


The tree must stand
among its fallen leaves.
Wind would be a kindness.


Leaves fall. Wind, checking,
fingers my cheeks: Not ripe yet,
try again next year.


Scratch of dry leaf;
wind stirs a stained newspaper.
This fall, last fall.


Walking past -- a leaf
too gold even for fall...
Ah -- it flutters off.


Maple so red
I can hear it
through the blinds.


Autumn hills
want to be touched,
tasted.


Getting cold out.
What if it just keeps getting
colder and colder?


Autumn. Jogging
on a treadmill in a gym,
somewhere, autumn.


Dark November sky,
sunset a muted light
in a sick room.


"Nice weather today."
Nice, Yes -- it makes fine distinctions.
Autumn.


A fine clear day --
I slept through most of it,
a fine clear sleep.


Chinese carry-out
my first Thanksgiving alone --
it's so good!


On autumn hills
ranked trees are feathers
in war bonnets.


Leaves stampede...pause,
rock gently...then dash
back up the street.


Outside the window
leaves whirl skyward --
rain today.


Rusty oak leaves
land on a soaked newspaper.
Morning drizzle.


Leaves sink slowly,
straying in currents to the
autumn's ocean floor.


A Lost Autumn

I write of fall rain --
rain outside makes me listen,
rain that isn't you.

I write this fall of you --
in the wet window
a man with a pencil.

The light left on
in the room where I wrote
unanswered letters.

Autumn rain drips,
walls creak, a man writes, a fly
buzzes somewhere.

This is a short haiku sequence. There are other haiku sequences in the section called "Haiku Sequences".


First breeze of autumn
strokes the leaves, nerves
of my retina.


A leaf tries to fall,
stops mid-air to shiver
on a spider's thread.


October fires
haze into soft blue. Brittle
air. A squirrel's chatter.


Half of each hill
turned golden. In the shade,
BRRR!


Sugar maple leaves
sun-touched, redder than
the idea of red.


A leaf
straight down fast -- no drift.
Remembered

leaves

fall

slower.


Leaf flames burn out.
Just bare branches -- smoke
on the distant hill.


Stopping suddenly --
autumn woods. Shhh. This is
why I'm here.


Fall wind swarms
red ivy, the wall rippling,
wave after wave.


Raw leaf-raking blister
in the thumb's groin heals slow,
autumn's last red.


It's a plague!
All these leaves
are dead!


While the leaf falls,
nothing is certain,
earth
a distant rumor.


Noise – someone coming up the hill...
Leaves crunch closer...no one...wait...no...
squirrels!


Squirrel on bare elm furls
and unfurls his tail, cheeks puffed.
Dead, they look ratty.


Autumn. Car noise
sounds different, bouncing off
a higher sky.


Grass, sidewalk heaped
with fallen leaves...still many
on the trees.


All the leaves
are falling off! Quick!
Call a tree doctor!


Spring

Summer

Autumn

Winter

Rain

Wind

Night

Morning

Dusk

Walking

Places

Children

Lovers

Loss and Loneliness and aloneness

Characters

Old Age

Music

A Poet's Life

Cats

Dogs

Beasts

Birds

Insects

Plants

Trees

Telephones and TVs

Things

Mankind