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Children:

In the dining room
a child falls, screams; all talk stops.
Silence...whimpers. OK.


Hand tiptoes over
a mine field, at each touch
explodes a child's laugh.


Dad, chases me round
and round the table...gives up!
Relieved...sad.

Sad for my Dad, since I think of him as nearly all-powerful, and who am I to escape his anger. Sad for me, because, in a way, I just lost a Dad (the one I imagined I had, was not one I could get away from.)


My hand tip-fingers over
a child. At each touch,
loud laughter.


A long argument
with a four-year-old: I'm cured
of wanting to be right.


The child lies awake,
jealously hearing far-away
TV gunshots.

I updated this one. When I first wrote it, it referred to radio gunshots. We didn't have a TV until I was ten.


Hollow wooden "plonk!"--
sound of a house with children:
toilet seat dropped hard.

Note: I like that one the way it is, but it would probably be closer to haiku if it went as follows:

Sound of a house|
with children: toilet seat
dropped hard.


"You forgot to kiss me
goodnight!" Turning,
her shadow stretched to the bed.


On the rug, kids scream
at each other, while TV people
babble on.


Children dare "Hi"
to a stranger who says "Hi";
giggling follows him.

They giggle more at their own temerity at saying hi to a stranger than at the stranger.


School office--grey-haired
principal squats, safety-pins
the child's torn shoe strap.

Seen in passing one day, as I happened to be in an elementary school office.


Baby drools on the couch,
looks up for a smile. Innocence?
In a sense.


On the porch, a small chair
with straps, wheels--infernal
machine for a baby.


Two small boys--one counts
fingers: "An-ti-dis-es-tab-
lish-ment-tar-ri-an..."

Might be entitled "Haiku the Hard Way".


Sky seems farthest away
in that puddle. A boy
is standing in it.


Startling eggshell delicacy
of a baby's crown, almost
transparent.


The child shampoos,
clenching and unclenching foam:
Squiltch! Squiltch!


Child, mooning about
in wet snow, answers, blushing,
my third "Hi".


Each time the baby grasps it,
out leaps
the rainbow.


Big frame house -
screams, giggles - children
heard, but not seen.


Frayed butterflies -
some child rues each
battered ornate kite.


Why do these homes
have such huge lawns
with no kids playing?


Her four-year-old steps
fit neatly into mine -
two to one - this spring day.

Spring morning walk:
For each of my steps
the child takes two.

Two variations, the second, I think, closer to haiku.


Though I'm Jewish,
Christmas songs
remind me of childhood.


Flick! 5-year-old
licks from finger waffle-iron
drippings...HOT!


Mom swings at arm's length
a laughing child, staggers, dizzy
on the grass.


School girls - one holds up
her book bag for the other
to sniff.


How can Daddy
make the car move so fast
with only one hand!


The coin so small,
the popsicle so big -
the coin must be magic.


The child pats
a stray dog,
feeling noble.


Child staring
at the hole
in the toilet.


The child throws bread
to a mob of screeching gulls -
BRAVE child!


First touching wet paint:
How can such brilliance
be sticky?


Hard candy -- it all
tastes the same; bright colors
disappointing.

A conclusion I came to after eating a lot of it out of the belief that it must taste good, because it's pretty, and that each of the different colors and shapes must taste different from all the others, if only I could sense it.


Funhouse mirror:
The boy splits in two, mid-smile...
fuses...splits...fuses...

All he has to do is move slightly, at this point, to make the mirror split him, then fuse him again, etc.


On TV -- action!
Watching, full of motion,
a child sits still.

Enough TV watching and a child is ready to explode. It is perhaps less dangerous for an adult, already inclined to sit still.


Pushing her toy mower
uphill, she sits down flat
on her fanny: "EEP!"


Changing a diaper,
tiny body, legs in the air --
where else should they be?

Waving one's legs in the air (off a football training field) seems bizarre to many of us, but natural when a baby does it - or a dog or a cat. Or maybe a lover right after sex, going "Whoopee!"


Over his head he lifts
the child, who laughs,
afraid.


Nap time. Shades drawn,
the boy stares at a thin beam
of dust motes drifting.


Nap time. Bicycle
noises, kids laughing, a shout --
missing everything.


Peas invade mashed
potatoes, now retreat, one
by one. Cold gravy.

The child isn't mentioned here, but it's a child's view of a boring meal and his play with it as he stalls.


As a child, in bed,
I'd hear cars come, fade away.
Now a steady hum.


4 a.m. car sounds.
As a child, hearing the train's
chuff-puff far...far


The endless going away
of a train in the night
of a child.


Sun beneath the shade,
bird chatter. Must have slept...
The train is gone.


The child tries to stay awake
all night to find out
about night.


Night's mystery
comes from sleep. You can't find it
by staying awake.


In the dark a child sleeps.
In me, a child sleeps.
Am I the dark?


A child, perfect
in sleep. How might a poem
sleep?

Note: The above 8 poems also may be considered a single poem, a haiku sequence. That's how they were written.


My friend's little girl
orders me: "Lift me up." I joke
and don't lift her.


Through cloud cover
the moon -- light from the hall
for a sick child.


Kids sprint
through the sprinkler, their screams
a chill spray.


Baby, carried, knows
not where, looking off wide-eyed,
stoned on the motion.


The big hollow oak
giggles as I pass. From its
cleft base, kids' tennies..

The kids were standing up inside a hollow, lightning-damaged tree.


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