The following seem to stress local ambiance more
than most of my haiku:
Just one seagull
over snorkeling tourists
staring at rocks.
Where? Bon Aire. Great snorkling right off the pier.
Schools and schools, mingling
in millions. On shore, one gull,
rocks - where my kind live.
After staring with fascination at all the millions
of fish and species of fish in all their color and motion,
staring long enough to turn my ankles into raw red meat,
I look ashore, and it seems, in comparison, barren,
so that it is hard to think of it as where I and everyone
I love spend our days. It seems that land is where life
ends or grows scarce.
We walk along the edge
where the surface of the planet
One way of looking at a beach. After all, water
is part of the surface of the earth - most of the surface,
in fact, and is certainly liquid.
I float in the ocean.
Nothing eats me.
Hard to watch a TV special about underwater goings
on without seeing something eating something else, yet,
during my hours of snorkeling, even though I saw a barracuda
hovering in the water, unmoving, like a traffic signal,
most of that time and saw large numbers of species mingling
(schools interpenetrating and extracting themselves
from one another intact) and saw monstrous moray eel
jaws popping up out of holes in the coral, I saw not
one instance of one creature eating another. All seemed
to be subsisting on tiny floating specks (plankton?).
Maybe as soon as they got out of my sight they started
gobbling each other up. Maybe they were sparing my sensibilities.
Maybe tourists feed them well, so are thus encouraged.
I'm here to see
the ocean - I ran all the way!
Did I miss anything?
Incoming wave --
spinning a billion threads
of sun-gold on its wheel.
Maybe a bit to pretty to qualify as haiku?
Ribbons of light ride black waves
From the mist
on all sides, dark mountains. This
too - San Francisco.
I can't think of a place where, in a brief walk,
one finds oneself in a greater variety of universes.
Not a breath of wind.
The pond has lost
In the artificial lake,
Reston, VA, Lake Anne.
Sun slips in and out
of clouds. Who tunes the lake
I recall that this one meant something interesting
when I wrote it, but now it escapes me. I include it
since some of you may be sharper about my poetry than
lake is winning, sky
Lake so still -
nipples half out of water,
half out of air.
From the air I see
huge shoulders rise from water's
stunted belly, legs.
The above three haiku may be read (are probably
best read) as a single poem.
Nailed to a tree,
just the back wall
of a birdhouse.
A mystery: What happened to the rest of the bird
house? What happened to the birds? Why nail a bird house
to a bird house (that is, a tree)?
Key West - chickens
strut the streets, brightly plumed -
Who are YOU? I ask a thing
in my soup.
It didn't answer, so I asked the waiter. It was
a sea cucumber.
Clever beach puddles:
Their gold-red twinkle
long after sunset.
Lake too cold to swim in,
too small for surf, but good
for looking across.
Hollywood: Tourists stroll,
stand, eyes glued to the sidewalk,
For the one person in a hundred who doesn't know:
On Hollywood Blvd., you look DOWN for star-gazing, at
the commemorative sections of sidewalk dedicated to
New York City.
The window is filthiest
New York (Manhattan, really) is not one of the smoggiest
places I've been, less plagued by that brownish miasma
than is Houston or L.A., but for sudden spates of soot
or other solid matter, enough to turn on a coughing
fit or catch in the throat, Manhattan is hard to beat
(among U.S. cities). Smog is probably more pervasive
and more dangerous, but it's also more subtle. I can
remember, on a clear, cold, sunny day, turning a corner
in Manhattan and being ambushed by a cloud of stinging
particles. At such times, the air that fills the open
window is far filthier than the screen.
Going north by bus.
Tinted windows mask the hills,
so I read.
Canadian Rockies --
who sleeps beneath this soil,
Ocean. No need
a long walk -- in seconds vastness
swallows up last week.
Trash cans piled high.
Kids -- up to something.
Old smeared posters.
A real rainbow --
L.A. become a child's
L.A. from the plane,
a gray-green cloud
that hides my friends.
You get used to smog, so that it is shocking to
see it from a distance - as from a plane.
Green silk L.A. sky;
through the rainbow's foot creeps
a police helicopter.
L.A. at it's cleanest and most vibrant, just after
rain, a story-book rainbow, and near the end of the
rainbow...a police helicopter hovering over freeway
traffic like a waiting shark.
Sopped butt and dead fly
in a toilet in a hut
in a green, green park.
Empire State Building
shadows me from behind one...two...
Odd how, miles from a mountain or tall building,
it seems to follow you, vanishing and reappearing, sometimes
from a direction you hadn't expected.
Beyond the steps
a dark head...turns away as we near;
sound of pissing.
NY City, Lower East Side, 1968.
Too "clever" for haiku, but maybe interesting.
Plays on "Beyond the Blue Horizon", but in
this case home is either beyond the horizon (with its
distant blues) or is beyond the "blues" (sadness),
which, as much as adventure, is associated with pursuits
beyond the horizon - or I'm singing the home-beyond-the-horizon
blues of someone ever in search of home, etc. Or maybe
home is defined by "beyond-the-horizon blues"
- that is, feeling blue for lack of adventure. It makes
sense in several ways. It's fun because of the ambiguous