Simply Haiku: A Quarterly Journal of Japanese Short Form Poetry
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Spring 2007, vol 5 no 1


M. Kei

it's hard to be
an honest man when
pinched by
past mistakes and
current needs


the garden path
too crowded, so we
turn upstream
and search for
Wyeth's 'Roar'


hiking through
the autumn woods,
my son and I
climb over the fallen fence
and into the world


Not being Amish,
I can flip the bird
at motorists
who cut off buggies
and frighten the horses


Nureyev's black jacket
and ballet slippers,
how small the man
how great the skill


the tidy ranks
of soldiers lined up
for inspection
how loud the bugle
in the cemetery


an October day
of pumpkins and corn,
horse droppings steaming,
Amish schoolgirls
dead on the floor


turning down
a side street in
an unfamiliar town,
I stumble across a garden
of childhood bluebells


the fireflies
didn't wait for me
this evening;
flitting across a
night without love


no wind tonight
a puddle of silver
in the bay's darkness,
a full moon
off the port bow


the stone gristmill
broad on the starboard bow,
falling into the bay
from its motionless wheel


stitch my shroud
tie granite to my ankles
bury me
deep in the heart
of the Chesapeake


autumn evening
alone in this
motel room with
named 'Gideon'


autumn afternoon
if only we had
as much to say
as this heron
standing silent


the sweep of
     the revolving door
          brushes souls
     in and out
spinning into nothingness


the shattered bones
of old loves
the sea that
surrenders all


the thousand
arms of Kannon
reach even here
     to this rock
     to this poet


it is no woman
this moon of men
     sailor in
     the great sea
     of longing


drudger's breeze:
twenty knots and snow --
the oysterboats
blow out of Dogwood Cove
and into the bay


potato soup
a little too thin,
autumn creeps
silently among
the pine trees


like pigeons
around your feet,
I too peck at
what you have dropped
and forgotten


M. Kei M. Kei lives on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay, USA. He crews aboard a skipjack, a traditional wooden sailboat used to fish for oysters. He also serves as a member of the board of directors for a local maritime museum. His poetry has been accepted for publication by Eucalypt (AUS), Kokako (NZ), Gusts (CAN), American Tanka, Modern English Tanka, Wisteria, Bottle Rockets, Red Lights, Ribbons, Moonset, Nisqually Delta Review, Haiku Harvest, Lynx, Modern Haiku, Frogpond, Simply Haiku, Mayfly, and others. His work also appears in the anthologies Fire Pearls, Sixty Sunflowers, To Find the Moon, and Haiku Miscellany (CRO). He moderates the Kyoka Mad Poems e-list and is also the Editor of Fire Pearls: Short Masterpieces of the Human Heart, on the theme of love and passion, now available from M. Kei can be contacted through his blog at