Simply Haiku: A Quarterly Journal of Japanese Short Form Poetry
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Summer 2009, vol 7 no 2


 “Grief joys, joys grieve, on slender accident”  




       chunks of this trunk

split with difficulty

       twisty pyracanthus


how impressive the plum lump

where the firewood hit my shin


       large piece of driftwood

on a fence post grows eyes,

       a red throat, flies away


memories come back so easily

too sick to work or party


       someone knocks

near the moon’s reflection

       pale white carp float


up late, shadows on the memo pad

writing for no one again


       old wedding plates

stacked on torn newspaper

       and tied with string


she sits near the closet

and listens to water boil


       as if  asking why

she had to wake so suddenly

       the cat  jerks and purrs


under the shade of wide strawberry leaves

splashes of red


       by giant artichoke buds

a neighbor’s daughter

       allows one kiss more


“these two-by-fours so sappy

I have to crowbar them apart”


          while we saw and nail wood

                 all day long

          the cantaloupe rind fills with ants



home late—our small chrome hubcaps

mirror this night sky and moon


          on the fridge a reminder

                 to turn on

          a vacationing neighbor’s lights



a sudden gust of wind pins

half a leaf on the mailbox


       against drifts of mist

only the lavender’s leaves

       look old and dull


every morning school kids stroll by

eyeing ripe berries—


       washing the sushi lunch box

in the shallows

       minnows swim in and out


“in another forty years

I’ll be out of this racket”


       with a thick glass beer mug

what coins the beggar has

       have a nice ring


fly half-open a relieved bum

retreats down the alley


       those tools I left

lying around on the job

       I worry about them


on my way to mail letters—

haunted by a friend’s suicide—


       he thought his loves

renewed each day but his life

       became one long night


the hillside buried under haze—

no view of the bay—too hot—


            her left leg’s withered

her left eye closed

            she offers me a cup of water


with the backyard so steep

one trip’s enough for a stroke victim


          “when time and moonlight allow”

                 an old poet speaks

          of visiting the unexpected



detached memories float free

each one knotty, twisted and tough


       the wood vise screw

left worm trails of rust

       on the inside of my thumb


a neighbor pulls his blue tarp

over the red wheelbarrow


       each day nearer the last

so much depends upon

       wasting just one more


inside the raked flowerbed

one renegade raspberry shoot


       last February

a pink wading pool blossomed

       in brown flood waters


between straight corn rows

clear water runs over packed mud


By Keith Kumasen Abbott

Related items in this issue of Simply Haiku: Remarks on Twisty Chunks, by Keith Kumasen Abbott.


Copyright 2009: Simply Haiku