shine on

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early dark the moon sits in his chair alone

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That’s the way I wrote it over at Haiku Bandit Society for the September Moon Viewing Party. (Which, by the way? The harvest moon seems to have made everyone a little crazy with inspiration. There’s some great stuff over there this month. Both haiku and Willy’s photos of his life out on the plains.) But I think I might like it better this way:

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early dark
the moon sits in his chair
alone

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Which seems a little more…lonely. Maybe. What do you think?

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You can’t see the moon very well on my street because of all the tall trees. I went out last night and found the one gap in the trees that allows you to see the whole moon at once, and tried to take a picture of it. (I’m pretty sure my neighbors might have thought I was trying to take a picture through the windows of their house.) I think I’ll stick to moon haiku.

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moonrise
moths rise
from the flour

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moonrise
kneading bread
in a new bowl

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moonrise
warm bread
and chilled butter

..

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Across the Haikuverse, No. 30: All Fall Down

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The flowers are hardening, tightening up. You look at them expecting to see their familiar open faces, warm-hearted smiles, but they look back at you stiffly, politely; the entire encounter is awkward. You avert your eyes, hurry by. Just last week you had a friendly conversation, they seemed to approve of you. Now you’re their son’s girlfriend from the other side of the tracks, the salesman who’s about to lose the sale, the kid no one wants to choose for their team. Cold. They’re cold. You can see the future, your future, and they’re not in it.

This whole side of the street–rust. That brick wall–crumbled. All the newspapers–faded. (And no one reads them anymore.)

You feel a pain you’ve never felt before and you know it’s just the first of many.

Andante, adagio, largo, decelerando, decelerando.

first frost
but the key still fits
in the lock

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~~~~~~~~

In this (extremely belated) edition of the Haikuverse:

Autumn wind:
Everything I see
Is haiku.

— Takahama Kyoshi (tr. Geoffrey Bownas)

_____________________________________________________________________________

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this turning of the year (the light fades [slowly] ) to fall... (I'm learning to lean against) I guess there's nothing to stop it (an axis of absence)

— Johannes S. H. Bjerg, 3ournals & Frags 

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everyone waits / for the light to change... / little chestnut moon.

everyone waits
for the light to change–
little chestnut moon

— Angie Werren (haiku and image), feathers 

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You are gathered to go,
Strip-lining phone wires,
Faced to the south,
After all that’s been said,
I wish I was with you.

— Matt Morden, Morden Haiku

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dog days / the universe still / a thrown stick.

dog days
the universe still
a thrown stick

–Rick Daddario (haiku and artwork), 19 Planets 

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approaching autumn / in my pocket / a chain for the black dog.

approaching autumn
in my pocket
a chain for the black dog

–Johannes S. H. Bjerg, Scented Dust

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off
looking for paradise–
cicada husk

— Josh Hockensmith, No More Moon Poems

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my friends say leaf-fall
but I say apple-fall
dull-drubbing the grass

— Marie Marshall, Kvenna Rad

(See also: Marie’s “Fragment 200“)

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The casualty report,
made into a bag
for ripening an apple.

— Sanki Saito (1939), on R’r Blog

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taiheiyô nomikomeba aki futto kuru

when I swallow
the Pacific Ocean… unexpectedly
autumn

— Fay Aoyagi, Blue Willow Haiku World

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an octopus trap
in the pawn shop, still wet—
harvest moon

— Mark Harris, from Sea Bandits, edited by Aubrie Cox, downloadable from Yay Words!

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Scent of burning leaves
the four chambers
of my heart

— Patrick Sweeney, on Issa’s Untidy Hut

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invited to feel
the stubble on her legs
autumn rain

Shawn Lindsay, on ant ant ant ant ant’s blog

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______________________________________________________

This new venture looks interesting: Bones: Journal for New Haiku. Editors: Johannes S. H. Bjerg, Alan Summers, Sheila Windsor. They are poets whose work and taste I admire, and they have a manifesto that I like a lot. In part it reads: “Haiku that stands on the firm ground of tradition but has internalized it and is now written for today and the future.”

Fall is always a good time to start things, especially things that require a flow of brisk air to the brain. I hope this venture flourishes. I hope we all do. Have a gentle fall.

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enigma machine

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I am
imagining
a magic cage,
a chain hanging,
a chime chiming,
a meaning changing,
each magician gaining a name,
a hinge, an engine, a cane,
aiming, aching, aging —
a man again,
a game
I am.
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___________________________________________________________________

No, not a haiku. Or anything else Japanesey. Just a game I wanted to play.

Enigma machine

slanted sunlight

Maybe you’ve noticed or maybe you haven’t that fewer haiku tend to be written about the summer than about any other season. (I have absolutely no hard data to support this conclusion. But I’ve got a whole theory about it, so work with me here.)

I mentioned this to a friend who is just becoming familiar with haiku.

— Autumn, I told him, that’s the haiku season. It’s more wabi-sabi. [Insert whole discussion about wabi-sabi.]

— Fine, he said, wabi-sabi away, but why autumn? Think outside the box here. Why can’t you be all imperfect and melancholic in the summer?

— Um, because it’s too sunny, I said. People are all warm and happy in the summer. They’re going to the beach, having barbecues. Nothing is dying. There’s nothing to be wistful about.

— Aha (he said triumphantly). But that makes the wistfulness more ironic and unexpected. It’s more interesting that way. You should write more haiku about the summer.

Hmmm. I suppose I should.

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summer night
a gunshot separates
light from dark

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the surgeon questions
my need to be awake —
summer downpour

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slanted sunlight…
I say “I do”
in divorce court

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glaring sun ::
his flawed logic
convinces me

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across the lawn
a hose stretched taut–
summer dusk

..

a room full of mosquitoes in and out of love

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REM Sleep

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It’s two a.m., but the nightmare’s not counting. It has no logic but it’s happy to point out the flaws in mine. The mistaken inferences I draw every time anyone else speaks. The sour smell of gullibility that clings to me like mother’s milk. The stains of the berries that are native to the fool’s paradise I live in. No reason to doubt any of it, why would my subconscious lie? It knows every thought that’s passed through my mind since the first neurotransmitters leapt the first synapses, and it’s not impressed. It’s tapping my shoulder, clearing its throat, trying to get my attention politely, but none of that’s working. Like most terrorists, it only acts out of desperation.

blank slate
every night
I erase the moon

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Haibun Today  6.3, September 2012

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