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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Year's Eve we ate this last year

w. f. owen

Monday, December 29, 2008

last week of the year black frost on the rose

w. f. owen

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Eve last year's dough in a cookie cutter

w. f. owen

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

winter sun sparrows peck at the dead sunflower

w. f. owen

Monday, December 22, 2008

first day of winter a fluffy cat walks the fence

w. f. owen

Friday, December 19, 2008

storm clouds the clumps in the hot chocolate

w. f. owen

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

scraping windshield ice neighbors finally meet

w. f. owen

Monday, December 15, 2008

autumn heat the old dog blinks away a fly

w. f. owen

Sunday, December 14, 2008

autumn night folding clothes her wrinkled hands

w. f. owen

Sunday, December 7, 2008

leaves blow from the pile my problems small

w. f. owen

Saturday, December 6, 2008

deep autumn i watch the hawk disappear

w. f. owen

Friday, December 5, 2008

low clouds leaves in the old man's gutter

w. f. owen

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

apple bobbing the scratch of kettle corn

w. f. owen

Sunday, November 30, 2008

autumn evening the long curve of the cat's claw

w. f. owen

Saturday, November 29, 2008

vapor rises from the fence i try to forget her

w. f. owen

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

rustling leaves i pull up the covers

w. f. owen

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

the flawless persimmon has a seed

w. f. owen

Sunday, November 23, 2008

dull knife cutting a bruise from the apple

w. f. owen

Thursday, November 20, 2008

birthday i rake another pile of leaves

w. f. owen

Sunday, November 16, 2008

empty nester weeding the sidewalk cracks

w. f. owen

Saturday, November 15, 2008

shrouded morning moon i dump the garbage

w. f. owen

Friday, November 14, 2008

after the wake petals on the table

w. f. owen

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veterans Day we exchange service numbers

w. f. owen

Sunday, November 9, 2008

rust on the first split wood sore shoulder

w. f. owen

Saturday, November 8, 2008

sun halo the soccer game ends in a tie

w. f. owen
hide and seek the tree limbs scrape the ground

w. f. owen

Friday, November 7, 2008

a crack in the stepping stone three-quarter moon

w. f. owen

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

election day the umbrellas dripping


w. f. owen

Sunday, November 2, 2008

time change a dream my mother still alive

w. f. owen

Saturday, November 1, 2008

first autumn rain the tight fit of blue jeans

w. f. owen

Friday, October 31, 2008

apple harvest the homely girl culls

w. f. owen

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

the table grape rolls off the table missing you

w. f. owen

Sunday, October 26, 2008

A haibun published in Frogpond, vol. 31 (No. 3), 2008, p. 61:

It seems strange

to be buried in spring with the blossoms popping insects crawling flies buzzing but here I lie in deep dirt like a bulb planted the coolness the voices of passing walkers laughing sometimes scolding an errant child lovers walking hand in hand creating their own light no light here comfort snugness is snugness a real word are we there yet is it time for bed momma . . . awake the time it takes to realize it was a dream.


sunset the long thread to the hanging caterpillar

w. f. owen

Friday, October 24, 2008

Indian summer looking through the yearbook

w. f. owen

Thursday, October 23, 2008

cutting the first persimmon i hold my breath

w. f. owen

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

lingering heat with a turn the dog lies down

w. f. owen

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

gardening till the clouds part

w. f. owen

Sunday, October 19, 2008

surplus of stars tonight the chatty girl

w. f. owen

Saturday, October 18, 2008

just when i thought i knew him this

w. f. owen

Friday, October 17, 2008

Indian summer the adult day-care field trip

w. f. owen

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Indian summer she says hi to the man behind me

w. f. owen

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

autumn clouds clumps of shirt under his sweater

w. f. owen

Sunday, October 12, 2008

fish ladder more children than salmon

w. f. owen

Saturday, October 11, 2008

crossing the walk bridge neither here nor there

w. f. owen

Friday, October 10, 2008

first colored leaves the boy's hot face

w. f. owen

Thursday, October 9, 2008

waning moon the boy runs home to supper

w. f. owen

Sunday, October 5, 2008

rain ending the shine returns to the pond

w. f. owen

Saturday, October 4, 2008

retired he wakes up at the same time

w. f. owen

Friday, October 3, 2008

walking to school in the mist hair slicked down

w. f. owen

Thursday, October 2, 2008

the blue dragonfly flits across the blue sky

w. f. owen

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

the whole half dug i watch the day moon

w. f. owen

Sunday, September 28, 2008

missing a toe the cat licks the others

w. f. owen

Saturday, September 27, 2008

clutching a honeydew where a baby might have grown

w. f. owen

Friday, September 26, 2008

the thud of the morning paper last meteors

w. f. owen

Thursday, September 25, 2008

heat lightning the crooked split in the watermelon

w. f. owen

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

my turn at the shovel the handle's warmth

w. f. owen

Monday, September 22, 2008

autumn equinox i take the long way home

w. f. owen

Sunday, September 21, 2008

approaching the equinox i cut my hair

w. f. owen

Saturday, September 20, 2008

last tomato from the garden hazy sun

w. f. owen

Friday, September 19, 2008

summer ends as it started sun halo

w. f. owen

Thursday, September 18, 2008

late summer pool toys at one end

w. f. owen

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

full day moon the student carries a mobile

w. f. owen

Friday, September 12, 2008

dog days a rotten spot on the peach

w. f. owen

Thursday, September 11, 2008

lingering heat a boy re-ties his shoe

w. f. owen

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

a delta breeze quiets the mockingbird

w. f. owen

Sunday, September 7, 2008

his stutter disappearing in song

w. f. owen

Saturday, September 6, 2008

too windy to fish i fly a kite

w. f. owen

Friday, September 5, 2008

rereading a book the boy picks his nose

w. f. owen

Thursday, September 4, 2008

sunset we talk of lightning bugs once seen

w. f. owen

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

a shortcut home on his bike evening calm

w. f. owen

Monday, September 1, 2008

high winds not caring about her hair

w. f. owen

Sunday, August 31, 2008

nothing left but bones this late summer day

w. f. owen

Saturday, August 30, 2008

i give a rock from the mountaintop to a child

w. f. owen

Friday, August 29, 2008

day moon a boiled egg for breakfast

w. f. owen

Thursday, August 28, 2008

evening walk a whole family in one room

w. f. owen

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

lines in he cleans his catch in the river

w. f. owen

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

summer doldrums the beach ball motionless on the pool

w. f. owen

Monday, August 25, 2008

shelling peas the child's round fingers

w. f. owen

Saturday, August 23, 2008

memories the scars in the kitchen table

w. f. owen

Friday, August 22, 2008

the deep bow of a sunflower into shade

w. f. owen

Thursday, August 21, 2008

alone i lean against the tree it leans back

w. f. owen

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

summer ending the old woman's deep sigh

w. f. owen

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

in their trucks two farmers talk about the weather

w. f. owen

Monday, August 18, 2008

remission the driftwood flows in and out

w. f. owen

Sunday, August 17, 2008

tomato blossoms a breeze lifts the hair on my arm

w. f. owen

Saturday, August 16, 2008

moon halo fireflies in the mason jar

w. f. owen

Friday, August 15, 2008

through the park following the shade an old couple

w. f. owen

Thursday, August 14, 2008

working the flower garden her freckled hands

w. f. owen

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

empty sky a bare spot on the melon

w. f. owen

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

dry heat the neighbor's dog pees through the fence

w. f. owen

Monday, August 11, 2008

my son's blank stare as I explain scarecrows

w. f. owen

Sunday, August 10, 2008

lighting one cigarette with another the fence builder

w. f. owen

Mariposa 18 (2008)

Saturday, August 9, 2008

thunderheads the boy picks a scab

w. f. owen

Friday, August 8, 2008

crescent moon his straw hat cocked back

w. f. owen

Thursday, August 7, 2008

buffing an apple on my shirt hazy sun

w. f. owen

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

waxing moon we push back from the dinner table

w. f. owen

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

more lightning quick footfalls down the trail

w. f. owen

Monday, August 4, 2008

near the end he writes with a pencil stub

w. f. owen

Sunday, August 3, 2008

crescent moon the ice cream carton left out

w. f. owen

Saturday, August 2, 2008

roadside cross the teddy bear watches traffic

w. f. owen

Friday, August 1, 2008

moon viewing the teen's yawn

w. f. owen

Thursday, July 31, 2008

rising heat fish hug the bottom

w. f. owen

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

red dragonfly its large head reflects the sun

w. f. owen

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

coming home the hummingbird greets my red shirt

w. f. owen

Monday, July 28, 2008

of all the stalks the dragonfly lands on the dead one

w. f. owen

Sunday, July 27, 2008

humid stillness the ball where I left it

w. f. owen

Friday, July 25, 2008

the calm of adult swim

w. f. owen

Thursday, July 24, 2008

river tales the fish measured on his arm

w. f. owen

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

haibun by ed markowski

repast

the eatery was located in the mansion of a
lumber baron who built his palace from
pink jasper in 1874 with the labor of
men whose presence he'd have
never tolerated at his back
door let alone his dinner
table.

every restaurant reviewer in the city
afforded treasure's wine list,
cuisine, ambiance &
service five stars.

her lobster stuffed salmon was charred
& dry, my venison medallions with
juniper sauce bled across the
bone china plate despite
my perfectly clear request
of medium well.


anniversary day
scrubbing the dirt
from last year's potatoes

~ ed markowski
drought puddles under the swim team

w. f. owen

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

tilling the soil the thunderheads roll in

w. f. owen

Monday, July 21, 2008

down the corn row water seeks its level

w. f. owen

Sunday, July 20, 2008

before sunrise the flea market tent goes up

w. f. owen

Saturday, July 19, 2008

the touch touch of the dragonfly on the pool

w. f. owen

Friday, July 18, 2008

summer night two boys under the streetlight

w. f. owen

Thursday, July 17, 2008

the long shadow of the windfall apple

w. f. owen

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

drying paint my son and I discuss his past

w. f. owen

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

summer dusk a white sheen on the wine grapes

w. f. owen

Monday, July 14, 2008

midday heat we sit in the shade before heading back

w. f. owen

Sunday, July 13, 2008

ginger root the chef's fat fingers

w. f. owen

Saturday, July 12, 2008

hot morning the scrape of the worker's spade

w. f. owen

Friday, July 11, 2008

the heat wave eases the weeds have not

w. f. owen

Thursday, July 10, 2008

drought sweat beads on his upper lip

w. f. owen

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

faded beach towel thoughts of that summer love

w. f. owen

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

under a big hat she picks strawberries

w. f. owen

Monday, July 7, 2008

flesh clings to the peach pit moon shadows

w. f. owen

Sunday, July 6, 2008

first light summer finds a crack in the blinds

w. f. owen

Saturday, July 5, 2008

5th of July the smashed whiskey bottle

w. f. owen

Friday, July 4, 2008

Independence Day poems by ed markowski

fireworks uncle mack mutters tet

july 4th every flag sewn in china

flyball
flashing white to blue to red
the northern lights

independence day
the sound of flags fluttering
at Arlington

bottle rockets
memories arise
in technicolor

independence day
the dulled point of father's
foxhole shovel

ed markowski
Independence Day sand stripes from the creek flood

~~~~~

before the fireworks a parent flares

w. f. owen

(see ed markowski's poem in the comments
last post)

Thursday, July 3, 2008

melted ice cream on the sidewalk summer malaise

w. f. owen

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

watering tomatoes a soft sun rises

w. f. owen

Monday, June 30, 2008

dry lightning wildfire smoke burns my lungs

w. f. owen

Sunday, June 29, 2008

river bend she squeezes the water from her hair

w. f. owen

Friday, June 27, 2008

passing clouds a foul ball into the stands

w. f. owen
heat lightning the pitcher balks

w. f. owen
shutting his pocketknife we have a serious talk

w. f. owen

Thursday, June 26, 2008

hot afternoon the dog marks the yard

w. f. owen

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

heat wave skipping the Frisbee off the sand

w. f. owen

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

wildfire smoke the worker shovels red dirt

w. f. owen

Monday, June 23, 2008

a green persimmon drops her young cancer

w. f. owen

Sunday, June 22, 2008

first summer day ice cream drips down her arm

w. f. owen

Saturday, June 21, 2008

solstice morning adding water to the pool

w. f. owen


[See more solstice poems in "comments"
for the last few posts].

Friday, June 20, 2008

longest day a burnt wiener at the back of the grill

w. f. owen

Thursday, June 19, 2008

drought he loosens the rope from boat to dock

w. f. owen

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

heat wave my thumb sprays water from the hose

w. f. owen

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

on the curb a dead bird folds into itself

w. f. owen

Monday, June 16, 2008

hot sun a ball gets loose from the bullpen

w. f. owen
we reach the peak thunderheads outdo each other

w. f. owen

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day
wearing his tie
again I don't measure up

w. f. owen

Frogpond, XXX (Number 3), 2007, p. 41)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

hot night the sound of bare feet on concrete

w. f. owen

Thursday, June 12, 2008

blowing soap bubbles my son's enlarged face

w. f. owen
ebb tide discovering new things about myself

w. f. owen

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

waves of heat her tongue circles the ice cream

w. f. owen

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

incoming tide she rubs tanning oil on his back

w. f. owen

Monday, June 9, 2008

one boat on the lake rising moon

w. f. owen

Sunday, June 8, 2008

long trip the flat bottom of a tomato

w. f. owen

Saturday, June 7, 2008

grass grows around the camp's water faucet

w. f. owen

Friday, June 6, 2008

soap bubbles and giggles float over the fence

w. f. owen
Mainichi Daily News (Tokyo), June 2008
distant thunder a crab hangs from the chicken neck

w. f. owen

Thursday, June 5, 2008

the beach ball blown out of the pool solar winds

w. f. owen
watermelon rind the gap between his teeth

w. f. owen
flip-flops outside the tent giggles

w. f. owen
no clouds in the sky a fly on my face

w. f. owen
my summer shirt a faded memory

w. f. owen

a different poem from the same experience:

summer wind the dark underside of my shirt

w. f. owen

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

wispy clouds a whiff of morning glory

w. f. owen

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

drought a dried plug in the sunscreen spout

w. f. owen

Monday, June 2, 2008

hot afternoon static from the radio

w. f. owen
evening calm grandpa trues the knives

w. f. owen
the barefoot boy drags his fish

w. f. owen

Sunday, June 1, 2008

rabbit droppings in the trail a stack of stones

w. f. owen

Saturday, May 31, 2008

dappled sunlight men talk of men they knew

w. f. owen

Friday, May 30, 2008

seeds

building clouds
the pregnant mail carrier
delivers my seeds

spring thunder
slight cracks in the
swollen tree buds

planting seeds
my finger
just deep enough

classic rock radio:
"sowing the seeds
of love"

college newspaper
an ad for
ovum donors

lingering light
pulling flesh
from a cling peach

w. f. owen
(Modern Haiku, Autumn 2005, p. 82)
warm evening the smell of chlorine from the pool

w. f. owen

Thursday, May 29, 2008

the lilies open music through the trees

w. f. owen
sweltering heat she rubs oil on her stretch marks

w. f. owen
dead yellow jacket colors of the sunset

w. f. owen

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

a little early to get up birds

w. f. owen

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

while the wine breathes they whisper

w. f. owen
we lean into the campfire summer moon

w. f. owen

Sunday, May 25, 2008

ring


WALKING GUARD DUTY around a Quonset hut of ammunition on the Marine Corps Air Station, Oahu, my high school ring tapping the barrel of a loaded M-14 rifle. Possible racial and anti-war riots threaten the base. Tropical stars trigger memories. The major in boot camp warned me that this ring would snag and pull my finger off when jumping from a helicopter in Nam. Instead of going to West Pac, I got stuck driving a "six-by" truck in California until boredom spurred a transfer request, which could have led to the Tet Offensive, not here to paradise. First week on the Rock, the sunburn from bodysurfing, tasting poi (the glue-like brown paste made from taro), hearing stories on the base from Marines, and on liberty in Waikiki from soldiers and sailors on R & R, about rumors of Russian tanks crossing the DMZ, moments of unspeakable terror beside hours of boredom. Alcohol-induced loose tongues, like the kid in the bar so juiced he removed the prosthetic mask covering what was left of his face from falling on a grenade. He stuck the plastic fa├žade on someone's arm and watched him flick it off like some dead alien in a sci-fi film. A faint steel guitar playing Hawaiian music wafts through swaying palms just ahead of the approaching change of guard. “Halt, who goes there?”
About a year later, while SCUBA diving off the base near an old firing range, I lose my senior ring.

combing
the military beach
a crab with one claw

w. f. owen
(small events: haibun by w. f. owen,
Red Moon Press, 2007, p. 20)
Memorial Day weekend war marathon

w. f. owen

Saturday, May 24, 2008

dog tags


A FRIEND TELLS ME that his brother’s dog tags were among hundreds found on a recent trip to Vietnam by two Florida businessmen. His brother was listed MIA after his helicopter was shot down during the 1968 Tet Offensive. Stamped into the metal tags are his name, serial number and blood type. The businessmen bought over 600 of the tags in the back alley shops of Ho Chi Minh City. Some cost just a few pennies.

his brother’s dog tags
found after thirty years
washing off foreign soil

w. f. owen
(small events: haibun by w. f. owen,
Red Moon Press, 2007, p. 39)

Friday, May 23, 2008

the ex-Colonel
thumbs along the seams
of his jeans

w. f. owen
(haiku notebook, p. 7).
school's out the students' heavy footfalls

w. f. owen
ants crawl up the crinkled bark cirrus clouds

w. f. owen
a riff on his air guitar May flowers

w. f. owen

Thursday, May 22, 2008

insect collection a fly lands on it

w. f. owen

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

between cultivated fields wild mustard

w. f. owen

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

picking it up the speck of dirt crawls away

w. f. owen

Monday, May 19, 2008

morning shadows sprinkler water crosses the sidewalk

w. f. owen

Sunday, May 18, 2008

thunder he cleans his nails with a pocketknife


w. f. owen

Saturday, May 17, 2008

thunder overlapping footsteps in the parade

~~~~~~~

in the garden alone with the insects


w. f. owen

Friday, May 16, 2008

slice of moon a cat curled atop the car

w. f. owen
foreclosure at the property line green grass

w. f. owen

Thursday, May 15, 2008

first sunburn the dried-out blackhead

w. f. owen
a year has filled this sidewalk crack

w. f. owen

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

day of the funeral I wake to a mourning dove

w. f. owen

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

sharpening the pencil to its end

w. f. owen

Monday, May 12, 2008

the taste of blood


The last dog we had growing up, a boxer named Bullet,
developed the habit of jumping up and laying his paws
on the chest of anyone who approached. Licking and
slobbering, he only wanted to play, but would knock over
small children, so we were forced to take him to live in the
rural town of my grandparents. There was plenty of open space.
Rabbits and possums to hunt. When he needed to be chained,
he had the shade of the plum trees. On our visits we would throw
the green canning plums for him to chase. He liked to chase. He
also went after the neighbor’s chickens sometimes and killed a few.
“Once they get the taste of blood, you might as well shoot ’em,”
the man explained.
And one day, that’s just what he did.

first fist fight
the taste of blood
in my mouth

(p. 5, small events: haibun by w. f. owen,
Red Moon Press, 2007)

This is one of fifty haibun from my book.
Haibun are prose elements combined with haiku.
There is an interplay of the two in which a surplus
of meaning occurs. It offers an expansion of creativity
in a sense. Some haiku have more of a "story" to them
than the brief lines allow. From time to time
I will place more haibun here.
out for airing the rug's true colors

w. f. owen

Sunday, May 11, 2008



Mother's Day the silence before hanging up

w. f. owen

Saturday, May 10, 2008

picking the fruit my life half over

w. f. owen

nails

empty box of nails the rust

w. f. owen

Friday, May 9, 2008

dominoes

old men playing dominoes the bare bulb

w. f. owen

Thursday, May 8, 2008

soft sun

in soft sun father and son play catch

w. f. owen

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

summer comes

summer comes the honeybee clings to my shirt

w. f. owen

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

tree rings

tree rings one of the years was hard

w. f. owen

Monday, May 5, 2008

lunch boxes

the swing of lunch boxes after the shift

w. f. owen

Sunday, May 4, 2008

fishing

long day again he reels in his line to check the bait

w. f. owen

Saturday, May 3, 2008

doves

the same two doves live on the foreclosed home

w. f. owen

porch

the dusty porch after the girl swept

w. f. owen

a new month

a new month the vendor rotates his fruit

w. f. owen

blood orange

at the home a slice of blood orange on a white plate

w. f. owen

Friday, May 2, 2008

homesick

homesick tracing the stream to its source

w. f. owen

Thursday, May 1, 2008

May Day

May Day the colt runs circles around his mom

w. f. owen

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

sudden calm

sudden calm trees point where the wind went

w. f. owen

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

short night

short night the neighbor's teething baby

w. f. owen

Monday, April 28, 2008

long neck

sunset he holds the beer by its long neck

w. f. owen

Sunday, April 27, 2008

memorial wall

at the memorial wall the empty benches

w. f. owen

Saturday, April 26, 2008

starry night

starry night the boats pull on the dock

w. f. owen

Friday, April 25, 2008

fat doves

under drooping clouds three fat doves on the fence

w. f. owen

Thursday, April 24, 2008

spilled rice

a few grains of spilled rice first stars

w. f. owen

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

raindrops

scattered raindrops on the sidewalk what was his name

w. f. owen

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

the simple life

Part of haiku sensibilities go beyond "nature
poems." Many haiku focus on human life
that, to be sure, are part of nature, but I
think of the simpler, everyday activities.
Because haiku highlight moments, typically,
the mundane objects of life are elevated.
Modern humanity all too often rushes past
noticeable, yet unnoticed, simplicity.
Part of what attracts me to haiku writing
and reading is that it suggests mindfulness
and grounding in everyday reality.
In the past some writers have taken this
attitude to extreme. For example, one could
become an "ascetic" like Hosai Ozaki (see
"Right under the big sky, I don't wear a hat,"
Stone Bridge Press, P.O. Box 8208, Berkeley,
CA, 1993). Some of his poems:

Having run here through the wind, in his palm, hot coins (p. 37)

I know the footsteps of the sparrow walking on the mat (p. 105)

See this site for more on his book:

http://www.codeschaos.0catch.com/melancholy.html

We need not give up all worldly possessions like
Ozaki, but rather "slow down" to notice life's
simplicity. So, occasionally, I return to Ozaki's
small book as a reminder to notice more around
me, as with this poem from observing
carpenters:

bent over the apprentice straightens a nail

w. f. owen

Monday, April 21, 2008

round moon

filling the new bucket a round moon

w. f. owen

Sunday, April 20, 2008

trail

along the only trail I have many thoughts

w. f. owen

Saturday, April 19, 2008

dog's tail

clouds against the mountain the thump of a dog's tail

w. f. owen

Friday, April 18, 2008

Marines

off-duty Marines in step

w. f. owen

Thursday, April 17, 2008

spring mist

spring mist
the overspray
of graffiti paint

w. f. owen

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

moonless night

moonless night
the staccato
of an air wrench

w. f. owen

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

hazy moon

rattling coins
in his toy bank
hazy moon

w. f. owen

Monday, April 14, 2008

blowing blossoms

blowing blossoms
she moves a strand of hair
behind her ear

w. f. owen

Sunday, April 13, 2008

signs of spring

signs of spring
the creases
in his new shirt

w. f. owen

Saturday, April 12, 2008

whipping flags

whipping flags
I blink the dust
from my eyes

w. f. owen

Friday, April 11, 2008

foreclosure

cool spring wind
the angle of
the foreclosure sign

w. f. owen

Thursday, April 10, 2008

spring wind

spring wind the whistle of his dentures

w. f. owen

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

umbrella

pulling weeds
she moves the umbrella
with the sun

w. f. owen

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

pruning

spring green the limb I missed pruning

w. f. owen

Monday, April 7, 2008

picnic blanket

picnic blanket a rock on each corner

w. f. owen

Sunday, April 6, 2008

pencil eraser

long day rubbing the pencil eraser on the table to clean it

w. f. owen

Saturday, April 5, 2008

old carpenter (haibun)

Old Carpenter

blue sky
the carpenter makes
a perfect cut

My father always told me to “work with your head, not your hands” and sure enough I became an academic. He didn't mean to demean those who were earning honest livings by honing their skills. We both admired the carpenters, painters and general handymen I see working in the neighborhood during long spring walks.

old carpenter
a few teeth missing
from his saw

Recent high winds have blown down many fence sections so carpenters are everywhere, usually in beat-up, rusted pickup trucks stuffed seemingly with every possible tool and supply item. They are always old—well they look old anyway—but always managing, like that one with a spring in his step between limps.

lifting the hammer
the old carpenter’s hand
stops shaking

w. f. owen

Friday, April 4, 2008

spring sun

spring sun through the blinds
the warmth of it

w. f. owen

Thursday, April 3, 2008

green melon rinds

on the green melon rinds first insects

w. f. owen

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

first draft

first draft the last tree in the yard blooms

w. f. owen

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

new steers

false spring
the pen awaits
the new steers

w. f. owen

Monday, March 31, 2008

hikers

hikers hurry down the trail a fork of lightning

w. f. owen

Sunday, March 30, 2008

fish scales

scraping scales from the fish then each other

w. f. owen

Saturday, March 29, 2008

green bananas

green bananas
my son returns
to college

w. f. owen

Friday, March 28, 2008

spring moon

spring moon from the balcony a bald head

w. f. owen

Thursday, March 27, 2008

leafing tree

just when there's no hope a leafing tree

w. f. owen

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

dental grill

spring light the glint off his dental grill

w. f. owen

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

deathwatch

deathwatch
inspecting the blood
in his spit

w. f. owen

Monday, March 24, 2008

spring darkness

spring darkness
a faint light
from his workshop

w. f. owen

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter

Easter
baby sparrows find
the hidden egg

w. f. owen

Saturday, March 22, 2008

a tapping cane

a tapping cane
all the dandelions
blown to stems

w. f. owen

Friday, March 21, 2008

workers on break

solar halo
puffs of smoke
from the workers
on break

w. f. owen

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Bell's palsy

spring equinox
my friend's
Bell's palsy

w. f. owen

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

paperboy

paperboy
the moment the bike
becomes play

w. f.owen

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

spring cleaning

spring cleaning this year I keep more

w. f. owen

Monday, March 17, 2008

spring breeze

spring breeze a new hair in the bath soap

w. f. owen

Sunday, March 16, 2008

names of the dead

names of the dead
blossoms pile
against the curb

w. f. owen

Saturday, March 15, 2008

food fair

food fair
scraping something
from my shoe*

The food is as varied as the people attending. Attire in creative colors and fabrics, every ethnicity, smells of concoctions intermingling, wafting through the throng. Booths offering samples delivered with oversized plastic gloves and hairnets never quite covering. And yet, from the mimes, to free magnets, to cartoon characters, to that guy on stilts with the constant smile, everything fits.

puppet show
she guides him
into his seat*

w. f. owen
* haiku notebook (pp. 40 & 53)

Friday, March 14, 2008

the neighbor's saw

spring night
the drone
of the neighbor's saw

w. f. owen

Thursday, March 13, 2008

fine spring rain

From haiku notebook (p. 51):

fine spring rain
into the feeder
the hummingbird's tongue

w. f. owen

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

wind-blown blossoms

wind-blown blossoms . . .
trying to remember
a name

w. f. owen

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

spring pruning

spring pruning
I wait until
the bee finishes

w. f. owen

Monday, March 10, 2008

the rug

pounding the rug
she pauses
to catch her breath

w. f. owen

Sunday, March 9, 2008

the glove

the glove
on the shovel handle
yesterday's grip

w. f. owen

Saturday, March 8, 2008

mating doves

mating doves circling hazy sun

w. f. owen

Friday, March 7, 2008

school bell

school bell ants swarm from the mound

w. f. owen

Thursday, March 6, 2008

laundry day

laundry day
a ball of beach sand
in a pocket

w. f. owen

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

playground

carried on spring wind playground laughter

w. f. owen

Monday, March 3, 2008

grass

spring wind the back and forth of grass

w. f. owen

Sunday, March 2, 2008

blossoming

just blossoming
we meet under
the cherry tree

w. f. owen

Saturday, March 1, 2008

leap day

leap day going back for the missed weeds

w. f. owen

Friday, February 29, 2008

leap day

leap day
another down day
on the stock market

w. f. owen

Thursday, February 28, 2008

spinning globe

long day
his finger slows
the spinning globe

w. f. owen

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

the fence builder

lighting one cigarette with another the fence builder

w. f. owen

Monday, February 25, 2008

soap bubbles

soap bubbles and giggles float over the fence

w. f. owen

Sunday, February 24, 2008

coming of age

coming of age
spring gusts
puff his shirt

w. f. owen

Saturday, February 23, 2008

the frog's blink

Excerpt from haiku notebook (p. 17):


I'd rather be out playing with my teen
cousins, but papa wants me to read over
his ledger. In it is listed the yards he mowed
and edged along with the amounts he was paid.
He needs to not make too much. Something to
do with Social Security and what he gets from
his railroad retirement. He always picks me
to help him because he poked out one eye
long ago with a pocket knife and has trouble
reading. He can't claim too much or they'll
cut back on his retirement. Hard to believe.
Owning only a few shirts, wearing the off-white
thermal underwear that sticks out of the frayed
sleeves. I write the names and amounts large
so he can read them, then go out to play.

humid stillness
in the bush
the frog's blink

w. f. owen

Friday, February 22, 2008

the old dog

the old dog's quick burst of speed early spring

w. f. owen

Thursday, February 21, 2008

lunar eclipse

lunar eclipse
my neighbor
dumps her garbage

w. f. owen

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

lemonade stand

abandoned lemonade stand a rain-filled cup

w. f. owen

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

spring flu

spring flu
fever broken
she hums

w. f. owen

Monday, February 18, 2008

first robin

hopping between
patches of frost
first robin

w. f. owen

Sunday, February 17, 2008

haiku of the day

thin white clouds
pulling weeds
root and all

w. f. owen

Saturday, February 16, 2008

haiku of the day

long day
cranking and cranking
the lawn mower

w. f. owen

Friday, February 15, 2008

one line haiku or three?

You have seen several haiku here in one line.
Most are in three lines. I wonder how much of
the practice of three-line haiku involves habit.
True, some poems have natural breaks in this
form. I worry, though, if we allow a practice
to become ingrained, the structure dictates the
content. I know that sometimes I write a one-line
haiku because it reinforces the meanings of the
words:

another argument unfolds the futon

There is a wonderful little book by Hosai Ozaki
titled: Right under the big sky, I don't wear a hat
(Berkeley, CA: Stone Bridge Press, 1993). All of
the poems are in one horizontal line. The translator,
Hiroaki Sato, discusses lineation in this book,
noting that breaking up original one-line poems
into two or three lines "may be not only unjustifiable
but also misleading" (p. 21). I am not sure of the
ultimate "correctness" of this issue. I do know that
where (if at all) a poem breaks (into lines) guides
its reading and, therefore, its interpretation.

Sometimes, I cannot find a "clean" break to
a new line:

early spring
the crossing guard's
smile

So, I think just write it as one line to avoid the
awkwardness of where to put the line break.
Also, since crossing the street is a horizontal
activity, one line evokes that feeling better:

early spring the crossing guard's smile

Incidentally, I struggled a bit on whether to
make it:

early spring the crossing guard smiles

Perhaps there is not much difference between
the two, but it shows the difficulty of writing
haiku even though, as some people tease me,
it's "only a few words."

Graves . . .

waiting for visitors. Like sentries.
Erect, hard and tough. The new recruits
easy to spot. Sharp-cut letters and numbers.
A grit of stone to the touch. Clean, some shiny,
unworn, unweathered. Among them the old salts,
the short-timers, the lifers. They crumble, they lean.

fallen headstone the letters fill with rain


w. f. owen
(haiku notebook, p. 13)

This is an excerpt from my book that is a haibun--a piece of prose
along with at least one haiku. The meanings of each interplay and
enrich the overall effect readers get. The idea is to be an opening
of meaning potentials, rather than to give a story ending. I
suppose in this way haibun are different from the structure
of short stories. The latter seem to offer more
closure than haibun. So, if reading a haibun leaves
you wondering or thinking--perhaps even needing
to return to the written piece again and again--that
is an effective work.

Some writers, including myself, enjoy the larger canvas
provided by haibun. The prose or narrative allow more vivid
language and even metaphors, which generally are not
permitted among most modern haiku. (Of course, there
are exceptions to every rule. I am asserting a general norm
here). However, at least one haiku--a good haiku--is needed
to pull together an effective haibun. So, in my various editorial
roles, I recommend writers first "master" haiku. (Can you ever
truly "master" anything?).

Simply Haiku Journal

A very useful web journal for haiku and related
forms is simply Haiku. Check out the latest issue:

http://www.poetrylives.com/SimplyHaiku/SHv6n1/index-issue.html

One of my poems republished there:

divorced
she cleans the ring
around the tub

w. f. owen

haiku of the day

February sky
the contrail
cuts the moon

w. f. owen

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day
the red of her blush
matches her dress

w. f. owen

haiku of the day

spring gusts
a boy chases homework
drops more

w. f. owen

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

haiku of the day

spring
the new broom
pushes back

w. f. owen

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

haiku of the day

spring thunder
slight cracks in the
swollen tree buds

w. f. owen

Monday, February 11, 2008

haiku of the day

spring sunshine
even the sparrows
notice the robin

w. f. owen

Sunday, February 10, 2008

haiku of the day

slow day
under the willow
a fisherman dozes

w. f. owen

Saturday, February 9, 2008

haiku of the day

warm spring night
the sputter of
an outboard motor

w. f. owen

Friday, February 8, 2008

haiku of the day

lingering day
two basketballs
caught in the net

w. f. owen

Thursday, February 7, 2008

haiku of the day

every day more daylight i cut my nails

w. f. owen

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

haiku of the day

spring funeral
the tree buds
half open

w. f. owen

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

haiku of the day

spring morning
weeding the garden
wearing a sweatshirt

w. f. owen

Monday, February 4, 2008

haiku of the day

early spring
removing another layer
of clothing

w. f. owen

Sunday, February 3, 2008

haiku of the day

the nail half hammered partly cloudy today

w. f. owen

Saturday, February 2, 2008

haiku of the day

walking home from school
sweatshirts around their waists
spring

w. f. owen

Friday, February 1, 2008

haiku of the day

between storms children retake the street

w. f. owen

Thursday, January 31, 2008

haiku of the day

late winter rain
a hint of green
in the rose canes

w. f. owen

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

haiku of the day

bus stop
winter shadows
jumping up and down

w. f. owen

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

haiku of the day

first tree buds
my son bounces
a baseball

w. f. owen

Monday, January 28, 2008

haiku of the day

false spring
a boy throwing
phantom pitches


w. f. owen

Sunday, January 27, 2008

haiku of the day

winter thaw
old and young men
compare wars

w. f. owen

Saturday, January 26, 2008

haiku of the day

pruning rose bushes
the gardener basks
in winter sun

w. f. owen

Friday, January 25, 2008

moon haiku

The moon, traditionally, has stimulated many diverse haiku.
I find it particularly compelling as "moon" cuts across many
seasons and, therefore, conjures many moods and feelings.

day moon
dipping a toe
in the river

crescent moon
hair pulled across
his bald spot

winter moon
she tests the milk
on her wrist

pale moon
the pulsing
heart monitor

moonless night
footfalls silenced
by snow

w. f. owen

haiku of the day

bare trees
the next door neighbors
move out

w. f. owen

Thursday, January 24, 2008

haiku of the day

pet store
nose prints
both sides

w. f. owen

Monday, January 21, 2008

the form(s) of English-language haiku

Let me first say that the ideas here and in my books represent my opinion. It is my belief that haiku forms have a range of acceptability. It's pretty clear that, at least currently, haiku are not only the 5-7-5 syllable count in three lines (though some good ones are). Generally, a haiku represents the authors brief glimpse--one look, one moment, one sound captured in words. So, it is equivalent to one breath in length. It can be one, two or three lines. But the main thing, I believe, is that the poem takes readers into many possible meanings. Haiku get you thinking about nature and human nature. Here are some I wrote:

Father's Day
wearing his tie
again I don't measure up

another argument unfolds the futon

summer solstice
fireflies on both sides
of the jar

winter day the candle burned flat

Note how some of these give the context, which helps to understand the rest of the poems (Father's Day, winter day, summer solstice). The one-liners help enrich the words by accentuating "flatness."

So, please feel free to comment on these or, better yet, post your own poems.

haiku notebook description

This notebook is a bridge between technical manuals on how to write haiku poetry and collections of haiku. There are two hundred