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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