Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Friedrich Nietzsche HAIKU

If you gaze for long into an abyss,
The abyss also gazes
Back into you.
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Faith is not wanting
To know
What is true.
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Sleeping is no mean art:
For its sake one must
Stay awake all day.
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I would believe only
In a God that knows
How to Dance.
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Does wisdom perhaps appear on the earth
As a raven, which is inspired
By the smell of carrion?
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Fanatics are picturesque,
We would rather see gestures
Than listen to reasons.
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In heaven,
All the interesting people
Are missing.
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It is not a lack of love,
But a lack of friendship
That makes unhappy marriages.
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The things which
Do not kill us
Make us stronger.
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There is more wisdom
In your body
Than in your deepest philosophy.

Post Harvest Feast

After Thanksgiving vacation,
It's a light travel day
In the airport rail station.
I land hard on the platform, huffing,
And pause over my baggage,
After too much draggage,
Remembering all the turkey and stuffing,
... Alas, it has all flowed by,
A gastronomic wet-dream,
Football games, and pumpkin pie
By now morphed into fat cells,
As the new cold week beckons
With its work-office hells --
Time to adjust my attitude,
Put back on the "game face",
Following the Harvest interlude...
The train pulls up to take me back
To the city and the winter and my treadmill place.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Admoniton From A Little Old Lady

I ascend the platform to make a speech
Confident, puffed and pumped-full of pride
But upon facing the audience found
I could not remember by words, nowhere to hide...
So I stumble-through, somehow to the end,
And much quieter, chastened, and humbled
From the speaker's stage, descend...
Soon after, a little old lady grabbed my sleve and said:
"If you went up, lookin like when you came down;
You would have come down, lookin like when you went up"
I looked at her with surprise, and mumbled
"Thanks", but remembered her words completely, in the end.

My Grandpa's Cap

The morning wind whooshes, fresh and cold,
In the late-November back yard, just after sunrise,
And my head is warmed by my Grandpa's cap,
Red-plaid wool, found in the closet, 100 years old
At least --- And as the sun shines in my eyes,
The gold-brown oak leaves scatter across the grass,
I consider roots and prairie turf and days gone by,
And shiver at the image of forlorn frigid days
Spent in homes built of true grit and sod,
The Scandinavian pioneers praying to God
That the land they bought to be free of kings
Would, someday, lead to warmer better ways
To live --- And things, they did get better,
For sweat and luck brought abundance for all,
And Grandpa bought his cap to hunt for deer,
In the happier orange-colored Fall...
This same cap sits on my balding brow,
Reminding me of my ancestors' journey,
Through the cold grass, with hope, until now...

Friday, November 26, 2010

Stand-Off At Bedtime

Big house cat, lying on
The sweet-spot of my bed,
Looks up at me, unmoving...


Over turkey, stuffing, and sauce,
The distance-challenged kin,
And friends-who-have-no-other,
Talk at a well-set table, within
A house, which is a home,
Also a debate hall, a looney bin...

Important rule: Leave quickly, politely,
After the feast has been devoured,
Before the coffee has cooled,
And the conversation has soured.

The Kid And The Veteran

"Which war did you like the best?"
Asked the young one,
And I thought to myself
"Afghanistan, or the one further west?"
Both a desert-deadly bloody bore,
But the rush and the thrill
Made me go back for more,
Otherwise I'm pushing boxes
In a suburb mega-store...

So I look the kid right in the eye,
"Neither one, both sucked", I lie...

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Upon Listening To Chesnokov

The voices of Russians singing,
Twenty men and twenty women,
Join and blend and soar
In a sonic-rainbow harmony so
Beautiful and ethereal,
So haunting, that it
Aches behind my eyes
And wrings something inside, hinting
That there's a momentary place
Beyond, where all is well,
And peaceful-delightful,
Like the precious minutes
Of an orange-purple sunset,
Or lovers' embrace...
The music ends,
And I die a little...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Last Laugh For The Hare

Mist-frost morning...
Late for a meeting and unaware,
I burst out of the door,
And onto the sidewalk, where
Without any warning,
I'm on ice, and slip-slide and wiggle...

And all of this happens,
In front of a rabbit,
Who surely stifles a rodent giggle.

"What We're Told" In Blank Verse

Compelled to fill an empty space within,
That part of us we're told is like a god,
Which left unfed will gnaw us from inside,
And leave the soul anemic and in sin...
So, thus enjoined, we scramble off to church,
And temple, convent, shrine, or gilded mosque,
Where we retreat from monsters we have made,
Because we're told there's nowhere else to hide.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Celestial Candle

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
Do you notice from afar,
Your kin, we humans call the sun,
Which burns, like you, until it's done,
Then grows and shrivels, in a dark
Return to the state where things begun...
Twinkle, twinkle, little light,
Burning-out in an empty night.

Tree Deity

Two-hundred-year-old Bonsai tree --
A god on an island of moss,
In a small earthware bowl.

How many hands have tended thee...?

Defiance In Yellow

The late-autumn ginko tree
Gloriously golden
Its leaves like pieces of the sun
Flash a yellow farewell
Before the approach of winter.

No Cure

He rolls back and forth on the bed,
In anger and pain, groaning
To me, to God, and the cruel fate
Which deemed he must lie,
While eaten from the inside,
Full of morphine, moaning,
And I, his young son, sit beside,
Bewildered, watching my love die.

East Of The Westroads

It feels funny-strange,
When -- and where -- it hits me...
A sense of being home, in a place
So familiar, yet distant, misty
Memories of a life which used to be...
Sensed vice pictured, a vapor trace
Of happiness, while walking on the side
Of a street without a sidewalk,
Clean, gray concrete, straight and wide,
Built to last on a former field
Of corn, a suburban pathway to the mall,
On which the Midwest mini-vans glide,
Toward all the happiness they can buy...
I am one of them, impossible to deny,
Scuffing the kerb under an empty sky.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Matrimonial Blues

Compliant and demure and everything,
Gentle object of romantic fantasy;
Once wedded and wearing my ring,
Now orders and chores and rants at me...

View From Healing Center

Lying, bored, on the hospital bed,
Other oldsters in the room, close to being dead,
I wait for the results of a clinical test,
Stuck with a catheter, hoping for the best...
How can it be that a place of healing
At the same time spurs such a torpid feeling,
A paradox-hotel of pain and ills --
And a stone-sexy nurse who delivers pills,
Which send me off to a happier place
Where despair disappears, without a trace,
Into a mind-maze only dreams can make,
Until the cold-hard moment when I awake.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Making Snake Liquor

First you have to find & catch
The Mamushi viper
A brave-quick snatch
Hold it by the head
Don't get dead...
Then comes the hard part
Of getting the angry snake
Into an "issho-bin" large sake bottle
Gotta be smart
With nimble fingers take
The head, and jam it down
Into the glass mouth
And as the serpent jumps & uncoils
Belows, you add the water
Which will be changed
Several times over the next few weeks
Removing the snake spoils
Until it's time to add
The "Sho-Chu" liquor up to the brim
Thereafter letting it age
In a cool dark place for a year
Or so, and then it's ready to drink
The original liquid Viagra...

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Cocooned in a digital uterus,
In a basement with his computerus,
He clicks away to the world's ends
With no one to love, no friends
But himself, and his need to go viral,
Which takes his mind
Off his downward spiral...

Monday, November 1, 2010

Business Meeting Haiku

Lights do down, PowerPoint's on,
Everyone starts fingering Blackberrys...
Afterwards, remembering nothing.
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Theories and opinions fly back & forth
The discussion starts to heat up
But the coffee just gets cold.
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Challenges for paying attention
Are the cut & color of her blouse
And the fact I have to pee.

The Raptor

The unmanned aerial vehicle
Soars silent like a bird of prey,
Over a blood-filled obliteration
Of some poor sucker's wedding day...
Shreds of innocents' flesh and shit,
Fall, like morbid precipitation,
Around the spot where the missile hit,
Coloring the bull's eye red...
And the reason for all the dead
Was an intelligence mistake,
Made at an air base the previous day,
But as they say, "War is hell", and sometimes
Collateral damge is the price you pay...

Dangerous Small Family Pub

Relaxed ambience at the restaurant bar
Where we sit at the counter,
Guests from afar,
Complimenting mama-san's cooking skill,
We feel welcome and wanted,
Peacefully contented, until
We look at the size of the bill...