Fiddlehead Fern Plays An Early Note

Here’s the 7th installment of winter Haikus. My goal: a total of 107 Forest Haikus and mini ‘coyote’ poems over the winter, sharing in groups of 10. (See the others: Cricket’s Eye Point-of-View, Being Stalked By A Forest, Wings Like Boomerangs, My Tent is Leaking Haikus, Always Coming and Going, and Dancing Naked In the Rain)

IMG_7830Nettles in my cup
eastern light slides over plum
blossoms popping white

In a morning mood
a choir of coyotes
sing the winter morn

Early second moon
haikus in the morning frost
jays write them better

Mushrooms emerging—
A Potawatomi word
has it: puhpowee!

Pink in the morning
white and yellow with the sun—
daisy eyes open

Music of the woods
fiddlehead of lady fern
play you on my tongue

A fiddlehead fern
early note of forest spring
makes a tasty treat

On the edge of flight
will she jump out of her nest,
Little fledgling moon?

February moon
caught in the branches again
will she ever learn?

Cold night, morning frost
only thing hot is my blood
on a low boil

Mid-winter dream:
liberation by solstice
But first—bad habit



Being Stalked By a Forest

batsHere is the 5th installment of winter Haikus. My goal is to birth a total of 107 Forest Haikus and mini ‘coyote’ poems over the winter, sharing in groups of 10. (See the others: Wings Like Boomerangs, My Tent is Leaking Haikus, Always Coming and Going, and Dancing Naked In the Rain)

Spotted owls at dusk
and delta airlines above
take turns caroling

squirrels fight for nuts
and I fight with monkey mind–
too cold for these wars

some animal there
being stalked by a forest
in winter–it’s me

grey forest bushtits
pretending not to notice
my morning routine

not a soul for days
except peregrine falcon–
he comes to my shows

pitch black winter night
scared away by midnight fart–
my blind possum friend

darting here and there
through the forest like a pro–
peregrine falcon

hard cold and soft light:
closer cousins than I knew
live in the same house

most end up rotting
in soggy winter meadow–
bitter green walnuts

bats all a’flutter
because evening comes again
some things never change

Owl Saint of Night

owl of minerva
“The owl of Minerva takes its flight
only when the shades of night are gathering” – Hegel

the crickets howl at dusk
amidst the peace

at the edge of the meadow
a cold hoot stands sentinel

and a great hunger arises
from the center of things

seeking satisfaction
along the perimeter

Rabbit bows her head
in quiet ceremony

safe from shadows swinging
down without a sound

Oh Owl Saint of Night
creamy rhythm in furtive flight

knives from killer sky
piercing jugular, jumping
screaming bunny, heaving
high-pitch horror, bleeding
body kicking, raining
remains of rabbit rapidly
dying into darkness, flying
final thoughts as these:

“hope is not the thing
with feathers, and for all
the feathers fine
a bitter chill it was,
the bitter chill was mine.”

the curtain closes with a hoot
on ancient afternoon

as Artemis smiles from the east
a winter silence resumes

My Tent Is Leaking Haikus

IMG_7214Here is the next installment of my Haiku project.

(I’ve been immersing myself in the Japanese masters, Issa, Bashō, Buson, Shiki. The haiku form is deceptively simple–more difficult than it appears, if you want to abide by some traditional conventions. My goal is to birth a total of 107 Forest Haikus and mini ‘coyote’ poems over the winter, sharing in groups of 5-10.)

Several days of rain
my tent is leaking haikus
cannot find a plug

Forest asks at dusk:
“What does loneliness look like?”
Cottonwood’s last leaf

Taking a leak
can’t add much to this rainstorm
yet still I must try

Moving by moonlight
trying to read my writing
lonely ladybug

no gods, no buddhas
only this dawn someone left
holiday surprise

I would pick from you
as if it were a flower
one hoot, Great Horned One

Long December nights
like me, getting lots of sleep
my gentle possum

Just laying around
soaking up air and water
these lazy mosses

grey skies, quiet birds
winter here: just saying it
makes me lonely

hot tea cold night
intentions set at new moon
signed by shooting star


Grand Ol’ Creek Time Jubilee

IMG_7211everybody’s hyper today
wet and excitable
after yesterday’s ocean drop
swept the forest clear and bright

jays and ravens–full of leaf love–
conduct their on-going argument
with glottic glee
but are yet to break into song

warblers swim the laurels
smacking nuts to the ground
whistle of the red tail
remains of the rabbit

squirrels ch ch chhhchchchc
chirp it up real good
down the leafless walnut
switchy bushy tail play
trying to get attention

mushrooms do pushups out of logs
intrepid composers
bands of banded doves
rip tarps off the treetops
making eucalyptus shake
melodies from her hair

everybody’s having a grand ol’ creek time jubilee

except for lonely duck lost
— he asks for directions

oak shrugs at the roots
grandmother redwood sighs her 20 ft. arms
to the duff
in a crash
surrendering to the season

only the moon hovering above
seems unperturbed
watching the whole scene

but even she, drowsy half-queen
evokes the coyotes’ best salutes
at dusk

Midnight Gifts

Someone’s been leaving me treats
while I sleep
maroon bay nuts
on my island in the Grove of the Sacred Laurel

13 now, a Baker’s dozen
foraged food by the Unknown Chef
placed at my door
perhaps concerned about me
making it through the winter out here

The Huichin Ohlone used to make a drink
from these avocado cousins,
chocolate-coffee tasting
perhaps I’ll try

though the moon finds her way
through the dense forest
I haven’t seen the Giver yet

But through the night
I hear a shuffling in the gully
and a murmuring:
the work songs
of a midnight mystery marmot
on forest graveyard shift