The Moon Says Nothing

F420D19A-9D8B-4034-8370-63CA1D92FECEJust me, the moon, the river–

when I get up to relieve myself
the forest is quiet
except for the factory in my head
producing haiku

The forest is still
but engineers in my head
are busybodies

Then assembling a poem
about not being able to take a leak
without being a haiku geek

Sometimes a guy just wants to pee in peace

The river and me–
moon watches us both flowing
through the dark forest

but words pour in one end
jostling to find a way
to get into the product on the other end

It’s like those people who have to take a photo
of everything rather than be in the moment

except my camara lens is made of words
and the shot is on a delayed timer
the shutter won’t snap until
each word falls into place

and all I want to do is go back to sleep.

Sounds of the forest:
river flowing, man peeing
The moon says nothing.



Lean Into the Wind – 10 Mountain Haiku

mountainLean into the wind
from atop granite ridge, but—
don’t fall on your face

Mountain scurriers
stealing my stuff at midnight—
have fun with my knife!

Even Neruda
didn’t write a lovely ode
about caddisflies

There is a reason
you don’t drink from waterfalls
hanging upside down

Model wearing furs
posing for a photo shoot—
a marmot beauty

Walking off-trail
under blue Sierra skies—
pounds of bear scat

Sleeping back to back
in the freezing mountain air
we survive the night

At ten thousand feet
the June sun is closer and
cities don’t exist

He’s just a rodent
but looks so fashionable
in my old white sock

These granite pack rats
grabbing every loose thing
up on mouse mountain

Awake to Wings – Eight Spring Haiku

lake2At morning and dusk
scooping up their breakfast bugs—
these madcap martins

At the water’s edge
a family of seven ducks—
bedtime is at nine

Playing hide and seek
the kids roam from shore to shore
yelling for their dog

Silhouetted lake
has spring swallows dancing to
ukulele songs

Blue wings, white bellies—
thrill-seeker aerialists
enjoy the sunset

June on the water
swallows and shadows swaying
in the evening breeze

Wood rat scurries in
picking up after picnics
at the city lake

Schedule for the month:
mallards morning exercise
I awake to wings

The Bee Leaves His Tavern – Seven Spring Haikus

IMG_0646Bee leaves his tavern
flying cross-eyed without care
full of daisy beer

An April morning
A fern dangles from fawn’s mouth—
Relaxed etiquette

Under the alder
Orion’s belt shines brightly
through the new spring leaves

I go and you go
to distant growing meadows—
two springs arriving

A springtime buffet
as for the fennel down there—
I ate most of it

First fruits and spring breeze
her thigh under fushia dress—
mighty writhing snake

Even in my arms
hearing the moon moan above
you long for my hands


Kneel for Your Mugwort Blessing

IMG_8932Here’s the final installment of my winter Haiku series! (technically a few days overdue, as Spring Equinox was Tuesday). My goal was a total of 107 Forest Haikus. I achieved it and added one more for a total of 108. Some of you may know the significance of the number. (See the others haikus in the series: Plum Blossom Blankets, Skinny Dipping Water, Fiddlehead Fern Plays an Early Note, 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)

Me and Ms. Otter
surprising one another
in the morning fog

Sunday morning church:
kneel for mugwort blessings
as turkeys sing hymns

Jackrabbits jumping
during their morning commute
no time for hellos

A pair of mule deer
eating the forest buffet
from sunrise to dusk

Egret flying by
when I open my tent door—
sure beats traffic jams

Final winter rain
spiders think my bed’s a raft
to float into spring

Last day of winter
an island in the river
sweet swallows swerving

Water’s edge at dawn
the fog and great blue heron
sipping life slowly

Hummingbird hovers
in a cerulean sky
chirping for the moon

Because words are food
chew on them and let them roll
around in your mouth

Spring arrives with rain
someone left their antlers out—
their head must be cold

Nearby faraway—
where the seasons still dance for
all our relatives

Last day of winter
geese are honking up a storm
for a midnight snack

From first light to dusk
back and forth and back again
geese fly the river

When Quiet is Queen
Winter speaks undying love
in her holy ear

Water’s edge at dawn
a river otter splashes
cold spring on his face

—Ryan Van Lenning