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)
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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
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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

 

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Dancing Naked in the Rain

IMG_7027I’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 create a total of 107 Forest Haikus and mini ‘zen’ poems over the winter. I’ll share in groups of 5-10. Here are the first few:

Not the only one
dancing naked in the rain
joined by Mister Newt
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Going on a walk
enjoy your mid-day orgy,
lovely ladybugs
——————————————–
Light from autumn moon
casting shadows from redwoods
across my bald head
——————————————–
November redwoods
an unspeakable silence
jet engine roaring
——————————————–
Look, there’s a rainbow!
covering my shit with dirt,
I’m in awe of both
——————————————–
You dropped some feathers
Mister Peregrine Falcon
I’ll keep them for you
——————————————–
Just a few days old
and walking across the sky
my baby moon
——————————————–
I’m learning some things
Not sure what it is quite yet
leaking in like rain
—————————————-
No protection here
November’s got me knocked up
with baby poems
—————————————-
Deep autumn sitting
coyote yipping on verge
of liberation

Drinking the Season

IMG_6974November comes to the forest
as an ocean on the head

something finally dissolves
and a man turns to mist
as struggle takes its leave

most birds play it safe
but some brave birds still sing
the rain makes the kid in them
get up and dance

Their whistle and the tappity tap tap
on the roof of the 20 square foot hut
are the only sounds

though sometimes the man swears he can almost hear the moss
grow by the minute
greening boulder
and bolder yet

conquering the forest
with Greenness
and thereby
settling it once and for all

drinking the rain
as the night drinks the dark
and the man drinks the season

 

 

Gone

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

“If we have become incapable of denying ourselves anything, then all that we have will be taken from us” – Wendell Berry, Leavings

all but the one redwood
gone

took only 15 years

an entire forest
of giants vanished
in a single breath

hills scraped clean
like a quick shave

leaving stubbled hills
to build the places
we love
called Oakland
Martinez, Benicia, Lafayette
San Francisco cable cars

grandchildren
circle around the
stumps–
little ones
compared to the mighty ones

32 feet in diameter
bigger than any ever known

but one remains
a reminder?
a ghost?
a dream?

SCENES FROM STREAM TRAIL

IMG_6440Redwood Creek, Elevation 685 ft., Population 4.3 million, Temperature 61

old needles and a few big arms
thrown down by last night’s midnight wind
cover the perfect messy floor
the price of being tall
nice contribution, group effort

all green and brown and redwood
except the bright blue plastic bag
full of dog shit
so frequent (one of 11), you’d think they too were native
but it’s likely they’re an invasive species

“Come on, boy, come on. Good boy!”

so a story goes
rainbow trout named here
from this very creek
now more bed than flow
(they’re making a comeback)

that’s probably a good thing

(Stay on Defined Trail)
rock graveyard looking thirsty
in deep autumn

middle-aged woman tight yoga clothes
playing motown, trips on roots

“Did your dad quit drinking, or was it smoking?”
“I think he quit smoking.”

yet a flow finds its way further down
from a spring hidden like the
larvae of California newt
tricky toxic Taricha torosa
going through growing pains
also awaiting November rain
(a camper croaked from accidentally boiling one in his morning coffee)

heart appears among tree debris
floating on the water

probably a good thing

jet engines roar (Alaska Airlines)
woosh of the large bird
elderly chinese man shoes so white playing music

eternal wrestling match
with silence
or is that just my conflict mind?

“You know, I think I saw something about that on her Facebook,
she was gonna hike the John Muir Trail by herself. Crazy.”

probably a good thing

Ravens hopscotch on upper limbs
bounce from one bare branch to another
breaking them
can’t tell if they’re squacking from the fun of it
or fighting (also for the fun of it)
either way, tearing the forest down in the process

probably a good thing

poison oak brightest thing in the forest
burnt red rusty orange yellow green
like toxic newt skin, poison has its beauty

probably a good thing

Purple-and-blue-extensions-among-black-braids-girl
smiles wide at me
I’m looking talking with a small round bird
hopping up the side of course bark
breaking bugs

“I was thinking about getting one of those…”

Sequoia sempervirens sighs
breathes cool into my blood
making it redder
lungs lighter
never take clean air for granted

probably a good thing

Like a dog, creek birds tilt tiny heads
look at me like,
wuzup?