From the Cutting Room Floor

I’ve decided to enter some haiku,senryu, and haibun in an annual contest at the haiku society of america, or HSA. Here are some that didn’t make the cut.


early June pond, 
not quite as heated
as a month ago

Sun breaks
Cottonwood snow

Wind rippling leaves;


Morning little league 
Barn swallows
Steal second

took me 'til 
thirty-six to have a steady flow
of clean socks

I used to think 
This was cleaning...
I'm just hiding things. 

A  whole Summer passes
On Sunday evening


There’s an old Asian lady living out of her car, she parks on my street. Every time I pass her she’s not moving, but she is in the middle of doing something; getting something from a bag, making her bed, staring. I’m pretty convinced that she is a buddha, lost in such deep states of conservation that she’s actively preserving energy by moving so slowly, like a slug.

walking the dog
under half moon sky—
tracing chemtrails

Young Buck

Young Buck padding down street, rain pattering like feet; solar wind.

*Last week I was in a neighborhood when out from the landscaping a young buck came out into the street and around the corner. He looked at me, unsure, and decided to keep going. I rolled down my window, which made him stop again. He decided to keep walking, though, apparently whatever lay beyond was worth the risk. As he walked passed, I was shocked at how completely silent he was. I was in awe and also felt inspired to reach such abilities!


I’ve heard this bird song outside my window for a while now, but have not been able to put a face to the song. In the afternoon it sort of resembles a phone ringing. In the early morning hours before the sun it sounds like a bird snoring, if birds snored. Yesterday I finally saw her sitting at the tip of a fir branch singing her hazy melody.

When the junco sings, 
She sings with her whole body.

Out Back

The other day I learned about anger with compassion. There’s less passionate intensity, and more understanding. It’s easier when you’re having a conversation, than when something just happens to you, like getting hurt. But it’s to the benefit of everyone to learn the skill.

Out back
Strawberries have taken over
And not a single flower

Sequences in Acts

I’ve been making it a habit to give my pooch a little extra love and appreciation on our afternoon walks. Usually I give him a good rub down when we get to the grassy field at the church, on the corner down the street. Tonight the clouds pass on a conveyor belt and the immensity of the sky is quite clear. I try to let go of any notions about myself and just focus on giving, he deserves it, though it usually doesn’t last long. Brief moments answering the Immediate Question with an act of giving instead of taking. It doesn’t matter where, it doesn’t matter when.

Even here
One can experience the infinite
Even here.

*The Immediate Question is quite clearly Now. If life were a series of questions in each moment, asking you for your attention, where would you give it, and how well could you give it. What is this moment asking of you, right now?

Spring cleaning

I’m looking at this mess beside my bed and I’m thinking: if I were to die today, in a heap on the bathroom floor, this is what I’ll leave behind. This will be my kids’ inheritance, they’ll have to clean up my mess, and their own. Serves them right for all the socks on the floor and dried cereal in bowls.

It’s an amazing trick i do;  
i clean up the signs of aging in my sink,
in the bed, and all over the house.
And yet somehow i still convince myself
that i’m the same as i was ten years ago.

Stories for Strangers

I watch myself  make up stories about complete strangers and willingly accept the stories as true. I wonder what stories I tell to myself about myself, and does that make me a stranger to myself?

Driving to work
on the first spring of my life.