Archive for October, 2009

Haiku about Animals

October 27, 2009

Vermont Haiku

newborn colt dazzled
by this old mountain pasture
— starburst on forehead

no mother partridge
sits on the nine off-white eggs
at the logged tree’s roots

spring morning air– sweet…
Then, my wife cries when I say
goodbye to our dog

fleckt earth-colored leaves
clothe the bird who swims and flies
with a skilful fire

small liquid fish drift
in the shady lake shallows
each near his own rock

the whir of insects
sizzle of summer — even
on Bald Mountain’s pate

a million big feet
stride here– but that cat’s feet
in wet cement stayed

oops! Forgot the wing
of a butterfly in that
borrowed haiku book

big eyes made bigger
black as tarantulas, rayed
like black suns shining

pregnant male sea horse
his tail wrapped around a twig
swallows a small fry

scruff-chest scavenger-
sentries posted on fence poles
watching traffic, still


Washington DC Haiku

busy grey squirrels chew
on a grey day lawn; senators talk
inside the capital


mother mouse and babe
hide behind paperback books
peep through cabin’s dark

cardinals in love
close together on the wire
beak to beak seed gifts

roadside dead hawk: sun
glows through big up-pointed wings
orange-tan with brown spots

there you go again
turtle, leaving me with your signs:
“plp” sound, spreading rings

eternity’s whirr
in cricket fiddle fern night
:everlasting peace

along the canal
small turtles sunning themselves
plop! as I approach

tilted webbed duck feet
skid-land, splashing water
“like a 747”

then “return, return”
whirr-of-eternity crickets
sing “return return”

In this cooling night
August’s ground fog brings up
the reservoir trout

silent canary
arabesques down through sunlight
first autumn leaf falls

sugar molecules
rise from the pepsi I open –
bees come in no time

strung on the trellis
milkweed pods on leafless vines
like seven green parrots

milkweed pods open;
show silk seeds shingle-layered
perfect white fish scales

butterfly stripes and
the shadows of grass stalks paint
tiger’s fierce glory

scampering squirrels
in late August’s lush green leaves
crickets whirring on…

wild forest shadows
are shadings of wolf fur
and vice versa

Trickster sparrow dumps
the locust; upsidedown, dry
wings buzz on cement

Miniature spiders
rappell down my monitor;
I’ve been gone two days

Falling mist. Five wrens
pluck mulberries, fluttering
leaves with their free wings

the serpent sheds old
skin–it is translucent a while
then it becomes dust

small hometown wild grapes
sad as geese flying south, but
a heartening wine

fenced-in dogs yelping
at far sounds: kids play, leaves fall
worried threatened barks

oil-slick elephant
of peacock eyes made up of
yet smaller peacocks

pup runs like wobbly
ferris wheel– chomps cigarette
butt, trots on to play

wolf’s haunting howl– wild
wolf eyes; but funny little
grandson dog now barks

elk stags butting heads
near hurrying river waters
far from busy eyes

O fly, wearing your
iridescent fur cape, aren’t
you hot in the sun

Falling mist. Five wrens
pluck mulberries, fluttering
leaves with their free wings

rattly buzz flying…
sparrows play with locust
like handshake buzz joke

swallows boomerang
out over the river before
thunderstorms fire up

miniature spiders
rappell down my monitor
I’ve been gone two days

Tiruvannamalai/Arunachala Dec. 1999-2000

peacock trails long tail
in dust; thunder laughs
gloomy winds of grit

The whole hill’s humming
with brooks of bird song for a
silent yellow dog

even truck and bus
horns in the distance sound like
bird song on this hill

the bats are busy
as Arunachala dims
swooping in the dusk

philosophic monkey
holds his own elusive tail
wondering what’s up

crunched by my door
depressed lizard loses his tail,
is eaten by ants

searching dreams and
mountains for my inner path
the hill cave of light

4AM fairyland
far off cassette shops
temple loudspeakers

floating on a raft
of music sabha platform
currents of ragas


Mumbai haiku Jan. 2000

shantytown kites fly–
yesterday purple paper
today cellophane


highway traffic jam
so slow a bored fly hitchhikes
on the mirror, primping

spider’s sheer thread shines
from telephone lines to the ground
fragile and ancient

elegant flowers
purple-blue, snow white, peach–all
have pussy whiskers

steam hovers over
the river: ghosts of bears, reeds
and ripples, rising

A.M.’s glowing wisps,
mist veiling curved White river’s
sky-silver surface

The debarked dog scrapes
together a voice almost
from nothing, alarmed

The happy fir tree,
like a big green dog shaking
the water off, (gr)owls

small robin steals a
worm from the same-size bird
with a black breast

at stoplight after
bridge, two geese eat sidewalk mul-
berries, one by one

wide-wing hawks — a pair —
hover high in windy air
above wedding vows

Each time I open
the door the dog chases squirrels
he has been watching

old jack-o-lantern’s
face collapsed today when
squirrels leaned on it

Mice and weeds have life
we and weeds and mice have death
life and death share us

male squirrel chases
spiralling path up orange
maple after her

black and white butter-
fly (mostly black) pausing in
the forest sunlight

garter-snake coiled
so carefully around it-
self, in warm sun beams

woodpecker rat-tat-
tat — like big creaking of
collapsing outhouse

a cow walking backwards?
no; two others walking forward
past that still one

Our car passes, turns
chained dogs into firecrackers
of exploding barks

US flag flutters
zebra stripes running wild, all
redneck blue-sky day

fly does a headstand
– a busy little yogi
rubbing his back legs

Ladybug hurries
higher out on the window-
frame, five tall flights up

pairs of penguins
on rough boulders in blue waters
breasts like milkweed silk

South Africa Haiku

a hyena trotting
off smartly with a stripped back-
bone like a looter

entangled turtle
in a kelp forest– legs trapped
in nylon knots

red winged starlings up
on Tabletop Mountain– thieves
skillful in the wind

Jack the one-eyed cat
lies flat in restaurant courtyard
relaxed at day’s end

scaly anteater
a big long pinecone with legs and tail
a shingled reptile

bottle head dolphins
arcing over waves, wheeling,
mating, tails up in ecstacy

secretary bird–
in the fynbos stalks snakes,
stomps, white neck black suit

jackal buzzard stands
on top of a utility pole,
scans for field mice, moles

4 hippos immersed
in cool pond water, resting,
bush buck springs nearby

baboon on highway
shoulder, waiting , watching all
the busy traffic

Snow leopard stalks, back
paws stepping in front paws’ prints
so cool, quiet and neat


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October 19, 2009

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