He, a tall, kind man – who loved those large camphor trees – Leaves, seeds, on our porch – His apologies, too – All cut down now before spring. – a tanka grief poem In fond memory of Shinagawa-san

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Look, Move Accordingly

The ridge holds the moon – while red fox glides up the slope – and snow cat descends. – Look, and move accordingly – Sometimes go up, sometimes down. – a tanka protest poem This week we are in Hokkaido staying at an Onsen (hot spring) hotel and snowboarding in Niseko. In addition to world […]

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Empty Classroom

A bright little girl – Sits in her classroom and looks – at all the empty chairs. – a haiku protest poem We must not… H.R.610 – To distribute Federal funds for elementary and secondary education in the form of vouchers for eligible students and to repeal a certain rule relating to nutrition standards in […]

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A mother’s worried eyes

So far away – a mother’s worried eyes – fall short of her son. – Gasping for air and vision – This is not democracy. – a tanka protest poem We must not… H.R.861 – To terminate the Environmental Protection Agency.115th Congress (2017-2018) H.J.Res.69 – Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United […]

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Pigeons in Paris

Pigeons in Paris – panic and take flight – But still alight on – a kind hand outstretched. – a five syllable mountain poem Paris is still here. We have found the city predictably subdued and the security can feel oppressive, albeit necessary, at times. That said, we have been universally welcomed by all. It’s […]

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Ancient screams echo

Ancient screams echo – through cold granite corridors. – The lord sleeps above. – a haiku poem Written after the dungeon and torture chamber situated below the bedroom at Chateau de Chillon in Montreux, Switzerland.

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A Wildflower Blooms

A wildflower blooms – in astounding directions. – Some long, some short. A haiku poem in memory of Mohima Inspired by the Zen proverb – In the landscape of spring, there is neither better nor worse. The flowering branches grow naturally, some long, some short. These words can be of great consolation in times of tremendous […]

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Harbor Tugs

Work tugs, halide lights – Rolling gently, evening swell – Floating styrofoam – Fenders whine with dock lines taut – False appearance of order. -a tanka poem

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Dandelion seeds – Set into the morning air- Counting on the wind – Listen. What becomes of the dandelion? -a haiku poem with capping phrase

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Macha Tea

Melting spring snow- Flows down the mountainside- into the sunlight. – Why not sit on tatami – and whisk macha tea?   -a tanka poem  

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Quarter Moon

Half hidden, half seen – The quarter moon arises – Casting no shadows. – a haiku poem A quarter moon surprisingly clear through the light noise of Yokohama on Saturday May 14, 2016.

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Wind Slams the Glass

Rain clouds on rooftops swallow the spring sun and mute the flowers. Silhouettes in puddles fragmented by rain drops against a mirrored sky Then wind slams the glass. Reflections now obscured The flat sky breaks as the water recedes.   -a mountain poem This poem was written for Mina who has had to deal with far more illness […]

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Breath Freezes

Falling snow lands softly – joining the standing trees – with the clouds and the earth – the winter and the spring. – Exhale and breath freezes. -a six syllable mountain poem

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Rate of Spring

Graceful leaves open – unfolding with perfection – at the rate of spring. -a haiku poem This macro photo of a flowering kale plant in early spring reveals at least two aspects to it that are particularly striking. The first was the incredible grace of the leaves as they unfold so slowly but dramatically. The second is the […]

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Harmony in the Void

Surrounded by sasa* now snow – A tree bends from the earth – As it’s pushed by the mountain wind – Cracking in the dry winter air – Emblazoned by the summer sun – Creative harmony in the void. -an eight syllable mountain poem * Sasa is type of low lying bamboo that covers the open sections […]

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A Fresh Wind

Soft, supple, solid – Her love is felt a fresh wind – Hinamatsuri -a haiku poem Hinamatsuri also called “Girl’s Day” in Japan is a annual celebration that honors the daughters in families. In writing this I thought of the feeling of holding our daughter that has been with us since birth along with an insightful […]

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Nansen’s Fox

Sitting with stilllness-
and sounds of a winter’s dawn-
A fox runs barking.

Speaking on his own behalf –
So not to be cut in two.

-a Tanka poem

On the morning when I wrote this tanka poem I was sitting by a nicely maturing wood fire in the fireplace at our family mountain house in Karuizawa, Japan. It was a little before 6am and I was thinking about Nansen’s Cat when through the early morning forest I heard a repeated whelping. Rushing to the window, I saw a red fox running down the snow covered road barking as he/she went. To the best of my understanding, this behavior is most likely related to the arrival of mating season and demonstrations to attract a suitable mate. In other words a fox just “foxing” in the cold morning air.

The image above was taken very near to the path the fox took with the red in the pine cone perhaps paralleling the stunning red coat of the barking fox.

Feb 28, 2016

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Honda Super Cub Delivery Bikes

Throat gargle 4 stroke single cylinder – Tin rattle can coffee – Loose clunk 3 speed semi-automatic transmission – Bone shrill, drum brake squeal – Skin tint, news print, white guntei gloves – Sun cracked rubber ties of recycled truck tire tubes – Bed head, chin stubble, crotch stained work pants – Rage tempered, tarmac […]

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Foolish Bamboo

Resigned to the forest floor –  Distinct from society – Green bamboo extends skyward –  Slim leaves rustle in the wind – Tonbi soar high overhead –  as sunlight warms the damp earth –  A fool seeking detachment.  -a seven seven mountain poem That alone you are in the middle of a vast murmuring crowd. It may […]

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The Stone Fountain

A mirror reflects without hesitation – A thousand puddles shine back at the moon – A stone fountain fills slowly with water – Up to the edge when the colors of spring – Instantly burst from a late winter’s day. – a ten syllable mountain poem

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Bears in the Garbage

My grandfather was half-scholar, half-lumber jack Always a beard, a notebook, and a pair of binoculars Usually a four wheel drive which we climbed up into one fading fall afternoon to go look at bears. High up, watching over, not a typical ten year old’s view Rumbling down small stone roads, next to a big stone […]

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