A Haiku Handful

These eighteen poems all appeared in my 2009 trifold handout, A Haiku Handful, distributed mostly at the 2009 Haiku North America conference, held at the National Library of Canada in Ottawa in the summer of that year. Thank you to John Stevenson for first alerting me to my propensity for writing haiku about hands. These poems are also available as a PDF download on the Trifolds page.



                                                                                                spring breeze—
                                                                                                the pull of her hand
                                                                                                as we near the pet store


mountain spring—
      in my cupped hand
            pine needles


                                                                                                shooting star
                                                                                                in my hand
                                                                                                meadow heat


afternoon hike—
the pussy willows dwindling
from my handful


                                                                                                birthday picnic—
                                                                                                grandma’s throw
                                                                                                half way to the toddler


we walk the boardwalk hand in hand
      sharing ice cream
headaches


                                                                                                beached kelp—
                                                                                                we examine each other’s
                                                                                                life lines


nude beach—
my gesture reflected
in her sunglasses


                                                                                                starting her shift
                                                                                                the blonde bartender
                                                                                                puts on a wedding ring


you squeeze my hand . . .
how still the sky
after fireworks


                                                                                                summer moonlight
                                                                                                      the potter’s wheel
                                                                                                            slows


clicking off the late movie . . .
     the couch cushion
     reinflates


                                                                                                gathering clouds—
                                                                                                the feel of the Gettysburg Address
                                                                                                etched in bronze


accumulating snow—
oven mitts
praying on the counter


                                                                                                toll booth lit for Christmas—
                                                                                                from my hand to hers
                                                                                                warm change


first cold night—
the click of your domino
as we play by the fire


                                                                                                Christmas Eve—
                                                                                                bits of a price sticker
                                                                                                stuck to my finger


dense fog—
I write your name
on the airport window



These poems have appeared in the following journals and anthologies: Basho Festival Anthology (Japan, 2004), Blithe Spirit (England), Bulgarian Haiku Anthology (Bulgaria, 2003), Carpe Diem: Canadian Anthology of Haiku (Ottawa, Ontario: Les Éditions David; Nepean, Ontario: Borealis Press, 2008), Dogwood Blossoms, Fan Magazine, For a Moment (Pointe Claire, Quebec: King’s Road Press, 2009), Frogpond, Geppo, Global Haiku: Twenty-five Poets Worldwide (Cullercoats, North Shields, U.K.: Iron Press; Oakville, Ontario: Mosaic Press, 2000), The Haiku Anthology (New York: W. W. Norton, 1999), Haiku: A Poet’s Guide (Lincoln, Illinois: Modern Haiku Press, 2003), Haiku Canada Newsletter (Canada), Haiku for Lovers (London: MQ Publications, 2002), Haiku Headlines, Haikü sans frontiers: Une anthologie mondiale (Ottawa: Les Éditions David, 1998), Heron’s Nest, IDG World Update, Illinois News, Inside the Mirror: 2005 Red Moon Anthology (Winchester, Virginia: Red Moon Press, 2006), Into Snow: 2001 Herb Barrett Award Anthology (Hamilton, Ontario: Hamilton Haiku Press, forthcoming), Midwest Haiku Anthology (Decatur, Illinois: Brooks Books, 1992), Mie Times (Japan), Mirrors, Modern Haiku, Moonset, Open Window (Brooks Books, online, 2000), Pebbles, Pontoon, Presence (England), San Francisco Bay Guardian, Snapshots (England), South by Southeast, Tiny Words, Tobacco Road, Tracing the Fern (Sammamish, Washington: Press Here, 2005), Vox Populi: 2007 Seattle Poetry Festival Anthology (Seattle: Seattle Poetry Festival, 2007), Waverley Writers (Palo Alto, California: Waverley Writers, 2007), and Woodnotes. In addition, “clicking off the late movie” was performed on the Mara Tapp Show, WBEZ, 91.5 FM, Chicago, and many of these poems have also won awards or have appeared on the Electronic Poetry Network at the Shreveport Memorial Library, Louisiana. Thanks to all the editors of these publications for lending me a hand!