Selected One-Liners

In Japan, haiku is written in a single line vertically. Some poets and translators have proposed that haiku in English should also be in one line, but horizontally. The following are selections of my one-line haiku, sometimes also called monostich haiku, together with a few minimalist poems that might not be haiku. Publication credits appear at the end. See also “Blips.”












an ant in the shadow of the pebble I kicked






a robin’s song     the next hospital bed now empty






at the end of the grey horizon                              a ship






at the end of the valley         birdsong






beach silence       i wade the wind






blown to the end of the lake an old rowboat






camel’s hump          the hidden pyramid






deserted park     hail on the chessboard






discussing steaks new vegetarians






dust hovers above the road at sunset






fear of miscarriage          end of war






firelight       in and out of tinsel


















from horizon to horizon the milky way












kicking acorns the bough cracks






pallbearers pause          dust motes slowly falling






playing whist again her wistful smile






pop fly sound of clapping chairs






potatoes eyeing me eyeing potatoes






second trimester       we name our cars






slow along the knife edge the chef’s pinkie






spring wind spreads the pine needles






startling naked lovers       the moo






still heron   stills me






2 a.m. the sleeping pill ad






under the bridge the road changing pitch






waiting waiting the train with no caboose






These poems previously appeared in Black Bough, Brevities, Carved on a Beach (Toronto, Ontario: Haiku Canada, 2002), Fig Newtons (Foster City, California: Press Here, 1993), Frogpond, Haiku Canada Newsletter, Haiku Friends (Osaka, Japan: Print 819, 2009), Mirrors, Modern Haiku, Northwest Literary Forum, Origin, Raw Nervz, South by Southeast, Still, Tremors (Foster City, California: Press Here, 1990), WinterSpin, Wisteria, and Woodnotes. Many poems also appeared in the “Chairs Askew,” “Moving Day,” “Pop Fly,” and “The Sandpiper’s Song” broadsides.