The following are selected poems relating to the moon, mostly haiku and senryu, but also including one tanka, a solo rengay, and one longer poem. I read these poems at the annual Moon Viewing Festival at the Seattle Japanese Garden on 6 September 2014, at which I also cojudged the garden’s annual haiku contest. All poems are previously published.

still water—

the blue heron

steps in the moon +

full moon at midnight—

a barn owl glides

out of the slaughterhouse

cool summer night—

a full moon

frames the bird feeder

beneath the moon

the heron’s slow step

towards frog sound + +

blue moon—

drips from the awning

keeping time

moonless night—

her guard dog barks

at the new husband

ringing church bell—

moonlight dimmed

by a gentle snowfall

the clackity-clack

of the last roller-coaster—

a crescent moon

moonlight breeze

young leaves

barely waving

summer moonlight

the potter’s wheel


I am awake tonight

not because of a bright moon

or lovesickness,

but mere insomnia—and you,

you would not care the reason


than the bonfire

moon in the sand

my window opens . . .

a hundred frogs

sing to the moon

almost faded

into sunlight

old moon

day moon—

the prize pumpkin

lifted to the pickup

rain again . . .

the moon brightens

the cloud’s other side

Night Flight

full moon— +

along the runway

blue lights begin to blur

turning after takeoff

the moon disappears under the wing

for a moment below

in the Mississippi,

a white oval

the seat-belt sign

blinks back on with a beep—

the moon lost in clouds

in-flight magazine:

a four-letter word for lunar

movie over,

the moon lightens

the snow-capped mountains

Jim’s Jelly

The jar of jelly is Jim’s gift to me, +

unexpected after he reads his poems, tells a few stories—

a gift like a wren that flits from musky rafters

to rest on my outstretched finger.

It’s a gift like this afternoon when my son said,

when he’s older, he’ll be able to reach the moon.