My Poems in Woodnotes

From 1989 to 1997, I edited Woodnotes, the quarterly journal of the Haiku Poets of Northern California, and also contributed my own work. The following are all my poems included in the journal, arranged chronologically by issue number. I also list rengay, essays, longer book reviews, or occasionally other content also included, and provide links to that content where available, but I omit mentioning editorials, news items, more than two hundred short book reviews, and other content I wrote. I hope the 53 haiku, senryu, and tanka collected here demonstrate an improving trajectory of poetic understanding. See also “My Tanka in Woodnotes and “Selected Haiku and Senryu from Woodnotes (poems by other poets).

#3, Autumn 1989


chinook wind

the smell of

melting snow



#4. Winter 1990


harbour lights

the smell of fish

and fishermen




#5, Spring 1990


redwood wind

and a rushing stream—

one sound


into the cave

     high tide

          spring moon




#6, Summer 1990


after the funeral

changing her cat calendar

in mid month


midsummer dawn

       the scarecrow’s

              unbuttoned shirt



#7, Autumn 1990


through the birches

       a zig-zag trail

              holds a dragonfly


at his favourite deli

the bald man finds a hair

in his soup




#8, Winter 1991


dreaming of spring

I shake the snow

from this pine


where the hobo sleeps

beyond the moonlight . . .

a blowing newspaper



after the quake

the weathervane

pointing to earth


looking up from rubble—

first ray of morning

beyond dark hills





#9, Spring/Summer 1991



in the shade of beech trees—

green moss of spring

on an old wooden dory



#10, Autumn 1991


             [published anonymously, but written by me]


harvest moon—

the white spot

on the black cat



#11, Winter 1991


summer stillness—

       a blade of fresh cut grass




#12, Spring 1992




#13, Summer 1992


dust hovers above the road at sunset



#14, Autumn 1992


autumn moon—

     a silver leaf      folds

          over the weir


(written with Ebba Story)



#15, Winter 1992


a week after New Year’s—

a trail of pine needles

out to the trash


empty silo—

       spring wind pops the metal

              in and out

             [in book review]



#16, Spring 1993


summer stillness—

a bamboo leaf

on the turtle’s back


this cold lonely night

without you, with no chance

of seeing you again,

how I wish

I could turn off the moon


#17, Summer 1993


no mail today . . .

tracks of rain on the window

changing direction


a snail has left

its delicate silver trail

on my book of love poems

left out on your porch




#18, Autumn 1993



spring breeze—


              in the folds of your skirt


so lonely

again this night . . .

the moonlight

spills over the levee

toward your street


#19, Winter 1993


still fluttering

in the mountain wind,

a thousand paper cranes

hung on the pine

by your window


spring breeze—

the pull of her hand

as we near the pet store




#20, Spring 1994



tonight only a pair doves

has come to my window’s shelter

and beside my still-made bed

I have watched

he raindrops fall


          dashing from your car—

summer hail

       streaks my shirt



#21, Summer 1994


I tell her I grow old

have a paunch and need new clothes

that the wild geese have flown

and winter is approaching

—my mother laughs


sun on the rain spout . . .


from peeling paint


noon sun—

the curve of wet sand

around a glass float

             [in book review]



#22, Autumn 1994


    floating down the stream



from the summer-house deck


trimming my nails

on a summer afternoon,

I think of you—

yesterday you told me

you just cut your hair



#23, Winter 1994


a swirl of snow—

she lifts her hair

out of her sweater




#24, Spring 1995


cleaning the bedroom—

the warmth of her shirt

left in the sun


rain streaks the window—

an old phone book

burning in the stove



#25, Summer 1995



how much heavier

       after morning mist—

her jeans on the line


a clean towel

from the linen closet—

smell of scented candles



#26, Autumn 1995


leash on a nail—


in the dog dish


flowering plum—

the overnight rain

has taken the blossoms




#27, Winter 1995


my hand curves

      to fit your breast . . .

the windowsill, snow-laden


winter wind—

kite string tangled

in the garden trellis



#28, Spring 1996


golden sun

still in the waving wheat

at twilight



      into the moon

toy sailboat



#29, Summer 1996


summer afternoon—

the worm in the robin’s beak

still twisting


taking invisible tickets

at the foot of the basement stairs—

child’s magic show


#30, Autumn 1996


the black cricket—


in my rusted pail


fading sunset . . .


on a wasp nest




#31, Autumn 1997


words do not come

for you

on your passing

till the first warm day

      the blossoming plum

             (for Pat Shelley)


horse dust settles

      the wet end

      of a snapped sapling


first snow—

the random tracks

of Canada geese