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 “pwoermds” and “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.