HOW STONE IS MADE – haiku & tanka sequence

03 Apr

How Stone Is Made

in the city sky
riding the thermals-
vultures rise

a still body
on the shattered highway
shadows of crows

startled doves
filling the air above his grave
21 gun salute

blue spruce forest
the mountain’s still scarred
where wildfire raged—
a man should not
outlive his son

in the emptiness
you faded away, pale moon—
merciless white sky

attending at deathbeds,
watching their dimming,
dying eyes—
you can see it when they leave:
we are light

wind rising—
kite on a string
longs to fly

comforting the kids,
keeping a stiff upper lip
and a gentle eye,
letting those, who want to, weep;
holding my tears for later

above the dam
cracked dry mud for miles—
dust brown willows

old stand
of paper birch
shading the south side
of a paint-peeling barn
fluttering in the wind

brushing snow from her headstone—
a bitter wind rattles
in the trees

knees dusted with snow
the mangroves are still
waiting for you
house in the clearing…
the bed we once shared

these long nights—
mute swan in winter

another new year
and I’m still here waiting
aching for your voice
tattered curtains writhe
as the wind claims this ruin

great oaks creak
in the wind
no birdsong

a chill wind passes
through windows, doors and halls
the taint of our pain
echoes of old sorrows
the fireplace moans in the cold

last year’s
new rail fence—
grey in a still dawn

her grave all grassed over—
missing the touch of her hand,
the brush of her lips;
this phantom pain…
it is killing me

silent bird
flies south in summer—
shadow of one swan

on my reed-thatched roof,
the weight of noon sunlight
presses out the nightmares—
mouse bones whiten
on the whispering roof

space for a boulder
just filled by this boulder—
trailing orchids


Published in LYNX, June 2006, and on 2010.


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