first fire

all the light that won’t
shine again


I was walking along a state forest road yesterday evening, trying to come up with a haiku to accompany a photo I’d taken earlier of a fallen oak tree that looked like a dragon, when I came across this old stump, ringed by saplings like witnesses to a crime (though they wouldn’t have been there when it was cut down). And that moment of insight and inspiration ended up being way more fruitful than the cool-looking thing — which I still haven’t turned into a decent ku.

old birch

the wild gestures of one
living alone


My favorite tree along my favorite section of Pennsylvania’s Mid State Trail. It stands apart, growing in the middle of a patch of mossy, ridge-top boulders. It’s a black birch, not a yellow birch, so it’s probably near the end of its lifetime.

tree crickets

am I walking
the right way


I was exploring a new-to-me section of the nearby Rothrock State Forest yesterday — a trail that hadn’t been maintained for years on a mountain that looked as if it got very few visitors in the course of a year. I only lost the trail briefly a couple of times, but walking back to the car along state forest roads, there was a point at which I became confused and wondered whether I’d taken a wrong turn. That’s when I noticed how lonely the crickets sounded.

slow fall

the standing dead
turn blue


An image-prompted ku, obviously. My first attempt, which I almost went with, was more conventional:

autumn woods
saving the best colors
for dead trees

But that made me yawn, so I slept on it and came up with the above instead.