lakeshore reflections

lakeshore reflections
the book
I forgot

a small boat’s bristle
of fishing poles

by a deer
missing her fawn

the air pungent
with mushroom rot

passing me
on mountain bikes
their politics

shadow stretching
as I walk

from the hair on my back
a tiny beetle

A sequence based on a walk I took three days ago around a boggy mountain lake known as Black Moshannon, the center of a charming state park.

coffin-shaped spring

the plucked banjo string
of a tanager

One of 24 haiku (many of them admittedly pretty bad) that I drafted in the course of a ten-mile ramble through central Pennsylvania’s Seven Mountains area on Friday, mostly on trails that I’ve hiked and camped along dozens of times over the decades. This old ridgetop spring was originally built for watering horses, I believe.

I didn’t think I was the only one to compare a scarlet tanager’s “energetic and very distinctive chick-burr” call to a plucked banjo string, but a web search only turns up my own posts. Oh well.

watching the live stream

lonesome hollow

A couple of years ago, a wounded doe struggled up from the valley to seek refuge in the steepest part of the hollow and died beside the stream right where it flows the most swiftly, between 90-degree beds of hard sandstone. I almost stepped on her skull the day before last while conducting a wildflower survey.

The photo then prompted this haiku, which in contrast to the one I posted yesterday, took more than a day of pondering: where to go with a germ of wonder that wasn’t terribly original, having to do with the contrast between mortality and the inexhaustible leave-taking of a creek? In the end, I took my cue from a friend of mine who’s become a fan of a YouTube livestream of a forested stream in Denmark. Although with this obvious sort of pun at its heart, no doubt what I’m calling a haiku would be considered a senryu by some.

The idea of a Primal

that we might go back to: frog pond, mating ball of snakes, coyote song, hummingbird battle, voice out of the whirlwind, tectonic rhythms of the planet… everything is primal or nothing is, given the cosmos’s mania for recycling.

Some thoughts toward a rite of spring. Obviously not a haiga, but I had a photo and a mind fart that seemed to go with it, so up it went on Instagram + Facebook. Then I remembered there’s an Epigrams and Conundrums category here.

trail maps

long parallel shadows of trees on the snow crossed by a squirrel's track

the easy chair’s

A few evenings ago, I was sitting on the folded-up futon reading when I looked over and noticed the chair in the corner piled high with trail maps, also looking very settled in and cozy. After a few overly verbose attempts I settled on the wording here. The next day I took a snapshot that sort of worked, but I wasn’t wildly enthusiastic — probably because I’d left the house with the intention of finding an image to accompany the haiku. This direct approach rarely works for me in videopoetry either. Then yesterday, just capturing images that spoke to me on their own, I came up with what would, I realized this morning, make a much better haiga.

I just love the long shadows this time of year. (Those are gray squirrel tracks, by the way.)