Haibun: poetry

What use is poetry? You can’t drive a nail with it. You can’t heat your house, shoe a horse, build a dam, or pave a street. It’s no good for sewing, sawing, swinging, or finding your keys in the dark. If you’re a baker, soldier, mechanic, farmer, gravedigger, or physician, poetry doesn’t get the job done. Does poetry clean, cut, weld, braise, fry, or distill? Design a plane, accumulate capital, build a stadium? Fat chance. About the only thing I can think of that poetry is good for is changing everything.

“Words,” said Sensei,
“Cannot burn your tongue,”
Spitting ashes.

Ten haiku

Here are some haiku that have piled up. Enjoy.

At the feeder.
Suddenly, a woodpecker

Wind from the North
Cherry blossoms

Covering a street
The color of winter
White blossoms

Through the new green
A startled fawn

Early morning parking lot
Street lights in the fog
An alien armada

Cherry blossoms
Still tight
Holding out for sun

The ghost of winter
Blown by an April wind
Dust devil

The calendar page
April follows reluctantly

The moon
So large at dusk
Barely lights your face

Wind, sleet
In spite of April
A splinter of winter