Terebess Asia Online (TAO)

Back to the Modern American Haiku Poets

David M. Bader' Haiku

100 Great Books in Haiku
Haiku U.: From Aristotle to Zola, 100 Great Books in 17 Syllables (Gotham Books, 2005, 112 pages)

D. H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover

On the grounds, fresh game.
On the new gamekeeper, fresh
Lady Chatterley.


Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

Snow-drops hang like tears.
Shy, sweet, saintly Beth has died.
One down, three to go.


St. Augustine, The Confessions

This is just to say
I screwed around. Forgive me.
I enjoyed it so.


Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita

Lecherous linguist –
he lays low and is laid low
after laying Lo.


Aristotle, Metaphysics

Substance has essence.
Form adds whatness to thatness.
Whatsits have thinghood.


Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales

Pilgrimmes on spryng braecke –
roadde trippe! Whoe farrtted? Yiuw didde.
Noe, naught meae. Yaes, yiuw.


The Iliad

Sing, Goddess, of how
brooding Achilles' mood swings
caused him to act out.


Oedipus Rex

Chorus: Poor bastard.
Oedipus: This is awful!
Blind Seer:Told you so.


Remembrance of Things Past
Marcel Proust

Tea-soaked madeline -
a childhood recalled. I had
brownies like that once.



By Zeus, Socrates!
It seems you're right once again!
Time for your hemlock.


The Odyssey

Aegean forecast -
storms, chance of one-eyed giants,
delays expected.


De Revolutionibus Orbium Caelestium
Nicholas Copernicus

Guessus whatibus?
Earthus orbits the Sunnum!
Ptolemy doofus.



Hrothgar's hall, haunted.
Dauntless Danes die. Grendel-gored.
Why not hrelocate?


Marcus Aurelius

As grapes become wine,
so must one accept one's fate.
Die well. Like a grape.


The Inferno
Dante Alighieri

Abandon all hope!
Looks like everyone's down here.
Omigod - the Pope.


The Prince
Niccolo Machiavelli

What I learned at court:
Being more feared than loved--good.
Getting poisoned--bad.


Jewish Haiku
Haikus for Jews: For You, a Little Wisdom (Harmony Books, 1999, 112 pages)

The sparkling blue sea
beckons me to wait one hour
after my sandwich.

Cherry blossoms bloom.
Sure, it's beautiful, but is
it good for the Jews?

Is one Nobel Prize
so much to ask from a child
after all I've done?

Monarch butterfly,
I know your name used to be

Five thousand years a
wandering people – then we
found the cabanas.

How soft the petals
of the flower arrangement
I have just stolen.

Jewish triathlon --
gin rummy, then contract bridge,
followed by a nap.

The frost-withered fields
flecked with white chrysanthemums --
Bubbeleh, your scarf.

Shatner and Nimoy
observing Shabbos -- "Scotty,
beam up a minyan."

Shedding its wet skin,
the spritzing seltzer bubble
becomes a Buddha.

SJF seeking
eternal soul mate -- must be
a professional.

Like a bonsai tree,
your terrible posture at
my dinner table.

Lonely mantra of
the Buddhist monk -- "They never
call, they never write."

Sorry I'm not home
to take your call. At the tone
please state your bad news.

In a stage whisper
a yenta confides the name
of her friend's disease.

Hey! Get back indoors!
Whatever you were doing
could put an eye out.

No fins, no flippers,
the gefilte fish swims with
some difficulty.

Beyond Valium,
the peace of knowing one's child
is an internist.

Left the door open
for the Prophet Elijah.
Now our cat is gone.

After the warm rain
the sweet smell of camellias.
Did you wipe your feet?

Her lips near my ear,
Aunt Sadie whispers the name
of her friend's disease.

Testing the warm milk
on her wrist, she sighs softly.
But her son is forty.

Jews on safari --
map, compass, elephant gun,
hard sucking candies.

The same kimono
the top geishas are wearing:
I got it at Loehmann's.

Mom, please! There is no
need to put that dinner roll
in your pocketbook.

Seven-foot Jews
in the NBA slam-dunking!
My alarm clock rings.

Quietly murmured
at Saturday services,
Yanks 5, Red Sox 3.

Hard to tell under the lights.
White Yarmulke or
male-pattern baldness.

BLT on toast –
the rabbi takes his first bite,
then the lightning bolt.

“Through the Read Sea
costs extra.” Israeli movers
overcharge Moses.

"Can't you just leave it?"
the new Jewish mother asks --
umbilical cord.

Firefly steals into
the night just like my former
partner, that gonif.

Hava nagila,
hava nagila, hava....
enough already.

Heimlich. Is that a
Jewish name? I wonder as
a diner turns blue.

Look, Beryl! I've found
the most splendid tchochke for
our Chanukah bush.

Looking for pink buds
to prune back, the mohel tends
his flower garden.

Lovely nose ring;
excuse me while I put my
head in the oven.

Our youngest daughter,
our most precious jewel.
Hence the name, Tiffany.

Scrabble anarchy
after 'putzhead' is placed on
a triple-word score.

Tea ceremony --
fragrant steam perfumes the air.
Try the cheese danish.

The long pilgrimage
to the venerable shrine:
Leonard's of Great Neck.

The sparrow brings home
too many worms for her young.
"Force yourself," she chirps

Today I am a
man. On Monday I return
to the seventh grade.

Today, mild shvitzing.
Tomorrow, so hot you'll plotz.
Five-day forecast: feh

Wet moss on the old
stone path; flat on my back, I
ponder whom to sue.

Yenta. Schmier. Gevalt.
Schlemiel. Schlemazl. Tuchus.
Oy! To be fluent!

In the ice sculpture
reflected bar-mitzvah guests
nosh on chopped liver.

Would-be convert lost--
thawed Lender's Bagels made a
bad first impression.

The shivah visit-
So sorry for your loss. Now
back to my problems.

Now that Koreans
are "the New Jews," the old Jews
can leave for Boca.

Yom Kippur-forgive
me, God, for the Mercedes
and all the lobsters.