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Back to the Modern American Haiku Poets

Randy M. Brooks's Haiku

her red curls
caught on a thorn--
she reaches the morel

grandpa drags his daybed
to the front porch . . .
mockingbird's songs

empty farm wagon
a cell phone
buzzing under the hay

lock out . . .
workers burn the editorials
to warm their hands

autumn rain . . .
the last of the dust
brought to earth

hands on the rail . . .
the humpback whale
doesn't resurface

the homestead cedars . . .
our toy cars follow a dirt road
through fallen needles

creek water warm . . .
I swing the grapevine
up to my cousin

missing in action.
she dusts off his guitar,
returns it to the shelf

funeral procession . . .
snowflakes blowing
into the headlights

two lines in the water . . .
not a word between
father and son




a farm kid wallows
in the rain pool:
the cattle wait

a gramma hoes the beans
a weed clings
to her nylon anklet

a muledeer
hunkers down in the wheat -
the combine stops

a shiny disco shirt
out of the attic trunk...
something scurries away

a small cricket
across the chancel carpet...
elder's prayer goes on and on

after all these years
she asks about her mother...
I put on another log

all three pregnant around
the kitchen table
slicing cantaloupe

all tongue
the claim in the fire's

Japanese lute -
I clear my throat
the applause

Armish lady...
only her warm smile
makes up her face

aspen leaves
shimmer over the riverbank -
hummingbird hovers

at the mailbox
the postman's dust
passes him

autumn chill...
we scootch our lawnchairs
closer to the grill

barefoot along
the levee's sandy crest...
blackberry fingers

bath towel
around her headache...
frost ferns up the window

beside the chicken house
a cantaloupe skin
pecked clean

big brother's grin...
the last piece of the puzzle
out of his pocket

bingo boards empty -
another widow intercepts
the old man's wink

black panties -
she lifts one leg,
then an eyebrow

blackberry pie
steaming on the window sill
blue morning moon

bullfrog eyes...
another daisy petal alights
on the surface

cedar walking cane
hangs from the coat rack
dust on the handle's curve

cemetery cuttings...
tulips her mother planted
along the white pickets

the lady haiku poets
show me how
to hold

Christmas morning -
misty breath of cows
rising where they lie

circle in the dirt...
shadow of a thundercloud
stops the shooter

coconut cream pie -
the birthday candle
starts to slant

coffee shop...
the only empty seat
still warm

cooing for breath
as he nurses...
snow drips from the oak

cool haiku stone -
black ant down and out
of the kanji

cool river canyon...
magpie's cry as I hammer in
the tent spike

coyote howl
answered in the darkness:
face at the window

dawn after the birth,
he brings her
the first strawberry

dawn rain
dripping off autumn leaves
her yawn my yawn

dirt farmer's wife
at the screen door -
no tractor sound

door left open...
there he goes
with his kite

dusty screen door...
the widow's bent-tailed cat
sniffs the spring rain

each stroke of the crayon
his tongue
across his lips

Easter lily
on the shut-in's coffee table...
fingers over each petal

end of summer -
mountain wildflower
pressed in her diary

estate auction -
can't get my hand back out
of the cookie jar

evening cool...
only the widow's muddied shoes
on the back porch

evening feeding -
old farmer's frosted breath
out to his cows

evening walk
after office politics
lilac scent

eyeing the spot
where our bumpers bumped -
snow in his thick eyebrows

in the window -
no moon

factory shift change...
motorcycle wind lengthens
her strawberry hair

faintly through
the airport's noise -
distant bugle taps

fallen apple
rolls into the pile of leaves...
yellow jacket rights itself

farmyard girl's
apron full of eggs...
a curl dangles loose

fingers feel the letters
of her name...
wisteria over the tombstone


first kiss
deep in the woods...
sunbeams filter down

flag on the coffin...
her gloves off to hold
the child's hand tight

fountain off...
autumn rain darkens
the stone faces

freckle-face grin...
apple blossom
caught in her hair

frost in the garden...
tucking the cat's feet in
with my spade

full moon
over harvested fields -
her water breaks

full moon
the kitchen window -
two aspirins
in the palm of my hand

furrows of water
mirror the gray sky...
farmer at the closed gate

garage sale...
the halter top she wore
on our honeymoon

ghost town cemetery -
five family names
and the Kansas wind

going home,
in the airline toilet
now mine

grandpa's cedar cane
my son poking holes
in a snow drift

grandpa's grave on the praire...
snowflakes caught behind
each clod of dirt

he opens his cupped palm...
a small tadpole with
a little wiggle left

heat clicks
the wavering fern

heat of the afternoon -
two horses on the cliff
face the wind

Heimliched out of me
pink candy heart
wordless now

her leg
swinging, swinging:
the test still incomplete

her mother's cat
now dead, too...
frost on the tomatoes

her newest folksong -
warmth of fireplace coals
through the screen

high as my arms
can lift him...
the moon still out of reach

his vomit wiped up...
my bowl of wheaties
soggy now

holding hands...
until we reach
the blackberries

home from school,
he opens his lunch box

home from the funeral
hands in the dishwater suds

horsefly kicking
in the pond water...
a bubble from below

in the heart
of the temple
my kigo?

in the saddle,
grandpa straightens
his stooped shoulders

last day of school...
the crack of a baseball bat
outside the open window

late afternoon...
all the cattle lie
in the billboard's shade

lights out
I folow the sound
to my wife's breathing

load of seedwheat -
pumping old brakes
all the way down the hill

long drive home..
our talk of the past goes
into the future

looking over her shoulder,
the waves come in
one more time

low tide...
here comes the sunrise lady
with her paper bag

maple seeds spiraling -
cicada husk holds on
to the old swing rope

mare's road apples -
flaring to the scent,
the mustang's lips

mellow thunder ...
I slip off my sandals
to feel the cool

mice in the walls
gentle rainfall
on the roof

middle of the night
my pregnant wife leaves me
cool crumpled sheets

minister's hand
over the baby's soft spot -
she hushes

mockingbird song -
family cat too old to shake
dew off his paw

Mom's sunburnt back...
first the youngest touches it,
then the eldest

on the shrine
see, speak, hear
no evil...
American poets

more summer rain...
an origami stork appears
on her fingertips

mother & child
lie in bed -
rosebud on her breast

mourning dove
returns to the porch rail
new snow fluffs off

muskart whiskers
twitch out of the water -
lightning illumines the shore

my notebook
kept shut
in the haiku museum
they might discover
tanka in here

my sister cups her hands...
how the nurse showed her
the miscarried fetus

namu amida butsu...
forgive me
my debts

neon light flickers
on a crumpled beer can -
yellow jacket at the hole

new grave...
a graduation tassel
hangs from the stone

no crumbs left,
the girl continues to reach
a carp's open mouth

no leaves
just the skeleton of a kite
in the uppermost branch

old calico
comes in from the garage -
cobweb whiskers

old cowpath...
the killdeer
fakes a broken wing

on tiptoe
to smell wisteria...
bumble bee backs off

one leg over the oar,
the college graduate

one pawn missing...
sunburst through an opening
in the thunderhead

behind museum glass,
samurai's war cry mask

our teenagers
on the whitewater raft...
I let go of the rope

pair of sunken boats
in Kiyosumi Garden...
ah, green tea

people say
I laugh all the time...
they're not with me
now that I'm

persimmons hang
in the leafless tree:
street leaves skitter

pinetree trimmings -
mating luna moths
fumble to the ground

plumes of pampas grass
wavering in the plaza...
the poet's toupee askew

poking his cane
into the mud -
corn not planted yen

police lights -
the body in the street,
a yellow tabby

potato planting...
the old woman's song
the rythm of her hoe

praising the hostess,
in his moustache

pulling back
the temple bell
easy now,

of white water below...
sensei balances
on the exposed roots
of a tree

pumpkin pie aroma
from the back seat -
Kansas sunrise ahead

rain at the window -
the newborn's fingers
catch in my beard

bicyclist's hand out
from under the bridge

reflections of masts
rippling in the bay...
the grebe pops under

riding down
the metro escalator,

river to the edge
of the country road...
a little ripple over

sand hill plums
farmers and their wives
in the creekbed

sawing -
the sap begins to flow
out of this evergreen

school's out -
a boy follows his dog
into the woods

scooping a handful
of mountaintop snowmelt...
her face a child's

sculpture garden...
the marble bench
cool through my jeans

shady side of the lake -
snake tonguing its way
through tangled roots

she couldn't forgive
what she couldn't forgive -
grave sunken in

shutters thrown open
a fly
straight on

sisters bent over
the heating vent...
adult talk below

snap of her bra...
the baby stops crying
to open his mouth

snorting and coughing
all night...
come morning
he complains
I snore

snow halfway up
all the windows...
the cat in heat

snowblind on the range:
homesteader feels
the barbwire home

spring afternoon...
I try another combination
of the shed lock

stepping stones
to the teahouse...
turtle slips under spring clouds

stewardship Sunday...
the old woman's hand shakes
the offering plate

suitcasas against the car
first sprinkles of rain
on my eyeglasses

zips up...
crows talking
in Tokyo

sun going down -
the bean-walkers shuffle
to the truck

Sunday after lunch...
the secret of her pregnancy
on each sister's face

fish bubble the water
after fallen mayflies

swimming pool...
a farm kid's arms pale
from the elbows up

tangled sheets...
my wife's legs grow longer with

tennis shoes held high -
flood water swirls
around her tighs

Thanksgiving sunrise...
cheesecloth over the rolls
in the back seat window

the Art Institute -
bronze lion's tail
dripping autumn rain

the baby's curl
straightened with a comb...
bath drain gurgles

the bride's mouth
stuffed with cake... the groom
answers for her

the dark white sand
pocked with raindrops...
our tracks the only ones

the daughter taps flour
into a mixing bowl...
mother's apron tight

the leaf shadows
on the kitchen floor -
baby talks to herself

the lift
of the crow's feet
downing on a branch

the pinwheel stops
grandpa catches
his breath

thirty fifth
over Tokyo
sun sets
in red wine

through the open door...
her smile doesn't forgive
all my sins

the fishing line in...
sunrise through the pines

toddler stands
on the old cat's senseless tail...
sun soaking in

toddler's finger
touches the surface...
out of the depths, a goldfish

toes dangle in the lake...
watermelon juice
drips off his chin

top stair creaks -
the baby's fingers part
then settle back to sleep

unable to find
desire within herself...
the treetop cardinal calls

up late with old friends...
my daughter and her blankie
out of the dark again

warm rocks
along the mountain stream...
snake's tongue, a flick of blue

waving us
on the bus
off the bus
no time
for spring

we walk through
the empty farm house -
her eyes well up

what's the rush?
tilt of my head
under the wisteria moon

over the telephone -
the widow's cancer

white scooter
through the traffic
her lipstick
very red

whitewater's lullaby -
the baby asleep
on my lap

wind in the leaves -
Santoka's begging bowl
in a glass case

windshield wipers
smear the freezing rain...
the sick baby's muffled cry

up the castle keep...
I teach another
lullaby to
my housewife guide

we laid her in the ground:
peach blossoms