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Ty Hadman's Haiku


After winter rains
where tramps gathered last summer
watermelon sprouts
Sacramento, CA

The faint sound of jazz
drifts down to the waterfront
this foggy spring night
Seattle, WA

Highway Twenty West:
windblown tumbleweeds whirling
past the slow traffic
Southeastern Arizona

Winter night stillness:
the armed security guard
checks his horoscope
Sacramento, CA

The night is still young:
stepping out of the tavern
into the salt breeze
Redondo Beach, CA

The lit pumpkin's smile:
a pretty princess appears
on the moonlit path
Eugene, OR

Building our dream home;
the bubble in the level
slides to the middle
Bellfountain, OR

Lonely winter night:
the phone booth on the corner
rings and rings and rings
Oakland, CA

Sudden spring shower!
a man ducks in a bookstore
and looks at the nudes
Berkeley, CA

Starry summer night:
screams from the roller-coaster
o'er the crashing surf
Santa Monica, CA

Greyhound at midnight:
a man leafs through his black book
cover to cover
Southern California

Growing in the heart
of the hot arid desert -
one red wildflower
Sonoran Desert, southern Arizona

This rural jail cell -
farther and farther away
the cries of wild geese
Pendleton, OR

Toyota car lot:
fallen pink petals sticking
to the wet windshields
East Oakland, CA

Partially shrouded
in the steam from the hot springs
a fawn in the ferns
Cougar Hot Springs, OR

Long bumpy bus ride;
how perfectly she's applied
her morning make-up
Tucson, AZ

A fork in the trail:
two pairs of footprints diverge
after many miles
Three Sisters Wilderness, OR

The moon slips through clouds
and the frog on the log leaps
back into darkness
near Bellingham, WA

Quiet countryside . . .
my hitchhiking thumb is stained
with wild blackberries
Vida, OR

Million dollar home:
below the property line
I too, view the sea
Carmel, CA



in my patched clothes
homeless and unemployed
ready for winter!

winter approaching;
hoboes huddled together
around the campfire

winter wandering;
cup after cup of hot coffee
to go

here & there

homeless and hungry
the cold, cold rain
all night long

behind bare bushes:
my frozen fingers unable
to unzip my fly

waking up
with winter
inside me

first snow:
my pockets
are empty

winter poverty;
I made a new friend
at the blood bank

selling our blood
for a few dollars per pint
winter deepens

with our blood money
we share a fifth
of fine red wine

lost in a labyrinth of streets
late at night
a stray dog following me...

winter over but still cold
standing and waiting all alone
on a lonesome highway

at the crack of dawn
over and under the bridge
swift swallows swoop

the old backpack
patched and ready to go
spring traveling



a long journey ends;
I hang my hammock
near the moonlit sea

carrying home
a bag of groceries
and a little snow

Memorial Day service -
a young man prays hard

pointing to the sun
every morning and evening
the scarecrow

still measuring
the vast summer sky

swift windblown clouds -
hitchhiking through my birthplace
without a penny

the faint sound of jazz
drifts down to the waterfront
this foggy spring night

the poor part of town:
a drunk Santa wandering
through the empty streets


Ty Hadman started studying Japanese culture and religion in 1964. He was interested in rock gardens, the tea ceremony, Japanese literature, woodblock prints, kite-flying, Zen, and just about anything Japanese. That same year he read some of the Peter Pauper Press Japanese haiku translations, but didn't become interested in haiku until 1966 when he met a barber at an informal social gathering of artists in the Silverlake District in Los Angeles. This barber knew about 50 haiku by heart and his commentaries sparked lively discussions.

Ty was sent to Vietnam in 1968. He kept a personal diary which later inspired his first haiku. After the war he was admitted into a Hindu monastery in Canada, where he was a monk for two years. He then became a wanderer, hitchhiking in all four cardinal directions throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico, hopping freight trains, begging door-to-door, staying with friends or as a guest on communes, drifting from state to state, odd job to odd job, working as a migrant worker on farms and ranches, sometimes ending up in the city accepting day labor or odd jobs or factory work and then moving on again.

Ty finally settled down for four years in the San Francisco Bay area. Starting in 1987, he relocated to Mexico to do research on medicinal plants and the history of Hispanic haiku, and was employed as an English teacher. Ty Hadman relocated to Peru in 1993 where he presently lives with his wife and daughter in the tiny fishing village of Puerto Eten.

Ty's haiku evoke his wanderings, particularly along the west coast, and therefore reflect a variety of American scenes.