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Back to the Modern American Haiku Poets

Paul David Mena's Haiku


haiku posted to Shiki Internet Salon

staring at my coffee cup
daydreaming of cold dark beer


blinded by sunlight
I miss the comfort
of thunderclouds

I stayed up all night
trying to dream about you

after the storm
digital clock
blinks midnight

gust of autumn
the only visitor
in my empty room

your hurried kiss
another meteor...

my son's first baseball glove
somewhere under the snow

in garbled voice-mail
my three year-old
aches for his daddy

obscured by mist
your face
across the ocean

the locusts bow in silence
as the train slowly passes

another reminder
that autumn is here:
frost on my windshield

the rhythm of
graffitti thunder -
passing freight train

in a swirl of color
and too much sangria
the room is dancing

from my headlights
army of frogs

three moves to check mate:
fireplace reflection
dancing in your eyes

etched into my face
deep valleys
of sorrow

the reflected moon
frog's lonely swim

chimney smoke
the amber sky

the red vinyl booths
worn, cracked, cigarette-scarred
tonight my pillow

five beers later
his wife's glare
burnt coffee

rescued from a stack of bills
missing renga link

driving through the fog
my grandmother
forgets my name

poor butterfly!
a frog has just eaten
the perfect photograph

violent thunderstorm -
the computer room, however,
is silent

under his pillow
wrinkled postcard reads:
"Daddy please come home"

under a crescent moon
farmer and ox
threshing wheat

sad little girl
ignoring the sunset

evening retreats
behind the horizon -
the gathering frost

fat old cat
ignoring the mouse

mouse turds in my kitchen:
at least I know
I am not alone

no longer a kitten
the ball of yarn
no longer a toy

his life spared
the grateful fly
drowns in my Coke

too shy to dance
he watches her
fall in love

my morning coffee
growing cold
in rush hour traffic

autumn sunset
the coffee
finally kicks in

palm trees
swaying in the snow
on my television

first snow fall -
streets lined
with fender-benders

under the moonlight
our snow angels

long after
the snow has stopped
bare trees shivering

few days later
the enchantment is gone -
dirty snow

between glances
fox footprints
in the snow

paid in full
for his poetry
with her smile

incoming plane -
kildeer concedes
its nesting rights

waving from the terminal
long after your plane has gone

delayed at the gate
a flock of seagulls takes off
right on time

migrating geese
also remind me
that you are gone

after showering
your "I love you" reappears
on the mirror

through the bathroom fog
a heart etched on the mirror

St. Paul skyline:
ice castles
of electric night

the dormant smokestack:
a Christmas tree

winter fog:
two blankets
and I still shiver

snow is falling
in a provocative dance -
this coffee is too weak

bungled forecast:
six inches of "partly cloudy"
in my driveway

the street lamp
caresses the falling snow:
butterflies descending

huddled by the fire
the snow outside melted
by glowing embers

long distance to my father
competing with the Weather Channel

the storm over
I clutch my blanket tightly
and dream of you

the snow has ended
and with it
my fountain of words

another plane takes off -
I wonder if she is still
waving goodbye

winter dusk:
the horizon's amber glow
fades to violet

the fog retreats
her gown trailing
in the snow

New Year's Eve
my eyes avoiding
every clock

shoulders of diamond:
broken glass
along the highway

the Christmas fog
gifts from my children

Clifton Park:
a suburb completely safe
from inspiration

winter rain
erasing the promise
of Christmas snow

through the winter rain
another pair of headlights
that isn't yours

winter evening
snow merges with sky
in a continuum of grey

poised to attack
her green eyes incinerate
the new cat

Valentine's Day:
two interlocking hearts
drawn in the fresh snow

beyond the locked door
an ambush awaits -
a dozen white roses

one day later
rose petals
on the floor

midnight moon:
the eye of the dragon
is watching me

an unwelcome guest
peers into my window -
bright morning sun

from my sickbed
the same number of ceiling tiles
as yesterday

my red wool scarf
is all that's left
of the mighty snowman

in the street
impromptu rivers
of melted snow

through the hot tea mist
your smiling eyes

on this warm March day
the trees are crying
for their leaves

like the bare branches
my bones tremble
in the March wind

softly muting
my dreams of Spring
April snow

along the graveyard fence
a little girl picks daisies

warm spring day
a trash can filled
with Christmas cards

masked by tree branches
the streetlight
can only flicker...

warm and content
my cats sleep
unaware of my tears

so many things to do today -
snow falling from a tree branch

rainy day
I ignore the telephone
you smile...

beyond this fog of light
are countless stars
I cannot see

right on time
she buys her morning coffee
and ignores my smile

first day of spring -
still dreaming
of apple blossoms

in the hallway
the laces of our shoes

through the fingerprints
on my window -
cloudless blue sky

unable to escape
the subway station
of my dreams

sitting by the window
the breeze shifts direction
from pizza to chow mein

I am the mirror
in which you cannot smile -
your loving father

distant church bells
my Sunday hangover

at the pawn shop
a tarnished wedding band
priced for quick sale

on your doorstep
with the usual punctuality:
your consolation prize

staring at an empty wine glass
filling mine yet again

your thoughtful gift
burning in the fire

in your pupils
I seem so small

on the mantlepiece
my son's crayon self-portrait
crying for Daddy

passing her classmates
she hides
her perfect paper

in the window
a cat stalks
its reflection

I suddenly remember
where I left my umbrella

after the storm
a shroud
of dogwood blossoms

a well-hit softball
my Sunday nap

incense of burning leaves
fills the pastel sky

amidst the debris
a trembling man
clutches a tiny jacket

channel surfing
test patterns

window shopping
I stare at myself
on video

after the storm
the locusts' song
replaced by sirens

lying in bed
after too much TV
afraid to dream

wind-swept leaves:
when my eyes are closed,
an ocean wave

not knowing how
I will pay this month's rent
my cat sleeps

late with my rent
I ignore
the spider web

my pet firefly
motionless in his jar
a starless sky

hazy night
the full moon
is hot and tired

an old friend
knocking at my door
distant thunder

passing the cemetary
a sudden urge
to buy flowers

at the flower shop
the irises, your eyes
in and out of focus

emerging from its nest
with a mighty roar
the construction crane

when I am in love
I am afraid
to count flower petals

erupt from the trees
the sound of thunder

distant thunder
two lovers
kissing goodbye

at a sheet of paper -
a night without words

reading Kafka
I pause
to kill a fly

rough day at work -
I rescue a fly
from a spider web

the evening conceals
an absence of wind

almost time to leave
my son clings to me
cold spring rain

seeing my scowl
the woodpecker
feigns innocence

approaching the mountain
the airplane's shadow

pen in hand
I watch the river below
sign its name in rock

mockingbird sings
to the rythym
of the freeway

sleepless night
the wind in the palms
another passing train

Venice Beach
body builders
can't stop the rain

from the sand dunes
another jet

do these minnows know
the tidal pool
is receding?

trying to decipher
the hidden message
in the sea gull tracks

Ventura Freeway
racing against

night after night
her silhouette
practising kata

approaching thunder
the crows
are no longer laughing

hot summer night
the lark and the nightingale
sing in harmony

more bitter than this coffee
the indigo sky

perched on my balcony
I mimick
the mockingbird

an old monk
changes a light bulb
by candlelight

overcast night
the only stars
are fireflies

the ambulance is gone
as is the need
to meet the neighbors

more tragic
than the loss itself
your tiny voice asking why

the full moon's
reluctant companion:
a lonely seagull

by my tears
on your face

drinking this coffee
instead of throwing it out
I know I am single

she mutters
that she's still awake

somewhere in the clouds
I am searching
for these words

outdoor concert:
a lonely pigeon
answers the oboe

my tulips
against her cheek

after the storm
each droplet on my window
a rainbow

gazing into
an open field
daydreaming of trains

passing train
by the tea kettle

more fleeting than your kiss -
this shadow
on the moon

slow dance
of the setting moon:
another sleepless night

the shadows return -
locusts fall asleep
one by one

awakened by
the lilac breeze



another warm day
the lingering taste
of her lipstick

spring thaw
loosening the top button
of her blouse

temperature rising
the sundress gently slips
from her shoulder

averting my gaze
from her deep blue eyes
the sudden chill

approaching storm
she sees me glancing
at her legs

my favorite perfume
the wind
in her hair

first date
between awkward pauses
he imagines her naked

to her sundress
the wind

on the merry-go-round
the city blurs

spring cleaning --
an ex-girlfriend's letters
in the recycle bin

to her tattered sundress
a wild iris

wild ride on wall street
my favorite pot hole
remains unfilled

South Station twilight
for the next train

Bryant Park bench
surrounded by daffodils
an old man sleeps

telling my children
our cat is gone
a gull crosses the sun

moments before sunrise
the cat moves
from my side of the bed
to yours

mist turns to rain
our cat's last day

the food dish untouched
I swear I heard
his footsteps last night

the food dish untouched
I swear I heard
his footsteps last night

restless night
the cat keeps chasing you
from my dreams

late afternoon
following a shaft of sunlight
between skyscrapers

blues festival --
a dragonfly dances
above the treetops

South Station --
a pigeon inspects
an unattended bag

scattering pigeons --
a homeless man
flirts with schoolgirls

meets sky

her silhouette
in the fog

wild daisy
the tattoo
on her bare belly

empty canvas
an art student
boards a subway car

overcast sky
my daughter leaves
for a faraway place

cold snap --
a spider fights me
for the first log

flying home to Boston
a baseball diamond
shines through the clouds

killing frost --
the tomatoes
at half-mast