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Back to the Modern American Haiku Poets

O. Mabson Southard's Haiku
(Owen Southard, O M B Southard, Mabelsson Norway)


At the windowpane,
sleet; and here in the dark house—
the ticking of clocks.

Now the leaves are still—
and only the mockingbird
lets the moonlight through

One breaker crashes;
as the next draws up, a lull—
and sandpiper cries.

The old rooster crows...
Out of the mist come the rocks
and the twisted pine.

On the top fence-rail
he lights, knocking off some snow—
a common sparrow.

Just the cellarpit;
only the catbird recalls
the swing of the gate.

A bar of iron—
upon the old wall, it throws
so soft a shadow!

In the sea, sunset . . .
On the dark dune, a bright fringe
of waving grasses.

Past the smoke-column
lit up by my new-fed fire—
the sweep of an owl.

Boating, we make love . . .
Her sudden joy sweeps us both
through a batch of waves

So my eyes may rest—
my comet-watching sister
lets me comb her hair

Chanting, the pond's frogs . . .
among the lilies' dark pads—
the twinkle of stars

Down to dark leaf-mold
the falling dogwood-petal
carries its moonlight

In the garden pool,
dark and still, a steppingstone
releases the moon

Mirrored by the spring
under the pines, a cluster
of Indian pipes

Across the still lake
through upcurls of morning mist—
the cry of a loon

This morning's rainbow
shares its deep violet edge
with the misty moon

Mingled in the falls—
the water-tones of others
higher and lower

fiery ball
between the trees
crickets sing their songs

snow-covered pavement—
in the woods
shimmering crystals

opening the envelope—
eyes wide as a smile
greet its contents

forest journey—
your hand
rests in mine

Easter sunrise—
under the crab apple
scriptures read

a new life—
the Labrador puppy
bounding through grass

break of day—
walking home
marked with ashes

outdoor class—
an inchworm crawls
on my leg

morning hike—
along the path
fresh hoof prints

the cabinets full
the year changes
we all take a breath

Saturday night—
pizza and cigarettes
in the bronze man's hand

A patter of rain…
The lily-pad undulates
on widening rings

Perching bolt upright—
the crow lets the rain-water
trickle from her tail

The waves now fall short
of the stranded jellyfish…
In it shines the sky

Hushed, the lake-shore's pines…
Once more a steady mountain
rests on steady clouds

Still sunlit, one tree…
Into the mountain-shadow
it lets fall a leaf

Snow-laden bushes—
one bent to the ground, and one
swaying in the wind

At the window, sleet…
Here in the darkening hut—
sudden squeaks of mice