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Back to the Modern American Haiku Poets

John Stevenson's Haiku


moths on the door
I close
and lock

a few leaves
left on the tree
we have our talk

week after Christmas
an empty throne
in the mall

without knowing what for
autumn colors

snowy night
sometimes you can't be
quiet enough

country diner
a ceiling fan turns
paper snowflakes

scuba diving
cloud shadows
on the coral

one last look
through the old apartment
a dry sponge . . .

trial separation
ice distends
the rain gutters

signs of spring
the expiration date
on fat-free milk

May sun
I’m the one
the puppy comes to

green grass
my hopes
just so high

Mother’s Day
that first breath of air
outside the door

September morning
none of the students
has failed . . .

autumn wind
the leaves are going
where I’m going

walking home from church
sun on the other side
of my face

September sunset
cows come single file
through the pasture gate

shooting star
what do fish
see at night?

a hard rain
what cloud
could have held it?

peony bud
can an ant

childhood home
as I arrive

almost spring
the untouched mousetraps
in the attic

summer night
the sound of a car
about to go by

out shopping
for a wedding dress

coming home
on the train
. . . the backyards

I close my eyes
for a second look

right now
while we chat
fish in the deep ocean

Amish country
the deer beside the road
stare at us

a change in their voices
children finding
a fledgling

warm evening
an open door
to someone’s living room



old slippers
the comfort
coming apart

her eyes narrow,
seeing for the first time
my little house

winter beach
a piece of driftwood
charred at one end

the three-year-old
making their big dog

wind-beaten marquee
saying only
"Coming Soon"

the train picks up speed,
in a paper coffee cup
concentric waves



bright leaves
blow through
her dream house

winter, bedtime
static flickers
through a white sleeve

walking home barefoot,
we enter the shadow
of the hill

All Saints morning
a path
of trodden leaves


cold saturday—
drawn back into bed
by my own warmth

too quick to reply
cutting my tongue
on the envelope

under the
blackest doodle
something unerasable

bouncing along
on the guardrails
car shadow

checking the driver
as I pass a car
just like mine

tourist town
postcards of the waterfall
racked upside down

on a charge of murder
turning spring outside

the river always
out there in the dark
late train home

moon breaks over the hill
a dreaming driver
dims his brights