Terebess Asia Online (TAO)

Back to the Modern American Haiku Poets

George Swede's Haiku

warm spring breeze
the old hound runs
in his sleep

treeless downtown street
two spring robins
on a window box

waving goodbye
to the father a clothesline
of children's shirts

on the face
that last night called me names—
morning sunbeam

almost unseen
among the tangled driftwood
naked lovers

grandfather’s old boots
I take them
for a walk

Paris pond
a frog Picassos
my face

roadkill raccoon
snowflakes start to cover
the teeming maggots

after the abortion
she weeds
the garden

Young widow
Asks for another
fortune cookie

again, the bald barber
cuts my hair
too short

thick fog lifts
unfortunately, I am where
I thought I was

dead roadside deer
a snowflake melts
on its open eye

mental hospital
my shadow stays

passport check:
my shadow waits
across the border

the man
with the split personality
shadow boxing

first warm spring day
I take my shadow
for a walk

alone at last
I wonder where
everyone is

old tombstone
losing its name
faint first star

retirement options
first ice
rims the campus pond

storm lull
freshly crumpled paper
creaks twice

ebb tide
the sand castle moat
still showing clouds

a lone car going the same way
as the river

The beetle I righted
flies straight into
a cobweb

Fresh snow at dawn
already the footsteps
of the neighbor's cat

a photograph winter afternoon

A sigh from her
then one from me—
two pages turn

Swinging on the hanger
her white summer dress:
wind chimes

begins to gather between her breasts

I forget my side
of the argument

Unhappy wife
I pedal my bike
through puddles

On the bus
the teenager pulls out a mirror
and adjusts her pout

morning gravedigger whistling 
the town dump I find a still-beating heart

Street violinist
fallen leaves
in the open case

One button undone
in the clerk's blouse—I let her
steal my change

by one to the floor all of her shadows 
my loneliness inside her 
dawn remembering her bad grammar

Windless summer day:
the gentle tug of the current
on the fishing pole

Summer night:
in my eyes starlight
hundreds of years old

Long train
horizon sun flickers through
the empty cattle cars

Evening shadows
fill the autumn market—
the unsold duck quacks

Deep snow
following in my footsteps
winter twilight

frozen breaths of the carolers disappearing among the stars
the end of myself pencil tip
the search for meaning bills in the mail 
the edge of the precipice I become logical

open library window
spring breeze flutters the pages
of the abandoned book

predawn peace
the baby and the phone asleep
in their cradles

after the rainstorm
twice as many

dawn bird songs
the black cat's twitching tail
tipped with dew

in each eye
of the cat by the window
the singing robin

spring flood
two wooden shoes float by
taking turns being first

training bra
on the clothesline
half moon

empty baseball field
a dandelion seed floats through
the strike zone

lake without a ripple
I pocket the mooth
skipping stone

steady rain
a turtle inside its shell
among the mossy stones

pre-storm calm
a water strider tiptoes
over the clouds

warm breeze
the colt's erection nuzzles
a daisy

sailboat race:
at the finish a small cloud
crosses first

for the fat green frog
crouched on the log
time is flies

last night's party
this morning's mockingbird

crack of the bat
the outfielder circles
under the full moon

Independence Day
after all the fireworks, the stars
still there

rising like birds
from the bottom of the canyon
the children's cries

city park
the stone hero's dark side
hides a drug deal

long after
the fireworks
a shooting star

dropping stone after stone
into the lake I keep

a fat mosquito
on the window the dawn light
through my blood

in the tidal pool
something hiding
under a cloud

growing a body of ants fish head

behind me
on the trail jagged holes
in the morning mist

from the lovely white shell
in the tidal pool
a claw

over the earth's edge
they all go the white clouds
and the one sailboat

wind change
the tumbleweed now chases
the kitten

made for each other
the fishing hole and
the full moon

stepping on
sidewalk ants the boy
everyone bullies

storm wind
spider clings to
its creation

score tied
both team jerseys look the same
in the August twilight

starlings on the telephone wire

during discussion
on the meaning of life the crunch
of a student's apple

country graveyard
a dog burying
a bone

in the town dump
I find a still
beating heart

as the professor speaks
only his bald spot
is illuminated

first light
the white moths on the screen
turning white

nobody on the street
stray dog stops to bite
its wagging tail

medical school
a cobweb in the pelvis
of the skeleton

sudden frost
a clothesline shirt
is hugging itself

sleet against the window
at last mother threads
the needle

at both ends

ice-ringed branches
the leg in the cast
starts to itch

frigid morning
a sparrow goes from chimney
to chimney

coldest day of the year
the lone skater laps
his breath

a cold wind
dead child's horse
rocks by itself

in the howling wind
under the full moon
the snowman, headless

panties on the clotheline lingering mist

still pond
expectant father
skips stones

back in the house
the cat carefully shakes each leg
morning dew

I awake from
an erotic dream
ebb tide

as the rain ends
once more the drip
of the tap

a hidden butterfly
rises from the leaves
on my father's grave

an evening breeze
crosses the porch dog and I
both sigh

car wash closed
a sparrow bathes in
the last puddle

a black and white cat
belly down through the grass
everyone watching

dawn in a strange bed
birds singing whose names
I have never learned

sudden shower
from the river the laughter
of clothes-washing women

river flood
a "For Sale" sign
on a cottage roof

the son who
argues everything
I study his face
in a puddle

summer storm
abandoned checkmate
in the park

in the windswept window
among the wild trees
my face

second honeymoon
I float in the pool
one of the clouds

foggy day
the weather outside
sunny and clear

my wife plays Strauss
on the piano waltzing
willow shadows

ocean sunset
he whispers something
and her earrings glow

just outside
the prison wall
a gopher mound

cool forest lake
as I slip off my shorts the snort
of a bull moose

midday heat
grasshopper on the shady side
of the blade

cold dawn rain
I turn to touch
my wife

the open mouths
of my two sons soundless
above the waves

as I reach for
the lovely pink shell the water
bends my arm

Soon a butterfly
from the cocoon I study
my marriage

the hum of the fan
cigarette smoke streams
through our silence

hot summer night
she takes off
her crucifix

the dragonfly
zig-zags the pond a rainbow
in its wings

heat wave
my two small sons
don't know it

marital dispute
I patch cracks
in the cement

lightning bug
our terrace talk turns to
how long its been

at the fork
in the trail I piss
two streams

clear creek water
flowing over smooth stones
how young she looks

putting holes
in my argument
the woodpecker

fisherman reeling in twilight

no lovemaking for weeks
I throw stones at my reflection
in the pond

first autumn leaves
my gold filling
gently throbs

knothole in the fence
an evening sunbeam betrays
the spider's web

country fair
our sleeping son clutches
a withered balloon

I awake before
hitting the ground
the clock's dial glows

silent treatment
in the dark, the tip of her "Craven A'
waxes and wanes

having to guess
from the footsteps:
evening fog

autumn clothesline
his and her pyjamas
frozen together

calmly talking divorce
underfoot the crackle
of fallen leaves

as I wait
for the phone to ring the beagle
worries a bone

among the yellow roses
the yellow butterfly
grows still

Divorce proceedings over
wet leaves stick
to my shoes

in the first light
suds up to her elbows
treetops in mist

under the dirty,
one-eyed hen a perfect
white egg

autumn day
the empty pillow
glows white

windowless office
a fly buzzes against
my glasses

autumn evening
also nowhere to go
skittering leaf

with a black eye halo
around the moon

her bed
my imagination left
no wrinkles

red evening clouds
the nurse changes
my bandages

grandpa's fiddle
silent on the mantel
a cricket creaks

through a hole
in the fog billboard girl's
radiant face

full of good ideas I weigh no more

in the pawnshop window
a hooker studies
her reflection

again down at the river
the son who doesn't know
what to do

our twisted

she ices
the birthday cake
snow on the mountain

still on the bookshelf
the mother-in-law's finger line
through the dust

the anger from work
in my son's birthday balloons

still channel waters
the bow of the ferry plows
through the Milky Way

fishermen scrape
boats in dry dock harbor ice
breaking up

the blizzard over
bird chatter from inside
the evergreen

winter morning her cold pyjamas

fierce wind
street sweeper has
another coffee

the sound of thaw
in the drain we both start
to speak first

the neighbor's snowblower ...
I begin to remember
last night

ice-edged pond
the divorcee's ring
of white skin

neighbor's washing day
clothesline full
of icicles

the family gathered
a tear of embalming fluid runs
from my brother's eye

my hands just washed
yet I wash them again
after the news

in the empty parking lot
a crow caws and caws
who knows why

remembering her
bad grammar

cheap hotel room
the mirror's crack gives me
a smile

no milk left
a white cloud
in my coffee

Buddha gazing
in the museum's Eastern wing
three stout gentlemen

at the end
of the philosophical discussion
chicken bones

in one corner
of the mental patient's eye
I exist

last night's bitterness
he adds twice the sugar
to his coffee

mental hospital
a fly beating
on the window

old aunt's
prolonged goodbye the twitter
of evening birds

on the old snow shovel cherry blossoms

open window
spring breeze stirs the dust
on her photo

in the warm March sun an old hatred melting

empty parking lot
lone cloud
in the lone puddle

a field of wildflowers
I recall the courtship
not the marriage

reconciliation thistles blooming

in the backyard
mother recalls her first love
ripe apple scent

around the eyes
of the old fisherman
permanent ripples

spring breeze
my dead grandfather's rocker
creaks on the porch

now my heart is
too loud

what ebb tide left
in this tiny shell
still holds the sky

climbing deeper
into the cave's silence
into myself

cleaning lady arrives
a dandelion puff
in her hair

summer dawn
an empty wheelchair at
the ocean's edge

half into the open grave the aging mourner's shadow

abandoned factory
rows of dandelions
in the parking lot

rootbound path
years ago it showed
how nimble I was

craggy cliffs by the river
the tour of old people stops
and gets a lecture

anchored supertanker
its reflectionion


the caretaker
polishes the cannon until
it shows clouds

medieval town
to the worn stone steps
I add my own

graveyard grass
still green

on the boardwalk
a blind man listens to the sea
finding its way back

a crow caws and caws
my wife checks the lines
under her eyes


in the old elm's shade
the black cat opens one eye
sunspot on its tail

train to a ghost town
the historian asks to sit
facing backwards

ebb tide
the marina's old yarn spinner
snoring softly

lilac-scented breeze
a floorboard creaks in
the old spinster's room

this faded photo
from my childhood still worth
a thousand words

sweltering twilight
a waft of cool air
from the graveyard

August heat
the old orange cat sits up and licks
the sun from its tail

spider spins its web
in the window
with a view

children's day at the zoo
I find myself watching
the children

in the hammock
the undertaker dozes arms crossed
on his chest

abandoned ballpark
gopher mound covers
home plate

used bookstore
a sunset beam lights a row
of forgotten authors

in a corner
of my dark mood
a star emerges

for sale
an old house with creaky stairs
and a cricket

town dump
two magpies jabber
on an old brass bed

waiting room empty
bits of leaves
under each chair

the widow's black lace panties
covered with frost

abandoned farmhouse
prairie sky in all
the windows

the fisherman's shadow stretches
across the river

the gull with one leg soaring

first frost
only a dead fly
in the mailbox

abandoned factory
a cloud rests on
the smokestack

half-dug grave lunch hour

fallen leaves
the hands that gather them
have liver spots

against the tombstone
with the faded name
homeless man rests

on display
in the museum ancient grains
of dust

hut that houses
the fisherman's nets
full of cobwebs

the graveside red roses
turning white

at the height
of the argument the old couple
pour each other tea

dawn the night watchman's long shadow

storm over
the old scarecrow hunchbacked
with snow

falling pine needles the tick of the clock

statues in the square
the raised hand of the war hero
fills with snow

among the souvenirs
on her dresser
my roses

grandfather's deathbed
more and more snowflakes
cling to the window

under each eye
of the graveyard Jesus
a small icicle

fresh snow falling
the nurse changes
my bandages

as the coffin lowers
several watches sound
the hour

my stomach growls
the old tomcat opens
one yellow eye

their gravestones
hers newer and taller
than his

the aged mother cuts the corpse's fingernails

open coffin
grandfather's smile wrinkles
show through the makeup

snow over everything
mother hums as she brushes
her white hair

the old widow wipes dust from
the bedside photo

each haiku
another piece in
the endless jigsaw

After a hard day
twilight--the roses are black
the violets are white

Closed army base:
the parade ground with straight rows
of weeds

A fresh bouquet
at the gravestone with the name
worn away

Icicles gone.
a fly hidden all winter
dead on the sill.

autumn rain, a morning glory
my face

After the last set
the piano keys glow--
solo moon

Ant haiku--
----my writing
---------grows smaller

On the smudge
left by the window cleaner
sunset lingers

Prison fence:
the razor wire glints
with first light

April snowflake
on the bud that will open
into a white crocus

newlyweds' clothesline alternating underpants

Confessional window:
the gray cloth screen black
where the mouths meet

Paper pickup day:
the unfinished poem
sticks out

Airport lounge:
a Muslim man prays toward
the emergency exit

Working late
I meet my loneliness
in the long hallway

In first full bloom
the apricot tree--joy
in me still

wilderness canyon
my shout and its echo
quickly lost in time