Tuesday, June 23, 2015

e pluribus haiku 2015

Friday, June 19, 2015


iced tea, mint, sugar
calhoun county’s best manners –
little extra sugar

gadsden barbeque –
no matter how hard times are,
y’all’re welcome for th’fourth


in mobile, th’junction –
heavy rain’s cancelled th’fireworks,
‘n’ her plans are in th’air

she’s back ‘n fairhope f’r th’fourth
a town that’s absorbed ‘n itself,
kind of refreshing

lazy fairhope morns –
th’old mansion has issues, hers,
th’cool mint tea ‘n th’study

fishing th'tombigbee, 
his sultry prison 'f a town's
million miles away


back home from th’army –
wants t’work f’r th’birmingham police
‘n’ crank th’air con at home

kudzu chokes back road,

ominous warning posted -
go back to mobile 

clanton tourists' tale -

came hundreds 'f miles in this heat 
to pay our respects

picnic near clanton
their honor, their lives, bound
t’ th’confederacy 

clanton picnic tale –
he knows th’confed’rate gen’rals,
names his sons after’m

second-guessing lee –
clanton picnic folks insist
stonewall would have won

grew all th’mint herself –
vegetables all got withered
in th’hot ‘bama sun

shocked t’see th’yankee hat
on th’red clay bama backroads –
little out of place

windows closed ‘gainst th’heat
active shooter ‘t th’arsenal,
but th’word seems t’get ‘round

midnight trucker’s voice,
they’re burning tires up ahead –
then, th’crickets ‘f fort payne

good manners steeping, 
iced tea, mint, lemon, sugar -
sweet heart of dixie 

nice fiddle ya got

come up blount mount'n, he says - got 
folks play all summer 

muscle shoals fiddler –
used t’ th’summers ‘n’ th’culture of th’place,
loves those dixie songs

trowbridge egg n' olive -
iced tea to cool the tongue, from 
florence gossip's sting

fairhope maiden's wish -

her own front porch, summer read,
someone to talk to

fairhope, she says, town
where folks notice ev’rything,
‘n’ summer still drags on

excited ‘bout th’tide,
eager t’take that hopped up truck
‘n’ parade th’red colors


old yankee hat on 
rider, old 'bama clay in 
truck, fall sky outside

her wood’s cut and stacked,
guy ‘n th’old truck, ‘bama clay,
drops off th’venison

ven’son ‘n’ collard greens –
not happy ‘bout th’auburn game,
‘n’ scroungin’ for dessert

'bama fans trashing 
auburn streets - college prank, 'cept
they aren't in college

don’t care f’r th’college kids –
he’s fixin’ t’do some damage
when th’tide beats auburn

twenty near ranburne
rolling hills, autumn fog, dusk,
th’u.f.o. was real

hauling through ranburne,
th’changing leaves through th’fog, then, th’lights
from another world

confederate flag,
united we stand sticker- 
'bama football day


red ‘bama jerseys
for each number, a player,
gods of th’pantheon

ranburne trucker’s tale –
th’saucer landed ‘n th’autumn fog,
right along twenty

behold, the first frost,
th’hanging bottles, th’morning sun –
two-lane t’montgom’ry 

black friday ‘n gadsden
mall owner tries to explain
why they kicked him out

pedophile ‘n th’senate
election season, ‘n’ asks ‘bout
bus’ness as usual

bottles hang from th’trees –
first frost, two-lane t’montgom’ry,
walk past th’eerie light

dothan laundromat -

young boy, inconsolable
saw santa drinking

road forks in mobile -

cut north to face family,
or winter on gulf

coden temple gift,

from shrimper's wife to buddha - 
new year's storm hits gulf

coden shrimper’s boat –
hull ‘n’ ornament, all they found,
after th’new year’s storm


eastbound at grand bay,  
epiph'ny wind - unprepared,
for dawn's light'n her eyes

space heater, packed church - 

sand mountain snakes stay in box,
amens all around

b’lieve god speaks through th’snakes,
but th’sand mountain church burned down –
left th’space heater on


fam’ly’s kicked around
bama – now he stays warm ‘n’ works
making odysseys

snakes of sand mountain
spits on th’frozen ground, says she’s
punished f’r ev’ry thought

tales ‘f old ‘bombingham’ –
rubs hands t’keep warm, ‘n’ tells how you’d
stay out of th’churches

plain old city bus, 
a mid-winter way to work - 
selma's reflection

selma bus ‘n winter,
take it just for th’experience –
often late, she says

standing by th’trash can,
burning th’news t’keep warm, telling
why ‘t’s called ‘bombingham’

oh so ord’nary –
selma bus, winter morning,
driver keeps ‘s eyes down

trash can fire, share th’heat
th’black folks ‘n th’city can tell you
th’hist’ry ‘f “bombingham

blount mountain music –
so good, he says, ya tend t’forget
y’ain’t worked all winter


ain't been this cold in 
gadsden, she says, since th'war of
northern aggression


not much to see here,
grim march rain's soaking florence,
blues in muscle shoals

dothan court, spring day,
she mutters about justice -
her son’s still locked up

gadsden magnolia,
flowers, strong ‘n’ fragrant – behind th’bush,
they’ve thrown some beer cans

‘nother round ‘f spring winds –
trailer home ‘n tuscaloosa
not th’best idea

inside th’van, th’guitar –
no money, th’grim ‘bama spring,
‘n’ now, ‘t’s raining again

rain, mobile exits,
on t’ward th’new orleans blood bank –
somewhere, it’s easter

from montgom'ry west,
spring dawn wakens th'countryside, 

ir'n rails sing f'r freedom 

th’local lass jumps th’train –
west from montgomery, th’flow’rs,
th’valleys call to her

th’trees’re blooming ‘n dothan
outside th’courthouse, th’mother yells,
no justice f’r th’poor folks!

westbound, seminole,
green-eyed lass, bouquet ‘f flowers
he’s stopped in his tracks


lives on th’styx, th'flowers 
are all over th’place – he tries
t’imagine stopping

scent ‘f honeysuckle
all up th’river styx she feels
so overpowered

it’s honeysuckle

she says – he admits he’s not
from alabama

flowers on th’river styx
surprised you’d notice, what with
all th’honeysuckle

rains pound birmingham, 
bright unmatched sock - another
laundromat easter 

proud ‘f his ten c’mmandments –
gadsden gard’ner’s tales ‘f how th’guy
don’t mind th'coveting

train t’montgomery,
th’brakes screech – wisteria in th’fields,
th’morning dew shines ‘n th’sun

dothan magnolia
th’place itself holds onto her,
‘n’ ‘t’s just now getting hot


june rains ‘n muscle shoals
th’river rises, th’hiker waits,
somewhere, there’s music

e pluribus haiku

Thursday, June 18, 2015


camping near northway
wakes up t’find mouse using
th’hole in th’bug’s floorboards

dull glow ‘f evening
anchorage clerk won’t sleep,
time t’go see people

camping near th’alcan
had some meat ‘n’ fry bread ‘n th’skillet
of course th’bear found him

delaney park strip,
th’fireworks – outside town, the bush,
th’purple swirling lights

huge feast, out in th’bush –
miles from th’d’laney park fireworks,
they share their whole world

in denali's lap,
a field of ripe blueberries -
th'old bear takes a breath

th’guy flips his kayak
quick bath ‘n th’clear blue alcan lake
which seems t’have no name

awkward, th’broken pack
from th’kenai, sparkle ‘f th’sea’s edge,
‘n’ money won’t buy much

short hike into th’bush
th’ev’ning sun sets ‘t tok junction
th’bear, too, has noticed

tok junction camper
haunted by th’impounded cars
back ‘t th’yukon border

through th’yukon border
th’image ‘f th’impounded cars ‘n’ trucks
sticks with’m all summer

purple lights swirling -
heavens' light show pins their backs
to th'northern tundra

purple swirling lights –
not th’normal earth we lie on,
it’s arctic tundra

tokyo to new york,
her plane laid over 'n anch'rage -
that sun never set

tok junction campsite,
stuck at fork in road - okay
'til 'bout september

anchorage harbor -
sunset turns into sunrise
slowly, in silence

ninilchik harbor -
onion dome reaches for moon,
salmon boat docks full

road to ninilchik
in th’boat, watch th’long sunset, then,
haul in th’salmon nets

salmon flop in th’boat –
onion-domed church ‘n ninilchik
welcomed all spirits

seasick and sleepless,
hauls th’kenai salmon in th’boat,
wonders where th’night went

near tok, ancient saab -
vermont tags, loaded down with
alcan gravel dust

loaded down old saab,
close t’ th’gravel – th’alcan dust
covers th’vermont tags

anch’rage, its bleakest –
th’cold august rains pound th’laundry,
he calls home collect

back t’savage river
th’early dusk, th’snow, th’tales ‘f breakdowns
have th’tourists worried

fairbanks mission soup,
still warm as days get shorter -
stay for the oil boom?

sitka cann’ry tale -
mind-numbing season ‘f fish heads,
money t’burn on drink

sitka cannery
cash – plenty t’burn ‘til th’first frost,
then th’question ‘f where t’go

sitka canner’s tale
thousands of fish heads ‘n august,
but now th’money’s gone

th’first chill catches him –
alcan dust, vast wilderness,
he turns back t’whitehorse

denali park road –
th’bear, too, here f’r th’road lottery,
not playing by th’rules

purple lights ‘n th’kenai
aurora ‘n fall reminds him
‘f his year with th’deadheads

down'n tok he'll decide,
hitch t'th'forty-eight for winter,
or cut back t'kenai

souls’ day, bering sea
moonlight, ice ‘n’ water, on th’plane,
everyone’s asleep

since th'night th'grateful dead
came t'anch'rage, endless darkness,
pale lights've been his stage

new year’s eve, and th’moose
crashes palmer man’s party –
quits drinking for good

they watch th’rose parade
th’moose, stranded ‘n th’palmer blizzard,
peeks in from th’outside

wolf moon, bering sea -
from th'airplane, earth's ghostly face -
tea, while others sleep

earthquake detection –
aleutians have th’best ‘f systems,
‘n’ th’whole winter t’watch them

d'nali train has t'stop -
man, dog, long trek t'their cabin
by dark 'n' snowed-in trail

man ‘n’ dog, th’whiteout storm,
hear th’railway – but only th’dog
is sure it will stop


he survived th’sixties,
works ‘n some post office near tok,
breath’s frozen ‘n his beard

frozen road’s smoother,
says th’bearded alcan trucker –
but you can’t break down

from th’cabin in th’bush
he watches the blizzard downtown
on th’fairbanks webcam

wanted t’be alone –
cabin’s whited out, ‘n’ his eyes
‘re on th’fairbanks webcam

dog vet’rinary –
course she carries what she needs,
mushes ten miles t’school

lived ‘n barrow twelve years –
‘t’s not th’mornings, fifty below,
‘t’s th’months ‘f darkness, ‘ll kill you

cold, rain, fog - juneau's
best valentine flowers, but
she misses texas

th’snow melt brings th’hunger,
‘n’ th’morning sun’s on denali
th’bear, too, likes th’berries

from th’small flat ‘n tokyo,
flew over th’north – now, ‘n anch’rage,
it’s spring, ‘n’ folks’re laughing

otherworldly robe,
feet on fresh-turned earth - kenai
sun on old b'liever

on th’hill ‘bove homer,
th’old believer tills his earth
eyes on th’western sky

sitka fishing boat
saved those deer from certain death -
frigid march waters

fairbanks library –
she tells about her dogs, ‘n’ why it’s
all about winning

changed her life th’first time
she saw them pull th’sled – on th’map,
traces th’iditarod

in willow, th’mushers,
off t’skwarentna and yentna –
th’blizzard clouds th’vision

skwarentna ‘n’ yentna,
th’worst ‘f all blizzards – lost two dogs,
but still finished th’race

all ‘bout th’comp’tition –
points her dogs t’skwarentna ‘n’ yentna,
hoping not t’lose them

single ptarmigan,
a stunted spruce, a spring cover -
freeze-dried blueberries

eight straight days of rain,
not a road out of the place -
juneau in april

'n tolkeetna cabin,
she's so far from home, but here's
'r field 'f forget-me-nots

field ‘f forget-me-nots
moved t’tolkeetna t’get away,
now he’s everywhere

sets out from fairbanks,
explores th’vast wilderness, loves
th’days that last f’rever


purple swirling lights –
tok bear seems t’care more ‘bout th’smell 'f
morning blueberries

twin engine cessna –
clear day, blooming tundra, ‘bout
thousand caribou

caribou ‘n’ th’cessna
change direction by th’hundreds,
but don’t seem t’fear him

dreamed 'v northern lights f'years,
one week they came up t'fairbanks,
'n'june rains settled in

near prince william sound,
week in an alpine meadow -
devil's clubs talk back

short growing season
anch’rage gard’ner tells ‘bout th’world’s
biggest dand’lions

th’forget-me-nots bloom,
th’tolkeetna cabin’s empty –
he came, but she’d left

e pluribus haiku