Unfinished…

Lo and I am like an armadillo, jolted and rolling into a protective tuck,
safeguarding scrolls of Tibetan mantras, chanting Avalokiteśvara – compassion –
as we are shot from the barrels of our phones, armored rounds
of blood-warm arms, legs, intestines, and organs
into the oncoming warships, worships

My skin knows only that tomorrow it will be stretched tight, immense
across the diamond vision screens of Times Square –
thin and translucent, burning pixels of news and all the colors of M&M’s
looking down where the naked cowboy sings in his rodeo boots,
no leather left on the sole, dubious, dub-stepped and pious

Please, mercy, I can't hear my own heart beat
over Kerouac jungle drums in the ChatGPT jukebox,
can't see my breath exhaled and frozen against the collapsed horizon
some genius left in shambles,
malfeasance and malediction

For Shay’s Word Garden and TSM

Haibun – “Shimo no koe ~ First Frost”

Well, I’m not so sure that frosting the cake or anything else before you bake it is a good idea. Leave it to the Japanese: ‘Shimo no koe – First Frost!”, probably some kind of trick they know how to do – a Samurai baking thing. What if it is a Zen Koan: “What was your cake before it was baked?” asks the Zen Master. “First Frost!” replies the student. I don’t know, it is beyond my limited mind/body duality Western brain. If I tried to frost something first there would be nothing but goo.

Maple sugar drips
Baked long in Summer’s oven –
Cool Autumn Frosting

 

 

For dVerse Haibun Monday

Haibun – Waterways

The geese here on the Hudson have no intention of heading south for the winter. They are New Yorkers, with hipster lifestyles to maintain. No way are they giving up Sunday morning bagels, Thai take-out, and small batch artisanal truffle fries. And the kids? Like all good Millennials, the gosling mini-me’s are going to live at home with Mom and Dad until, well, whenever.

This week the weather began the turn from Summer to Fall, and the fair-weather, friends-of-a-feather tourists began their landings, take-offs, and flyovers. The river is a busy runway of watercraft and waterfowl.

Our dog raises her nose and sniffs crisply at the drop in humidity and temperature. Her daily confrontation with Mother Goose goes as usual: barking vs. hissing and nipping. Another stalemate in the city of fairy tales.

Tidal river shifts
Salty city’s evening lull –
Fresh uncertainty

 

 

Haibun – The Shadow

We live on the Hudson River, and this morning the dog and I sat on a bench watching the working scows: tugboats and ferries, derricks and dredges. I was thinking how easy and fun it was to be nefarious back in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s – hide a boat in the rushes, muffle the oars with rags, row across in the dark with untaxed whisky. Who would stop you?  I walk past the kayak rental with its bright red and yellow plastic boats. With my now bootlegger’s expertise, I calculate that I could probably stuff in a case or two per shell. But they don’t look dangerous; they don’t make me shiver that they are up to no good. I need creaky oarlocks, pitch tar smell in the staves, long flapping coats, not kindergarten crayolas!

The massive push of the river is indifferent. Its tide, running sin out to sea.

Harvest moon distilled
What lurks in the hearts of men –
Bottled shine, soul burns

 

For dVerse Haibun Monday

Endless Dust

A ghost ship washed ashore in Japan
Full of cargo and sailor’s bones.

The Japanese for “endless drifting”
Is “mugen no hyōryū”, which means:

“Dust motes in sunlight
Float like lotus blossoms
On the still pond”

Sure, I just made that up,
As did the sailors

Scrawling haikus of goodbye
On the walls of their bunks.

 

 

For The Twiglets