As The Cock Crows ~ NaHaiWriMo: 2017

February 1st starts #NaHaiWriMo, short for National Haiku Writers Month, and the practice of writing a daily haiku. Posting is optional. I’ve participated in this poetry challenge for quite a few years. There is some overlap between January’s mindful writing and February’s writing haiku, because haiku (a short nature poem) and its sister-form senryu (a short human nature poem), when done well address the personal, political and universal. In January, I start flexing my brain’s writing muscles to prepare for February. The difference in the two months writing is that the haiku takes center stage in February, and the prose piece/essay is the jewel in January. It has been said, mostly by haijin (haiku writers), that haiku is the easiest form of poetry to write, but the hardest to write well. I will leave it at that. FYI – contemporary haiku are no longer written in the 5/7/5 syllable count like traditional haiku, unless it is the preferred choice or noted as such. I usually do not adhere to a specific syllable count and often write haiku in one line – referred to as monoku.


Year of the Fire Rooster
all the cock-a-doodle-do
and don’ts


stay tuned…
As The Cock Crows
a new Twitter soap opera


Fire Rooster Year
the rhetoric of bans trumps
building bridges





A Winter Walk

Winter crept back into town yesterday. There were scattered snowflakes and a whip to the nip in the air. I took a long walk around a deserted park/ballfield that was once the site of a summer camp in the 1940s for folk fleeing the city’s oppressive oven-like heat before air conditioning.

There was one young man practicing with a skateboard and a lone jogger disappearing in the distance. A crow rested on a fence wire, and a Pileated Woodpecker circled a tall pole from bottom to top. Its red crest stood out against the grey sky – a reminder of the start of the Chinese New Year and bright red cockscomb of the Fire Rooster. It also reminded me of Woody Woodpecker as it stopped every so often on its climb to look around and check out the scene.


After gazing skyward, I looked low to sight lichen and moss that trumpet their full glory in winter and stopped to photograph winter’s varied palette and sinewy vines, weeds and wood.














Empty benches and pond reflections added a stillness to the scene.







At the end of my perambulation (Yes – I did look up the definition of perambulate to make sure I was using this long word correctly, and yes it is correct, to my great delight!), I came close to the parking area and its attendant litter which I carried to the trash.


 tossed cigarette pack along my walk wabi-sabi or waste?


Chinese New Year ~ 2017

It’s the Year of The Fire Rooster. Happy New Year to all who celebrate.

I had some witty but irreverent haiku ready to share, however I just could not press the publish button. It would be an affront to our Chinese friends to use the urban version of rooster in haiku for the sake of political humor and cleverness  at the expense of such a happy holiday. It would also be demeaning to real roosters everywhere. Not that I am above irreverent humor – just the opposite really. However, I strongly believe that humor and political humor/commentary in particular, needs to be held to higher standards to be truly effective, like all great art everywhere.

Roosters are confident, self-assured, perfectionists, proud and also a little eccentric. They are not only hard-working but also punctual. They are always eager to learn new things in life. Element Fire represents warmth, passion and brilliance.

Fire is the element associated with Summer, red, south, passion and enthusiasm. Red can also be chaotic. I really do love the way  cosmic energy aligns with that part of the world that I am familiar with.


Fire Rooster
tonight I drum unruly energy
into song


Mindful Writing ~ 2014:30


Chinese New Year
I peel my last 
ever so 

new moon
the white rosebuds
never open

to snow dust –
it’s almost the end
of the first

football fever
mom does not want
to make wings

aquarian moon
Pete Seeger 
is remembered

ag ~ 2014:30

Mindful Writing ~ 2014:19

Day-ending gray.
The breeze blows into a headwind 
clearing old celebrations 
out of corners and off porches
as the full moon drifts dayward.

Time for the nitty-gritty
why-did-I-ever-save this
moments and mementos
and head-scratching yawns.

The beginning of the year
feeling is beginning to fade
as the last football games
leftover from last year
end most diet resolutions.

The Chinese New Year 
is on the horizon
and soon all the glitzy cliches
and wisdom of the ancients
are bound and buried together.

Just another gray day sandwiched
between thawing sunshine and head-fog.
Enough of using this closet-cleaning energy
and time for a much needed nosedive
into the pages of someone else’s closet.

ag ~ 2014