Haibun: Dreamwalking on the Web


I walk as someone stunned, pressing against the flow of an enormous crowd.  There are a few who walk the wrong way; we barely know each other.  Every time I am jostled by a person in the crowd, I drop a poem.  I forget it as soon as it leaves my hand.

walking on a web
artificed intelligence
living by the pen


* * *

Tonight at dVerse Poets Pub, for Haibun Monday, we are asked to write about walking.  I never know what’s going to come out….

Break It Down


So you broke down.

How could you expect it otherwise
when you treat need as want and wanton
and elevate want to need?

The color blue is blue because it must;
on its own, living in the wild, it can be
none other.  The wolf lives in a pack
not because it wants.  The wolf outside
the pack is outside itself – desire doesn’t
enter into it.

Do fish breathe?
Neither do they wish to.
Neither do they worry
over their lack of mindfulness.

Attend to your needs, then.
And rejoice in them always.


* * *


This came from a short reading of Rilke’s, Letters to a Young Poet.  Reading Rilke is its own thing.  Reading Rilke as he throws philosophy like fast balls guarantees deep reflection… oh, and the writing of poetry!

Outing Penn State


’Twas brilliant how the slimy gnomes
(those found lurking in the land of risk management)
determined how pristine wilderness
is too overtly dangerous for degree seeking scholars.

“‘Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
      The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
      The frumious Bandersnatch!’”

The time I’ve spent in the woods dying
was time better spent than on campus.
When one learns how to survive the wild,
one knows the really dangerous creatures

by the edicts they issue.


* * *

Verse two is obviously in quotes because I didn’t write it.  I’d have to be Jabberwonky to claim otherwise!

To be fair to the ones who came up with the ban of outdoor activities for, not only the Penn State Outing Club (outing, as in outdoors, outdoor activities, etc.), but also the Penn State Spelunking and Scuba clubs, because of possible inherent dangers — they have it right.  People who spend time out in the wild risk becoming in touch with their surroundings, developing a self-reliance and learning to critically think for themselves.  And we wouldn’t want a bunch of degree holders doing that, now would we? 



Tarocco Piedmont

the fool


Standing on a knoll overlooking
the region of the Piedmont,
the fool smiles at you as blood
from a dark orange drenches
his beard.  It was a hard hiking
of three days’ duration that led
the two of you to this spot.

“È sfortuna,” he shrugs, his mouth
filled with the flesh, his lips turning
an ironic smile.  “La fortuna che è
nelle carte!”  He translates, “It is
the luck that is held in the cards.”

Turning around, spreading out
his arms, “You see, we are lost!”

This is the last time you play
without knowing the rules of the game.


* * *

Once again, I am combining prompts.  Poetic Asides, Day 27, asks us to write a story poem.   Napowrimo.net, Day 27, bids us write a poem based on a Tarot card.




Proper Care and Feeding of William White-Goods


No need for washing;
this is a self-care item.

Only consider drying
after a pub crawl,
and expect it to take
the better part of the next day.

Do not press –
trust me on this one.

Do not fold at the games,
for this one will gloat…
dear Lord, does he gloat!

Packing instructions:
See him to the door.
Hand him his hat.
Wish him the evening’s best.
Don’t answer the door
once he’s out on the stoop!

Feed him a line
and he’ll fill your ear
the night long (fair
warning, mate!).


* * * 

GloPoWriMo 2018, Day 25.

Poetic Asides, Day 25.

Jazz Walk


So let me tell you what I heard
while I was out walking.  …okay, walking…

One friend a while back told me I didn’t
walk; I Bebopped.  Bebopped!

What does that mean?

He explained it by saying, “You Bebop
when you walk.”  Emphasized it
with a shrug.  So okay, I was Bebopping
when I heard,

“Then my mother says, ‘You’re not going
to wear that, are you?’”

“Oh god!  I hate that!”

“Right?  Like there’s no way—”

“No way you’re going to win—”

“Right?  Either way—”

“Either way—”

But then I was back on the melody;
the soloist had wrapped it up with
this incredibly high, extended note,
like ‘nobody’s as good as me!’

And I moved on from Bebop to Samba.


* * *

For GloPoWriMo 2018, Day 23.

Poetic Asides, Day 23.

The Fire


Gather, children, around the fire
Settle your hearts and join.
One-sided once those who did conspire,
we share both sides, a rightly minted coin.

Why should you these stories learn
and history recite?
That tyranny will no longer burn;
we unlearn “hate” and “fight.”



* * *

GloPoWriMo 2018, Day 23.

Posted to dVerse Poets Pub, Quadrille Night.

Sun Site


You stood on the ridge.

Below you to the left
I-90, the measure
you pursued
out of the East, stretched
down along the Columbia.

A little ways down
you could see
the crossing
at Vantage.

To your right
you considered
Wenatchee, Snoqualmie, Mount Baker –
the wildernesses rising
and beyond, the rugged interior
of Canada’s British Columbia.

Looking back down the river
you knew the physical lay
of Oregon, California,
and improbable Nevada

– no sirens sung there.

Behind you lay only familiarity.

What had been home could
still be if you gave up this quest.

down to your car, you knew
that the sun
for you,
rose this morning in the west.

* * *

GloPoWriMo 2018, Day 22.


Came a Rapping


“They heard! –they suspected! –they knew! –they were making a mockery of my horror!”

— Poe


House rattles
in sympathy.  The Honda passes
nearly scraping the street, windows bowing
out with each exaggerated bass blow.

Within, I feel the chill of the one who stilled
the heart, yet hears its beat beneath my seat.

Sit across from me and smile.

You suspect the truth!  A simple search
will reveal the hideous reality of my crime!
I shall be haunted, hunted, shunned before

I confess!  I confess!  That music makes me crazy!






Fatal Love


You were set
up, doomed from the start.

It was inevitable that you would go.

Your friends,
your family –
you heard it from strangers,
from teachers,
passers by –
and it was true: you had
it all.

Good looks,
great bod,
the voice,
an attitude that entered
the room well in advance
of you.

Off you went
to The City, carrying
nothing more than a quick change
of clothes and your heart.

You weren’t there long before you fell
in love.

Despite the warning signs –

Bridge Out

Dead End

Slippery Surface

Uneven Surface

You – Should – Have – Bought – A – Squirrel!

This is a dark ride

– you fell into the deep, dark despairing
pit of love.

But it was bliss,
all that you ever hoped for,
the reason behind your existence.

We miss you.

We mourn you.

You fell in love with yourself, turned
into yourself…

and disappeared into yourself.


* * *

Okay, so here’s what happens when you practice alchemy.  I took the Poetic Asides prompt for today (danger poem) and blended it with the NaPoWriMo 2018 prompt (a Narcissus myth-based poem).  I’ll be cleaning up the laboratory for a few days….