“Ringing endorsement” haiku

Listening to music
Just some compressed mp3′s
Neil Young would hate it

Rock-bottom gear, too
35 buck speakers and
12 dollar ear buds

But voices still cut,
Each instrument comes through to
My old ringing ears

My converters work
Just fine, thanks — digital sound
To analog joy
My smile couldn’t be
Broader, heart cracked more open,
Tears flow more freely

An age of wonders
I tell you — and terrors too
Just listen, listen

A gentleman’s passing

Rest in peace, Jesse Winchester. What a lovely artist. My little verses, from a few days back when I heard he’d gone into hospice care.

“A gentleman’s passing” haiku

Early ’70s
Hoch Auditorium show
Brewer and Shipley

Sing “Yankee Lady”
Recommend the songwriter
Loved him ever since

Jesse Winchester
Slipping away from this Earth
Beautiful heartbreak

Strong-hearted young man
Exiled himself — would not kill
For his Uncle Sam

Voice from Canada
But Tennessee smooth, aching
With innocence lost

“Black Dog,” “Biloxi,”
“The Brand New Tennessee Waltz,”
Passion of “Payday”

Sepia cover
Nothing but his haunted face
Repeated four times

His classic debut
First of 10 touching albums
Brimming with his life

So many lessons –
Live, love, drink deep while you can
— Told without preaching

And love is mainly
Just memories — he knew that
His very first song

Now it’s Jesse’s time
To join the ages — he’d say
Birds are southward bound

What would Jesse do?
Shed a tear, hug a loved one
And crank up the tunes

“Love in the margins” haiku

For Valentine’s Day, 2014

Love in the margins
Filled with doodled daydream notes
Her skin, lips, hair, eyes

Love in the senses
Perfect recall, unbidden
Her shape, smell, taste, touch

Love in the wrinkles
A map of treasured decades
Stretched belly, etched hands

Love in the marrow
Unshakeable, imprinted
Forever memories

“What goes around” haiku, or “Ferris Doodle’s Day On”

Written Valentine’s Day, 2013, keyed off the Google Doodle that day for George Ferris’ 154th birthday.

“What goes around” haiku

It’s Valentine’s Day
What better time to visit
Love’s amusement park?

Love disorients
It’s Tilt-a-Whirl, Loop the Loop
And Atomic Drop

Love distorts, deceives
It’s funhouse mirrors — and meals
Of cotton candy

Love tantalizes
When that Tunnel of Love kiss
Whispers “Forever”

Love shows us heights, depths,
Crushingly quick endings — it’s
A roller coaster

Our brains — and stomachs
Know we can’t live like this, yet
We keep going back

Heartache and heartbreak
We line up, punch that ticket
To know we’re alive

This Valentine’s Day
Google honors George Ferris
And his smoother ride

He died young but first
Fashioned his romantic dream
For the world to share

Civil engineer
Known for mastering railroads,
Bridges and tunnels

1893
Exhibition challenged to
Out-Eiffel Eiffel

Ferris offered wheel
264 feet
In diameter

46-plus tons
Of metal forged its axle
U.S. steel, writ large

Judges terrified
Rejected it as unsafe
Then reconsidered

Ferris made it real
And millions came to catch its
Unparalled view

Ferris died alone
But his wheels turn on and on
Like a love that lasts

And here’s a favorite wrencher, about when that wheel gets bent.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Enc8KEzdYY

Ad astra haiku

Kansas admitted to the Union, Jan. 29, 1861

Eighteen-sixty-one
Midwifed by prairie turmoil
Kansas was born free

Two-thousand fourteen
Still free, precariously,
The state of my heart

Beauty, ugliness
Across this crazy-quilt land
A most human place

Harsh state for cities:
KCK and Wichita,
Topeka — tough towns

Johnson County sprawl
Insatiable concrete maw
Cul-de-sacs, strip malls

Small farm towns, small farms
Struggle gamely to survive
Agribusiness scythe

Lawrence, Manhattan
Now you’re talking — we know how
To do college towns

And the hills and plains
Providence made them perfect
Glorious to view

Some “leaders” right now?
Hard-hearted “Christians” astray
Jesus, let us pray

Yes, we Kansans make
Our share of awful mistakes
In fear, ignorance

But we also work
For each other’s good and share
Our food with the world

So don’t take our worst
To be our best as we find
Our way through dark times

Through difficulties,
One hundred fifty-three years
We’ve looked to the stars

“100 down” haiku

If you’re looking for
A fun word puzzle to do
Try a Google search

Today’s Doodle marks
Hundredth anniversary
Of crossword’s debut

In 1913
The New York World’s Arthur Wynne
Made the first “word-cross”

A typographer
Later transposed feature’s name
The crossword was born

Today’s Doodle’s smart
Will save your answers for you
Till you are finished

So if you must quit
And come back later, there’s no
Need to be cross — Word

“A little knowledge is a fabulous thing” haiku

Maria Mitchell, Aug. 1, 1818 – June 28, 1889
Today’s Google Doodle

‘Twas astronomer
From Nantucket, famous but
Not in limerick

Maria Mitchell
Helped her dad compute eclipse
When she was just 12

Learned astronomy
At father’s elbow, other
Celestial joints

Quaker upbringing
Valued girls’ education
Equally with boys’

Thank heavens for that
Young Maria loved to learn
And she never stopped

First librarian
Nantucket Atheneum
Served for 18 years

At night she drank in
All the magic of the stars
Science, with passion

Discovered comet
Gave her international
Credibility

Once wrote she enjoyed
“Acting the part of greatness”
– But just for three days

New Vassar College
Made her its first astro prof
And students loved her

2,000-mile trip
To Colorado let them
See eclipse first hand

Learned she wasn’t paid
As much as men, demanded
A raise — and got it

She opposed slavery,
Pushed for women’s right to vote
And equality

Left Quakerism
Enjoyed Unitarians’
Thirsty quest for truth

She found truth, beauty
In colors of God’s heavens
“Dyestuffs from the stars”

Sunspots, nebulae,
Moons of Saturn, Jupiter,
Solar eclipses

Google her, you’ll see
She never tired of wonders
Astronomical

Today she lives on
Foundation in Nantucket
Keeps her legacy

Observatories,
Aquarium, science hall
And they’re building more

She knew — we’re stardust
And her scientist’s soul still
Sparkles among us