Maya Angelou, April 4, 1928 — May 28, 2014

The rainbow refracts
A new span of funky hue
Maya Angelou

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“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

Hai(contrast)ku

There in black and white
Color scales fall from our eyes
And what do we see?

There in black and white
Coffee, cream start one day’s life
Pepper, salt spice it

There in black and white
Ink imprints, pixels on screen
Carry the day’s news

There in black and white
Slow hands sweep old clock face — time
Immemorial

There in black and white
Two little friends laugh, join hands
In harmony’s dance

There in black and white
Sketch pad, charcoal line and smudge
Save light and shadow

There in black and white
Storied films flicker and fight
For love and glory

There in black and white
88 piano keys
Just aching to sing

There in black and white
Somehow are all life’s colors
And its shades of gray

“She was quite a dame” haiku

Agatha Christie
Born this date, 1890
That part’s no mystery

But how did she sell
Hundreds of millions of books?
No mystery either

Her detectives had
Something for everybody
Poirot, Miss Marple

Poirot, so fussy,
So quirky, so proud to say
He could not be fooled

Jane Marple, so plain,
Seemed so kind, ordinary
To charm and disarm

Both made her readers
Want to think along with them
Believe brains would win

Her plots were good too:
Roger Ackroyd’s twist ending,
“And Then There Were None”

When she killed Poirot
He got a front page obit
In the New York Times

Agatha’s knowledge
Of poisons, the Middle East
Came in quite handy

Her world appealed, too
Murder was a distraction
Not stuff of nightmares

Once killer was caught
Life could go back to normal
Genteel, well ordered

Her books were candy
Not meat, potatoes, blood, guts.
Do pass the bon bons!

Yes, Dame Agatha
We still devour your treats
Print, or PBS

From a different age
You came but you’ll last so long
As life’s a mystery

“I Say a Little Prayer” haiku

Hal David, May 25, 1921 — Sept. 1, 2012

Goodbye, Hal David
Burt Bacharach’s lyricist
For so many hits

Goodbye, Hal David
Classics transcended genres
Pop, country, show tunes

Goodbye, Hal David
Helped Dionne Warwick, Tom Jones,
Dusty, Aretha

Goodbye, Hal David
Knew the way to San Jose,
What the world needs now

Goodbye, Hal David
Anyone who had a heart
Loved your classic songs

Goodbye, Hal David
91 years you helped sail
This sea of heartbreak

Goodbye, Hal David
You’ll live on. Always something
There to remind me

“Last of the True Believers” haiku

Nanci Caroline Griffith, July 6, 1953, Seguin, Texas

Cracked my heart open
The first time I heard her sing
Still does, every time

You see, we all have
This problem, and it’s called love
Nanci Griffith knows

And for some of us,
Heart on sleeve fools, no one else
Sings it quite like her

From Kerrville campfires
To the London Symphony
Nanci’s played ’em all

And tracing romance
Or tugging hatred’s hood, she
Sings about what’s real

Nanci pays tribute
To her strong-women heroes
Love isn’t weakness

Has her causes, too
From the death penalty to
Equal marriage rights

Been through life’s wringer
Death of young sweetheart, divorce,
Cancer twice, friends lost

Years of writers’ block
Came too, but that’s over now
Her muse has returned

“The Loving Kind” said
Nanci’s back; new CD says
She’s staying awhile

Happy birthday, girl
You take the cake, and our hearts
It’s all frosting now

June 1 haiku

1926
Star who will be Marilyn
Makes her first twinkle

Born into madness
Dies in loneliness, despair
In between, magic

In ’67
The Beatles get serious
With Sgt. Pepper’s

Rock stars turn artists
Tap all that’s within them
Music ever changed

1968
Helen Keller breathes last breath
Of unique journey

Deaf, blind, not yet 2
Alphabet unlocks genius
To inspire the world

June 1st, quite a date
For magical history tour
Birth, release, passing