Zimmy haiku, redux

Last May 24th, Bob Dylan turned 70, and I wrote these.

The short-version tribute:

Two words: Bob Dylan
For decades in his music
He’s said all the rest

And the longer one, with thanks to Joyce Carol Oates for her description of Dylan’s voice, and to Dylan, for packing almost 12 minutes of the most mind-bending music onto one 45: “Like a Rolling Stone/Gates of Eden.”

Haiku for Dylan
Like outhouse built in tribute
To cathedral, but …

Let’s give it a try
And hold it to seven more
One for each decade

Woodie Guthrie passed
The torch and Dylan produced
More U.S. classics

“Blowin’ in the Wind”
“The Times They Are a-Changin’ ”
Timely and timeless

He took us on trips
(With and without tambourine)
We’ll never forget

Torrents of words, voice
“As if sandpaper could sing”
Cut straight to the heart

Fierce independence,
Shifting styles that confounded
His fans and doubters

He sliced up the world
In 3 minutes — one time 6!
And changed everything

“Just music,” he says
But Bob, you’re gonna make me
Lonesome when you go

“Dark moments in U.S. history, #12 & 35” haiku

FBI catches
Public enemies, though not
Public Enemy

Spied on John Lennon,
Some violent rap gangstas
— And one huge past threat

Back in ’64
G-Men scrutinized lyrics
To “Louie Louie”

Some nutty parent
Complained the words were obscene
Hoover’s boys got down

Played Kingsmen classic
Over and over again
Faster and slower

Grilled the songwriter
Put the “I” in FBI
What a waste of time

This date, ’65,
Released conclusion: No one
Could make out the words

(Aside from Butt-head:
(“Uhhhh, any dumb-ass knows that.
(“And they said, ‘Make out’ “)

That fine little girl
Still waits for me. FBI,
Just MYOB

Gesundheit haiku

Religious or not
Who couldn’t use a blessing
To get through the day?

Sunshine on your walk
Turning green leaves to silver
Burning mist away

A hug from your mate
A song from the birds outside
A kiss from your dog

Music in the air
Even if it’s rap — with subs
At the traffic light

Treats at the office
Coffee just the way you like
In your favorite cup

Some praise from the boss
Flowers with poem attached
Good news from a friend

A letter from Mom
Ink and paper memories
Nestled with keepsakes

Cosmic connections
Just knowing good thoughts, wishes
Are coming your way

Blessings: corny, true
Some things it’s even better
To give than receive

“In a word” haiku

World Poetry Day
Shanti, irini, malu
Béke, fifa, peace

Of what use are words
Vrede, wolakota, fred
Sérë, amani

If not to heal hearts
Sidi, layeni, hoa binh
Kapayapaan, paz

If not to bind wounds
Heiwa, rukun, hasiti
Ukuthula, pasch

If not to spread love
Soksang, pokoj, santiphap
Peoning hwa, pax

All we are saying
Paix, taika, rongo, baris
Uxolo, paci

Is give peace a chance
Solh, mir, pau, hetep, shalom
World Poetry Day

Synapse gap haiku, part II

One thing I’m sure of
Can’t be sure of anything
Yes, I’m sure of that

For how do we know
What we think we know, really?
Reason with me here

We think we decide
Based on logic, not feelings
But that’s a brain trick

We should admit there’s
No such thing as pure reason,
Disembodied thought

Because brains are part
Of the body, sensory
Organs like the rest

We hear what we want
Faulty memories, senses
Make us sure “That’s right!”

Surely certainty
Is a feeling, cleverly
Disguised as a thought

It’s the ultimate
In emotion, not reason,
That certain feeling

I guess that explains
Why more facts don’t often help
To change someone’s mind

Ambiguity
Seems more real, honest, though it’s
Less satisfying

Eventually, though
You have to decide, and act
— Just don’t be so sure

And of course, some things
We do know — and know they’re based
On all sorts of things

We know whom we love
And treasure, who makes our lives
Worth living each day

And sure, some feelings
Will disappear — so will life.
It’s called “now.” Live it.

“Lost my head” haiku

Happy Valentine’s Day. Last year it seemed as if lots of different people were singing to me. For some reason, this year it’s Van Morrison. Here are a couple of light ones.

“Crazy love,” I love
That craziest phrase in all
Its redundancy

Valentine, a saint
But not first guy, or last, who
Lost his head this day

I wrote a lot of verses last year, but for some reason this one got the most response. Hmmmm.

It’s Valentine’s Day!
Hug your sweetie; love your spouse
Just don’t let them meet

The whole 2011 bunch is here.

And here are the rest of this year’s, not so light.

Courageous, we love
Surrender our hearts, ourselves
Out beyond the fear

Courageous, we love
Losing those we hold most dear
Inevitably

No more to savor
Taste of salt, scent of flowers
Intoxicating

No more to drink in
Every line, curve, lash and lock
With forever’s thirst

But till then we dare
To love with all our senses
Out beyond all sense

“Write, writer, rightest” haiku

Carole King, Feb. 9, 1942

Carole King, such gifts
“You’ve Got a Friend,” “Sweet Seasons”
No one wrote more hits

It’s true. They counted.
Last half of last century
No one wrote more hits

“Will You Still Love Me
“Tomorrow” first of more than
100 to chart

They weren’t just jingles,
Either, but pieces of heart
Life in 3 minutes

Shirelles to Winehouse
Seems everyone’s sung your songs
Been better for it

Aretha, Dusty
The Byrds, Everly Brothers
Beatles, Rod Stewart

Even the Monkees
With “Sometime in the Morning”
Channeled your romance

“Tapestry” showed you
Could sing them, too, masterpiece
Of rich, royal hue

“I Feel the Earth Move,”
“It’s Too Late” — every affair’s
Alpha, Omega

But my favorite’s still
One I hope, somehow, is true:
“Only Love Is Real”

Seven decades, lived
In the magic of music
Lady, take a bow