Haiku for loved ones gone

I wrote these a year ago today, Sept. 1. Mostly for my Mom and Dad, but for anyone you’re missing, too.

We don’t think we could
Love them more; somehow we do
After they are gone

Yet they’re never gone,
Not really; their souls echo
Louder than the flesh

In our flesh they live
In our memories never die
And help us go on

How do they still know
What we need? And how did they
Leave their best behind?

It’s all a mystery
But of all the mysteries, this
Is one of the best

Rest in peace, Neil Armstrong

Neil Armstrong, Aug. 5, 1930 — Aug. 25, 2012

Neil Armstrong answered
Moon’s timeless pull, fast footprints
In history’s tides

In heavens made real
Eons of human dreaming
Now he joins the stars

And from July 20, 2011

The man in the moon
Joined by first men on the moon
Forty-two years back

In that one small step
All-American Armstrong
Made our giant leap

Footprints forever
Mark triumph of our spirit,
Unquenchable quest

In tight-fisted times
Fear and division threaten
What’s best inside us

Which call is answered?
“We’re all in this together”
Or “We can’t right now”

Great countries don’t cruise
— Except into outer space —
They work to achieve

Time to quit fighting
And start pulling together
To reason, not hate

Follow those footprints
Leave our forever markings
On lives of others

Look to the heavens
But the miracle is this:
That we walk on Earth

Melancholy haiku

When those close are blue
I find it hard to share that,
Want to cheer them up

But I know I should
Just be there, listen, let them
Feel all their feelings

Lend an ear, a hand,
Arms to hold them, if needed
And then hold my tongue

For how “should” we feel
Facing age, ills, death someday
For loved ones, ourselves?

Can there be true peace
Without facing, embracing
The melancholy?

Sometimes we must brood,
Dwell on the dark thoughts, as we
Work our way through it

Put it right — to everything
There is a season

Attend and abide
And trust those we love to find
Their way, in their time

“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

No more to savor
Taste of salt, scent of flowers

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

Russian romance, for strings

Borodin, born Nov. 12, 1833, composed symphonies and opera, but his two string quartets are what capture my untrained ears. The second is about the most romantic music I’ve ever heard — though the fourth movement doesn’t match the first three.

Russian Romantic
Alexander Borodin
Plucked at the heartstrings

Chemist, composer,
Cellist, expertly arranged
Elements of romance

2nd String Quartet
Indescribably lovely
An ache in four parts

Math Awareness Month, redux

The collection of placeholders and zeros on stage for the Republican “debate” last night reminded me of these. I think they came in two groups during April, which is Math Awareness Month.

April, 2011

Math Awareness Month
Guess I could use some of that
Life’s not adding up

Math Awareness Month
If I could subtract my stress
Joy would multiply

Math Awareness Month
Division in our ranks might
Be a good thing now

Math Awareness Month
Used to know this stuff, but now
My brain’s a null set

Math Awareness Month
My checkbook balance beckons
Time to go figure

Math Awareness Month
Budget is fit when I get
My figures in shape

Math Awareness Month
Reminds us that trig jokes are
First sine of madness

Math Awareness Month
Will my kid’s trig instructor
Cosine for a loan?

I dig trig because
Every day I seem to go
Off on a tangent

Math Awareness Month
Makes me admit my haiku
Are derivative

But I wish I had
A good proof to demonstrate
That they’re integral

And pray I can raise
Poetic coefficient
To higher power

Math Awareness Month
Don’t let the geeks fool you they’re
Trying to get sum

Which are the math trees
In the grove of academe?
The ones with square roots

Angling Elvis tells
Pythagoras: You’re so squared
(Baby, I don’t care)

Life is just one big
Variable equation
Solve it day by day

I’m on vacation, redux

I wish I were on vacation, but I’m not. Instead, I’m posting this batch from a spring vacation. It’s followed by a pre-summer-vacation batch, and then six batches from a July vacation in Southern California.

From March 30:

“Boo hoo, no haiku,”
A friend writes. “So what’s the deal?”
I’m on vacation!

I’m on vacation
But going nowhere real fast
Kinda like working!

I’m on vacation
All of me, not just my brain
Which checked out years back

As the Ramones say,
I’ll have to tell ’em I got
No cerebellum

I’m on vacation
But I did go to Borders
Discounting good sense

My home’s already
Crammed full of unread volumes
Begging to be cracked

My CD shelves sag
With rock ‘n’ roll, classical
And, yes, all that jazz

But could I resist
Borders’ zombie siren song?
You know the answer

Borders closeout sale
Books on everything except
How to walk away

“Famous Last Words” book:
Jeez, if I can’t top these quotes
Pray I die silent

Doctor Laura’s book
“Stop Whining and Start Living”
You go first, “Doctor”

And for just 5 bucks
“A Short History of the World”
Nah, not short enough

Man, it’s depressing
It seems that the only “Glee”
Is in the CDs

Borders closeout sale
87 copies of
“Essential Yanni”

Borders closeout sale
Punk prices rule! 5 bucks for
“Rocket to Russia”

One section does seem
Alphabetized: ZZ Top
Follows Vivaldi

Elsewhere, Fogerty
Meets Manilow, but what will
They sing? “Proud Copa”?

In another row
Britney, next to Placido,
Hits a high G string

Borders closeout sale
“Blue Kentucky Girl” real cheap
Makes me not so blue

R.E.M.’s right: End
Of the world as we know it.
And I feel a sigh

I’m on vacation
Giving further proof: A mind’s
A terrible thing