Johnny and Maxine haiku

Married July 12, 1941: John Hack and Loretta Maxine Madl
Died July 6, 1999: John Hack
Died Jan. 21, 2010: Maxine Hack


19, getting hitched
What were those two thinking of?
Whatever; it took

Eyes and hair gleaming
They could’ve been movie stars
Two beautiful kids

They got through some stuff
World War II, three boys, cancer
In 58 years

“Till death us do part”
Yet somehow not even death
Could keep them apart

Dad left this earth first
And his passing softened Mom
Made her reflective

Raised in Depression
She wasn’t sentimental
Not on the surface

But she thought a lot
All those years that were such hell
Without her Johnny

And as she held Dad,
Held him in memory, she knew
Some love never dies

I always thought time
Won out in the end; somehow
I think they beat it

Heaven, or memory,
They’re together — always were
Whatever it took

The perfect accompaniment for this, “Their Hearts Were Full of Spring,” is here.

Solstice haiku

The days get shorter
From here on out — can you feel
Time slipping away?

When did the hourglass
Tip, time immeasurable
Turn to counted hours?

When did time contract,
Rein in the racing, stretching
Of endless summers?

And the horizon
Seems to be moving closer
Space shrinking with time

Entropic thinking
Most likely’s true but it sucks
The life out of me

Need sunlight, need air
To blow away the decay
Renew mind, spirit

For the shortest night
However dark, deep, gives way
To the longest day

Last year’s much cheerier batch for the year’s longest day are here.

At Greg’s summer place
Some are here and some are not
Can we check you in?

Class of 2012 haiku

Graduation Day
At Olathe North High School
Eagles leave the nest

Packed tight in the gym
Close friends, closer relatives
Eagles, or sardines?

A heartfelt farewell
From retiring principal
Who loved and inspired

Grad’s eloquent words
Of sacrifice and success
Lessons and leaving

Pomp and circumstance
Handshakes, sheepskin, sheepish grins
Caps and gowns abound

America’s best
Including grads born under
16 other flags

America’s dream
Opportunity for all
Seized and realized

America’s hope
Four hundred and twenty strong
Ready for big things

17, 18
Parents wonder how the years
Went by in seconds

17, 18
So young, yet so smart and strong
Primed to shake things up

Yes, one of them’s mine
And we couldn’t be prouder
Of all his hard work

But now he’s the world’s
He’ll make it a better place
An Eagle takes flight

“Art break” haiku for Keith Haring

Keith Haring, May 4, 1958 — Feb. 16, 1990

Google “Keith Haring”
Google anything today
And check out his art

That’s right, he’s the dude
And doodler extraordinaire
Whose lines burst with life

Inspired by Disney
And Seuss, no wonder his work’s
So vibrant, direct

Subway chalk drawings,
NYC, drew attention,
Seat on train to fame

“Radiant Baby”
Showed simplicity’s power
Lines, colors, and shapes

Circle expanded
Warhol, Grace Jones, Madonna,
Basquiat, Burroughs

But he stayed focused,
Helped causes, made public art
People could enjoy

He got HIV
Joined efforts to fight AIDS, but
HIV got him

So young to leave us
But true pictures do not die
Radiant baby

“Requiem for a heavyweight” haiku

Walt Bodine’s last show is today on KCUR, 10-11 a.m.

It’s been a great ride
For our city’s talk show king
Walt ruled for decades

From his dad’s drugstore
To his KCUR mic
Memories galore

Linwood and Troost was
Crossroads of Kansas City
— And America

As a soda jerk
Walt soaked it all up — asking,
Telling, retelling

This city became
Part of Walt Bodine, and he
A big part of it

Walt found his calling
Behind a radio mic
First in Sedalia

Next came Atchison
Then WDAF
Other KC jobs

1983
KCUR called, and Walt
Had found his last gig

The talk of the town
Whoever and whatever
Walt had on his show

Movies and restaurants
Politics, history, gossip
Walt served it all up

Walt’s been fading, true,
For some years now. Still I’ll miss
That voice of our town

World heavyweight champ
Rocky Marciano called
It quits on this date

Walt Bodine signs off
On this date, too. There are no
Coincidences

A nice look at Walt’s career is here.

Haiku trumpeting Gideon

Gideon Sundbäck, April 24, 1880 – June 21, 1954

Google puts some zip
Into its homepage, recalls
Gideon Sundbäck

Swede moved to U.S.
Universal Fastener
Lured him from GE

Engineer devised
The modern zipper, replaced
Hook and eye design

Dimple-bottomed teeth
With conical projections,
Slider — sounds kinky

Hookless Fastener
Number 1 worked pretty well
Number 2 worked great

Necessity called
Sundback invented machine
To make zippers, too

But B.F. Goodrich
Came up with the name “zipper”
Used it on its boots

Garment makers slow
To adopt, years before it
Was done on the fly

Eventually
Zippers found their opening
Ruled the clothing world

Kids, randy grownups
Still love to play with zippers
So thanks, birthday boy

Could go on all day
But to honor Sundbäck’s work
I’d better zip it

“Record Store Day” haiku; LeRoi haiku, redux

It’s Record Store Day! Here are a few haiku from this time last year:

It’s Record Store Day
KC’s Vinyl Renaissance
It’s all in the groove

The Tao of Vinyl:
The hole contains all music
Not on the platter

Good Vinyl Karma:
What goes around comes around
Again and again

All the best vinyl
Is revolutionary
But what RPM?

AND a big batch from last Nov. 19th, with was the 52nd anniversary of Kief’s in Lawrence, the record store I haunted in my youth, is here.

AND last year we got the sad, sad news that Leroy (LeRoi) Johnson had died. After college, when I got a job in KC and moved here, LeRoi was THE “record store guy.” Some farewell haiku from last Aug. 30:

LeRoi, it can’t be
You’re gone — I thought the music
Would play forever

King of record stores
On Main Street and then Westport
Never missed a groove

Rotund and ruddy
Ever-present cigarette
You were always there

Wrote same Pitch review
A thousand times, “Cool! Buy it!”
Of course, you were right

Feel strange disturbance
In the Force, as turntables
Cry out, fall silent

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

“You could look it up” haiku

Something to check out:
National Library Week’s
In full swing — no charge!

Love browsing the stacks
Seeing what’s new and what’s old
How titles evolve

My library rocks
Though Internet puts so much
At my fingertips

I love Google, but
Librarians are so smart,
So cool, so helpful

My library card
And librarian still make
A great search engine

Someday I’ll curl up
With an eReader, I know
But not yet, not yet

Ink’s look, paper’s feel
Ignite imagination
I’m bound to binding

Good old books don’t need
A wireless connection
Batteries recharged

And when I need help
My library peeps are there
They’ve got me covered!

And these are from last year, sparked at the time by the annual meeting of the Kansas Library Association. This year’s starts today, in Wichita.

Librarians fine
But overdue for big bash
Break out the bookmarks!

Where else can you say
Dewey Decimal System
Is a hot topic?

Seriously, folks,
They’re working on challenges
Of digital age

Can we use Facebook
And Twitter tweets to trigger
Library flash mobs?

The answer, my friend,
Is blowing in cyber wind
Of tablets, smartphones

Hey, I love gadgets
But not for reading Shakespeare
After a hard day

If pixels be food
Of love for literature
Don’t play on — Kill me!

Amazon has tried
To Kindle my eBook flame;
It always fizzles

Once, a Nook and I
Stared blankly at each other
Like a bad blind date

So, I think nothing
Will ever match the beauty
Of a book in hand

Romance suffers too
When the best pickup line is
“Your iPad or mine?”

For we are such stuff
As dreams are made on: Yes, us!
Not some avatars

In reading, life, love
I must say: Ain’t nothin’ like
The real thing, baby