Rhapsodic haiku

Freddie Mercury (Farrokh Bulsara): Sept. 5, 1946 — Nov. 24, 1991

When he took the stage
The world leaned forward, then cheered
Mercury rising

Sept. 3, 1777, haiku

3rd of September
Stars and Stripes fly in battle
The first time ever

William Maxwell’s men
At Cooch’s Bridge, Delaware
Engage the British

Colonist force lost
Then regrouped with Washington
In unity, strength

The flag flew again
Ultimately, victory
For hope and freedom

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

“We could use some laughs” haiku

Phyllis Diller, July 17, 1917 — Aug. 20, 2012

‘Bye Phyllis Diller
Blazed trail of tears (of laughter)
Queen of one-liners

Self deprecation
And domestic disasters
Made thousands of jokes

“Bury the laundry”
“Skip baby’s bath — he won’t tell”
Among your fine tips

“Goodnight, We Love You”
DVD captured career,
Your many talents

Mom and I watched it
In her final days — maybe
The last laughs she had

Hope now you’re having
The last laugh because no one
Could laugh quite like you

‘Bye Phyllis Diller
Loved your alligator shoes
Or were you barefoot?

AE haiku

Amelia Earhart, July 24, 1897 — July ??, 1937

75 years later
The search continues

Mystery, adventure
Derring-do, lust to take wing
Amelia Earhart

Her birthday today
Incarnate in Atchison
Baby girl inspired

From first shed-roof “flight”
To last over Pacific
Spirit blazed, undimmed

And then she vanished
Landing on the wrong island?
Ditching in the sea?

The search continues
Hope they find what they’re seeking
If even they know

Perhaps it’s all right
When a dream runs out of gas
To keep chasing it

But I think she would
Move on, lay the dream to rest
Beneath waves and sand