“Just be glad you don’t have to see my birthday suit” haiku

B-Day haiku #1

Easy to remember — wait
Whose birthday is that?

Happy birthday to …
Me! 57 today
So glad to be here

Gifts beyond counting
Treasures invaluable
Glimpses of heaven

Wisdom comes with age
That’s how the saying goes, so
I must not be old

B-Day haiku #2

Indian summer
Hot morning, ’round 2 a.m.
I entered this world

Indian summer
Somehow the sun feels warmer
Colors radiate

Indian summer
Greens, browns, russet, ochre, straw
Palette all its own

Indian summer
Squint into the light, hoping
To catch one more glimpse

Indian summers
How many do I have left?
Savor each with me

“Across the styles” haiku

Written last May 26. Includes Levon Helm, who you probably know died April 19.

Another crazed batch
Of birthday folks hatched today
From jazz to opera

There’s Miles Davis,
The birth of the cool, just one
Of his jazz styles

Bebop and hard bop,
Modal jazz and fusion jazz
Miles pioneered

He was “Kind of Blue”
And drew us “Sketches of Spain,”
“Relaxin,’ ” “Workin’ ”

Like the Pied Piper
Miles blew a magic horn,
But his led to life

Teresa Stratas’
Instrument? Soprano, matched
Only by her heart

She sang opera, yes,
And Broadway, too; her “Showboat”
Was like no other

Kurt Weill’s widow gave
Stratas songs no one else had
— And her voice owned them

Stratas sang it all
Fearlessly, flawlessly with
Punk intensity

Retired, she helped
The poorest among us, joined
Mother Teresa

Heartbreak and mystery
Play muse to this sorceress:
Pop queen Stevie Nicks

Her Fleetwood Mac days
Wove witches and dreams into
Hypnotic hit songs

She conquered demons
Of her own, to keep sharing
Her dream songs with us

The band “The Band” played
Funky and loose, often thanks
To Levon on drums

Levon Helm, his mates
Backed Dylan and then made their
“Music From Big Pink”

Great albums followed
Till the Band’s “Last Waltz” and then
Levon’s solo work

Levon Helm’s back beat
And back-country vocals kept
Their own unique swing

He’s still rocking on,
Winning awards, releasing
New songs and CDs

From “traditional”
To “matched,” drummer’s changed his grip
— But never lost it

Stringing along haiku

Eddie Cochran, Oct. 3, 1938 — April 17, 1960
Stevie Ray Vaughan, Oct. 3, 1954 — Aug. 27, 1990
Lindsey Buckingham, Oct. 3, 1949 —

An early rocker,
Texas blues man, latter-day
Beach Boy born today

Some days have a thread
Running through them, in this case
It’s a guitar string

Eddie Cochran lived
Long enough to write such hits
As “Summertime Blues”

He played in movies,
Overdubbed and multitracked
He was “Somethin’ Else”

Death premonitions
After Buddy, Big Bopper
Richie Valens crash

Wrote “Three Stars” tribute
To those fallen friends, didn’t
Live to see release

While touring England
He died in a taxi wreck
At age 21

Helicopter crash
Claimed another guitar man
Texas’ “Stevie Ray”

Stephen Ray Vaughan rocked
The blues several years before
He hit the big time

Played in high school bands,
Flunked music theory, dropped out
Hit the road full time

In the Nightcrawlers,
Triple Threat, Double Trouble
He drew attention

But no record deal
Would come Stevie Ray’s way till

His intensity
Finally reached wide audience
“Texas Flood” hit big

Cocaine, Crown Royal
Don’t mix well, though; Stevie Ray
Had double trouble

Studio records
Never lived up to live ones
He struggled with that

And in ’86
Stevie Ray Vaughan damn near died
He had to clean up

His comeback was good
Sometimes with brother Jimmie
And bigger-name stars

But foggy mountain
Added him to the long list
Of rockers snuffed out

There’s one still picking
Though he seldom uses picks
Lindsey Buckingham

A certain genius
Winding, intricate pop from
Brian Wilson’s muse

High school, Stevie Nicks
Bet she was a real vision
Edge of 17

Career exploded
In Fleetwood Mac, millions sold
Two No. 1 discs

Rumours’ catchiness
Sprawl of Tusk let him branch out
Do his tall-grass stuff

But impermanence
Like imperfection is part
Of all things human

Lindsey and Stevie
Dissolved, as did the great group;
Re-formed, time to time

He goes his own way
Quirky solo work, “Trouble”
To new “Seeds We Sow”

Not bad for a guy
Who never took lessons, still
Doesn’t read music