Material world haiku

George Harrison, Jan. 25, 1943 – Nov. 29, 2001

Something in the way
He moved up was so human
So much of the flesh

Hare Krishna George,
Vegetarian, gardener
Loved cigs, women too

He was a real guy
However much he thought life
A mystic movie

He loved the music,
All-night ukulele jams
And No. 1 hits

From his Fab Four fame
To Bangladesh, Wilburys
He made such sweet sounds

Let’s toast all of him —
A good and talented soul
And flawed flesh and blood

“Best of verse, worst of verse” haiku

Beatles land at JFK — Feb. 7, 1964
Charles Dickens, Feb. 7, 1812 — June 9, 1870

British invasion
Fixed bayonets? No, moptops
Armed with 45’s

A Friday landing
New York’s Kennedy Airport
Started their conquest

They’d topped U.S. charts
With “I Want to Hold Your Hand”
More where that came from

Thousands screamed non-stop
Lost voices, inhibitions
Beautiful release

Sunday on his show
Sullivan announced the charge
“Right here on our stage”

40% watched
That first TV appearance
Millions all tune in

Then D.C. triumph
Occupied Carnegie Hall
Sullivan again

Left us wanting more
Like Oliver with his bowl
Loved them, yeah yeah yeah

Here’s another twist
That first U.S. landing came
On Dickens’ birthday

Google Doodle says
Great British author was born
Two centuries past

Crusader with pen
Captured boarding school horrors
The courts’ injustice

Railed at his country’s
Poverty amid plenty
With fiction quite real

Brought London to life
Upper class privileged, stifled
Poor scrabbling to live

Serialized work
Gave his stories a rhythm
Cliff-hangers galore

And the characters!
Nicholas Nickleby, Pip
David Copperfield

The Artful Dodger
Uriah Heep, Wackford Squeers
Mr. Micawber

Samuel Pickwick
Abel Magwitch, Tiny Tim
Ebenezer Scrooge

Dickens visited
U.S. twice, reading his works
Exploring New York

For second visit
Departed England, where else
But from Liverpool

Wined and dined, he made
Dozens of appearances

Dickens on death bed
Said “be natural,” fulfill
“All the rules of art”

Years later, Fab Four
Would do just that, bring U.S.
One more manic gift

“40, 69, 30 years ago” haiku, redux

Another concert batch of sorts, for the 40th anniversary of the Concert for Bangladesh. It also was Jerry Garcia’s birthday and the 30th anniversary of MTV.

From Aug. 1, 2011

August 1, a day
To recall a great concert,
Grateful guitarist

Harrison, Clapton
Ringo, Dylan and others
Joined Ravi Shankar

For Bangladesh, they
Rocked Madison Square Garden
Put on two good shows

“Because I was asked
“By a friend if I would help”
Is how George put it

Spiritual songs
And spirited music played
For 40,000

Guitars gently wept
Lyrics didn’t come easy
As Ringo found out

But Leon Russell
Blew the roof off the garden,
Dylan cast his spell

Billy Preston sang
“That’s the Way God Planned It,” and
Maybe he was right

40 years ago
Aid was slow to reach the poor
But hearts were lifted

40 years ago
They said help is on the way
Let’s say it again

And let’s remember
Jerry Garcia, who would
Have been 69

Trouble followed him
All of his life, but still he
Left a legacy

As a kid he lost
Part of a finger and then
He lost his father

Learned the piano,
Banjo, guitar, pedal steel
He was on his way

Smoked marijuana
As a teen in San Fran’s hills
Music, drugs, Jerry

String along, strung out
Artist, musician, oozing

By one count the Dead
Played two thousand, three hundred
And fourteen concerts

It couldn’t have been
Easy amid the chaos
That was Jerry’s life

Three wives and four kids,
Diabetes, heroin
— But always music

Pass the methadone
And the Cherry Garcia
What a long strange trip

Let’s shed a tear, play
Some Dead, remember a soul
Who left us too soon

Something else that died
Too soon: MTV, first aired
30 years ago

Music video
Rightfully was all the rage
MTV led way

But somehow nonsense
And unreal realities
Slowly replaced tunes

And without the M
It’s just another channel
Just, you know, TV