Saturday, February 28, 2015


"I'm a Jazz Singer"

He dug what she said:
bright jellies, smooth marmalade
spread on warm brown bread.

"Jazz" from drowsy lips
orchids lift to honeybees
floating on long sips.

"Jazz": quick fingerpops
pancake on a griddle-top
of memories.     Stop.

"Jazz": mysterious
as nutmeg, missing fingers,
gold,    Less serious.

"Jazz": cool bannister.
Don't need no stair.      Ways to climb
when the sax is there. 

James A. Emanuel

While pondering our prompt on James A. Emanuel who invented what he calls “jazz-haiku” I happened to listen to American Routes: Music & Memory On the Mississippi: Lewis Family Museum Haney's Big House and a Nola Jazz Funeral. It was very inspirational. After hearing Teddy’s Juke joint by Jackie Scott and the House Wreckers.  I goggled Teddy’s Juke Joint and saw photos of a house with neon lights turned cafĂ© in Zachary Louisiana.

Teddy’s Juke Joint
bumpin’ and grindin’ to the beat
hottest blues in town

Then I goggled other jazz places in New Orleans 

crawfish and jazz
down at Sweet Lorraine’s
hot and steamy music

That made me think of the soul and funk singer Sharon Jones.  We actually saw her in Lexington, Kentucky at a little dive called Buster’s Billiards and Backroom.  Now that was some hot venue.

in Buster’s Backroom
Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings
bringing down the house

Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings "Stranger To My Happiness"

Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings "100 Days, 100 Nights"

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Karumi (lightness)


a jenny wren
I quit rinsing dishes
for a moment




the woodpecker’s call
looking up from my work
I smile at him




the fallen snow
softens your departure

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

More Wabi-Sabi

Carpe Diem writing techniques #7

blue shadows
like spider veins
snowy afternoon

white landscape
glistens with diamonds
blue shadows intrude

a bitter morning
cold oatmeal for breakfast
titmouse scolding

Monday, February 16, 2015


doe and fawn disappear

into the dense fog

my heart follows


fog and snow

blanket the dusk

 my voice lost 


dense fog covers ground

 harvest moon caught in branches

screech owl breaks stillness

Sunday, February 15, 2015

On a Grey Morning

"Frost patterns 2" by Schnobby - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons 

with the touch of a finger
frost feathers on glass melt
fading like frozen dreams

on a cold grey morning
I linger and remember

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Wabi -Sabi

under the trees
listening to the leaves whisper
I dream of you


on a cold night
a dog bays in the distance
I too want to howl


under the sap moon
an old dog yaps and yaps
I vent as well


in the predawn
I lie nervous
change waltzing around


out on the lake
a single boat
rows towards shore


The following poem by 14 century Japanese poet, Arakida Moritake (1473-1549) is probably a very familiar haiku.  Of course there are probably better translations, but this was the first haiku I ever read.  I was about in fourth grade.  It impressed me enough to copy it in my journal.  I did however only know the last name which I misspelled as Miritake.   I never was able to find another of his poems until the internet suggested the correct search.   This and another  rhyming poem about fall inspired me to start writing poetry.  I poured my nine years of experience into writing a sappy poem about falling leaves.  I don't remember more than  ... changing leaves, come falling down, red, golden, orange, and brown.  Anyway, I do remember that poem being put up by itself on the bulletin board.  I was overly proud, and declared myself a poet from then on.

a falling petal
drops upward back to the branch
it's a butterfly

Tuesday, February 3, 2015


Carpe Diem Haiku Writing Techniques # 5 Comparison

tender gesture
in moment of grief
bring tears of joy

delicate flower
in the sidewalk crack
makes it’s own music

Monday, February 2, 2015

While I wait

the old cat purrs –
sunlight dances on the walls
while I wait for you