Haiku

This page features short form poetry and prose typically inspired by haiku. Few of the examples are true haiku even if they are written in the traditional 5-7-5 structure; some tend more toward senryū. A separate haiku blog with more information on the form can be found here.

All work on this page is written by Austin Shadduck and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International.

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__________

pulling the cover
from my old keyboard the dust
still between the keys

__________

I find myself within
Darkness twisting the profound
Yet this world doesn’t spin
It just turns itself around
And around
Like a noose that can’t be…

__________

how many days pass
‘fore I spot the parlor palm
turned by August winds

__________

Bubble Tea

upside down tea cup
through which she looks, squinty-eyed
“that’ll be four bucks”

__________

Workin’ Progress

Creativity. Conception. Doubt. Direction.
Inspiration. Confidence. Flow and connection.

How did I do that? Can I do it again?
If only ideas would stay where they’ve been.

Empty space. Writer’s block. Excuse! A ticking clock.
Reading then chores then distracted by Bach.

Why is it four and I’m still not in bed?
Who needs a hardhat when you have a hard head?

__________

first snow
the city bundles up
in white

it’s never too soon
or so the posters insist
for the holidays

__________

New Music

conducting wildly
she throws her arms to the sky
and no one listens

__________

two roommates singing
to themselves within their rooms
empty living room

__________

a tiny spider
suspended above his head
both stiller than still

__________

Sparks

ever since high school
my life has been a timebomb
one that explodes quietly
a burst here
a blip there
little sparks everywhere
then the timer gets reset

I’d like to say I enjoy the excitement
the wonder
the never-knowing
but I sense a day’s coming
when the blast will be too large
to reconstruct the pieces
that get scattered to the wind

so what I leave behind are fragments
glimpses into a mind that craves connection
to this earth
to that love
with you

why is it that when I let go
you begin to grasp?

__________

on the train back home
a guitarist composes
as I’m rocked to sleep

__________

sleep deprivation
the balmy late-summer breeze
leaves me
……………..in shivers

__________

a curtain
rubbing against my guitar
with the crickets

__________

cardinal on the sill
the crack in my bamboo flute
widens

__________

Stagehand

watching from backstage
shadows dance upon the wall
who sees the real show?

__________

genmaicha
over-steeped but comforting
elderly couples

__________

Under Construction

the budding rosebush
destined to spend every day
beneath a steel sky

__________

Harlem humidity–
sweating under stage lights
in a sauna of sound

__________

laughter shakes the park
as bold as the thunder clap
that made the children squeal

to be eight again
running home through the downpour
savoring every drop

__________

firefly on his hand
for the first time he catches
a glimpse of its light

__________

a wisp of a cloud
below the moon at sunset
and I in his embrace

__________

the hills of Scranton
an old man gets off the bus
because of chest pains

__________

Golliwogg’s Cakewalk
from the apartment above
on flute, not piano

__________

it was in silence
I became a musician
the space between notes…

__________

Of Carmen and de Lucia

fueled by flamenco,
cigarettes, and hard liquor–
improvisation
–venture into the open
and out of the box

__________

Autumn Landscape

a half-filled canvas
sits on a wobbly easel
waiting for the fall

__________

that 70s funk
unlike pop music today
moves, grooves, takes me home

it’s all in the bass
the motion of the ocean
just ask Barry White

__________

wheelchair ballet
she dances without moving
her feet

__________

that awkward moment
when you sneeze into your hand
before a handshake

__________

Takemitsu

carefully plucking
the music with his fingers
from two diff’rent worlds

__________

Cascade

coffee ring on desk
head on manuscript paper
pencil on the floor

__________

Well Played, Body, Well Played

ambush in my eyes!
five long sharp lashes
let loose all at once

__________

In Memorium Butch Morris

Lawrence D. Morris
“getting Ignant with the thing”
the first
………….best
………………..last way to play

Butch Morris, Jazz Bandleader and Conductor, Dies

__________

Mixed Greens

peas in the fried rice
those little green balls of mush
and their aftertaste

__________

Sunday Surfer

It’s about this time of night
that my motivation seeps out
and I load up with caffeine
to ride the restless waves

till I crash against the shore
salted, shriveled, wanting more
than another joyless ride
I put myself through, oh, what for?

__________

Wind or Water

I blew away an eyelash
and hoped my wish came true
it floated on and soon was gone
a dream sailed out of view

I threw away an eyelash
and washed it down the drain
another youth drowned by untruth
will never soar again

__________

Rush Hour

watching the cabbies
from a library window
life in the fast lane

__________

Winter Jazzfest

Lee Konitz on sax
eighty-five and blowing strong
through the winter night

__________

driving out of Maine
heron on the frozen marsh
only sign of life

__________

the sun in winter
resting at my side
momentarily
but that is enough
to warm a tired soul

until our next tryst

and like the others
only to be led
away by the clouds
will you float on by
and dream of the heat?

__________

Ella

lying on the floor
staring at a ceiling fan
listening to jazz
seeping through the wall

those cheap wood panels
darken everything they touch
even music can’t escape
unscathed from their clutch

Ella sings the blues
twisted moans and garbled groans
rising from the other room
debts paid at the door

the child on the rug
hears the whir of blades above
cut into its home
like the cost of love

__________

2013 Looks a Lot Like 1985

first Friday morning
doing the Molly Ringwald
in my living room

__________

those who meet must part
a traveler reminds me
first of the new year

__________

winter night in Maine
the last lick of lobster stew
then what do you do?

__________

the condescension
rolls off his loose tongue and falls
short of its mark

__________

the old Jewish man
reciting religious texts
under a strained breath

__________

frozen in the snow
waiting for a pack of wolves
to silently pass

__________

When The Doors Open

Jim Morrison said
“Pain is meant to wake us up.”
Why am I so tired?

__________

the old professor
hunched over his computer
wond’ring where time went

__________

procrastination
waiting till the last minute
to sleep

__________

In Memorium

the unmanned piano
and a moment of silence
Take Five, Dave Brubeck

__________

morning fog
rising
with the scent of coffee

__________

shakuhachi concert
November winds howl
through the doors of the hall

__________

a windowless room
droplets on the umbrella
refuse to dry up

__________

no plans to return
an old classmate on the bus
high school reunion

__________

the animal stares
as if it will help her case
empty cat food bowl

__________

distant cityscape
dim below a star-filled sky

__________

Greyhound Gripe

crying on a bus
understanding the appeal
of dead baby jokes

__________

It’s hard to stay mad
when you are so cute
I just wish you didn’t know

All my scowls are drowned
in your deep blue eyes
lost on that innocent face

Yet under the mask
the truth lies snakelike
my slight smile is yours to twist

__________

anniversary
even then I am alone
waiting to be loved

__________

flatulence–
the silence
–is suffocating

__________

falling asleep
at the wheel
of my mouse

__________

a piano-perched Muse
parts her pantihosed portions
revealing nothing

__________

Wedding Processional

the bride’s family
has been doing this for years
rehearsal dinner

bridal procession
she pauses at the aisle
and takes a deep breath

wedding reception
all eyes on the new couple
as they dance the dance

__________

snow on the twelfth floor
watching my child’s red face melt
when he’s met with rain

__________

pumpkins line 5th Ave.
the warmth of a chestnut stand
and men in a strand

__________

Enlightenment

an infant’s hand barely grasping
an infant barely grasping
barely grasping

gasping

__________

ant on the parched earth
pulling a pared pumpkin seed
this autumn’s harvest

__________

crumpled and tossed
a candy wrapper butterfly
unfurls its wings

__________

growing apart, yet
every night we fall asleep
with hands intertwined

__________

Bashō alone
pondering mortality
there is no poem

__________

Ode to La Monte Young

cicadas
above the power lines
buzz

__________

decorative fruits
aging in a trifle bowl
will they ever spoil?

__________

Human Centipede
Ride my desire; be ashamed
How wondrous the merge!

(This is how I will
forever remember
my time with DDT)

__________

Hair it has not
so she gives the fry a wig of ketchup.

That’s better.

__________

anticipation–
a scattering of action
calm before the storm

__________

Outside a café
Django softly strums a chord;
from a dream I wake.

__________

A gun, a bullet,
A hand to pull the trigger,
Blood against a wall

Painting a picture–
Crimson droplets trickle down
Like rain upon glass

But once the storm clears
Will the artist contemplate
This study in form?

__________

What a shame it is
to suck the world dry and not
breathe some life back in.

__________

street lamps and headlights
on a moonless night in June
welcoming me home

__________

A lone wren perches
on a branch above and sways
gently in the wind.

Perhaps such a bird,
with feathers brushed by the breeze,
has a companion.

__________

A gaggle of geese
is enough to make giggle
a briefcase of gnus.

__________

I Dream of Jeanie
My Master the Chili King
Buddy Kaye lives on

__________

A little known fact:
“every” is actually
two syllables long.

__________

Cleverness abounds!
Your wit is sharp as a blade
of grass at first frost.

__________

form is emptiness

emptiness is form

__________

The French horns growl and
Prokofiev kills a duck;
wolves have to eat too.

__________

music in autumn–
floating on the breath of time
as a falling leaf