March 31, 2017

March 30, 2017

March 29, 2017

March 28, 2017

waiting on pay day
our end-of-month menu
paired with rain water


March 27, 2017

amidst old oak leaves
March flips a card face-up
purple crocus

(Photo: Maia C on Flickr)

March 26, 2017

timeline of transgirls
understanding courage
a bit better now


March 25, 2017

final withdrawal
the snow we piled so high
shrinks back on itself


March 24, 2017

atop the stone wall
a waning sliver of moon
my indecision


March 23, 2017

March 22, 2017

investigation
our boy testing the snow’s crust
with such careful steps


March 21, 2017

vernal equinox
the afternoon alchemy
of creeks turning gold


March 20, 2017

snowmelt streams
springing up all over
tax receipts unmoved


March 19, 2017

telling each other
how we remember it
the same map, upside-down


March 18, 2017

tree trunks and car tracks
interrupting the snow’s white
I seek you everywhere


March 17, 2017

Happy Haikuversary

Four years ago today, I wrote what would become the first in a LONG series of daily haiku posts. A little while back I invited friends to join me in my celebration today, and several kind friends did just that.

Starting with Junie, the beloved duck-tolling retriever whose photo illustrated my "Wanna Play?" post:


Biscuit for Junie!
HERE IT COMES HERE IT COMES – CRUNCH
Is there another?

My friend @rwentecheney chimed in with some good luck wishes, haiku-style:

Tomorrow's the day Anniversary hoorays Sleep before the fun!

My friend Barbara, who does not typically write haiku, contributed the following two #haiku:

Small rooms with beige walls
Grim news delivered with smiles
Tears in the rest room 

Treoidation then
Now encouraged by the news
Thank all for your prayers 


While my friend Cate added this one:

darkened garden —
the stillness of trees sleeping
under new snow


My friend Marianne Paul used this haiku of mine as a jumping off point:

first light the haiku I wrote better in my dream

And wrote a new one of her own in response:

evaporation how quickly the haiku leaves me

My friend @SassafrasMama sent me warm #haikuversary wishes, while my friend @maggros asked me to write a haiku using the word "plight." So I did:

the haijin's plight half-remembered haiku seedpods in winter

My friend Paul David Mena used an image of mine as a jumping off point:


summer breeze
what we whispered

among the sand dunes

And finally, there were a few friends who offered up dates that were special to them, for whom I usually pulled a haiku from that date up from the archives. Although in Val Brown's case, I wrote a new haiku, thinking about her and her sweetie, who were celebrating a different kind of anniversary:

birds gifting their songs with no notion of return — my smile in your eyes

This one, from the archives, was for : November dusk — our candles seeming brighter by the minute

My friend @mapographer requested a haiku with a 12/25 date stamp, so I pulled this one (from all the way back in 2008!):

snow, then rain – the geese arguing loudly overhead

And finally, at day's end, @sacarlavoz requested a re-posting of this one:

bright yellow goldfinch swooping across our morning — unmistakeable

(I had a really great #haikuversary.) (Can you tell?)

March 16, 2017

last season’s leaves
chiming in overhead
we trade winter sighs


March 15, 2017

snow emergency
no one awake to share these
tiny footprints with



March 14, 2017

ice flinging itself
at our windows all morning
somehow the glass holds


March 13, 2017

First Day School
we learn about the sound
porcupines make



Today's little haiku has a lot of background!

About "First Day School":
Quakers were at one time known for their adherence to a testimony involving plainness of speech. This kind of speech, which included omitting honorific addresses in favor of forms of address that stressed the equality of all persons, was part of Quakers' witness of the importance of simplicity. Similarly, Quakers in those earlier times would sometimes refer to the days of the week in plain speech, which led to Sundays being called "first day," Mondays "second day," etc. etc. Most of these customs have faded out as Quakers are no longer quite as intent on separating themselves through speech choices in order to accentuate their differences. There are still some echoes of those early customs in our present-day experiences, though. Religious education classes for members and attenders of a Quaker meeting are sometimes still termed "First Day School" (rather than Sunday School); indeed, this is the case at Princeton Monthly Meeting, which is my home meeting and the site of today's haiku.

About the sound a porcupine makes:
When I was growing up, there was a day when my mother looked out the living room window and saw that there was a cat stuck up near the top of our crabapple tree. Except that when she sent my father out to investigate, he discovered that it was a porcupine! We called the local animal rescue crew, who said that the porcupine had probably wandered down from the undeveloped woods at the top of our neighborhood. They brought protective gloves and carefully took the porcupine down out of the tree. Of course my sister and I stood as close as they would let us, which meant that we got to hear the porcupine as they wrapped it up in a blanket before returning it to the forest. The best description I've come up with is that the porcupine sounded like a tiny little old man who had assigned himself the task of counting to 100, but who had forgotten what comes after 99. So, something like... "ninety-nine...   ninety-nine?.... ninety-nine..."

In First Day School at Princeton Friends Meeting this week we were singing a song that had animal sounds in it, so I got to tell the kids this story.

March 12, 2017

Close up photo of a forsythia branch with two flowers in bloom. Photo by Karen Rice on Flickr

despite early voting
by the forsythia
snow in the forecast

March 11, 2017

insurance against
the futures I’m afraid of
my bright yellow kitchen


March 10, 2017




after the birth
still so much we don’t know
snow melting away


March 09, 2017

waxing half moon
the answer to some question
I’ve forgotten now


March 08, 2017

pipeline plans
dotted lines show us where
the people will stand


March 07, 2017

leafless branches
reaching up out of long habit
I drive past your house


(for Ann)

March 06, 2017

When do we want it?
Yesterday!
(making the old chant new)


Wanna play?

Photo: Junie, a duck-tolling retriever friend of mine, with ball in mouth

Wanna play?

Friends, my #haikuversary is coming up on Friday, March 17th!

I hereby invite you to join me in celebrating the art of haiku.

Here are some ways that you might decide to join in the fun. (Put whatever you decide to share either here in the comments or over on Twitter, where I am @butwait.)

  • Poke around in the archives, find a favorite, and share it! Bonus points if you tell me why you like it. (But sometimes it's hard to say why, so no pressure.)
  • Find a photo that you think pairs well with one of my haiku, and either tell me about it or create a haiga (image + haiku, e.g. this one)!
  • Pick a date that is meaningful to you and let me share a haiku I wrote on that date. Bonus points if you tell me why the date is significant to you.
  • Send me a word that you'd like to see me try to incorporate into a haiku (no promises!)
  • Tell me about a moment that seemed "haiku-worthy" to you, but that you haven't quite managed to capture in the way you were hoping to
  • Share a haiku of your own! (And don't focus too much on the whole 5-7-5 thing.)
  • Tell me about your haiku reading practice! Do you come here and read mine, or do you only read them on Twitter? Who else writes haiku that you enjoy?
  • Got any other ideas? Last year at least one friend wrote a haiku in response to one of mine, which was lovely and thrilling.
Thank you for considering putting some time and energy into making what is sure to be an already excellent day even sweeter!

March 05, 2017

March 04, 2017

at my first March
holding a girl’s hand
to feel the future


March 03, 2017

resist and persist
meltwater and birdsong
read me that again

(HT @MsPackyetti)

March 02, 2017

the space at the base
of the weeping cherry tree
not yet a refuge


March 01, 2017

circling again
somehow still not cleared to land
airport seagulls