Sixty-six Haiku/Senryu


curious how the black cat
suddenly decides
to duck the blue gate
(1970)

*

Bury by train—
cathedral & the old bookshop
I used to haunt

*

horses in a sweep of hills
rising up
to many ridges of grey

*

sitting in sunlight
this railway station again
after a whole year

*

heron in a pond
in a ploughed field centre
in sunny woodland

*

remembering where
the old photographs are
I leap towards moonlight

*

railway carriage—
its quiet chatting
on an autumn afternoon

*

the estuary
emptying—long trails
of sea-birds in mud-banks

*

this old lodging-house…
so much of me contained
within its walls

*

young lad all wired up
for the modern age
out there leaves on the turn

*

no shouting
in the playing field
streaked with late afternoon sun
(Ely)

*

the way back—
estuary even emptier;
a sun-silver light

*

trees getting into gear
for winter along the road
to the docks

*

by Ely station:
high wind rushing trees
with nests of rooks

*

exchanges
across ten thousand miles—
the scent of dawn
(for James Taylor)

*

old blokes chat daily
at tables on the station platform—
trains passing

*

six black swan necks
leading over the level land
looming grey

*

train window—
fields & trees
inside the head

*

deep in a book—
sidelong glances
at a woman deep in a book

*

where I remember
misty watercress beds—
warehouse concrete
(1945 – 2012)

*

always hotel people
above me moving
furniture all night long

*

a bell to start—
then the ensemble
sound the bell of their being

*

under all the trees
in the dark wood
neat circles of bright leaves

*

pausing
to consider the next step
I stumble into morning

*

solitary leaf
stuck to the wet pavement
the flatness of autumn

*

afternoon fade
of fields & hedgerows—
dark corners of gardens

*

as the train passes
the sudden gallop of a horse
with an overcoat

*

my old cat droops
into an endless sleep—
these old bones

*

looming  cloud;
setting sun bright
in a deep quarry pond

*

a small thing
learning—the counting of beads
& the causes of starlight

*

mortality—
my bent gnarled stick
in the corner

*

waiting for breakfast;
the infinite pretence
of time

*

condensation—
the house opposite
red with early sunlight

*

mobile phone talk
in Russian—concerning
the Revolution maybe

*

4am—
the skylight moonshape
follows me into the bathroom

*

all summer in the sun—
now my old cat finds
a fish-dish in the sky

*

and now the moonlit
skylight slides
into a new day

*

another night—
rain on the skylight
& no sign of the moon

*

slatted moonlight
across my pillow:
all night feeding the moon

*

away from folk
I crawl into the quiet corners
of my self

*

stretch of red mist
in the darkening west
a farmstead lamp

*

young man’s
authoratitive jabber
the wilting girl friend

*

this tune feels
like it should be going backwards
—so my life
(dream haiku)

*

yesterday’s worn clothes
chucked in the drawer
with the Gideon bible
(at Benslow)

*

frost & silence
after long days of music
& laughter

*

through a golden keyhole
the flickering
of a new-lit coal-fire
(At Benslow)

*

young lad sideways
through a glass partition
scoots when he meets my eye

*

the smoothing out
of the mind
with great waves of wind
(after George Sturt – Journals Volume 1)

*

the after years
looking over
my shoulder
(after George Sturt – Journals Volume 1)

*

light wind—a draught
through the narrow space
made by earth & cloud
(after George Sturt – Journals Volume 1)

*

writing to diminish
the distance between
mind & pen
(after George Sturt – Journals Volume 1)

*

half-awake wondering
what I’m going to be
when I grow up

*

park deer     (when a boy
rattles the fence with a stick)
take to barking more
(after George Sturt – Journals Volume 1)

*

lone figure with a dog
approaching green field centre
mid-morning

*

…always being asked
to suffer till real life
can begin again

two cyclists on the towpath
pass a swan
on the swift brown river
(Cambridge)

*

one small window looking
north into leafless trees
—the back garden
(after Kurt Vonnegut: Bluebeard)

*

during the meeting
a man walks along
a distant roof-top

*

flurry of gulls
over the old cart track
a silver sun

*

bright evening light
and a darkling plain
goddess on a railway platform

*

three chaps on a pub-crawl:
“pint & a read at the Plough
and back again…”

*

landscape smoothly
past the train window
glances & babble

*

last time ever
between these walls
—the swaying poplars

*

pondering the ear
in her perfect profile
—a curious thing

*

on a station seat
looking forward to the next thing
full stretch

*

a couple of dozen rooks
fly up from
a silent winter wood

*

2 thoughts on “Sixty-six Haiku/Senryu

  1. There is a lot of the train, waiting, watching, observing…journey, life and living.
    and yet so neatly compressed into this difficult format. Thanks for the master class in expression. Bless you.

    Like

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