“A Few Haiku (35)”

(c) 2022 by Michael L. Utley


in the forest
nothing matters but the sound
of my quiet mind



my heart finds its home
where the sparrows congregate
the vernal canopy



time and wind and rain
soften edges of harsh stones
my sorrows assuaged



once I saw the sea
there was no more wandering
my home had found me



glowing stardew laves
dozing midnight columbines
celestial dreams



these numb fingers
have lost their feel for life
my grip weakens

38 thoughts on ““A Few Haiku (35)”

    1. Thank you kindly. It was nice to write some calm, contemplative poetry again. I’m an unabashed lover of trees and the sea and nature in general. These put me in a pleasant place. Glad to know you enjoyed them. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Joan! This is so humbling for me and it made my day. I’m so glad my words speak to you. It means so much to me to have people respond in such a kind way. I absolutely love your haiku. I understand, too, as I’ve met so many wonderful writers and people here on WordPress over the past eight months. I’m grateful to Mitch for his kindness in recognizing my writing and photography. Thank you so much for your comment and haiku. Much appreciated! πŸ™‚


  1. “in the forest
    nothing matters but the sound
    of my quiet mind”
    Makes me want to head to a forest right now, Mike. Haha! I love how you give nature that comforting edge. We all need to be out there more often. Wonderful ones! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Terveen. It’s certainly been too long since I visited the trees. I hope you can find your way to a forest soon and experience that quiet calm of nature. It really is a balm for our souls. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Daphny. I understand. I just commented to David below about how I “found my home” when I first saw the Pacific Ocean. It’s a real phenomenon and it happened to me. I still feel that desire to return to the Oregon Coast and spend the rest of my days by the sea. There’s something about the vastness and power of the ocean, its constant motion and almost otherworldliness. It’s hard to explain, but I agree with you totally. I miss the sea… πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, David. I was 31 years old when I saw the sea for the first time. I was studying at a tech school not far from where I currently live in Colorado, and it was Spring Break. I had an opportunity to travel for the first time in my life and I’d wanted to visit Oregon and the Pacific Northwest for years, so I took the biggest leap of my life up until that point, hopped in my little gray Ford Ranger and drove to Oregon. It was a long trip (1,200 miles over the course of a couple-three days), and by the time I got to Coos Bay, Oregon, it was dark and pouring rain. The next morning, it was still raining, but I knew I wasn’t far from my goal. Coos Bay was fogged in, so I headed north along U.S. 101. A few miles out of town the mist in the west parted enough for me to see the Pacific, and my heart leapt into my throat. It was quite foggy as I found an exit and made my way to the shore, which wasn’t exactly a beach but more of thick tangle of trees that abruptly ended at the water. I stood there in the light rain for a long time gazing out at the chrome-hued water, inhaling the salt-and-foliage scented air, and watched as a Coast Guard ship and helicopter performed maneuvers.

      It was a moment unlike any I’d experienced. I’d been land-locked all my life. Here was an expanse of water that stretched to Asia unobstructed. It struck me then that I was at the edge of the world and anything was possible. I was having tremendous difficulty in my life with depression and deafness and problems at school, and one reason I made the trip was to try to clear my head. I didn’t expect to discover a sense of homecoming, but that’s exactly what I encountered that rainy, misty, late-March morning in 1995.

      I left the strip of beach and headed north along 101, spending about a week on the coast. Everywhere I went, it was the same…a sense of finally belonging. The people I encountered were the friendliest of any area I’ve ever visited. The weather was angry and dramatic for most of the week, with gale-force winds in some places and high, frothing seas. I stopped along the way at various and sundry locales, visiting all the lighthouses I could find, checking out Sea Lion Caves and Oregon Dunes, the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport and the Maritime Museum and the Astoria Column in Astoria. I also shot about ten rolls of film, and this is where my desire to pursue nature photography began, with that image of Heceta Head Lighthouse that I posted on my blog a few weeks ago.

      Something changed in me, David. It’s hard to explain, but something shifted and I honest-to-God felt like I had finally made it home when I saw the Pacific Ocean. A “sea change” had occurred in my life, if you will. I didn’t want to leave. Five months later, I moved to Salem, Oregon and lived there for four months until I ran out of money and had to return to my current area. Since then, I’ve felt that tug of the ocean, that siren-song. I haven’t been able to return and I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to, but it’s always in the back of my mind. I don’t feel at home here in Colorado. My home is in Oregon, on the coast, somewhere near a lighthouse, where gulls cry and the sea is the one constant in all things. So, yeah, absolutely true story. Places can change us on fundamental levels. The Oregon Coast changed me.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for your kind appraisal, Xenia! I had read a recent post by Mark on his blog that dealt with sparrows, and being the nature-lover I am, I wanted to pen a haiku about them. I spent my youth on a farm and remember well the sparrows and the trees and how excited I was when springtime arrived and life returned to the farm. Forests filled with birds…an elixir for the soul! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Scarlett. I really like the calmness that comes with being out in the natural world, particularly that found in the forest. This haiku is based on Shinrin-yoku, which literally translates as “forest bathing.” It’s a means of experiencing the essence of the trees with all the senses, and it’s so meditative and calming. I grew up on a farm with lots of trees and I used to love exploring them as a kid. There’s something incredibly vital and life-affirming about being close to nature. I love trees, hence this haiku. Glad you liked it. πŸ™‚


    1. Thanks, Aaysid. I think everyone deserves a personal forest to help us find peace of mind in this turbulent world. I’m so glad you enjoyed these. Your kindness means so much to me. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Much appreciated, Lamittan. I’d love to see some haiku written by you! If you ever decide to write a few, do let me know! I love the format and the necessity of distilling thoughts down to the very basics. It can be challenging, but that’s part of the appeal for me. Thanks for the kind words as always, my friend. πŸ™‚


      1. I’ve never wrote haikus before, to be precise, except one I tried for just the other day for Cindy’s “Emojiku”. It was a bit fun and I now think i should try more. I’ll let you know when I compile some. And You’re most welcome, my friend. πŸ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

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