“A Few Haiku (49)”

(c) 2022 by Michael L. Utley

(#289)

burning leaf piles
a taste of smoke
the flavor of melancholy

…..

(#290)

a handful of
broken promises
last autumn’s acorns

…..

(#291)

Aokigahara
Fuji’s shoulders bear
the weight of sorrow

…..

(#292)

ragged sheaves
my old rusted sickle
nears harvest’s end

…..

(#293)

these tears
it’s the bitter autumn wind
that’s all

…..

(#294)

in a field of sage and lupine
a young boy dreams
an old man weeps

49 thoughts on ““A Few Haiku (49)”

    1. Thanks, David. I have no plans on stopping at 300, I assure you. πŸ™‚ When these episodes of writer’s block lessen, writing becomes incredibly fun again (you should see me as I click the Publish button! πŸ˜€ ). I’m knocking on wood that this oasis of current inspiration lasts for a while. πŸ™‚

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    1. Thanks, Friedrich. Truly flattered by your kind assessment. This process is a strange mixture of deep introspection, stirring up a lot of uncomfortable feelings, as well as sheer joy at being able to put those feelings into some sort of coherent thought. To receive validation from people like you and David and others, well, it’s humbling, and much valued and appreciated. Many thanks. πŸ™‚

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    1. Thanks, Ken. I’ve apparently had some sort of acorn fixation recently! πŸ˜€ I find them fascinating and they lend themselves so easily to poetic verse. I appreciate your constant support and I’m glad you stopped by. πŸ™‚

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  1. The first and the last are killers. They speak to me and I listen…Beautiful writing, Mike. I find sadness so familiar like an old friend you can sit down with at any time and not feel that you were ever apart. Thanks for sharing your words and feelings. Helps us all. πŸ™‚

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    1. Thanks so much, Terveen. Sadness has definitely been my constant companion, too. I’ve had sadness in my Rolodex forever, it seems (do people even use Rolodexes nowadays?). πŸ˜€ It’s familiar and strangely comforting, yet it tends to overstay its welcome at times. But it’s part of me, and I’ve accepted that, and it’s okay. And I’m glad my words resonate with you. Honestly, one reason I share my grief and sorrow is that I know other people may identify with it and realize they’re not alone, and maybe that will help someone, somewhere. I’m truly grateful for your presence here, Terveen. Thanks for everything you do. πŸ™‚

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    1. Thank you truly, my friend! As you can tell, I love acorns. πŸ™‚ I sincerely appreciate your wonderful comments. Thank you so much for stopping by and reading my poetry. I’m always happy to see you here. πŸ™‚

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    1. Many thanks, Joan. I can say precisely the same thing about your poetry. The world you write about is a beautiful place, and your poetry is tranquil and sublime. I’m truly grateful for your kind comments, and so pleased to know my words appeal to you. Enjoy your Sunday, my friend! πŸ™‚

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    1. Thank you kindly, Gary. There’s something about our olfactory sense that triggers some of the most intense memories. Those burning leaf piles in #289 take me immediately back to my childhood on the farm on those cold late-autumn days when it was time to rake the dead elm and Gambel oak leaves from the yards. We’d burn the leaves and the smoke was so acrid that I can still smell it when I close my eyes, you know? Autumn, for me, will always be the scent of burning leaves, picking up potatoes in the garden with cold fingers, and standing near the wood stove in the living room afterwards to thaw out. Anyway, thanks for your kindness, Gary. I’m glad this one brought back some memories for you, and I hope they’re all good ones. πŸ™‚

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      1. Oh, I have many memories as a kid and down through the years, all good. When I was young I had an old set of wide cross country skis. All through the winters and deep snows I would ski after school a couple miles in the woods trails, stop and build a fire just to contemplate my young life. I usually used leaves from fallen oak branches to start the fire. Loved the smell. Looking back it was an essential part of emotional rehab from an accident where my arms and fingers didn’t work very well and it took about 6 years to gain some confidence and function physically. So, I guess that’s why I connected well with all 3 lines ending with “melancholy”

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    2. I always wanted to learn to ski, but never had the opportunity. The winters here don’t compare to those in your area in terms of duration, temperature and snowfall. So, I missed out on skiing and hockey and all those winter sports. I tried shoveling snow off the ponds a few times as a teen so I could try ice skating, but the ponds were so small it ended up being ice walking instead. πŸ˜€ When I was younger and living alone at the family farm, taking care of the livestock for my parents during the winters when they lived out of state, I’d make my daily walks up to the stock tank and chop the ice for the cows. We had a diesel-fueled de-icer on the tank, too, so while it was doing its magic, I’d make a little fire using oak brush twigs and pine cones and juniper bark. Like you, I’d sit by the little fire and ponder my life. There something magical about sitting by a fire all alone in the country winter. It’s so quiet, and the scent of fresh snow and wet earth and fragrant pine, juniper and sage brush created a very meditative atmosphere. The cats enjoyed it, too. πŸ™‚ I’m sorry to hear about the accident and the ensuing difficulties. I hope everything worked out and you had a full recovery. Thanks for sharing your story with me. I really enjoyed getting a peek into your world. πŸ™‚

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      1. I really learned to ski behind the snowmobile. I used my cross country military skis I bought for $7 in a surplus store. The problem was my friends driving only knew one speed. later on I lead teenage trips as well as family to the mountains skiing. Lots of stories there. Every night was “campfire time” ahh…memories

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    1. Thanks a bunch, Saima. Truly humbled by your kind words. I’m so pleased to receive your wonderful comments. As always, thanks for visiting–you’re always more than welcome here, my friend! πŸ™‚

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    1. Thanks so much, Cindy. Yep, I’ve been busy writing lately, thank goodness. Four months elapsed with no new poetry, and it’s a panicky feeling, although one with which I’m all too familiar. But that mental itch came back recently and it wouldn’t go away, so I was finally able to get some words down and it feels so good.

      I’m happy that you liked #294. On the farm where I was raised, there were meadows filled with sage and purple lupine in the summers. Countless times, I walked among the sage and wild flowers, fantasizing about leaving the farm one day and chasing my dreams. Things didn’t work out the way I’d hoped. The farm is gone now, and I wasn’t able to achieve any of my boyhood dreams. So, the young boy and the old man in that field of sage and lupine? That’s me.

      Writing about my failures and unfulfilled dreams helps me deal with the sadness and sense of loss. When people react positively to my poetry, it helps me in ways no one will ever know as I try to make sense of a life poorly lived So, when I say thank you for you kindness–and the kindness of all who read and leave comments here–I mean it on a deeply fundamental level. Thanks so much, my friend. Your support and encouragement are invaluable. πŸ™‚

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  2. You’ve captured the melancholy of autumn here, Mike. The last one was particularly striking to me in the way it captures the arc of life and passage of time. I’ve been feeling that too as I look at photos of my mom as a child and young woman… as I go through her things. Beautiful poetry, my friend.

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    1. Thank you, Diana. Autumn and winter seem to inspire me more than any other time of the year, and even though the inspiration is so melancholy, it’s still so thrilling to be able to write about those seasons. As for that field of sage and lupine, I really miss it. It was such a big part of my youth. So many times I trekked through that meadow. I learned to drive in that meadow (my mom’s dad taught me in his old 1949 Dodge pick-up truck). I practiced photography there among the sage and wild flowers. I accompanied our farm dogs (and cats) on long summer walks there. Lots o f memories. It was such a vital place in my youth. I haven’t seen it for more than seven years and I will never be able to visit it again. It’s strange how an ordinary place can hold such significance, isn’t it? My thoughts are with you with regards to your mom, my friend. May many happy memories bring you peace and healing. πŸ™‚

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      1. There’s a special place like that in my life too, so I understand the poignancy of knowing that you won’t see it again. That’s my situation too. I could go there, but the land belongs to others now, so it’s sad for me. Ah well. The memories will have to suffice. We can carry those in our pockets and take them out whenever we wish.

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