“A Few Haiku (36)”

(c) 2022 by Michael L. Utley

(#211)

the empty cistern
my poetry garden dies
in this wordless drought

…..

(#212)

that cur depression
skulks on the periphery
hyper-vigilant

…..

(#213)

thoughts bereft of words
prisoners inside my head
silent penitence

…..

(#214)

desiccated soul
slakes its thirst from murky meres
roams my sunless mind

…..

(#215)

mental exhaustion
I can no longer pretend
everything is fine

…..

(#216)

parts of me have died
that no one will ever know
nor will ever mourn

“A Few Haiku (35)”

(c) 2022 by Michael L. Utley

(#205)

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

…..

(#206)

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

…..

(#207)

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

…..

(#208)

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

…..

(#209)

glowing stardew laves
dozing midnight columbines
celestial dreams

…..

(#210)

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

“A Few Haiku (32)”

(c) 2022 by Michael L. Utley

(#187)

the forsaken vase
still stands where you left it
waiting for your flower

…..

(#188)

in the end
my heaven could not redeem
your hell

…..

(#189)

memories of you
litter the oak-shadowed grass
I tread carefully

…..

(#190)

coy spring tarries
just beyond my winter heart
how I yearn for her

…..

(#191)

strawberry spring
the false hope of redemption
as the storm draws nigh

…..

(#192)

my destitute mind
is as barren as my heart
all the words have gone

“January’s Scion”

“January’s Scion”
(c) 2022 by Michael L. Utley

January’s scion, born of winter
messenger of midnight’s dark domain
harbinger of fearful futures
herald of the past’s persistence
bearer of remembrances of
what shall surely be

I’ve succumbed to January’s Janus
peering ever forward and behind
frozen firmly on the threshold
of what was and what may soon be
doomed to bear the weight of all things
for eternity

there are reasons January haunts me
memories unmeltable come spring
anguished glacial recollections
nurse at doleful mountain’s bosom
hiemal tempest screams its sinful
arctic lullaby

blizzards pummel me across the decades
breath sucked from my lungs I cannot scream
woeful winters resurrected
stain the present, tinge the future
I cannot let go, my tired
mind encased in ice

mountain path from past to future voided
bone-white drifts of January’s wrath
stalk the trail in hulking silence
passage is impossible here
miles of dead denuded forest
bar my way ahead

I can’t scry the future in the darkness
terrifying in obscurity
thrumming rumbling shakes the earth as
cloying caustic vapors fester
sulfur-scented volcanism
lies ahead for me

close my eyes and I can see the carnage
close my ears and I can hear the cries
spewing peaks of raining cinders
fire-bomb the desolation
I can sense the future tremble
in uncertainty

memories entombed in frigid white flakes
worries of the future caked with ash
undead past alive and raging
unseen future salivating
waiting restlessly for me as
time moves ever on

“A Few Haiku (30)”

(c) 2022 by Michael L. Utley

(#175)

the burning earth
raging sea and starless sky
nature’s broken heart

…..

(#176)

the blowing snow
winter’s children play hopscotch
on frozen fields

…..

(#177)

nine thousand miles
and years of pain lie between
my heart and my soul

…..

(#178)

does she remember
in her tropical winter
my world of snow

…..

(#179)

drafts have stilled the hearth
killed the fire in my soul
endless winter night

…..

(#180)

ice in wash basin
fingers too frigid to wash
cold thoughts from my mind

“A Few Haiku (26)”

(c) 2022 by Michael L. Utley

(#151)

drifting blizzard snow
not deep enough to inter
all the world’s sins

…..

(#152)

fallow field
without love and compassion
there can be no hope

…..

(#153)

the thresher’s flail
I am not yet able to
leave my past behind

…..

(#154)

iced boughs bend in shame
winter’s woe too bitter for
weeping willow’s tears

…..

(#155)

silent winter night
sound of my heart’s muffled cries
bereft of echoes

…..

(#156)

bitter reckoning
seeds of love in time shall meet
the harvester’s scythe

“A Few Haiku (25)”

(c) 2022 by Michael L. Utley

(#145)

whispers of the dead
desiccated teasel stalks
haunt the winter field

…..

(#146)

fuyu no shika
scornful mountains echo
mournful stag’s lament

…..

(#147)

in the end
my heart gropes in darkness
on life’s lonely path

…..

(#148)

jade remembrance
the hitch in my chest
as my heart shatters

…..

(#149)

barren winter field
this heart of mine
bereft of yours

…..

(#150)

in silence in shadows
cold earth trembles beneath
blanket of regrets

“A Few Haiku (24)”

(c) 2021 by Michael L. Utley

(#139)

snow in hut shadow
bitter heart
refuses to melt

…..

(#140)

abandoned nest
filled with drifted snow
sorrow incubates

…..

(#141)

frozen tracks
my past waits for me
up the road

…..

(#142)

frigid pond
thirsty fox waits in the woods
as I break the ice

…..

(#143)

chilly winter breaths
heron, kitsune and I
speak common tongue

…..

(#144)

no sun no moon
earth in funeral wrappings
all hope is lost

“A Few Haiku (23)”

(c) 2021 by Michael L. Utley

(#133)

winter blizzard
mountain’s clouded mind confused
avalanche of thoughts

…..

(#134)

my life stains the page
complicated crimson kanji
too obscure to read

…..

(#135)

arctic kitsune
little blizzard stalks the drifts
crimson raicho plumes

…..

(#136)

darkest winter night
echoes of abandoned prayers
dwindle in the void

…..

(#137)

wind and sea and sky
permanence of change
impermanence of life

…..

(#138)

snow on footbridge
heron tracks the only sign
of life that matters

“A Few Haiku (22)”

(c) 2021 by Michael L. Utley

(#127)

serrated sea shells
flay unfeeling fleeing feet
my numb soul bleeds out

…..

(#128)

bits of blue shell
and broken soul mark my fall
from heaven’s nest

…..

(#129)

old pond and ocean
renewed with each thunderstorm
my soul begs for rain

…..

(#130)

your name etched
on every cobblestone
this road leads nowhere

…..

(#131)

frost on suisen
sheen of wistful memories
melts too quickly

…..

(#132)

buds on barren twigs
kanji writ on sleeping trees
promise of the spring