“A Few Haiku (38)”

(c) 2022 by Michael L. Utley


sorrow begets joy
from the ashes of my soul
a columbine



what can harsh words rend
that kind words cannot assuage
the healing rain



under starless skies
my heart sings a silent dirge
night wind in the trees



my regrets are mine
my shame wears my haggard face
my soul weeps alone



vagaries of life
my heart’s buoyancy in doubt
on my soulless sea



what my heart demands
my mind cannot comprehend
and my soul rejects

“A Few Haiku (37)”

(c) 2022 by Michael L. Utley


clarity sundered
in the swelter and the din
of scorched memories



fitting denouement
thoughtless birds and bitter breeze
signify the end



I behold the stars
through the blurred prisms of tears
hope is beyond reach



holes in the pockets
of my soul; I lost myself
somewhere on the way



aloof stars shine on
while constellations of lives
perish on the earth



take my hand, my friend
do not cry, do not despair
you are not alone

“A Few Haiku (36)”

(c) 2022 by Michael L. Utley


the empty cistern
my poetry garden dies
in this wordless drought



that cur depression
skulks on the periphery



thoughts bereft of words
prisoners inside my head
silent penitence



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



mental exhaustion
I can no longer pretend
everything is fine



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


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

“A Few Haiku (32)”

(c) 2022 by Michael L. Utley


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



in the end
my heaven could not redeem
your hell



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



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



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



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

“A Few Haiku (31)”

(c) 2022 by Michael L. Utley


three chickadees…
winter’s ellipsis as earth
pauses in thought



winter cattails
frozen tiki torches glow
in silver moon-fire



in night’s cold silence
old snow-laden branch succumbs
too many winters



warmth and light and love
all the world’s hope resides
in my glowing hearth



messenger moon
conveys hope to my lost love
through the years and tears



light in the darkness
dawn of hope or setting sun
I cannot decide

“A Tanka Trio (11)”

(c) 2022 by Michael L. Utley


my exhausted faith
flows just as the drift ice flows
breaks and melts away
heaven’s reflection blurring
in the sea’s saltwater tears



I catch the water
dripping from the icicles
in a mason jar
as a gentle reminder
that I do not weep alone



moon paints snow angels
on forgotten midnight fields
only clouds can see
sleeping souls oblivious
to shy winter’s artistry

“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


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



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



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



does she remember
in her tropical winter
my world of snow



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



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

“A Few Haiku (29)”

(c) 2022 by Michael L. Utley


my unsettled thoughts
blanket my winter world
in restless stasis



winter’s bitter dirge
prelude to spring’s soliloquy
hope waits in the wings



from womb to tomb
winter’s ever-present shroud
white cloak of despair



heaven’s secrets
whispered in the hiss of rain
on elm leaves



to those whose stories
go unheard by dearth of care
nature lends her ear



all hope is not lost
though harsh winter batters me
the golden suisen