“A Few Haiku (38)”

(c) 2022 by Michael L. Utley

(#223)

sorrow begets joy
from the ashes of my soul
a columbine

…..

(#224)

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

…..

(#225)

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

…..

(#226)

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

…..

(#227)

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

…..

(#228)

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

“A Few Haiku (37)”

(c) 2022 by Michael L. Utley

(#217)

clarity sundered
in the swelter and the din
of scorched memories

…..

(#218)

fitting denouement
thoughtless birds and bitter breeze
signify the end

…..

(#219)

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

…..

(#220)

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

…..

(#221)

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

…..

(#222)

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

(#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

“A Few Haiku (31)”

(c) 2022 by Michael L. Utley

(#181)

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

…..

(#182)

winter cattails
frozen tiki torches glow
in silver moon-fire

…..

(#183)

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

…..

(#184)

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

…..

(#185)

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

…..

(#186)

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

“A Tanka Trio (11)”

(c) 2022 by Michael L. Utley

(#31)

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

…..

(#32)

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

…..

(#33)

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

(#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 (29)”

(c) 2022 by Michael L. Utley

(#169)

my unsettled thoughts
blanket my winter world
in restless stasis

…..

(#170)

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

…..

(#171)

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

…..

(#172)

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

…..

(#173)

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

…..

(#174)

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