“A Few Haiku & Senryu (56)”

(c) 2023 by Michael L. Utley

(#331)

dusty stew pot
her memory lingers by
the cold hearth

…..

(#332)

a tiny sun
in this cold dark hell
golden suisen

…..

(#333)

strings of koto
from beyond the bamboo grove
my heart breaks again

…..

(#334)

don’t look at me, moon
I’m not who you think I am
dark night of the soul

…..

(#335)

from my window
the mountain; from the mountain
eternity

…..

(#336)

green silence
and the end of all things
sea of trees

(Note: A bit of a title change for this series. I’ve been writing senryu almost as long as haiku and I figured it was time to clarify that these little collections contain both. Haiku pertain to nature and seasons, while senryu address the human condition. The formats are virtually identical; the subject matter differs.)

“A Few Haiku (55)”

(c) 2023 by Michael L. Utley

(#325)

to write is to breathe
and I am suffocating
in silence

…..

(#326)

speak again of joy
and the warmth of summer days
your lies are comforting

…..

(#327)

pond ice
stretched thin as hope
and equally deceptive

…..

(#328)

some write of joy
I write of experience
would they were the same

…..

(#329)

pardon my sorrow
and forgive my weeping soul
a poet’s lament

…..

(#330)

hope comes and goes
and lasts for but a season
winter snow

“A Few Haiku (54)”

(c) 2022 by Michael L. Utley

(#319)

the trees believed once
before they lost everything
the lies of winter

…..

(#320)

for whom do you seek
there’s no one here but me
long night moon

…..

(#321)

fetch the sickle moon
let us harvest ice blossoms
winter star fields

…..

(#322)

sorrows of autumn
kindle the warmth of winter
the blazing hearth

…..

(#323)

this bitter cold
reminds me I’m alive
and why I wish I weren’t

…..

(#324)

in each flake
a brief eternity
the grief of winter

“A Few Haiku (53)”

(c) 2022 by Michael L. Utley

(#313)

my world begins and ends
at my window
lonely winter moon

…..

(#314)

blood and feathers
the sky falls into my palm
a young boy’s shame

…..

(#315)

calligraphy of sorrow
etched on her wrists
autumn’s demise

…..

(#316)

fast asleep
in the heron’s belly
the stilt hut

…..

(#317)

one cup one bowl one spoon
and a thousand silences
winter’s bitter feast

…..

(#318)

when it’s time to laugh
I will laugh; until then
let me cry

“A Few Haiku (52)”

(c) 2022 by Michael L. Utley

(#307)

dry gourds rattle
among cautious deer hooves
the forgotten garden

…..

(#308)

sing loudly, moon
for my heart is deaf
and my soul yearns to dance

…..

(#309)

there is peace
in the aftermath of tears
the joy of sorrow

…..

(#310)

let go the acorn
trust the earth
to keep its promise

…..

(#311)

an eternity
from your eyes to my heart
a tear’s journey

…..

(#312)

dull silence
a stone flung at a post
a summer’s field in winter

“A Few Haiku (51)”

(c) 2022 by Michael L. Utley

(#301)

in sleeping woods
the scent of burning bark
the fragrance of memories

…..

(#302)

the tilt of her head
as she looked at me
the burned bridge

…..

(#303)

cairns of river stones
lest the stream forget
its sorrow

…..

(#304)

these old coins
both priceless and worthless
a wealth of emptiness

…..

(#305)

swift, swift the stream
and all it sweeps away
the torrent of the years

…..

(#306)

among the rushes
the blur of silent koi
and dreams of oblivion

“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

“A Few Haiku (48)”

(c) 2022 by Michael L. Utley

(#283)

nothing stirs
but the memory of acorns
the old forest

…..

(#284)

frozen alpine tarn
my soul rests in silence
in mountain’s embrace

…..

(#285)

his paws in my hands
as his eyes closed
the journey home

…..

(#286)

footbridge lantern
night heron’s shadow dances
with the reeds

…..

(#287)

evening chill descends
as a blade upon the wheat
the sickle moon

…..

(#288)

in my mind
the universe; in my heart
a poem

“A Few Haiku (47)”

(c) 2022 by Michael L. Utley

(#277)

my soul’s tourniquet
staunches words but not the pain
I weep in silence

…..

(#278)

strip me of my layers
to my core of nothingness
then you’ll understand

…..

(#279)

an errant snowflake
drifts through my paneless window
and freezes my heart

…..

(#280)

yuki no hana
coldness blossoms in my heart
my endless winter

…..

(#281)

I am not afraid
to say I am terrified
of what lies ahead

…..

(#282)

I am shamed by fear
my coward’s heart quails in the
shadows of my soul

“A Few Haiku (46)”

(c) 2022 by Michael L. Utley

(#271)

blurred images and
a smudge of words on a page
is this all I am

…..

(#272)

puddle of cold wax
where my candle burned out
waiting for the light

…..

(#273)

thirty-six hours
between my tears and your death
a lifetime since then

…..

(#274)

fallow fields, dry ponds
fences in disrepair
long-dead memories

…..

(#275)

hope stretched thin and taut
across brittle bones of time
a dry husk of life

…..

(#276)

sorrow’s bedrock or
hope’s aquifer; either way
naught left but to dig