“A Few Haiku (50)”

(c) 2022 by Michael L. Utley

(#295)

in konara copse
ferns beckon
with come-hither fingers

…..

(#296)

white chrysanthemum
she sleeps in the cool embrace
of oak shadows

…..

(#297)

in the garden
corn silk and laughter
my mother’s memories

…..

(#298)

her impression left
on hand-made rice cakes
and my heart

…..

(#299)

I’ll cross the footbridge
soon enough but for now
let me enjoy the stream

…..

(#300)

live long enough
even the mountain will betray you
the forked path

“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

“A Few Haiku (45)”

(c) Michael L. Utley

(#265)

scrub my memories
hang them on the line to dry
before the storm comes

…..

(#266)

summer thunderheads
the past tears a swath across
the plains of my soul

…..

(#267)

post-rain gloaming
ghost-light from an unseen sun
sorrow’s harbinger

…..

(#268)

in this endless night
even eternity flees
from my broken soul

…..

(#269)

sepulchral silence
as the stars spin overhead
in the dead of night

…..

(#270)

when my soul awakes
will I see the dawn of hope
or hope’s dying light

“A Few Haiku (44)”

(c) 2022 by Michael L. Utley

(#259)

fallow fields
granary of memories
not fit for planting

…..

(#260)

mackerel scale clouds
and silver shark fin moon
eventide rolls in

…..

(#261)

cool moist predawn air
condensation in my heart
stillness in my soul

…..

(#262)

evening rain
I break bread alone
in the dim stillness

…..

(#263)

memory garden
I hoe every living thing
just to kill the weeds

…..

(#264)

summer zephyrs sail
the green grain ocean
wheat waves

“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 (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 (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

“A Few Haiku (21)”

(c) 2021 by Michael L. Utley

(#121)

old rain barrel
dark waters of
forgotten dreams

…..

(#122)

first snow
white kiku on
autumn’s casket

…..

(#123)

stone cairns
mark my future; stone heart
marks my past

…..

(#124)

no more songbirds
nest in my heart
your voice fades

…..

(#125)

old mountain’s silence
questions answered
as I climb the path

…..

(#126)

rain turns to hail
my heart takes a pounding
from my tears

“A Few Haiku (19)”

(c) 2021 by Michael L. Utley

(#109)

I cast my old net
But time swims by so swiftly
I can’t catch my breath

…..

(#110)

Silver waves arrayed
In blue moon-hued solitude
In both sea and sky

…..

(#111)

These old woods have felt
My grand-father’s father’s feet
Walking through the ferns

…..

(#112)

Hoarfrost memories
Moonless midnights freeze my soul
Crystallize my tears

…..

(#113)

There is warmth inside
Near the hearth so why must I
Choose the frigid night

…..

(#114)

Snow covers my tracks
I cannot go back again
All things lie ahead