“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 (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 (40)”

(c) 2022 by Michael L. Utley

(#235)

so much damage done
by such delicate fingers
and a blackened heart

…..

(#236)

how soothing the words
whispered to a shattered heart
by her serpent’s tongue

…..

(#237)

days of green silence
heart fern-bound in oak shadows
dreaming with the trees

…..

(#238)

I have not yet reached
terminal velocity
my life in free-fall

…..

(#239)

carved into the bark
of my heart, her initials
overgrown with grief

…..

(#240)

bright sun hurts my eyes
just as hope singes my soul
best to stay inside

“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

“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 (20)”

(c) 2021 by Michael L. Utley

(#115)

where once was laughter
now only bones
the burned forest

…..

(#116)

does the mantis pray
for long life and happiness
it receives neither

…..

(#117)

some live some die
I plant the seeds
anyway

…..

(#118)

slender-fingered hands
reach through trees, caress my face
the rising moon

…..

(#19)

heron on the bridge
watches incuriously
as my tears fall

…..

(#120)

as a boy I knew
the sun; as a man I can’t
recognize his face

“A Few Haiku (16)”

(c) 2021 by Michael L. Utley

(#91)

How can hope survive
Solitary kitchen chair
And the empty bed

…..

(#92)

These old feet are numb
Memories are bitter cold
I must watch my step

…..

(#93)

I sought from the fox
Wisdom; he gave me instead
A flash of his tail

…..

(#94)

Breeze in bamboo grove
Sake choko clattering
Empty memories

…..

(#95)

Who has spilled the sky
Into the pond? Sunset fire
Burns lotus blossoms

…..

(#96)

Once, in the forest
Autumn taught me of sorrow
What will winter bring

“A Few Haiku (12)”

(c) 2021 by Michael L. Utley

(#67)

Regret stills haunts me
Even though my heart tells me
I did all I could

…..

(#68)

When I am in need
God responds to all my prayers
“Return to sender”

…..

(#69)

The days come and go
But sometimes inside my heart
The night never leaves

…..

(#70)

Summer sun has gone
That impostor in the sky
Only leaves me cold

…..

(#71)

Autumn’s thievery
Has left more than trees barren
Summer leaves no heir

…..

(#72)

Seasons’ edges blurred
Snow on flowers, freezing rain
I seek clarity

“A Few Haiku (5)”

(c) 2021 by Michael L. Utley

(#25)

Fronds torn by the storm
Willow bathes her wounds in tears
Heaven cries above

…..

(#26)

In konara copse
Broken axe is silent now
Entombed by the ferns

…..

(#27)

In my sorrow I
Doubt that even sparrow’s joy
Can restore my heart

…..

(#28)

In chill autumn rain
Memories of sakura
Memories of you

…..

(#29)

There is bird-song when
I see my bare-footed love
Smiling demurely

…..

(#30)

All I wish for you
Is that you are happy and
You’ll remember me

“It’s Not Lost”

“It’s Not Lost”
(c) 2021 by Michael L. Utley

It’s not lost on me
How this coral-tinctured eve
Tempers morning’s joy
With sadness and coos of doves
Grieve dying light’s somber end

It’s not lost on me that I
Never got to bid farewell
As sun languishes
On melancholy verge of
Day’s bitter demise

It’s not lost on me
That no matter how I tried
I could not reach you
My arms were not strong enough
To save you from siren’s song

It’s not lost on me that I
Could not give you what you sought
To slay your demons
Could not be your shining hope
In your darkest hour

It’s not lost on me
That I mourn what never was
What could never be
How I wish this night would end
How I wish for you again