Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Ready--the Gift

I first remembered it was coming when I read a poem of a compost heap on the blog, Morden Haiku. Then on a recent warmer-than-winter day I looked out to the naked trees, and knew they could feel it too.
It starts deep within
the icecaps of January
can't hold it back
sun shines and moon pulls at sea
sap in the tree remembers
Spring--any week now
any month or day
we wait for the hour of emergence
impatient with rest.
Ready--the gift.

If you are a gardener in the north you may know what I mean. Do you feel it?

Friday, January 27, 2006

Morning Two

Still coming back from a good night's ride...
this quality of trod
the higher trails with vistas
rivers running through my dreams
and walking each new step
on the weathered deck
of an ark long lodged
atop this rock

Then a sound took me back, as this one often does.
four engines droning
in my heart, my gut, my loins
flying low and heavy laden
starburst at 10 o'clock
my cap had wings

Flying, by aircraft or by my nightly journeys, always thrills me. Both take me to the place and time I've lived before. Love the flight. Have you been there?

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Tanka - 3

The form: 5 lines, 5 syllables, 7, 5, 7, 7. First attempts.

harvest light

eastward bowing heads
white, the carpet spread on wind
each new stroke pristine
in the passing hand of God
grain the harvest, light the sound

new seed

barren, yet in life
one seed lodged in rocky cleft
pine tree claims its space
two souls framed in destiny
will touch when pine cones release


cross logs charcoal black
orange feet dance the blue to gold
these tongues radiant
in their light, the heat, the sound
of a new conversation

With the extra lines it seems to give more freedom than haiku. Which is your favorite?

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Morning Haiku

Each night's voyage, and new inspiration...

morning still soaring
in the company of masters
flight by pillow

flute, strings, trumpets sing
hear an angel's chorus still
its message wakes me

farewell mates in voyage
morning train on the far track
drum rolls and ready

Saturday, January 21, 2006

In the Hands of God

Comes a night of pain in every lifetime
Awaken from the sleep this dream has wrought
Stretch your reach and shake the hand of God
Its rhythm gives the words of each new song
We are the golden instruments of being
Reason sleeps and wakes in measured beat
Sing its verse and angels join the chorus
Comes a day of joy in its repeat
Forever in the hands of God.

                                -a 11/03

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

A Turning Heart

Mistakes of heart may find comfort in verse worded. We try.
Do I posture for forgiveness?
Or put up my defenses?
Fear the onslaught
Does not stop
With the words.
My heart is turning
Because I've hurt you.
Would that I could undo
A thoughtless word spoke in haste
I could repeat in paraphrase
But it's too late.
I hurt too
For I love you.

The Next Wave

Though some rest on the Island now, others get ready. It's all in good turn.

Heal in the sun, protected
Learning and service turn next
Rest not, the wind.
I go to the ocean of white
Sandy beaches and blue
Bathe in the salt for soul
And tropical waterfall.
O wind and the next wave
And soon -- the call.
We heal and learn and serve
The sun, the water, and wind.

The Snow Last Night

And here's the morning report:

The snow last night
Even if only an inch
The roar this morning
The wind.
Back--the reality of winter
Sets in.
But all is well by fire
And by this window I travel
My book, big slippers
And wind.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Okay the Storm

It started again today, after two weeks. There's more inspiration in change. Too long the winter break of January. I'd rather, the snow. Spring and summer come in their own time. But, now . . .

Okay the Storm

High change of horizon
For storm on the north wind
Trees painting slate the sky
Quick strokes and ready.

Enough standing still
And waiting for white tops
Earth feet are showing
Ready with new sheets and snowing.

Still now, in commencement
Storm sifting through
Collect at the hedge bend
Waking the night.

We too with pantry
Or final trip providing
Open winter's volumes
And okay the storm.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Night Train

Night Train

A poet of occasion,
I sit and write and wish
To step into the unknown
And claim this mess I've made
The night before: The sweats and chills,
I ride the rails, or toss and take to the edge of ready.
Then lying still—I catch my breath.
Yes, what a mess.
Went on all night—
A dream so significant it begged to be written.
But it left on the morning train,
So it's hit 'n' miss, and then
I recognize a pattern:
The shattered thoughts of last night's puzzle
Stealing dream's direction.
Reflection in a camera lens, I see my eyes.
Thought it was southbound, but then I found
A cinematic can of reel emoting
Till I can't control the pressure cooker.
Book me on the night train.
Taxi down the track of Watertown.
What measures many forces take to reclaim the darkness
Where stark reality is more illusion.
The battlefield is rich with fluids
of ally and enemy alike.
I try to write,
But better left to wind what does not drift in script.
I'll catch another car some other night
If the gore of blood and guts
Does not keep me up.

Ardi Keim (written 1/12/06)

Sunday, January 08, 2006

One Tree Complete

One tree, one bird at park’s edge.
The message reverberates
Replete in meaning
just out of thought.
Each leaf—a map of divine convergence.
Each song—a call to the silence of One.

Be conscious on all walks
through forest and city
travel the high path back home.

                       -a 1/04

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Haiku Evolution

As I continue in my exploration/creation I stick to the formula of haiku (three lines: first - 5 syllables, second - 7, third - 5). Here are a couple more:
Morning with window
Vision of Soul's tomorrow
Sweet, the dream's report.

Or is it better reversing the first and third lines? I think so. Here:

Sweet, the dream's report
Vision of Soul's tomorrow
Morning with window.

Or switching the second line, end-for-end:

Sweet, the dream's report
Tomorrow of Soul's vision
Window this morning.

Too much fun playing. That was three versions of one. I like the last two better. Which one do you think better burns the moment's beauty into the eternity of Soul? That very question demands another:
Each experience
Sees the eternity of Soul
Touching it with now.

But, sometimes sticking with the formula (5, 7, 5) I feel a bit stayed--lacking the freedom that free verse allows at the moment of inspiration. So I write:
Haiku Inspired

Take the formula to freedom
And release the scent of Japanese tea service
On a trolley brake stop.
Hold on to your seats.
Wing-nut the rails.
Pull up hard and downhill fast
In San Francisco.

Am I free? Was I ever a prisoner? I guess we all are in some ways.
If by Prayer

Every prisoner knows the taste of freedom.
It becomes more sweet each day.
Hold what you know is true
For the blessing at the bend.
What is said in riddle
Sustains wonder
Like the Parable of Loaves and Fishes.

There is always new ground to cover. And right now in this part of Minnesota it is with six inches of snow. But the sun shines for the first time in most of a week. Have a good journey. Mush!, huskies.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Winter Haiku


Pause one December
Between the last two snow storms
Three red birds sunning.


Sun touches snow flake
Leaves skate by wind on sidewalk
Open the shutters.


Still. Soft and soaring
To the play of yesterday
Dreams on white pillow.


Yesterday’s sharp axe
This radiant glow crackling
And your love makes home.


Tuesday, January 03, 2006

More Haiku -- if you don't mind

(FYI: hai-ku. Three lines -- five syllables, seven, and five.)

I guess I started writing poetry in earnest when I bought my first typewriter in 1968. I still have it, but haven't used it in years. At that time I wrote a little ditty on how typewriters inspire. Who knows where that first poem is? Anyway, here is the current haiku version of it:


Poet's voice now freed
Plat, plat, plat -- like big rain drops
Typewriter inspired.

In my web research yesterday I came upon some cat haiku. Here are my offerings:


Crawl onto my lap
Purring metronome, the tail
Contemplation cat.

Then, I just couldn't help myself:

Cat Haiku

Qualities of fluff
Antics at the end of tail
Breathe, Cat, in haiku.

Too often I write poetry about poetry. Is that cheating? Here's another:

Haiku Haiku

Meter and rhyming
Trying to make it be true
This verse in haiku.

Okay, that's enough for now. I'm sure there will be more.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Oregon New Year

My blogging poet vacation post below reminded me of haiku, but then I had not the time to adjust. How's this? ...
Enjoying the rain

All wet, yet breathing in Portland

Happy New Years Eve!

The Great Hall

I walked in Paris one day. Entered a moment of light. Behold…

In the great hall with benches
light gathers with color.
Footsteps and voices,
excitement and muse…
I sit and wait
in the great hall.

Hours of day—
dawn’s turning through eve,
keys to the gate,
they leave the great hall.
The muse and I still wait
with your smile,
Mona Lisa.

                       --ak 6/10/01