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Seasons, Places, Feelings

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This section, ‘Seasons, Places, Feelings’, brings us perhaps closest to the heart of the Great Master.  There are many here that explore in varied and complex ways the main haiku themes of time, place and being.



  1. Northumbria fine
    The days sunny except for
    Hai kumulus clouds
  2. Newcastle pub crawl.
    In Alnwick the Old Cross, called
    The Dirty Bottles
  3. Three dirty bottles
    Stand in a well-sealed window
    Placed by a dead man


  1. Black cows barely seen
    As darkness settles soft on
    Cathedral meadows
  2. Dark little chapel
    I enter alone—for her
    I light a candle

A NW1 Odyssey

  1. Choose at Camden Town
    (Northern Line) which way to go
    —Where to have come from?
  2. Primrose Hill at dusk
    Not enough wind for the kites
    Nor scope in the zoo
  3. October twilight
    On Primrose hill—men juggling
    Wine bottles empty
  4. Joggers and jugglers
    Striving to keep their weights down
    And to keep them up
  5. You’ve autumn gloves on—
    If we’re still meeting in spring
    Perhaps we’ll hold hands

Another NW1 Odyssey [2012]

See the note in appendix 3

  1. William Blake, mystic,
    Met the spiritual sun
    Here—on Primrose Hill
  2. Revolution times—
    Britain’s ancient bards seeking
    Truth on Primrose Hill
  3. Ancient relics here?
    Ages buried on the Hill—
    Now I see a Shard
  4. People throng around
    Viewing high rise horizons—
    Imagine—lone hill
  5. Twelve years have now passed—
    Do memories inspire me?
    Or spirit of place?


  1. Peak’s mistful valleys
    ‘Dry’ stone walls all dripping wet
    —Sheep close to the sky
  2. This place is holy
    Dun Î, Iona’s mountain;
    Banshee wail softly


See the note in appendix 3

  1. Ten to six—Sunday
    Abbey bells suddenly toll
    Echoing the square round
  2. Tyres rub the cobbles
    Pigeons swoop over the cafe
    One more beer to drink
  3. Here in green Brabant
    Sun—and stillness far from home
    Recalling passed times
  4. Not far to the ducks
    Half way across the still pond
    Making three small wakes
  5. A hollow in time—
    Slowly I stretch out to rest
    Quickly—it closes


  1. The rain turns to snow
    The Salzburg climate unfolds
    A Christmas sermon
  2. I sit at my place
    Eating the Tagesmenu
    Nothing much has changed
  3. Sunset over Chartres—
    Serenity or fervour?
    How to confront Life?
  4. Sachsenstein—
    I know—it has the feel of
    Galadriel’s hill

    See the note in appendix 3
  5. Fireflies light the sky
    Then the atmosphere changes
    —Storm over Garda
  6. The ice on the lake
    Grows dim, the snow deep and crisp
    Yields warm to my feet
  7. Volcanic snow-rim
    Icelandic millennium
    Only place to be


  1. Gentility past:
    Raffles Hotel, Singapore,
    Backed by skyscrapers
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The Zen Garden

  1. Seek peace and wisdom
    Bookshop—or Eastern Garden?
    Perhaps water, stones
  2. Press trigger, heart skips
    Gardening with power tools
    Frog parts everywhere

    See the note in appendix 3
  3. When mowing the lawn
    I wonder—will the daisies
    Ever forgive me?
  4. Beneath the flight path
    Small things keep falling from planes
    Leaves on the green lawn
  5. Magnolia bare
    Lawn around is brown, old leaves
    Spring buds already formed
  6. In my night garden
    I find a glow-worm glimmers
    —Unexpected gem
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See the note in appendix 3

  1. A child stares agog
    At the object of wonder—
    Fire-engine passing
  2. Jurassic Park watched
    Angie holding my finger
    Dragon myths are us
  3. Young Johnnie downloads
    A Tyrannosaurus Rex
    —Just one killer bite
  4. Our childhood dream ends
    For one moment all is clear
    For C R and Pooh
  5. A good place to be
    We understand each other
    An enchanted place
  6. Our childhood dream ends
    Now we must think as grown-ups—
    Which is more real?
  7. Mary—long blonde plaits
    First whisper—in the playground
    —And then the bell rings
  8. We walk the wet shore.
    Are our sandcastles more lost
    Than the kids we were?

Middle Age

  1. The middle-aged fox
    No longer runs so quickly
    —And suffers hare loss
  2. Win five kiloquid!
    Do I buy ten purple suits
    Or up my pension?


  1. ‘My wife’ he tells me
    ‘Forgets things… grows forgetful’
    Five times he tells me
  2. Gran dies Christmas Eve
    Leaves it all to charity
    —No good will this year!
  3. Friends, days, many flown
    Long grey evening of pain
    —How long till the night?
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  1. If the time should come
    You want to dance on my grave
    Please wear a short skirt
  2. —Imagining you…
    Standing alone in the wind
    —Wearing red undies
  3. Prose is built of bricks
    Songs and poems—bells ringing
    Your words are soft gongs
  4. You.  A world away—
    When I say your name out loud
    —As near as breathing
  5. I’d love to play you
    But you are a fine violin
    —I have a drumstick
  6. The simple pink room
    Love’s open heart lies beating
    The simple pink room
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Female Icons

  1. She’s a sex goddess
    But vulnerable, mortal—
    Marilyn Monroe
  2. Walkabout stunning—
    Agutter skinny-dipping
    In a billabong
  3. Fame is the prize for
    A calculating woman
    —Carol Vorderman
  4. Thelma and Louise
    Rocky Horror Picture Show
    —Susan Sarandon
  5. Men were most impressed
    By her, her feat in the air
    Miss Amy Johnson
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Here be Dragons

  1. Don’t mess with dragons
    Because you’re nice and crunchy
    And good with ketchup
  2. Dragons buy ketchup
    Using Tesco’s internet
    It’s a dragon-drop
  3. To not meet dragons
    Open all your doors with care
    Avoid the attic
  4. It helps to cheer one
    Finding attic fantasies
    While real days drag-on
  5. Summer.  Dragon sleeps,
    Awakes—hot breath on the thatch:
    Autumn-attic fire
  6. Man found with drag.on
    Turns out to be transvestite
    Mister or a myth?
  7. I am pursued by
    Fifty dragons!  Only one
    Thing to do.  Wake up…
  8. …Forty nine dissolve
    But—curled up on the duvet…
    Oh—hello Tibbles
  9. The Bugblatter Beast
    That lives on the planet Traal
    Makes a tourist meal
  10. The dragon takes flight
    Soaring into open hearts
    On wings of harpsong
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Thoughts and Feelings

  1. I bounce like Tigger
    But I know I am Eeyore
    In Tigger’s clothing
  2. She strokes my hair and
    Draws her hands down my body
    —Shiatsu massage
  3. I sit at my desk
    Alone with the Internet
    A techno-hermit
  4. A still afternoon
    I watch the sea-fog slowly
    Advance toward me
  5. I’m late coming home
    I pass the pond past twilight
    The bats split the air
  6. Fearful symmetry—
    Mind-forests of night-tygers
    Loom in the blakeness
  7. Tall trees catch the wind
    The sound of rushing water
    Confuses the ear
  8. White birds fly shining
    Specks of sunshine against cloud
    Promising rainbows
  9. Had Noah waited:
    Olive branches carried by
    The Raven of Peace
  10. Waiting for a bus
    In my dream—at last it comes
    —It’s a number 12
  11. Beer drips on the flags
    Fitfully lit by sunlight
    This is existence
  12. The moon on tip-toes
    Steps silently, night-shirt clad,
    Over roofs of pines
  13. Vast fields of sunlight
    Buttercups take so little
    Somehow it’s enough
  14. Rich man lives alone
    Has his own world of sadness
    Grieves a dead goldfish
  15. Short rain in the wood
    Steam rises from the bracken
    And then it is gone
  16. As one the two swans
    And the gathering darkness
    Take flight from the lake
  17. The waves lap the shore
    As for millennia past.
    Which were here before?
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  1. Spring-sharp yellow edge
    As bright as March-cold sunlight
    The rays of coltsfoot
  2. Bluebells in the wood
    In dense massed ranks surround me
    Like beckoning ghosts
  3. Cotswold Evening
    Sun sets around my shoulders
    I drive at the moon
  4. Haydn’s ‘The Seasons’
    Is playing.  I have to leave
    In early summer
  5. Leaves sunlit dapple
    The apple-tree’s first small fruit
    Green Hopes of July
  6. Rain beats on the roof
    Drums on the muffled garden
    Summer percussion
  7. Lying on my back
    On a summer night cliff-top
    I see all heaven
  8. Walk summer night lanes
    Water trickles by the path
    Wind sways an inn-sign
  9. It is not easy
    A summery summary
    —Long, hot, August days
  10. The dance of midges
    Complex orbits in the sun
    A small universe
  11. Bright white cottages
    Sunlit against purple sky:
    Thunderstorm postlude
  12. The sun lies to rest
    The day’s heat turns to soft mist
    The lake’s eyes grow dim
  13. Manningtree morning
    The sun is hot on my face
    The wind blows icy
  14. A fallen conker
    Lies before me this morning
    Herald of Autumn
  15. He stoops to conker
    Carefully—for he fears that
    The Fall is coming
  16. It is now Autumn
    I realise this tonight
    Mashing potatoes
  17. Autumn wind shakes leaves
    Sun-dappled on distant trees
    —Moving pointillism
  18. Seeking a lost cat
    Stare up many autumn trees
    —Sifting many leaves
  19. Leaves are turning now
    Crisply edged with brown on green—
    Summer’s catafalque
  20. Chrysanthemums bloom
    Autumn days are shorter now
    Woodsmoke in the air
  21. The days grow short now
    It is dusk when I get home
    Not long to first frost
  22. Early Winter night
    Rain beats against my window
    Lulling me to sleep
  23. Autumn dahlia
    Wan in the street light.  Then frost
    —Morning memory
  24. All this autumn rain
    Fills the hills—till they overflow
    —Unexpected spring!
  25. Our strong brown river
    Comes to town.  Here, sat upstairs
    We watch swans overflow
  26. October’s leaving
    Patterns on the paving stones
    —Impossible jigsaw
  27. Sky’s blue, then rain’s down
    A depression’s coming on
    —Now wind takes a fence
  28. Early Winter night
    Rain beats against my window
    Chrysanthemums glow

Solace and Inspiration

  1. Present suffering—
    Solace and inspiration
    From impermanence
  2. For the troubled mind
    Solace and inspiration
    Seem unlikely hopes
  3. To one in despair
    Solace and inspiration
    May be unforeseen
  4. Flashes of insight—
    Solace and inspiration
    To haiku writers
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Dramatic Art


See the note in appendix 3

  1. Two score English dead
    They said 10 kilofrogs slain
    In war, truth dies first
  2. The dauphin’s insult
    Cries Hal ‘No peace in our time’
    The balls keep bouncing
  3. Hal before Harfleur
    Has to attend to his breaches
    First makes rousing speech
  4. Sad they cut the text
    About France gone to thistles
    —War’s devastation

Plastic Haiku

  1. Painting of roses
    The petals easy to catch
    The leaves difficult

    (not an original thought, but translated into Haiku)
  2. A plain wicker chair
    Van Gogh’s chattels, pipe and hat
    Haiku in thick paint
  3. The bombs are silent
    As you survey Guernica
    You just feel the screams
  4. Greek pottery: girl
    Craves fertility, waters
    Her phallus garden
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A Musical 17

Original Instruments

  1. Players of plucked strings
    Down Renaissance instruments
    —Lutany afoot
  2. Lutany afoot!
    Base, vile, highly strung—a truce
    We consort it out
  3. Lutany afoot!
    Needs effective weaponry
    Use a theorbo
  4. Instruments fretted
    String twanged, snapped; silent serpent
    —A broken consort

More Music

  1. Herr Anton Bruckner
    He done great—adagios
    Motor to my soul
  2. Sense in a mad world
    Fantasia on a Theme
    By Thomas Tallis
  3. On a rainy day,
    Just the thing to cheer you up:
    ‘Riders to the sea’.
  4. Ceiling-hung mushrooms
    Intercept heaven-bound sounds:
    Bach at Albert Hall
  5. Sounds from the sitar
    Resonate in my belly:
    Evening raga
  6. All the world’s lost winds
    Gather in the bamboo grove—
    Shakuhachi flute
  7. My world view entwines
    Both Tristan and Isolde
    And Noggin the Nog
  8. ‘Richard, please don’t fret
    If you’re stuck on Parsifal
    Just give us a Ring’
  9. Frau Bach waits in bed.
    JS, before joining her,
    Checks his organ works
  10. Last Night of the Proms
    ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ sung
    By the Elgar louts
  11. Welsh hill-farmers choir
    Think the best Handel chorus
    Is ‘All we like sheep’

With the Beatles

  1. Isle of Wight day trip
    Yellow submarine no shows
    —A ticket to Ryde
  2. The holes in Blackburn
    Fill the Albert Hall: so now
    —What’s left in Blackburn?
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