Northwest Plants and Flowers

First published in Poetry Nippon (Third Series, Edition Number 1, October 2010, in which I was featured poet), pages 12–14. Originally written in August of 2009, the following are twenty-three haiku in a sequence of forty-five written mostly about Pacific Northwest plants and flowers (a few plants are not native but have been transplanted to the area). Four of these poems and three additional ones on this theme were also featured on the Daily Haiku site in 2009.

 

 

red birches—

the sunset mellows

as we amble

 

 

roots of the river birch—

a salmon’s carcass

still a bit red

 

 

a sweet gum tree

tips toward the pond—

distant thunder

 

 

dawn redwood roots

the tangle of dendrites

where I love you

 

 

shore pines

creak in the wind—

your offshore love

 

 

Japanese barberry

for dinner

you suggest sushi

 

 

redtwig dogwoods

the neighbour boy with a bat

feigning innocence

 

 

she tells me

it’s a red osier dogwood

how would I know she loves me?

 

 

cutting salal

away from the house

the young widow

 

 

shrubby cinquefoil

taking over

the puppy’s grave

 

 

Douglas’s spirea

newly planted

our gloved hands touch

 

 

bridal wreath spirea

all the centerpieces

on the center table

 

 

gold sweetflag

glowing in the sun

my daughter’s smile

 

 

the deadness

of wood anemone

your letter at last

 

 

ice-dance sedge

edging onto the trail

missed chemo session

 

 

pink fawn lily

the abandoned bunker

wet with graffiti

 

 

daylilies nodding

the commuter train

sounds its horn

 

 

crickets stop

a lost golf ball

in the royal fern

 

 

an undergrowth

of Western sword fern

my forgotten pills

 

 

barren strawberry

she tells me now

of her first marriage

 

 

black gum trees

bend toward the trail

impending storm

 

 

bald cypress woods

the naturalist practices

her birdcall

 

 

Chinese tupelo

for some reason

I think of flutes