Urban Haiku

The following poems are all on the theme of “urban” haiku—in no particular order, and including some senryu. They have all been published in various journals and anthologies. To read more about my approach to haiku, please visit Becoming a Haiku Poet.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Photo by Kev Ryan, from a haiku wall displayed at the London Matsuri Japanese cultural festival at Spitalfields, London, England, on 18 September 2010
 
 
 
 
 
the siren stops

at the draped body—

hopscotch markings

 

 

spring breeze—

the pull of her hand

as we near the pet store                                                                                                                  +

 

 

clicking off the late movie . . .

     the couch cushion

     reinflates

 

 

you squeeze my hand . . .

how still the sky

after fireworks

 

 

distant car horn—

in the empty studio

the faceless portrait

 

 

hospital waiting room—

the drinking fountain

stops humming

 

 

a bitter loss—

college football players

without any necks

 

 

toll booth lit for Christmas—

from my hand to hers

warm change                                                                                                                                     +

 

 

dense fog—

I write your name

on the airport window

 

 

the street-corner preacher

points the way

with his Bible

 

 

express checkout

     the fat woman counts

          the thin man’s items

 

 

short day—

the manhole cover’s

misaligned stripe

 

 

singles bar

everyone coupled                     +

but me

 

 

sunbreak—

      the dry spot

on the shopping cart seat

 

 

drifting cherry petals . . .

a window goes up

in the passing limousine

 

 

foggy night—

sparks from a tossed cigarette

scatter on the freeway

 

 

deserted park     hail on the chessboard

 

 

       spring sun—

at the top of the roller coaster

       she says yes

 

 

frost on the pampas grass—

the man at the bus stop

sways back and forth

 

 

after the verdict

the arsonist

lights up

 

 

December flurries—

in the airplane magazine

a half-finished crossword

 

 

rising gas prices—

the attendant changing numbers

in a pouring rain

 

 

the waiter interrupts

our argument on abortion—

a choice of teas

 

 

ringing church bell—

moonlight dimmed

by a gentle snowfall

 

 

first snow . . .

the children’s hangers

clatter in the closet

 

 

grocery shopping—

pushing my cart faster

through feminine protection                                                                                                      +

 

 

drapes drawn—

just the edges done

on the daffodil puzzle

 

 

warm winter evening—

the chairs askew

after the poetry reading

 

 

autumn morning—

     old neighbours

          trimming the hedge

 

 

tourists talking

in several languages—

the glassblower exhales

 

 

bookmobile day—

huckleberries bloom

along the white picket fence

 

 

starry starry night—

unfinished art school paintings

in the dumpster

 

 

at his favourite deli,

the bald man finds a hair

in his soup

 

 

record high—

this heat

even in my toothpaste

 

 

Valentine’s Day—

she reminds me

to fasten my seatbelt

 

 

winter wind—

kite string tangled

in the garden trellis

 

 

           gridlock

                 on the freeway—

the skywriting drifts

 

 

a lull in her hands—

the hairstylist asks

how I part my hair

 

 

soaked by the rain

the umbrella man

sold out

 

 

first cold night—

the click of your domino

as we play by the fire

 

 

cats in love—

the blinds split apart

in the neighbour’s window

 

 

scattered petals . . .

the thud of my books

in the book drop

 

 

snow-swept crossing—

the shudder

      through freight cars

 

 

snow on the landing—

     the prints

of the old woman’s walker

 

 

jaywalkingthedog

 

 

pale moonlight—

a snow-covered swing

twists in the wind

 

 

a table for one—

   leaves rustle

in the inner courtyard

 

 

an old woolen sweater

   taken yarn by yarn

      from the snowbank

 

 

upturned grocery cart—

one wheel spinning

in the current

 

 

first cold night—

smell of hot dust

from the vent

 

 

home from work—

a scuffed baseball

among shards of glass