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Wade’s 101: Haiku retrospective 32


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  1. the road traveled but worth another pass
    Two roads diverged in
    a yellow wood, but one had
    better scenic views.
  2. a loss of productivity
    A nickel here, an
    extra page there, it all adds
    up to lost minutes.
  3. ice ice babies
    Anna and Elsa
    love and shove like sisters who
    seem more cool than cold.
  4. on the clock
    Time to fit in three
    bullet points, two punchlines and
    a moral lesson.
  5. make way for summer
    The green carpet rolls
    out, lined with daffodils and
    squirrel attendants.
  6. how we learned to do everything
    Scratch head, search Google,
    watch YouTube video, try,
    watch again, success!
  7. a storied life
    Every bad outcome,
    every impossible risk,
    every passion dared.
  8. off the charts
    Should we explore deep
    space, the ocean’s trenches or
    within human minds?
  9. our flour of need
    The generation’s
    greatest minds worked on ways to
    make foods gluten-free.
  10. under a toss of the mortarboard
    The gown, meant to be
    worn but once, hides eagerness
    and hesitation.
  11. wearing trucker hats marked scoop
    Infinite monkeys
    typed on infinite smartphones
    for finite paychecks.
  12. in the name of doing business
    A round on the links,
    a midday doubleheader,
    an afternoon flick.
  13. motives and machinations
    It’s the journey, not
    the destination, unless
    it’s domination.
  14. keep earth weird
    Invaders came to
    conquer, but could find no one
    to follow their ways.
  15. security in defense of liberty
    Are we too willing
    to sacrifice freedoms that
    they gave their lives for?
  16. long weekend hangover
    Not ready for the
    gri/for sorting through email
    or fighting traffic.
  17. snappy dialogue
    They bantered with the
    ease of perfect diction and
    melodious barbs.
  18. a mind is a terrible thing
    Think, think, overthink.
    Analyze, paralyze, churn.
    Burn, fall apart, burn.
  19. the one-eyed bully and the frizzy kitten
    They are the oddest
    couple, one patiently on
    gua/one so feisty.
  20. to dream of bagels
    The bakery is
    open always while she sleeps,
    filled with scents divine.
  21. passengers optional
    The self-driving car
    asked the GPS how to
    run underwater.
  22. flours in the pantry
    All-purpose, pastry,
    cake, whole wheat, self-rising, bread,
    bleached and organic.
  23. howling at the sun
    The summer of our
    discontent cooked us ever
    slowly by degrees.
  24. let the machine do it
    Washing dishes and
    clothes, mowing, microwaving,
    vacuuming, driving.
  25. placebo pushers
    They do nothing at
    all, except what you can dream
    up in dementia.
  26. binding book
    Extra chapters at
    bedtime are worth the morning
    bleariness and ache.
  27. modern premise
    Mobster sees a shrink.
    Plane crashes on an island.
    Shows made to be streamed.
  28. down the stretch they come
    Mighty steeds run in
    circles. Jockeys hang on for
    glory and money.
  29. a centering breath
    Slowly the heart calms
    as serenity becomes
  30. millennials’ movement
    Doubt them, stand in their
    way, but know that they’re on a
    date with destiny.
  31. salvation on i-65
    The sign stood as a
    warning: “Go to church, or the
    devil will get you.”
  32. the flash
    Blink. Blink blink. Darkness
    interrupted by coded
    missives between bugs.
  33. fated to meet cute
    The absurdist pair
    miss each other till, upon
    finding y’all, connect.
  34. worn smooth
    Smudges of red clay
    marked where he had toiled for
    sweat and a pittance.
  35. creators and destroyers
    Intense labor and
    heart and soul for years to build.
    One mean thought to wreck.
  36. pour, sip, repeat
    End the day with a
    cocktail or glass of wine and
    hope for tomorrow.
  37. a casual slip
    Strolling becomes a
    stumble, leading to a cast
    and a long summer.
  38. the man of the moon
    He reflects a bright
    notion of community
    and technology.
  39. the gulf of comedy
    She tried to lighten
    the mood, but managed only
    to make it awkward.
  40. a mighty sunset
    The start of summer
    ends with a brilliant pastiche
    of outrageous skies.
  41. reunion at the library
    Minivans clogged the
    parking lot. The disparate
    tribes huddled inside.
  42. a love song like many others
    Whenever their song
    played, they stopped, looked into each
    other’s eyes and laughed.
  43. signed language
    “Bless your heart” was the
    most polite middle finger
    she’d ever given.
  44. circular flow
    Once inside, drivers
    loop themselves. They just wanted
    to make a left turn.
  45. the streetcar sophisticate
    Rider of the rails,
    denizen of the trolleys,
    stalwart commuter.
  46. a forehead-shaped dent
    The gentle bonk of
    cranium on cinder peals
    up and down the wall.
  47. driving through drizzle
    Wipers on, wipers
    off. Enough rain to keep cars
    sliding toward death.
  48. care is a four-letter word
    It takes energy,
    focus, consistency and
    time to show you care.
  49. a quality of life
    Perhaps it’s not a
    question of lifestyle but a
    matter of choices.
  50. before intermission
    The plot crescendos
    to a confrontation. The
    ushers open doors.
  51. the scrawl of a former man of letters
    Gnarled figures engraved
    on dusty parchment, rough and
    barely legible.
  52. hot and bothered
    Craft beer or ice cream?
    Lazy stream or swimming pool?
    Fan or windows down?
  53. the country, undiscovered
    She rushed in to fix
    the unfixable, but could
    not bear the stillness.
  54. the definition of a patriot
    It’s OK to love
    America, but not love
    lov-v-v-v-v-ve America.
  55. anti-anti-anti-hero
    Coming to save the
    day, not for humanity,
    but for avarice.
  56. new southern fragrances
    Barbecue pork, red
    clay, honeysuckle, crawfish
    boil, shotgun smoke.
  57. repainting the soul
    A fresh coat would at
    least cover up the rust spots
    and hide all the mold.
  58. languid repose
    The lumpy couch, the
    unmade bed, really any
    napping place would do.
  59. the unintended spring
    Asphalt wet with a
    leak. Precious water wasted
    straight to the sewer.
  60. her birthday came and went
    A once special day
    had become another date
    on the calendar.
  61. summer school dropout
    If it’s too nice a
    day for class in April, it’s
    a crime in July.
  62. viral
    The celebration
    of the unworthy in an
    unironic sense.
  63. running of the bulldogs
    Around the corner
    and down the hallway to the
    big bowls of kibble.
  64. pie à la road
    They would drive miles for
    pie, then drive more miles homeward
    discussing said pie.
  65. creatures of habitual offense
    Why change, or even
    pretend to change, when we all
    know we share one fate?
  66. the unadorned bard
    Poetry is a
    dead end. Perhaps a lute or
    a beret would help.
  67. tees for mes
    “Haiku is my life.”
    “I’m the realest bitch you know.”
    “My eyes are up here.”
  68. square feet squared
    The tiny house grew
    room by room, floor by floor, to
    be a McMansion.
  69. the nine
    They sit in judgment,
    among us but above us,
    the law in their hands.
  70. the potato salad express
    They inched forwa/with
    hunger pangs and nostrils full
    of sweet hickory.
  71. the ground is leaking
    The broken pipe let
    out a gurgling cry for help
    to the blacktop street.
  72. every ice cream topping in the world
    The bowl could barely
    hold the sprinkles, cereal,
    chocolate chips and nuts.
  73. shoe ’nuff
    The ladies smiled while
    sneaking glances at footwear,
    going toe to toe.
  74. the past in prose
    The bygone eras
    won’t stay dead as long as new
    authors need fodder.
  75. romance 2014
    The phone stays off the
    entire evening, leaving
    room for flirty looks.
  76. remedial dreams
    Test day comes without
    warning or preparation
    for decades after.
  77. their own private fairway
    They chased each other
    for half an hour in spin
    class, then closed the deal.
  78. homo simpletons
    In case we are a
    genetic dead e/let us
    devolve with honor.
  79. sterile railways
    So much for haggard
    vagabonds looking to hop
    a train to nowhere.
  80. board of misdirectors
    The cause became a
    nuisance. Service became an
    internal matter.
  81. she steps to conquer
    Her pace relaxes
    as her hips sync to the beats
    of the sultry night.
  82. a summer of fun in mere days
    Casual freedom
    turns to a rushed affair of
    time-sensitive glee.
  83. ice cream truck 2014
    Craft bourbon ripple
    bought with bartered vintage socks.
    Deafheaven on loop.
  84. like a boss
    A usurper of
    attention, a haunter of
    dreams, a foe of all.
  85. bug tussles
    Winged electrons swirl
    around a head nucleus,
    fission for a fight.
  86. beginner foxtrot
    The count stayed in his
    head, even as he shunned small
    talk and stepped on toes.
  87. three-act haiku
    They met one evening.
    He would stay with her always.
    She left him for Death.
  88. the anti-joy club
    She was troubled by
    the petty and the pissy.
    She kept them hidden.
  89. super normal
    Old comic books as
    screenplays? Too trendy. Time for
    haiku-driven scripts.
  90. the ritual of friday night
    Park, not too early,
    at the Hardee’s. Honk at friends,
    and ogle the girls.
  91. seeing i to i
    I sometimes use I,
    but merely in the sense of
    the literary.
  92. rounds on the floor
    Drunk in bed one, head
    wound with seizures in bed two,
    car crash incoming.
  93. shy-ku
    Even as a long-
    standing poet, he choked on
    the right words for her.
  94. the internet is my physician
    I found my syndrome
    online and asked my Facebook
    friends how to treat it.
  95. ferguson
    A town divided:
    an oppressive regime and
    wary citizens.
  96. come on, rise up!
    Boarded-up windows,
    the empty streets, while my broth-
    er’s down on his knees.
  97. a house of broken parts
    The doorknob gives up.
    The faucet cries endlessly.
    The thermostat fries.
  98. the beggar at the pumps
    The gas started its
    flow, then he’d pop up looking
    for a quick handout.
  99. ring girls
    Their hoops kept a tight
    orbit ’round their gyrating
    lattitudes all night.
  100. jupiter at 500 feet
    none. Crushing pressure, intense
    heat, twisting forces.
  101. branching off
    A new life comes with
    each new abode, job, partner,
    friend and decision.

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