Wade on Birmingham

Wade’s 101: Haiku retrospective 33


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  1. divided by perspective
    Who needs alternate
    universes? Damn alter-
    nate realities.
  2. someone stole all the magazines
    The waiting room had
    nothing to read, save for some
    pamphlets and blank forms.
  3. talk talk talk talk talk talk talk
    The faces emit
    chattering sounds in place of
    any kind of news.
  4. suspicious minds
    Conniving strangers.
    Or paranoia. Suspects
    and clues everywhere.
  5. the spelling of katz
    The “g” is silent,
    while the “ei” is pronounced
    “aye.” Is that so hard?
  6. putting us through our paces
    Walking becomes a
    statistic for the mainframes.
    They watch every step.
  7. inspiring words
    “The rent’s due today.”
    “The boss would like to see you.”
    “We’ve nothing to lose.”
  8. everyone sweats
    Picture of this guy
    sweating, this lady sweating,
    everyone sweating.
  9. the options of a consumer society
    Aisles of colors and
    sizes and brands and options
    to bloat the landfill.
  10. dali’s smartwatch
    His conception of
    time warped with the urgency
    of the text message.
  11. the last pitch
    The mascot danced in
    place. The ballboys collected
    their gear. The crowd stood.
  12. wages within
    The value of work
    rises and falls, not with the
    times but with the souls.
  13. a heads-down classroom
    Bored kids roll their eyes
    at the feast of knowledge, left
    to their devices.
  14. the no-boil death trap
    The microwave lies
    in wait for a pure liquid
    and countless minutes.
  15. the heaviest lifting
    Outrage is easy.
    But channeling it into
    action is better.
  16. the voices of eternal radio
    He spoke to unseen
    masses about unexplored
    ideas unbound.
  17. a storm delayed by atmospheric detours
    The rain should be here
    by 3 o’clock, then 4, but
    no later than 6.
  18. a trip to the doughnut shop
    Every case had pink
    and blue and brown and tan and
    frosted confections.
  19. remembering the crew of wwii
    He poured out a few
    ounces of Metamucil
    for his dead homies.
  20. sunsets unlimited
    The passing of fads,
    the withering of circles,
    more will take their place.
  21. the longest distance
    The longest distance
    is between the promise and
    the consummation.
  22. patriot acts
    Spying on our own
    citizens. Attacking non-
    violent protestors.
  23. paddle royale
    The oldest players
    in the world square off on the
    smallest court ever.
  24. the petty joys
    Letting doors close on
    an elevator. Snagging
    the last doughnut. Whee.
  25. hands like lightning
    Every time he clapped,
    a bug lost its wings, their flight
    grounded with applause.
  26. the next step
    The next step can be
    down the beach or off a cliff
    or back to safety.
  27. tickled by words
    Bon mots can make for
    guffaws and wide eyes, even
    chest thumps and re-reads.
  28. the patron saint of empires
    St. Sterling brought forth
    new commerce, and the people
    bankrupted themselves.
  29. some ones and super zeroes
    Binary problems:
    It works or it don’t; advance
    or remain in place.
  30. mother nature whispers
    She sends her regards
    for a resplendent autumn
    with a cooling breeze.
  31. all thumbs
    In the digital
    age, are we our devices
    or mere bags of flesh?
  32. a cut above
    She gave up her locks
    so others could cover their
    naked scalps with love.
  33. the publishers on strike
    The authors moved on
    to their Kindle singles and
    handcrafted ebooks.
  34. the stockbrokers’ almanac
    bullish, with periodic
    gusts of price fixing.
  35. the batman i know
    A billionaire with
    a strong work ethic and an
    insomniac’s bent.
  36. an unnatural smile
    The soul nor the lips
    were willing to take part of
    a facial charade.
  37. last chance for romance
    Intimacy led
    to contempt. They knew too much
    to ever go back.
  38. the empty coffin
    He faked his own death,
    but even worse, he faked his
    own life for nothing.
  39. abraham lincoln visits the future
    worked out well, but what’s with the
    expensive coffees?
  40. raining after work
    Inspiration passed
    my bus stop several times, but
    my ride never came.
  41. glory whole
    The hollow pursuit
    of fame befits its Gen Y
    gang of aspirants.
  42. gourd a more perfect union
    Pumpkin in my beer.
    Pumpkin in my coffee. Food
    mashups should be squashed.
  43. expediency in the working world
    Better to ask for
    forgiveness than to obtain
    permission before.
  44. streams of consciousnesses
    The flow of jumbled
    thoughts and half-truths sputtered to
    more nonstop drivel.
  45. the voyage to a new port
    He left the shore with
    no cares, sailing toward home with
    the promise of kin.
  46. slipping degrees
    A slight chill and a
    few goose bumps settle in as
    winter looms closer.
  47. no guilt, just pleasure
    How lovely are the
    simple sweets of our youth when
    shared over some tea?
  48. zombie or not zombie
    A nation forged by
    exhaustion, expectations
    and excesses. (Yawn!)
  49. mash note 404
    He declared his love
    in a beautiful text that
    was stuck in the cloud.
  50. sisterly city envy
    What they have, we want.
    What they struggle wi/we mock.
    What they do, we shun.
  51. the girl in the third row far left
    Her magnetic smile
    kept me going through the lulls
    and hiccups. Thank you.
  52. the essence of hope
    The last chocolate chip.
    The text message saying yes.
    The sun settling down.
  53. faces of dearth
    What is the correct
    emoji for “indifferent
    with a side of guile”?
  54. b and b and be
    The morning started
    with hot coffee, warm muffins
    and birds flying south.
  55. the insecure confessions
    They would reveal their
    disorders and bank accounts
    to faux confidantes.
  56. the orphaned lot
    The weeds had free reign
    till the suburban posse
    got them evicted.
  57. hills mountains crossings bluffs ridges biomes
    A strip mall can go
    practically anywhere with
    the right greased pockets.
  58. metaphysician, heal thyself
    What if all of the
    hypochondriacs are right
    and placebos kill?
  59. charms with every breath
    He would take the page
    and transform it into a
    symphony of speech.
  60. how much longer till candy and costumes?
    Children everywhere
    (and a few adults) gave up
    on sleep for tricks, treats.
  61. panic waits waits waits attacks
    You will be sitting
    quietly, when the earth shakes
    and the mind screams pain.
  62. the shadow of asclepius
    She took notes on the
    doctor’s notes and patient’s notes,
    all for paperwork.
  63. ask me anything
    Questions get answers.
    False assertions get steamed looks.
    Come ons get sly grins.
  64. breaking, the surface
    Nothing will ever
    be more important than how
    celebrities look.
  65. as if by magic
    The hurried touch-ups,
    the sweat and fret, it all seems
    as if by magic.
  66. squashed plans
    The Great Pumpkin will
    skip visits this year out of
    fear of ebola.
  67. the laziest weekend
    It begins with a
    24-hour nap and
    then another one.
  68. a sense of a sense of humor
    Eyebrow raised, smirk, smile,
    bigger smile, tiny laugh, a
    chuckle, belly laugh.
  69. it takes a cabal of strangers
    Ills of postmodern
    society can be traced
    to isolation.
  70. the sugariest treat of all
    Little did the ghouls
    expect a gallon of sweet
    tea poured in their sacks.
  71. the cracks
    Society runs
    as long as we overlook
    daily mistreatment.
  72. costume drama
    No one knows who you
    are, and yet everyone knows
    who you want to be.
  73. but everyone was thinking football
    Turkeys to stuff, fall
    festivals to run, sweaters
    to air, leaves to rake.
  74. the power of check boxes
    Mark a box, then one
    more. Fill in enough and you
    have democracy.
  75. the book on the nightstand
    The ideas on
    the pages collect dust while
    the reader keeps on.
  76. who will untangle the strings?
    Corruption and lies,
    theft and disenfranchisement,
    crimes left to crooks.
  77. annual down time
    The white blood cells tell
    the rest of the body to
    pack it in this week.
  78. more of the same
    Status quo as a
    platform and candidate wins
    even in harsh times.
  79. twenty-first century luddites
    Dial-up connection
    and a tendency toward
    manual gear shifts.
  80. a proper shade of despair
    She would stare at the
    broken moon and wonder if
    her piece had been claimed.
  81. the hyphen is a long series of distractions
    Games, humming, drinking,
    gossip, snacking, doodling, texts,
    reality shows.
  82. man vs. machine
    The last man in the
    world still had to think up an
    eight-letter password.
  83. limb from limb
    Soldiers come home in
    pieces, broken by bombs. We
    owe more than one day.
  84. what can’t be unseen
    Of all the world’s vast
    horrors, none offends more than
    willful ignorance.
  85. urban pictionary
    They captured rooftops
    and skylines for digital
    posterity’s sake.
  86. the feast almost at hand
    Get those waistbands loose
    and those jawbones warmed up for
    gluttonous gorging.
  87. pain without a face
    Not even a twitch
    betrayed the agony of
    brutal depression.
  88. almost midnight at the doughnut shop
    Clumps of teenagers
    dance, rap, tweet, giggle and fool
    around while in line.
  89. a representative will be with you momentarily
    A third of our lives
    is spent asleep, a third on
    the phone with support.
  90. huddled and cozy
    No bitter wind can
    strip warmth from this campfire
    as we gasp at stars.
  91. both liberating and alienating
    No one is thinking
    about you. And no one is
    thinking about you.
  92. inside time for rex
    The mutt padded in
    and plopped down on the kitchen
    floor, safe from the cold.
  93. the slice at the end of the meal
    Pie is good, pie is
    kind, pie doesn’t judge, pie gives
    joy, pie renews faith.
  94. head bugs on a king-size mattress
    His anxieties
    crept into bed with him and
    took all the blankets.
  95. the age of design and wonder
    Roaming vacuums clean
    our floors while Christmas lights flash
    in synch with Dokken.
  96. be less literal
    A wordy world of
    similes and metaphors
    slams into orbit.
  97. the rigors of turkey day
    Thankfulness, and then
    consumption. Slothfulness, then
    consumption again.
  98. oppression 101
    violence. Protests. Arrest? Trial.
    “Not guilty.” Repeat.
  99. so many thanks
    Do not struggle with
    gratitude but let it seep
    in with every breath.
  100. black friday remainders
    A 3 a.m. start
    puts you behind only by
    a day or two, tops.
  101. pistols in triple overtime
    Half the state would like
    to crush the other half and
    feeling’s mutual.

• • •

Bonus haiku in “To the nines: Wade on Birmingham’s ninth anniversary.”

Read more Wade’s 101.

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magnetic fridge poetry

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