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Wade’s 101: Haiku retrospective 41

Monday, February 13th, 2017

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  1. business class karaoke
    A selection of
    Sting hits and white wine spritzers
    for a few bucks more.
  2. mystical origin
    “Doctor Strange” best scene?
    When the radioactive
    magician bites him.
  3. poll watcher
    This is a test that
    allows cheating: Copy off
    of my ballot, please.
  4. put up, show up, count up
    One vote, your vote, could
    make a difference. But only
    if you turn it in.
  5. the political minority
    To be commander
    in chief requires little
    more than white power.
  6. star-spangled spectacle
    This election has
    certainly brought out the best
    in us, hasn’t it?
  7. the fight goes on
    We can learn so much
    from vets, especially now
    we are all soldiers.
  8. so heavy a hidden burden
    Guilt corrupted his
    love into a force for his
    misguided penance.
  9. dixie is burning
    Precipitation
    has no participation
    in irrigation.
  10. denigration by any means necessary
    Racism is like
    pornography: I will know
    it when I see it.
  11. surge of the non-believers
    They attack non-whites
    and non-men to make their cruel
    non-points about hate.
  12. politics 2016
    Vicious attacks. Cruel
    policy. Lie outright. It’s
    how the game is played.
  13. dry spell after dry spell
    A single raindrop
    ended the long drought, starting
    a new one for months.
  14. no soul required
    Nothing ever dies
    when poisonous nostalgia
    takes on zombie form.
  15. in good company
    Settling in for
    a winter of good books, good
    wine and alone time.
  16. the new job market
    Safe space officer.
    Reality host turned prez.
    Helicopter bro.
  17. this little piggy went to market.com
    See services ship.
    Click, buy, click, buy. Shop, Jane, shop.
    Scurry, drones, scurry.
  18. bulletproof funny bone
    If we don’t shoot the
    court jester first, we’re in for
    some hilarity.
  19. expect the unexpected
    Let hope fly out the
    window. Receive candid views
    and misguided help.
  20. around the big table
    Pass the cornbread, pie,
    turkey, gravy, dressing, rolls,
    green beans, cranberries …
  21. a dose of black friday
    Can a new blender
    make family squabbling and
    job stress go away?
  22. plus al’s pancake world
    Visit Stars Hollow
    for its new sewer system
    and its free parking.
  23. beyond borders
    Each tribe shuddered at
    unity and withdrew to
    a safer distance.
  24. water water nowhere
    Please take this gift of
    a single raindrop and share
    it among millions.
  25. the world’s most popular dish
    Two parts hydrogen,
    one part oxygen. Serve fresh
    from cloud containers.
  26. the conditions today and tomorrow
    Drought and wildfires
    to tornados, thunderstorms
    and flash floods like that.
  27. dust bowl
    Miles of scorched earth in
    a forest of parched pines, all
    subject to a spark.
  28. prescription for downfall
    Demonize your foe.
    Let no one reach you with love
    or reason or trust.
  29. hard times in rural arctica
    Many out-of-work
    elves make ends meet with odd jobs
    and reindeer poaching.
  30. look up and fall
    As you drop from the
    plane, your body spins through the
    crushing roar of sky.
  31. canopy deployed
    See the land stretch out
    forever, looming larger
    while drifting along.
  32. disinformationally misinformed
    We made up stuff to
    terrify ourselves and now
    we do it for you.
  33. ripped from the headlines
    Tight race now for the
    Pulitzer in the cate-
    gory of fake news.
  34. making biscuits
    Pat the dough with a
    gentle touch, then cut it up
    with a jelly jar.
  35. burn all the teachers
    Education ain’t
    taught me nothin’ ‘cept how book
    learnin’ don’t pay bills.
  36. bodies at rest
    Delightful slumber
    awakens rejuvena-
    tion in every cell.
  37. walk it off
    Whether a mild sprain,
    wind knocked out of you or a
    severe concussion.
  38. the price of binging
    Do we savor when
    we gorge upon things meant to
    be consumed slowly?
  39. that counts
    The best gift giver
    in the world relaxed with his
    loud ties and cheap mugs.
  40. rip 2016
    Yes, the Grim Reaper
    loves meeting celebrities
    and boosting their fame.
  41. to ramble
    Let passion burst forth
    as a torrent of pretty
    words and swift musings.
  42. may the franchise be with you
    I’ll probably live
    to see another 50
    more “Star Wars” movies.
  43. why should meatbags have all the fun?
    Let’s hope some of the
    self-driving cars weave in and
    out of tight traffic.
  44. out of towels
    Throw it in once the
    day is done, the game is lost,
    and all hope is gone.
  45. the mad dash
    Delivery missed.
    Last-minute shopping trip with
    big crowds and no time.
  46. flavors of friendship
    Animals can out-
    fox biology; humans
    can’t trounce bigotry.
  47. peace on earthlings
    The stillness comes form
    within. A breath, a moment,
    a pause to reflect.
  48. five minutes in heaven
    No more nerves, no more
    palpitations. Feeling all
    at once and nothing.
  49. strength from passivity
    Thoughts come and go. Pain
    subsides. Future and past are
    acknowledged. All is.
  50. a preview of the 2017 holiday season
    Anyone caught with
    the Christmas spirit will be
    held in detention.
  51. in lieu of snow
    May all your days be
    merry and bright. May all your
    Christmases be white.
  52. tis better to give in than to regift
    The return isn’t
    an unkindness but the best
    do-over we get.
  53. as the night goes
    Darkness creeps along
    the edges of the homestead,
    wants to be let in.
  54. the fisher queen
    The princess of the
    galaxy, force of wit and
    charm, long may she reign.
  55. reapin’ ain’t easy
    Grim comes with the job,
    but some years are a bounty
    of celebrity.
  56. business causal
    The frenemies in
    the office were catty, but
    in a polite way.
  57. it’s almost midnight somewhere
    Live each day like it’s
    the last day of the year: in
    a rush to party.
  58. never too early to break some resolutions
    We’ll all be a tad
    leaner, thriftier, calmer,
    taller, nicer. … Nah.
  59. selling points
    If you like features
    that up the price but not the
    fun, check out this deal …
  60. lies, all lies
    Everyone talks a-
    bout fake news, but no one does
    a thing about it.
  61. dash it all
    The GPS voice
    told him, “Drive recklessly,” and
    he blindly followed.
  62. you know those lights were bright on broadway
    There are not many
    who remember. They say a
    handful still survive.
  63. asynchronous communication
    I called. She emailed
    back. I tried a text. And then
    she faxed me over.
  64. precipitation buffet
    Rain falls more harshly
    as ice pellets, more gently
    as dainty snowflakes.
  65. shut-ins for life
    Drones drop off supplies,
    while we binge-watch everything.
    What’s cabin fever?
  66. the limits of family togetherness
    Maybe the kids can
    color for the next few days:
    books, walls, whatever.
  67. hurry up, climate change
    My Southern chalet
    will triple in value as
    a beachfront cottage.
  68. don’t matter
    Vaccines, lady parts,
    qualifications, gay folk,
    people of color.
  69. does matter
    Money, self-interest,
    power, revenge, privilege,
    winning arguments.
  70. defining moment
    A chance to focus
    on the things that matter while
    discarding nonsense.
  71. washington or bust
    Cheer on the peaceful
    change of power or decry
    the ruler to be.
  72. words, actions and change
    In Birmingham, John
    Lewis and Freedom Riders
    were met with brute force.
  73. a legacy of vigilance
    Do we stand with King
    in working toward a more
    inclusive future?
  74. the diner at the end of the world
    A long wait, but the
    flapjacks and burgers are worth
    the armageddon.
  75. all winter in a day 2017
    The snowman waited
    for Margot till he dropped from
    hyperthermia.
  76. may all your days be circus days
    The clowns shed some tears.
    The trapeze artists flip out.
    The ringmaster bows.
  77. america, my home sweet home
    From the mountains to
    the prairies to the oceans
    white with foam, God bless.
  78. rockin’ in the free world
    A warnin’ sign on
    the road ahead … sayin’ we’d
    be better off dead.
  79. finally the tables are starting to turn
    Don’t you know, talkin’
    ’bout a revolution. It
    sounds like a whisper.
  80. this haiku kills fascists
    As they stood there, I
    stood there asking, Is this land
    made for you and me?
  81. a strange and bitter crop
    Pastoral scene of
    the gallant South: the bulging
    eyes and twisted mouth.
  82. can’t bring myself to do what it is you think i should
    Too late to make it
    right. Probably wouldn’t if
    I could. ‘Cause I’m mad.
  83. make love, smoke kush, try to laugh hard and live long
    That’s the antidote.
    You defeat the devil when
    you hold on to hope.
  84. shortcuts to shortcuts
    Soon, we will be so
    efficient that pushing a
    button is too much.
  85. the newer colossus
    I come from a pair
    of immigrant parents. Born
    here, waving in more.
  86. america the dutiful
    We are a young and
    sometimes foolish country, but
    we may just yet shine.
  87. were all those harry potter books for naught?
    World of magic to
    guide us against fear and hate.
    Rowling is brassed off.
  88. a piteous domain
    And when he saw the
    breadth, he wept for there were no
    more worlds to ruin.
  89. ready, aim, splatter
    Paint on my floor, my
    clothes, my hands, my toes, my hair
    and some on the walls.
  90. actions, not words
    Don’t argue. Do. Don’t
    simmer. Do. Don’t hesitate.
    Do. Don’t matter? Do.
  91. a hasty virtual retreat
    I am leaving this
    group text message, and I am
    never coming back.
  92. paperback stall
    The faded bookmark
    patiently waits for progress
    amidst the pages.
  93. catlike reflexes
    Go to the party
    or stay in? Go out or stay
    in? Go or stay? Hmm …
  94. the future of health care
    Laughter is the best
    medicine available
    to uninsured groups.
  95. push for this, push for that
    The add-on buttons
    on the fridge summon extra
    diapers, funds causes.
  96. platinum cabinet
    The plutocratic
    cabal made sure to rob more
    from the poor each day.
  97. upon reflection
    We see ourselves in
    lies more damaging than those
    in any mirror.
  98. absurdly awake
    While away the late
    night with light tossing, heavy
    turning, ugly dawn.
  99. coping strategies
    Wine, deep breathing, walks
    outside, comfort food, screaming
    into a pillow.
  100. the 17 most offensive syllables you’ll read today
    I wrote this poem
    without any regard for
    the clicks it will get.
  101. the secrets of the kitchen
    All the recipes
    look so good. After a pause,
    they went for takeout.

• • •

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Wade’s 101: Haiku retrospective 40

Friday, November 4th, 2016

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  1. an addiction to spines
    What fresh novella
    or biography awaits
    a hearty reading?
  2. bid romance
    O my Luve is like
    a red, red state that’s barely
    solvent in July.
  3. your shows of shows
    Old American
    proverb: May you live in peak
    television times.
  4. a pillar of man
    He alone took on
    responsibility of
    fulfillment and self.
  5. the greatness of america
    The greatness of our
    country can be found in such
    grand diversity.
  6. crack the books
    The nightmare is the
    same: Get to class on time and
    prepare for lecture.
  7. the shakespeare of u up
    I want to include
    a lot of smart-sounding words
    into my texting.
  8. pitched, but with 3d
    A band of misfits
    finds nothing in common and
    goes its separate ways.
  9. floss leader
    Take better care of
    your teeth by running a string
    between them daily.
  10. sermon on the dismount
    These are my beliefs,
    he thus declared to no one
    in particular.
  11. a parade of nations
    The world is both im-
    possibly gigantic and
    charmingly cozy.
  12. the year without a garden
    He harvested crops
    from the frozen food aisle at
    the supermarket.
  13. the ultimate olympic sport
    Competitors used
    to winning learn anew: to
    take defeat in stride.
  14. the home team
    Proud parents shout with
    joy as athletic offspring
    take the podium.
  15. my never-ending stories
    I’m here to watch peak
    TV and kick ass, and I
    can’t ever tune out.
  16. four-drone garage
    One to check on the
    kids, one for weekends, one for
    off-road, one for spite.
  17. tabby taste tester
    A paw drops into
    the glass for a quick sip of
    the drink he’s having.
  18. 200m sharks
    Swimmers churn the tank
    with sturdy strokes, a violent
    contest back and forth.
  19. explosions from the sky
    The fury above
    comes with a sudden onset
    of black sky and gusts.
  20. chew on that
    Wasn’t the future
    of food supposed to be all
    things in gummy form?
  21. the escape
    All week, they had dreamt
    of driving fast and far from
    the chains of despair.
  22. 21st-century foxes
    The true tastemakers
    and who’s who appear only
    on Warhol’s Snapchat.
  23. it came from over the mountain
    The creature from the
    monochromatic suburb
    oozes privilege.
  24. wedding on football saturday
    The bride wore her mom’s
    sleek dress. The groom wore earbuds
    and a haunted look.
  25. explain yourself in 17 syllables
    Studious ball of
    sarcasm bundled with wit
    in a slim package.
  26. triple threat
    I like triathlon’s
    efficiency: I can suck
    in three sports at once.
  27. trust no one
    Bury your feelings
    and plow on with no regard
    for consequences.
  28. back to school for parents
    Moms and dads smiled wide
    as they shipped their hellions
    to the mental mines.
  29. back to school for teachers
    World’s Greatest Teacher
    mug filled with coffee and a
    shot of cheap whiskey.
  30. back to school for kids
    The pain of sitting
    in class after class with just
    Snapchat and texting.
  31. what is a haiku?
    A momentary
    look into the eternal
    and the familiar.
  32. to-don’t list
    A bucket list, but
    for dolts to avoid and chores
    to put off each time.
  33. aural assault
    Nonstop hits with a
    little patter, plus speaker
    phones and videos.
  34. baking challenge
    An even surface
    that rises and stays risen
    with a golden hue.
  35. operator in distress
    Every office chair
    has a lever that does the
    opposite of aim.
  36. ice cream over jogging
    The best feeling in
    life is procrastination.
    The worst? Comeuppance.
  37. what’s blue and green and in the red?
    It takes 1.6
    Earths to supply our needs for
    1 Earth year. Doomed days.
  38. the fading of the crickets
    The chirping at dusk
    becomes the prelude to a
    cool breeze sonata.
  39. greetings from the insect world
    Though minuscule, the
    sting from a lone wasp carries
    a feisty message.
  40. uniform of the modern man
    A beard and a man
    bun, and maybe a need to
    radiate hipness.
  41. working for a living
    An abundance of
    productivity but an
    absence of raises.
  42. in trek we trust
    Bones, Kirk and Spock, the
    23rd century’s most
    holy trinity.
  43. generation next
    A French captain sails
    the galactic waves with both
    Klingon and android.
  44. golden trekiversary
    Its 50-year mis-
    sion: To boldly go where no
    one has gone before.
  45. the pair of docks at terok nor
    The darkest series
    offered the brightest stories
    set in deep space? Fine.
  46. janeway to the danger zone
    The homing pigeon
    takes a long detour through the
    vast Delta Quadrant.
  47. the journey of a thousand light years
    A quantum leap back
    to the Federation’s past,
    Enterprise’s launch.
  48. trek’s next fifty
    Rebooted movies
    and a new prequel TV
    series, and us fans.
  49. a nation of addicts and users
    Legalized pot keeps
    some mellow. Forbidden smack
    keeps many captive.
  50. the lobbyist
    On behalf of the
    tyke faction, she demands hugs
    and later bedtimes.
  51. the artificial tooth
    Natural? Passé.
    They now come in gold, silver,
    ceramic and blue.
  52. patterns
    Creatures of habit
    rarely stray from the path that
    gives comfort and fare.
  53. tanks a lot
    Southern wilderness
    doused with unleaded poison.
    Man 1, nature zip.
  54. tube tops
    An atom beheld
    by an angelic muse to
    celebrate TV.
  55. sandy claws
    Red-shelled beast sashays
    on scorching gold dunes, always
    ready in a pinch.
  56. man upping
    I like to manspread
    while mansplaining for maxi-
    mum manfficiency.
  57. the truth about time travel
    Probably not to
    go back and kill dictators
    but to pick up chicks.
  58. notes of discontent
    The anthem moves us
    to hands on hearts and knees on
    ground. Long live freedom.
  59. also, more testing
    Let’s fix broken schools
    by setting kids on fire
    and buying iPads.
  60. the new autumn
    Pumpkin spice smoothies,
    90-degree hayrides and
    Thanksgiving heat stroke.
  61. renovation pains
    Rehabbing a room
    is more than burning cash. It’s
    smashing your thumb, too.
  62. death takes a working holiday
    The big names got called
    to heaven in droves, a true
    cultural affair.
  63. immune to suffering
    The bus rider next
    to me is in her private
    hell. I turn the page.
  64. legalization aftermath
    More addicts or less,
    more pain or less, more wrecks or
    less, more cons or less?
  65. the city too busy to love
    New faces take on
    the old roles of corruption,
    greed, mismanagement.
  66. self-driving deloreans
    No child of mine is
    ever getting a license
    or taking the wheel.
  67. binge listening
    Taking in the whole
    Beatles discography play-
    ing all 12 at once.
  68. this is fine
    I’m OK with the
    events that are unfolding
    currently. takes sip

  69. fall in a blink
    Still hot. Still very
    hot. When will it stop? Just cool
    enough. Nope, too cold.
  70. the wake-up call
    The ringing left him
    with the vaguest sense of not
    belonging at all.
  71. according to schedule
    I have a Nobel
    Prize in Skyrim, two hot wives
    and a bitchin’ Dodge.
  72. game of phones
    They hunted a pack
    of virtual monsters with
    nothing more than apps.
  73. driven to distraction
    The muse couldn’t be
    heard over the constant din
    of beeps and ringtones.
  74. all the news that’s fit to like
    Shady sources give
    titillating details to
    close-minded readers.
  75. guys’ guys
    Jocks brag on conquests
    while snapping towels, and the
    locker room cringes.
  76. polling place banter
    And when you’re a vot-
    er, you can grab them by the
    box. The ballot box.
  77. fear of a double x planet
    Beneath the quiet
    strength of the fairer sex lies
    screaming agony.
  78. minus one
    The most fun that an
    introvert can have is not
    showing up ever.
  79. a man’s reach shouldn’t exceed his grope
    Never have such ti-
    ny hands caused so much deep e-
    motional damage.
  80. the sordid truth about haiku
    They often forget
    nature. They’re spawned by brains that
    fly unsupervised.
  81. fan cam
    Some nervously peer
    at the outfield, some scroll through
    phones for score updates.
  82. the others
    Those not on our side
    must be demonized for the
    sake of the children.
  83. onscreen personas
    More Facebookers hit
    Live on their phones to show who
    they really are not.
  84. meditation on the train ride home
    Breathe in the stench of
    stale coffee and fatigue. Breathe
    out the hopelessness.
  85. 300 seconds in space
    Lungs wrap themselves round
    cream puffs of gas. Blood oozes
    through long corridors.
  86. genie in a bit
    Off to make dinner
    reservations or hail an
    Uber with a swipe.
  87. no costume needed
    Why hunt for candy
    when the Easter Bunny and
    Santa deliver?
  88. fear factor
    Everyday horrors
    overshadow the monsters
    just under the bed.
  89. ultimate indicator
    we chat w quik txts
    and emoji b4 the
    battery hits 0
  90. children of the candy corn
    Technically escapes
    the trick clause and punishes
    youngsters with foul treats.
  91. double playwright
    Even Shakespeare needs
    a reliever when the acts
    are loaded, pen balks.
  92. basic necessities
    A passing grade was
    all that was needed, and still
    the grown pupil failed.
  93. parched country
    No rain for weeks, no
    relief from heat, the bounty
    of fall has shriveled.
  94. golden rule of business
    You either set some-
    one up to succeed, or you
    set them up to fail.
  95. tonight or Monday
    Orthodox vs.
    reform Halloween converts
    ponder date for treats.
  96. perpetual standstill
    We always have the
    time to fall behind more and
    more. Takes no effort.
  97. the true meaning of halloween
    A holiday that
    teaches us to be fearful
    only of figments.
  98. peak election
    A raft of shocking
    revelations as voters
    tune out and stay home.
  99. gluten-free fortunes
    You will live a long
    and healthy life with little
    flavor and no spice.
  100. quenched
    Cubbies dancing in
    victory after long drought.
    Maybe next year, Tribe.
  101. the monster at the end of this stanza
    Despite all warnings,
    we want to see the grotesque
    beast. And it is us.

• • •

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Wade’s 101: Haiku retrospective 39

Tuesday, July 26th, 2016

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  1. the paradox of southern hospitality
    Carpetbagger scribes
    and activists come down to
    save us from ourselves.
  2. trolls nameless and otherwise
    Anonymity
    is not the source of hatred.
    A fetid heart is.
  3. basic dreams of sweets and breads
    I think ahead to
    cheat day, but also cheat days
    past and their menus.
  4. a creed for us
    We let go, we move
    on. We dream big, we fall hard.
    We hope and we help.
  5. earth day eve
    A pine tree decked with
    pine cones and live squirrels to mark
    the birth of our world.
  6. i would die for you
    I’m not your lover,
    not your friend, I’m something you’ll
    never comprehend.
  7. a shared culture
    Our scarce reactions
    as a society hide
    themselves as mourning.
  8. the afternoon cookout
    All we can ask for
    is a little shared time with
    friends and family.
  9. the modern diet
    Food products that can
    be consumed in the car or
    at a desk by hand.
  10. the furtive chunks of progress
    Speaking up is a
    bold act. As is letting your
    guard down, and smiling.
  11. april 27, 2011
    Hell on Earth comes as
    a barrage of furious
    tornados and storms.
  12. ice cream for breakfast
    Cool morning treat, plus
    an opportunity for
    bacon as dessert.
  13. a fading star
    He saw beloved
    faces at every turn, yet
    could not name a one.
  14. the haunted house on perry street
    No one fondled the
    randy geezer stuck in the
    governor’s mansion.
  15. julian’s katrina
    Like Dubya, he flew
    high above the ruins of
    his land without care.
  16. committed adultery in his heart many times
    What does it take to
    drive off a wife of 50
    years? Look out with lust.
  17. love to feel them titles
    Tuscaloosa, tops
    in gymnastics, football and
    cheating governors.
  18. the ballad of han solo
    A divorced war vet
    with a no-good brat, junked ship
    and restless Wookiee.
  19. follow the instructions
    Deviating from
    the rules is not allowed. Why
    not stick to the norm?
  20. dear fellow moviegoer
    Turning on your phone
    during the film gives me a
    bad retinal burn.
  21. let the grownups talk
    Adulting isn’t
    just a stupid word but a
    stupid concept, too.
  22. garage sale badge
    Test of salesmanship:
    Unloading a futon for
    almost the same price.
  23. the letters unsent
    Unwritten words stay
    off reams of stationery,
    frozen and silent.
  24. dance like several people are watching
    Staying on your toes,
    regulating your rhythm,
    keeping up your smile.
  25. kneel before sod
    Grassy transplants hid
    the scalp of the ya waiting
    for rain and chipmunks.
  26. the forever echo
    Reaching out, he would
    pick up on a faint pulse, then
    lose it in the hush.
  27. familiar steps into the unknown
    Take my hand and don’t
    let go. Close your eyes, follow
    your heart and breathe deep.
  28. tactile beings
    A reality
    composed of stamps, bullfrogs, milk,
    paper and kisses.
  29. life in the 21st century
    A combination
    of notifications, memes
    and medications.
  30. bob’s -30-
    A great reporter
    but also a great human
    all in one body.
  31. keep birmingham weird
    Renegade skaters
    hunt artisanal popsicles
    and hoppy craft beers.
  32. with lyrics by the cakehole
    The best songs come from
    the diaphragm with support
    from the trachea.
  33. best behavior
    An illusion of
    camaraderie with a
    hint of courtesy.
  34. up with down-ballot
    Who’s president does
    matter, but who occupies
    lower posts counts more.
  35. white sauce is the devil
    Chicken, grilled or smoked,
    deserves a tangy red coat.
    White is for the birds.
  36. the birmingham style of pit barbecue
    Vinegar with a
    hint of sweet, over pulled pork
    and sometimes chicken.
  37. know your fixins
    Corn muffins is a
    side. Mac and cheese is a veg-
    gie. Pie is a side.
  38. not on my paper plate
    A dry rub is not
    for me. Nor is mustard sauce
    or straight smokiness.
  39. butts on the night shift
    The pitmaster woke
    several times to check the heat
    and meat before dawn.
  40. next to the cartoon pig
    Look for a shack in
    the woods with a smiling cook
    and surly waitress.
  41. the backyard crew
    Cheers to the weekend
    grillers and their smokers and
    charcoal and slow heat.
  42. the modern litmus test
    Decoding a friend’s
    serial vaguebooking by
    one and all watching.
  43. the doctor will misdiagnose you now
    You’re either three months
    pregnant or suffering from
    a case of scurvy.
  44. the battle done
    Lay down your arms and
    re weary soldier. The war
    rages on and on.
  45. on top of everything else
    The stout newcomer
    irked the nudist colonists
    with his rakish hat.
  46. overthinking and underrating
    The Yelp rating is
    two stars but the line is all
    the way down the block.
  47. the modern seamstress
    Hands full with thread and
    needle, stitching up a storm
    while rocking the tats.
  48. while birmingham rots
    The crooked don’t see
    themselves as crooked, but as
    some goddamned saviors.
  49. prick us, do we not bloviate?
    Crowdsourcing your woes
    leads to one truth needle in
    a pompous haystack.
  50. the sidewalk fit for domesticated hikers
    The urban trail ends
    at the corner of Starbucks
    and homeless beggars.
  51. kitchen magic
    A sprinkle of this,
    a heap of that and a knack
    for subtle flavors.
  52. a talent for escape
    They left to seek their
    fortunes elsewhere, weary of
    broken promises.
  53. what pugs find hilarious
    Barking dogs laugh at
    me while I pull weeds and tend
    the overgrown yard.
  54. 500 yards shy
    Computer map, why
    didn’t you warn us about
    the fault in our way?
  55. a streak of lazy
    Wash the car, clean the
    house, darn the socks, feed the dog.
    Or take a long nap.
  56. ethics is a four-letter word
    Speaker of the house
    goes to the big house after
    house of cards crumbles.
  57. do what you hate
    A prescription for
    a long, dull life, but one that
    avoids temptations.
  58. trouble brewing
    We live in a place
    of guns and hatred. We are
    addicted to both.
  59. the 26th mile
    Her lungs burned with each
    labored step, her legs struggling
    with locomotion.
  60. missing in transit
    Grandma’s care package
    made it through Midwest to some
    lucky bastard’s house.
  61. ghoul’s fold
    The paper caved in
    on itself to reveal a
    hideous duckling.
  62. journey of the crafted crane
    Is the art in the
    folding, or in transforming
    trees into paper?
  63. crease and desist
    The artist bends the
    sheet to his will, a surface
    becomes a sculpture.
  64. patterns of misbehavior
    The crime of being
    mediocre is: It’s how
    it’s always been done.
  65. a conversation about mores
    Do it this way and
    remain unharmed. Do it that
    way and pay the price.
  66. the ballad of mike hubbard
    The most powerful
    hillbilly in hillbilly
    land pled for big bucks.
  67. the carefree days of summer
    Arts camp plus gluten-
    free snacks with cram sessions and
    optional screen time.
  68. to reach the unreachable fan
    To tweet the impos-
    sible update. To troll the
    untrollable troll.
  69. terms and conditions
    Spelling it out makes
    little difference if you
    are averse to words.
  70. there goes the continent
    A revolt among
    the masses reminds all who
    rules Britannia.
  71. so are the days of our lives
    Solar, lunar, fis-
    cal, broadca Julian, He-
    brew, Gregorian …
  72. hungry for perspectives
    Right or wrong, old or
    young, traditional or mod,
    let’s take it all in.
  73. instead of mockery, try
    Applause for those who
    make the effort, who try new
    things, who grow and grow.
  74. on hold for 20 minutes
    Compromise is the
    bargain we make with ourselves
    while raging inside.
  75. and also the humidity
    There’s hot, and then there’s
    Alabama hot. Let’s fly
    to the sun and chill.
  76. warm up the grill
    The burgers go here,
    the steaks there, with room for hot
    dogs, pork and chicken.
  77. hints of gunpowder and awe
    Double-wide trailer,
    a firecracker heaven
    along the highway.
  78. the king of boors
    America is
    more than just a crummy beer
    named America.
  79. be a firework
    Hail independence
    by showing up for duty
    on Nov. 8.
  80. a battle of wits
    Can’t win with trolling,
    snark, sarcasm or logic.
    Win with pure laughter.
  81. humans of birmingham
    The photographer
    takes a blurry shot of grads
    before fleeing town.
  82. the second-best medicine
    For all-around aches
    and injuries, probably
    some penicillin.
  83. and now i can’t breathe
    Someone told me she’s
    OK with cops murdering
    500 people.
  84. when you’re ready to give up
    Everything’s pointless
    nothing really matters and
    oh look, a puppy!
  85. the big day under the knife
    Her birthday suit is
    a hospital gown, and her
    cake is Jell-O cups.
  86. reboot or sleep
    No matter how hot
    the shower or the coffee,
    the mind won’t stay woke.
  87. triangle park
    A green wedge houses
    both the spiral slide and the
    rectangular bench.
  88. lost and untethered
    Do we shout even
    louder or march in protest?
    What’s a soul to do?
  89. the perfect counterfeit
    Alike in every
    way, down to the annoying
    smudge and ghastly flaws.
  90. the unreceding recession
    So many workers
    wanted jobs that they’d jump at
    any opening.
  91. the feckless coup
    Soldiers strike to take
    a government away from
    their society.
  92. competitive spirit
    What binds the workers
    together, hatred of the
    rivals or the boss?
  93. sizzling jam
    For rhythm, for rock,
    for fellowship, for beer, for
    fun and for summer.
  94. the broken library
    Rainwater drips on
    defenseless books, stairwells as
    the sole escape routes.
  95. the open is mightier than the sword
    To ward off a fierce
    storm with nothing more than a
    sturdy umbrella.
  96. the turtle hunt
    A parade of shells
    ambles ever so slowly
    down the beach at dusk.
  97. blockhead syndrome
    It’s the jerks that need
    the most help and hardest to
    rehabilitate.
  98. the truest believer
    Always fell in line.
    Always believed his bosses.
    Always came in last.
  99. the squeeze machine
    A full-body hug
    without the intricacies
    of human contact.
  100. the quest for positive
    He saw the world as
    broken and aimed to heal it
    with positive acts.
  101. a sprinkle on top
    Each dollop of fresh
    batter received a sprinkle
    of sugar for fun.

• • •

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Wade’s 101: Haiku retrospective 38

Saturday, April 16th, 2016

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  1. resolution no. 329
    To reserve judgment
    on fellow human beings.
    (Pre-judgment OK.)
  2. after the first workweek
    Let’s have a beer or
    two to celebrate the first
    of many long grinds.
  3. they get it from us
    Tantrums rarely suit
    adults, who seem to throw them
    more often than kids.
  4. a storm’s a comin’
    A rumble on the
    distant horizon, flashes
    in the darkened sky.
  5. states of consciousness
    Are we grateful for
    mindfulness? Are we mindful
    of our gratitude?
  6. deepest freeze
    No escape from the
    winter’s chill, the sharp, stabbing
    gusts of icy wind.
  7. fantasy kitchen
    A scaly dragon
    for an oven, a porpoise
    for a dishwasher.
  8. words for next to nothing
    Cheap phrases power
    an info-society
    to barely knowing.
  9. men in trees
    Limb by limb, the old
    oak came apart, guided by
    upright apes with saws.
  10. the tumor
    A cell. Then many
    more. A betrayal of the
    sneakiest order.
  11. the treatment
    Poisons as potions.
    Noxious liquids and hidden
    death rays here to help.
  12. the aftermath
    A missing breast. A
    partial lung. And a guarded
    outlook. Or the end.
  13. the mayor-council act of 1955
    The fiefdom felt no
    pressure to change, no voters
    to keep satisfied.
  14. peak radio
    Stations from coast to
    coast. Streaming services with
    indentured artists.
  15. a mass of cells
    Divide and conquer,
    you tiny cell. Become a
    gift unto the world.
  16. an estimate of reality
    The doctor will see
    you shortly. A service charge
    will be included.
  17. the invisible locomotive
    Belligerent gales
    batter trees, topple people
    and roar through the night.
  18. the reverse muse
    People who don’t write
    spew forth word salad brought on
    by semi-formed thoughts.
  19. by the morsel
    Dishes of dim sum
    glided past with promises
    of bliss in each bite.
  20. super friendly warm-hearted neighborhood
    Greeted at the store,
    in the pews, at the diner,
    at the shooting range.
  21. sugar sugar
    The sweet stuff hangs out
    everywhere we shop, ready
    to give a brief high.
  22. the long way round
    The journey of a
    thousand miles begins with a
    question to our peers.
  23. scenes from an exhibition
    Canvases show a
    vision of warped emotions
    in oily relief.
  24. eat the baby
    Trinket hidden in
    ring cake promises either
    wealth or choking death.
  25. unsettled sleep
    A calm night that is
    punctuated by fits of
    chest-shaking spasms.
  26. victory party at the coffeehouse
    Instead of pizza,
    take the team to celebrate
    with lattes and scones.
  27. off to the races
    Many horses cross
    the starting line, but 9 months
    till one staggers home.
  28. in like a line of squalls
    It was a time of
    great flooding, of violent storms
    and unceasing gales.
  29. who will be the next internet gertrude stein?
    In search of the bright
    Tumblr that inspires, the
    blog that blares bon mots.
  30. x’s and y’s
    The sport of math needs
    players on an infinite
    field of equations.
  31. a souvenir of less-vigorous times
    The cold came and went,
    but the cough persists in the
    dry nook of the throat.
  32. will write for clicks
    Writers plentiful
    in age of cyberpundits
    and snap reviewers.
  33. the knot to be tied
    It starts with a ring
    and a question. And maybe
    a few happy tears.
  34. winding down to anxiety
    The next day is filled
    with worries put off by a
    long night without sleep.
  35. two colds in winter
    Leaky eyes, leaky
    nostrils, a betrayal of
    the failing body.
  36. a momentary lapse of clarity
    The meditation
    at the desk always leads to
    enormous regret.
  37. the sandwich generation
    A husband and two
    aging parents and a job
    and crises du jour.
  38. the law of the land
    Fairness: outdated.
    Kindness: overrated. Par-
    tisanship: always.
  39. a love between two mammals
    One offers kind words.
    The other offers nice meals.
    They live and they love.
  40. our brand is pathos
    Pasted-on smiles keep
    uncomfortable questions
    at a safe distance.
  41. watching on st. charles
    Along the route the
    beads fly in graceful arcs to
    throngs of waving kids.
  42. lil green peddlers
    Girls scout for prime spots
    to foist boxes of cookies
    on famished masses.
  43. when everyone in accounting has the crud
    Empty desks mark the
    hours and hours in lost
    productivity.
  44. the robotic narrator
    She reads breaking news
    and digital books with no
    hint of emotion.
  45. the pancake man
    He spins golden discs
    of morning shine to delight
    breakfast partisans.
  46. lazy people don’t panic
    Lazy people don’t
    panic. Let industrious
    folk shoulder the blame.
  47. everything is weakness
    Showing weakness. Tears.
    Brave face. Admitting something.
    Disease. Family.
  48. virtual realities
    We take baby steps
    into this frontier of strange
    actors and warped views.
  49. the pit
    Wet branches and smoke
    bathe the skinned pig for hours
    below, low and slow.
  50. bumps in the road
    Time for a big change:
    Switching to the crunchy style
    of peanut butter.
  51. the nobel prize of snapchat
    She gathers the world,
    not through cuteness or humor,
    but through metasnark.
  52. no lives matter
    We discard human
    lives as easily as we
    pretend otherwise.
  53. hollywood’s sure bets
    Adaptations and
    reboots crowd out the beauty
    of fresh ideas.
  54. bonus spin
    Do you risk it all
    for a chance at happiness
    or spend the day safe?
  55. with no say
    Some voices silenced
    through arcane rules. Others by
    apathetic stance.
  56. spring can’t come soon enough
    Bring on the flowers
    and showers, the breezes and
    sneezes and teases.
  57. freedom of silence
    More citizens should
    exercise their divine right
    to shut the hell up.
  58. the jester’s advantage
    Punchlines can be far
    more persuasive than bullhorns
    in an argument.
  59. the masked infector
    The waiting room is
    crowded with sick people and
    germy oxygen.
  60. boundaries
    Sentiments shared by
    many outweigh the petty
    squabbles that divide.
  61. the astronaut’s homecoming
    After a year in
    space, he just wanted to see
    one sunset per day.
  62. laughter is the worst medicine
    The election and
    the economy and threats
    abroad … Stop! It hurts!
  63. scent of a library
    Worn DVDs and
    pulped tree, with hints of carpet
    cleaner and cobwebs.
  64. run the lines
    Start out strong, over
    the top, then ease into the
    patter. Finish big!
  65. run out the clock
    Sit and twiddle thumbs,
    or try everything in a
    fit of agony.
  66. pocketing darkness
    Father Time grounded
    the night, putting her to bed
    an hour early.
  67. easiest packing ever
    Grab the essentials
    and stuff them in plastic bags
    before departure.
  68. the unsent letter
    She deserves a full
    reply, but the paper stays
    blank for the moment.
  69. caffeine and crank
    The best inspira-
    tion comes from substances both
    legal and not so.
  70. rate everything
    How was the service,
    and the food, and the candles,
    and the parking space?
  71. copying the recipe for success
    We think it’s one small
    thing like salt, when it’s likely
    technique and some luck.
  72. the loudest dog whistle ever
    Coded racism
    has yielded the floor. Overt
    racism is back.
  73. the binge effect
    Couch potatoes mash
    up plots, watching episode
    after episode.
  74. a spectrum too far
    The vision of a
    rainbow blinded him to the
    true colors in sight.
  75. the future of cuisine
    Whatever three things
    we can combine in 60
    seconds to clog hearts.
  76. tiny guitar serenade
    The ukulele
    band plucked away at strings in
    tune and of the heart.
  77. all our ethnic foods are lies
    The American
    version of world cuisine tastes
    like a food court died.
  78. spring break for grownups
    A little extra
    time in the bathroom, more red
    wine before bedtime.
  79. we’re all in sales now
    Buy my new album,
    scarves, jellies, book, self-help course,
    beads and honeymoon.
  80. springtime dichotomy
    Three days of sunny
    bliss, followed by a night of
    arctic disturbance.
  81. born to be reborn
    He who was once dead
    is alive, ascending to
    heavenly reward.
  82. the old lech
    What crimes would he pull
    off, what sour nothings he’d
    hiss for his mistress?
  83. clue after clue, year after year
    Most disasters we
    experience unfold in
    a plodding fashion.
  84. disturbance on the homefront
    The knocking came from
    all sides. Creeps moved in for the
    daytime invasion.
  85. bucket list brigade
    A dog and hamster
    travel the world in search of
    adventure and treats.
  86. outdated perspective
    ˙sn uo sᴉ ǝʞoɾ ǝɥʇ
    ʇno ǝɹnƃᴉɟ ɹǝʌǝu ǝʍ ʇnq
    ‘ǝɔɹɐɟ sᴉ ʎɐp ʎɹǝʌƎ
  87. the oatmeal gesture
    Because he prepared
    it with love, she took a bowl
    for breakfast daily.
  88. spring break 2016
    Beaches without beer,
    bars to refuel and recharge,
    no snaps, no regrets.
  89. no sirens, no flashing lights
    Failure doesn’t bring
    calamity, only calm.
    Peace among shambles.
  90. the magic of cookie dough
    You can see little
    nibble marks in the lump of
    dough for “taste testing.”
  91. capital offense
    Her lips cried, “No, no.”
    As she pulled back, he roared, “But
    I’m the governor!”
  92. this modern world
    He was easily
    bamboozled by strange coffee
    makers and tight knots.
  93. barrel brigade
    Little cars and big
    rigs creep like ants. The pavers
    rebuild their pathways.
  94. the micromanager
    The details matter
    more than the employees or
    customers or soul.
  95. the rules of a meat-and-three
    Order quickly. Mac
    and cheese is a vegetable.
    Get off of your phone.
  96. midway at the science fair
    At one end, splicing
    genes. At the other end, can
    rocks feel emotions?
  97. make alabama great again
    Water fountains for
    every race. Schooling till eighth
    grade. Guns and Bibles.
  98. baseball bonanza
    Parading cars and
    junk food races keep the old
    ballpark at peak fun.
  99. slackergy
    The team left it up
    to group chat, management by
    quips and emoji.
  100. a template for our fears
    Patient zero brings
    horror and end of world for
    brain-dead citizens.
  101. a stroll in the garden
    Take in a light scent
    of blossoms and beginnings,
    of all that is spring.

• • •

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Wade’s 101: Haiku retrospective 37

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

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  1. life in the future
    Phones without backups
    and stolen identities
    and dead batteries.
  2. The Future of Birmingham: 5-7-5
    The Two Ms. Davises

    Part 1
    Wander block by block
    to meet residents held back
    by artlessness, fear.

    Part 2
    The schools drive away
    people. The politics drive
    away people, too.

    Part 3
    Only the stubborn
    and the impoverished stay
    behind, fate be damned.

    Part 4
    They need their city
    to be more than it is, to
    be kinder, safer.

    Part 5
    They need some steady
    income, and a way to get
    around easily.

    Part 6
    The townsfolk campaign
    for new leaders, not the crooks
    who line their pockets.

    Part 7
    Let Ms. Davis take
    charge, they say. She’ll stand up for
    our community.

    Part 8
    Reluctantly, Ms.
    Davis agrees, though her job
    and kids rule her days.

    Part 9
    “Mayor Davis Wins!”
    the headlines read. City Hall
    welcomes its new chief.

    Part 10
    She fixes potholes,
    fields complaints, cuts taxes and
    works past 11.

    Part 11
    The voters keep tabs
    on the mayor, who always
    looks out for their needs.

    Part 12
    Her teen daughters and
    little boy see her only
    on TV at night.

    Part 13
    The eldest stays with
    a friend for weeks. The middle
    child’s grades soon plummet.

    Part 14
    And the youngest gets
    into fights at school, so the
    principal calls Mom.

    Part 15
    The municipal
    house is in order, barely.
    Her house is a wreck.

    Part 16
    “Mayor Davis Quits!”
    the headlines read. City Hall
    loses its old boss.

    Part 17
    She gathers her brood
    into a sweeping hug and
    holds on for dear life.

    Part 18
    Madame Mayor goes
    back to humble matriarch,
    putting kids to bed.

    Part 19
    Her civic progress
    was quickly undone. All the
    neighbors wailed and moaned.

    Part 20
    Ms. Davis served out
    her real term to her three-child
    constituency.

  3. the 12 days of no mas
    The station’s Christmas
    music played from September
    till … I burned it down.
  4. dusty assets
    In their rush to build
    a future, they forgot what
    treasures the past held.
  5. drama at 2030
    Toddler bedtime is
    a mix of dancing, tears, light
    bargaining and hugs.
  6. ingredients for a costume
    Hidden stitching, a
    wig, maybe an accent, props
    and a loss of self.
  7. mostly hands-free commute
    Self-driving cars will
    give us the freedom to flip
    off other riders.
  8. on turning 10 in blog years
    Welcome to my blog.
    Today, it turns 10 years old.
    Now where is the cake?
  9. a meeting 212 years in the making
    The world’s oldest man
    and woman should hook up for
    burgers and moshing.
  10. the little highway that couldn’t
    Traffic kept the lanes
    thick with cars. More lanes, more cars.
    Fewer lights, more cars.
  11. a reflection in hilarity
    Let us laugh at our
    foibles and shortcomings till
    we forget hatred.
  12. cover up your point
    Empathy is when
    you see my point. Comedy
    is when I see yours.
  13. soulful turmoil
    The inner child and
    the spirit animal got
    into such mischief.
  14. when you’re too in love to let it go
    Lights will guide you home
    and ignite your bones, and I
    will try to fix you.
  15. the guide to carving the perfect jack-o’lantern
    Make a scary face
    and carve it into the side
    of a fresh pumpkin.
  16. forever pork
    Barbecue is the
    perfect food, except if you
    ask the pig himself.
  17. winter 2015 in the south
    El Niño will bring
    his chilly chattering and
    a damp demeanor.
  18. the tiniest inkling
    What do we under-
    stand of the world and our place
    in bettering it?
  19. yoso: you only study once
    Homework is always
    best done at the last minute
    and with little thought.
  20. two-wheeled wanderers
    The new cyclists rode
    for blocks before stopping to
    admire the streets.
  21. chains of desire
    What defines a cool
    city is not retailers
    but local flavors.
  22. the wisdom of christopher turk
    Mothers and daughters
    they speak so fast, but they speak
    so true.” And they’re back!
  23. chocolate ghosts and sugar phantoms
    What good is stocking
    up early for Halloween
    if I eat it all?
  24. barbell bummer
    He loves to lift weights.
    His arms love it. His hips, too.
    His back … not so much.
  25. the precise baker
    Measure and weigh, sift
    and let sit. Check for doneness,
    frost after cooling.
  26. tongs and tongues at the ready
    Pastry chambers at
    the Mexican bakery
    tempt with scents and hues.
  27. broken people
    Broken people get
    up in the morning and sleep
    at night still broken.
  28. the anti-halloween sport
    Bobbing for apples
    is too healthy. Exercise,
    fruit and water? Pass.
  29. the shaming of a lifetime
    An Internet faux
    pas warrants derision and
    humiliation.
  30. the hierarchy of candy
    Good chocolate, Pop
    Rocks, Reese’s Cups, gummy bears,
    Peanut M&Ms.
  31. the clothes make the myth
    Layer on layer
    of artifice to reveal
    a hidden true self.
  32. the lone checker
    The late shoppers made
    their way, baskets in hand, to
    pay for and bag their fare.
  33. even pagans need love, too
    In the dark of the
    suburban streets, a gang of
    devils hunted treats.
  34. an extra hour
    An extra hour
    to sleep, to meditate, to
    worship and to love.
  35. organizational perils
    Everything goes in
    this bin, save for the odds and
    ends that go elsewhere.
  36. uplifting the powerless
    A laptop with a
    dying battery. A man
    with a screwdriver.
  37. the neverending worry
    I have so many
    things I want to do today.
    This week. This lifetime.
  38. the humane condition
    We all make mistakes.
    Some of us forgive ourselves.
    Others agonize.
  39. candy crushers
    Let’s stop calling them
    “smartphones.” They’re making us all
    dumber with each glance.
  40. at my annual flu shot
    With a single stick,
    I banish thee foul virus— ACK!
    OH MY FRAGILE ARM!
  41. rise of the telepresence robots
    Gail rolled from cube to
    cube, awkwardly chit-chatting
    through a cracked iPad.
  42. le mot unjuste
    The best insult cuts
    deep and without sting, letting
    the blood drain for days.
  43. a many-splendored box
    Shipping containers
    to live in, to shop in, to
    work in, to ship stuff.
  44. valor
    They did the job, and
    they did it with courage and
    grace. We thank them all.
  45. contrary to popular beliefs
    College students face
    down the biggest and smallest
    of injustices.
  46. ideas for superhero movies
    Heroine vs.
    female villain. Musical!
    4D. Masks for all.
  47. vive la paris
    Liberty always.
    Equality forever.
    Fraternity now.
  48. the lone waiter
    Five parties walked in
    needing tables, and a tot
    just swiped the menus.
  49. the magic coupon
    “Good for one free hug.”
    It never expired, and
    it never ran out.
  50. never us
    Them is who we keep
    out. Them is who we fight, who
    we fear, who we blame.
  51. otherworldly acquaintances
    In another life,
    we could be great friends or at
    least, not as distant.
  52. trample the earth or build virtual worlds
    Sharing Minecraft vids
    is the riding dirt bikes of
    this generation.
  53. little triumphs
    The cart that doesn’t
    wobble. The line that moves the
    fastest. A rainbow.
  54. spycraft for dummies
    Secret agents work
    with secret agencies on
    secret agendas.
  55. hello, can you hear me?
    I pick up the phone,
    but no one responds. Again.
    Adele butt-dialed me.
  56. permanent shiver
    His skin went from pink
    to grayish-blue, icicles
    forming on his nose.
  57. let the turkey thaw
    Seventeen pounds of
    frozen fowl sit in the fridge
    before the big roast.
  58. from her beacon-hand glows world-wide welcome
    “Give me your tired,
    your poor, your huddled masses
    yearning to breathe free.”
  59. except for the turkey
    Count your blessings. An
    attitude of gratitude.
    So very thankful.
  60. in line to buy a tv and sweaters
    Eating Thanksgiving
    dinner in the chilly night
    to save a few bucks.
  61. in line to buy a tv and sweaters
    Eating Thanksgiving
    dinner in the chilly night
    to save a few bucks.
  62. the weakness of the soul
    He had nothing to
    do with the problem yet still
    found room for self-blame.
  63. top dogs and strays
    The best ones can be
    underappreciated
    but still remain true.
  64. meanwhile at the north pole
    The elves tested each
    drone for their delivery
    flight on Christmas Eve.
  65. the degraded outdoors
    Why must we spoil
    these lovely days and nights out-
    side with TV screens?
  66. support your local librarian
    Bring a coffee and
    sweets for the finder of good
    books and deep knowledge.
  67. the shortcut through the alley
    Their night out ended
    with a gun in their faces
    and wallets long gone.
  68. well of corruption
    Everyone was on
    the take: cops, lawyers, mayors,
    judges, everyone.
  69. the road never taken
    Off in the distance
    are dreams never dreamt and plans
    never carried out.
  70. another holiday for pennies
    Wrapping paper from
    grocery bags and stocking
    stuffers from the job.
  71. pound the alarm
    Be vigilant for
    those who use foreign numbers:
    The metric system.
  72. a tinsel economy
    Two strands for a pie.
    A whole roll for a roast goose.
    No refunds or trades.
  73. a walmart world
    Discounts everywhere
    built on dirt cheap labor and
    even cheaper crap.
  74. dot’s all
    The true fate of a
    text rests on whether it ends
    with a … period.
  75. toothy transaction
    She breaks in to steal
    your bones and leave cash for them.
    An oral pawn shop.
  76. the tiniest kitchen
    Chop veggies or sift
    flour. Wash one dish or snack
    on chips. Soup for none.
  77. a heat miser holiday
    Warm December days
    perfect for swimming pools and
    suntans and Noel.
  78. the perfect office present
    Coffee or small gift
    cards or engraved luggage tags
    or another round.
  79. happy life day
    Let the fur fly and
    the sabers sizzle on this
    spacey holiday.
  80. brawl at city hall
    That time the mayor
    and council member traded
    blows instead of words.
  81. there is no try
    “The Force will be with
    you. Always.” “Let the Wookiee
    win.” “Do. Or do not.”
  82. rules for distributing candy from a christmas parade float
    Actually, there’s
    only one rule to keep in
    mind: Do not run out.
  83. heart attacks and respiratory failure
    The students save the
    dummy’s life repeatedly.
    Make better choices!
  84. the case for going out
    Outside is hiking
    and new restaurants and fresh
    scenery and friends.
  85. tropical noel
    The flip-flops are hung
    by the chimney with care. Cold
    beers will soon be there.
  86. vacation mode engaged
    The body is in
    the office, but the mind is
    somewhere on Pluto.
  87. adolescent holiday madness
    Waiting for Santa
    is unbearable when you
    want nothing but toys.
  88. baby, it’s warm outside
    I really can’t stay
    I’ve got to go away. This
    evening has been … gross.
  89. the 2015th noel
    The angel did tweet,
    was to certain poor shepherds
    in fields as they sleep.
  90. hanlon’s haiku
    Don’t attribute to
    malice that which is explained
    by stupidity.
  91. typhoons in dixie
    Downpours without end.
    Lightning, thundering, flooding.
    Christmas underwater.
  92. a coalition of the unwilling
    Across Bama, a
    wide range of awful leaders
    keep us from progress.
  93. unfinished business
    The new year cometh,
    but my planner has a bunch
    of to-dos to do.
  94. ridesharing for fun and profit
    Amateur cabbies
    hauled load after load of boors
    and drunkards homeward.
  95. resolutions day 365
    Did we lose all the
    weight and make all the money
    and enrich our lives?
  96. a leap year ahead
    Enough time to do
    all the things we planned with an
    extra day to laugh.
  97. body language lessons
    The heart wants better
    but reflexive eye rolls are
    a dead giveaway.
  98. the south’s weight will rise again
    Fat shaming no more.
    Take pride in our expanding
    borders and big bones.
  99. the purring of motors
    Not crickets, but the
    refrigerator. Not cats,
    but the high street lights.
  100. middle class 1914-2015
    Blame whomever, we’re
    facing long years of working
    and not getting by.
  101. carpe assets
    Seize the moment. Seize
    the day. Seize everything. The
    new police motto.

• • •

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Wade’s 101: Haiku retrospective 36

Monday, September 28th, 2015

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  1. rehearsals, day 17
    He would speak into
    the remote for hours. The
    dog was not impressed.
  2. just another day in the walmart parking lot
    Wrong-way Willie went
    barreling up the one-way
    lane dodging shoppers.
  3. the reset button
    Push it and start all
    over. Push it and wipe those
    cares away. Push it.
  4. the alpha and the part that comes after alpha
    That half of the year
    went by so quickly that this
    half will surely drag.
  5. after solving the artist royalties problem
    Taylor Swift fixed my
    iPhone at the Genius Bar
    while singing “Bad Blood.”
  6. driving to fun park usa
    Junior and Little
    Miss stare at the streaming flick
    while Mom stays alert.
  7. magic in the library
    Each shelf held the key
    to worlds unexplored and dreams
    and nightmares and frogs.
  8. missing mutt
    He felt a dog-sized
    hole in his life with an ache
    for a wagging tail.
  9. l-o-v-e in the u-s-a
    No court, no law can
    stop the force of love as it
    spreads from heart to heart.
  10. dear brutus
    The fault lies not in
    our stars but in ourselves, that
    we are underlings.
  11. the middle is always chaos
    The start looks like fun,
    and the end looks perfect but
    far off. Keep going.
  12. this is going to be the best half-year ever
    Lose 10 pounds, join a
    book club, eat healthier, watch
    “Game of Thrones,” try meth.
  13. the prison explosion
    Time to figure out
    who we’re mad at and who we’re
    really afraid of.
  14. firecracker follies
    Bang! Pop! Rat-a-tat-
    tat! Up and down the street boom
    the sounds of freedom.
  15. this land is our land
    America smokes
    pot, marries anyone and
    plays so much soccer.
  16. littlest victories
    Odometer rolls
    and the 12th free sandwich and
    palindromic times.
  17. flying fingers
    The violinist
    practiced to make performing
    look so effortless.
  18. from cradle to bigger cradle
    Helicopter mom
    and dad kept Junior tethered
    long past puberty.
  19. back of the industrial park
    Freight slipped onto docks
    unnoticed, cargo bound for
    here or overseas.
  20. lost in the grind
    I can crunch numbers
    or test theories, but my best
    side is creative.
  21. the stash
    Frozen balls of dough
    turn any sad day into
    fresh-baked cookie time.
  22. a state of limbo
    A life that is full
    and empty, blessed with friends but
    without constant love.
  23. melt into the sidewalk
    The dog just ambles
    and pants, dragging the leash and
    human in the heat.
  24. the power of nerds
    Postmodern culture,
    a mashup of comic books
    and highbrow humor.
  25. box office heroes of summer 2015
    Dinosaurs, Mad Max,
    the Avengers, Minions and
    a girl’s emotions.
  26. less comprehension in less time
    Words flash faster and
    faster, books and novels speed
    by the keen reader.
  27. writer’s blech
    What is the term for
    trying to write but held back
    by lack of talent?
  28. even majorities are minorities
    Everyone’s a vic-
    tim, everyone else is to
    blame, martyrs for life.
  29. the anxious mind
    A churn of worries
    that never comes to pass in
    a state of alarm.
  30. follicle frolic
    Hair grows so subtly
    you can barely feel it ooze
    out of your scalp holes.
  31. armed with popcorn and candy
    The kids scrambled to
    their seats to escape the heat
    with movie magic.
  32. citations no extra charge
    Inspiration comes
    from the unlikeliest spots,
    like term paper sites.
  33. make room for hashtags, too
    The Library of
    Congress must build shelves to store
    tweets and emoji.
  34. not hot enough for that
    The gluten-free ice
    cream truck circled round the block
    with zero takers.
  35. fast asleep in the urban jungle
    Car alarm at 2
    a.m.: Let me sing you the
    song of my people.
  36. little girl lost
    A voice, distinct and
    true, silenced too soon by a
    misguided lifestyle.
  37. friday evening downpour
    Skies darken, thunder
    erupts and sheets of rain wash
    the earth thoroughly.
  38. among the charlatans
    A sense of purpose
    may never ring true yet can
    guide us to safety.
  39. the neighborhood crank
    A loner with an
    agenda finds almost no
    support for changes.
  40. concrete rain
    Bits of freeway fell
    in storms of debris as cars
    shook the bridges loose.
  41. the pizza accords
    First party agrees
    to extra cheese, while second
    party requests ham.
  42. the meltening
    The molecular
    structure of all things breaks down
    in this goddamn heat.
  43. shuffle off this mortal coil? check.
    The to-do list will
    never be done. The good news
    is we’ll all be dead.
  44. the longest con
    Living a robust
    perpetual denial
    about growing old.
  45. annual assigned reading 3-day cram session
    IfIhurryI-
    canreadallmysummerbooks-
    beforeschoolstartsback.
  46. a town without a watchdog
    Graft flowed to outstretched
    hands, while the downtrodden fought
    for their measly crumbs.
  47. early onset adulthood
    When spouses become
    singles. When daughters become
    caretakers. And on.
  48. beyond needs fulfilled
    What gives you pleasure?
    Is it intellectual,
    physical or more?
  49. settling in by the pool
    A tall iced tea and
    a glossy magazine was
    all she required.
  50. as seen on body cams everywhere
    The thin blue line is
    spattered with blood red streaks and
    black-and-blue lesions.
  51. the poison of nostalgia
    Living in the past
    seems to be the drug of choice
    among lost people.
  52. the skim
    Each dawn brings a fresh
    opportunity to fleece
    everybody else.
  53. liquid butter cut-off
    Summer ends when we
    run out of blockbuster flicks
    to watch with popcorn.
  54. not quite ready for the bell
    Reluctant pupils
    enter the classroom with heads
    full of fireflies.
  55. long after graduation
    The gossip girls shared
    conspiratorial laughs
    in the locker room.
  56. stillness along the ocean
    She looked out onto
    the gulf one last time, ready
    for the next voyage.
  57. a good mom
    Nothing would keep her
    from scolding, feeding, reading
    to, raising her girls.
  58. the festival of fall approaches
    A carnival of
    colorful trees and hazy
    nights heads for our block.
  59. every saturday over coffee and carburetors
    The parking lot filled
    with classic hot rods, gearheads
    and fans of sweet rides.
  60. sensation of singing
    The lyrics rolled by
    on monitors for us to
    belt out tipsily.
  61. fourth wave feminism
    Ladies choose to be
    objectors, objectified,
    their bodies their selves.
  62. emoji nation
    We started out with
    Shakespeare and ended with a
    suggestive eggplant.
  63. chores, then domination
    I’ll be ready to
    conquer the world as soon as
    I wash the dishes.
  64. the most awkward sales pitch ever
    It comes with something …
    let me ask my manager
    and not call you back.
  65. a reasonable exit strategy
    Put down the empty
    glass and slip out the back door
    with hoarded brownies.
  66. the cost of fame
    He made a deal with
    the devil, then acted shocked
    at the devil’s scam.
  67. misanthropic awakening
    The more you get to
    know people, the more you want
    to crawl back in bed.
  68. jersey sore
    The coach yells at the
    team. The players run their drills.
    Practice never ends.
  69. dare defend
    Fields of cotton, lush
    forests, manmade lakes, kind hearts
    in Alabama.
  70. shop and chop
    The big dinner needs
    sliced and diced vegetables and
    meats at the ready.
  71. proration 2015
    It’s the second week
    of school, and they’re already
    out of chalk and milk.
  72. dinner party achievement unlocked
    The satisfaction
    from a well-cooked gourmet meal,
    but mostly fullness.
  73. scattered but not forgotten
    Refugees from the
    storm found new homes far from the
    shores of destruction.
  74. the wandering governor
    He flew across the
    land with his wife sometimes and
    his mistress sometimes.
  75. twisted mobility
    The scooter helped her
    up and down the hall, if not
    back on her own feet.
  76. harvest of shame
    The biggest garden
    foe was not cat nor bunny
    but incompetence.
  77. electoral collage
    They rigged the ballot
    so only predetermined
    elites could win votes.
  78. the farm’s last stand
    The last jar of peach
    preserves and basket of plump
    tomatoes has sold.
  79. and don’t forget thursdays
    Friday night is for
    football, as is Saturday,
    Sunday and Monday.
  80. work-life balance
    First comes work, then comes
    life, and bringing up the rear
    is balance. Then … death.
  81. shells
    The exterior
    hides everything — joy, sadness,
    pain — within ourselves.
  82. mired in perceptions
    Paranoia bears
    a strong resemblance to a
    nonstop awareness.
  83. left to our own devices
    We can do almost
    anything we put our minds
    to, except focus.
  84. a post-9/11 world
    More patriotic,
    more alert, more fearful, more
    wary, more grateful.
  85. smiles for meters
    Is happiness a
    constant? A pool that slowly
    drains? A deep, deep font?
  86. the strain of babysitting pupils
    Fights stopped: Around 5.
    Phones confiscated: 13.
    Lessons taught: 0.
  87. before you know it it’s mlk day
    It’s time for Hallo
    weenThanksgivingVeterans
    DayChristmasNewYear’s.
  88. the sweetest orchard
    Harvesting from the
    candied apple tree, wearing
    gloves and sneaking bites.
  89. digital scrapbooking
    My jukebox: YouTube.
    My photo album: Facebook.
    My memory: Shot.
  90. golden ghouls
    The grandmas on the
    block like to dress scarily
    for shakes and giggles.
  91. the real bogeymen
    We act out of fear
    to protect ourselves and our
    kin, which breeds more fear.
  92. sidewalk campaigning
    Cleanup and paving
    crews show up every 4 years
    before elections.
  93. a time of falling leaves and pumpkin spice and christmas sales
    When does fall start? Ask
    a weather forecaster, a
    poet and a child.
  94. introvert’s paradise
    Coffee and good books,
    jazz and blueberry pancakes.
    Not a soul for miles.
  95. the funniest person online is a pickpocket
    Authorship is dead.
    Digital miscreants take
    anything for fun.
  96. strength in numbness
    My superpowers
    are procrastination and
    working on deadline.
  97. stork 2.0
    A drone came to my
    front door to deliver a
    newborn and cigars.
  98. the decimal decimation
    If we scrimp and save
    and hold off on paying some
    bills, we can eat soon.
  99. a crowded field
    Fall TV endures
    as a launch point and graveyard
    of few sparks, quick ends.
  100. it’s a quiet afternoon at the taco truck
    The cook preps his stuff,
    while another fixes the
    awning. A third drinks.
  101. desperate men call for desperate measures
    The mass of men lead
    lives of quiet despera-
    tion, As they deserve.

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The Future of Birmingham: 101

Friday, September 18th, 2015
Vulcan

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The Future of Birmingham

  1. Hipsters forced to sit in the back of the (solar-powered) (karaoke) bus.
  2. Automated city council pay raises with compounded interest.
  3. Newspaper printed three times a month on super-secret schedule.
  4. CrossPlex holds IronTribe CrossFit Games; nerds hide in basements.
  5. Drivers use bike lanes as intended … “emergency” parking.
  6. Barbecue-flavored craft beer.
  7. And deep-fried gourmet popsicles.
  8. And throwed trolls.
  9. Our inevitable annexation by Atlanta.
  10. City lands not one but two NFL franchises fleeing gently used stadiums.
  11. UAB football team disbanded for second time, during winning drive of national championship game.
  12. Vulcan gets a tattoo!
  13. No more toxic dumps — cancer injected directly into North Birmingham residents.
  14. Farm-to-table movement grows crops directly in dirt pile on your dinner plate.
  15. Newly rebuilt I-20/59 collapses after looters strip it for copper wiring.
  16. Illegal immigrants escape impoverished Hoover to sneak into the land of promise, McCalla.
  17. Nightly races between Taco, Hot Dog and recently out-of-work Finebaum. (Spoiler: Finebaum cheats.)
  18. As Millennials turn 30, indicated by flashing crystals in their hands, they come to Boutwell for the renewal of Carousel.
  19. The Combloggerator Matrix comes online, mercilessly assimilating all posts and bloggers.
  20. The new Publix? All bread and milk.
  21. The new Trader Joe’s? Speculoos Cookie Mayo.
  22. Fusion-powered Bank for Savings rooftop sign visible from space.
  23. MTV arrives to film an episode of “Pimp My Airport.”
  24. New sport diathlon from combining firing ranges and trampoline parks.
  25. Bessemer revolts, dumping sweet tea into Alabama Splash Adventure.
  26. Airwaves ruled by wacky morning team of Barkley and Bubba.
  27. The gUber app: Users get rides from ’82 Camaros with flame decals (seat belts and airbags optional).
  28. Tiny trailers infest Homewood … with cuteness!
  29. Schools sort children into bins: Soylent Green, Soylent Teriyaki, Soylent Gluten-Free.
  30. St. Paul and the Nicely Mended Bones, thanks to rehab at UAB Hospital.
  31. “Welcome to the Courteney Cox-Kwon Museum and Muffler Shop!”
  32. Everyone lives in at least two condos and parks in their living rooms.
  33. The zoo’s biggest attraction? Man!!!
  34. Advanced parking meters simply explode at random.
  35. A lone survivor crosses the food desert in search of rhubarb.
  36. Self-driving city buses take payment in cash, tokens and stray animals.
  37. Prize2theFuture … ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!
  38. In Trussville, you’re either eastern Walmart or western Walmart.
  39. Loudspeakers from every corner blare sports talk radio nonstop.
  40. “The Walking Dead,” but with fatter, slower zombies.
  41. Drone delivery of tacos is a thing. Like, straight to your greedy tacohole.
  42. City flag? Magician’s hat with a dead rabbit.
  43. City mascot? Diabetes.
  44. Bus terminal smell upgraded to “uptown funk.”
  45. Steel plants converted into discotheques.
  46. Segregation limited to humans, cyborgs and robots.
  47. We finally land a car factory. It’s for the Kia Mucus.
  48. #HashtagCity
  49. (No, seriously. That’s our new nickname.)
  50. Water/sewer bills in convenient podcast form.
  51. Kiddieland reopened to genetically engineered dinosaurs that can never ever go berserk and devour their human masters.
  52. Meat and four, baby.
  53. (The four are also meats.)
  54. Montgomery takes Birmingham’s lunch money, holds the city upside-down over a toilet.
  55. Mayoral debates via Dubsmash.
  56. Quantum technology allows pork to be simultaneously chopped and sliced.
  57. Some dissension over 50-foot Larry Langford bronze statue in Linn Park.
  58. Cyber attack exposes everyone’s real names from al.com usernames.
  59. The World Games never leaves. IT NEVER LEAVES.
  60. Secret NASCAR races inside Century Plaza.
  61. Pop-up eating contests.
  62. Baptists now greet each other at the liquor store and the strip club.
  63. Richard Scrushy holds city hostage with a mustache ray and taunts a helpless public.
  64. Lacrosse, but with balled-up copperheads.
  65. Prominent websites continue to include Birmingham in Top 10 lists, but only ironically.
  66. The Barons move to Mt. Olive.
  67. Giuseppe Moretti LXXXIII discovers the remains of the tiny Statue of Liberty and the horrifying origin of the City of the Apes.
  68. Rectal vaping not only encouraged but mandatory.
  69. Annual city budget is one part speed traps, one part business licenses, one part GoFundMe campaign.
  70. Dome built in wrong shape.
  71. The final phase of gentrification goes perfectly, as every house in Birmingham costs at least $500,000.
  72. The Regions Park Supermax Correctional Facility.
  73. Megachurches become sentient, overcharge for coffee.
  74. Birmingham Bowl played to the death, as per ESPN rules.
  75. Public spaces: dog park, cat park, skateboard park, hoverboard park, Confederate dog park, sacred Indian burial ground park.
  76. Everyone finishes the new Metric Mercedes Marathon, a bracing 26.2 meters.
  77. Clone of Lou Wooster saves city after Ebola epidemic.
  78. Elevated 280 barely used by hover cars.
  79. Paying sales tax requires installment plan.
  80. One-way streets all head north-northeast.
  81. Mountain Brook grows clones each fall for fresh harvest of domestic servants.
  82. The last locally owned company does, in fact, turn off the lights.
  83. GMOs hold Pepper Place hostage.
  84. Thanks to stern billboards, human trafficking down 70 percent.
  85. Everything is as Sun Ra predicted.
  86. By the light of the full moon, Condoleezza stalks the city streets, a grim avenger of the night.
  87. The Second Life version of Birmingham suffers from clone flight.
  88. Graffiti king Moist becomes artist laureate.
  89. We feed the poor feral cats.
  90. Correction: We feed the poor to feral cats.
  91. A revitalized Ensley still only one-third full.
  92. Trains merely slow down at station, as passengers expected to hop off and on quickly.
  93. Bonnaroo juggernaut leaves our festivals with drummer from Blink-182 plus Kenny Chesney.
  94. County bankruptcy paid off, but debt collectors keep calling at all hours.
  95. School days and sporting events begin with civic anthem, “Do I Make You Proud?”
  96. Civil Rights Heritage Trail selfie stations.
  97. Police body cam footage powers entire season of “Cops” and “The First 48.”
  98. Plasma force fields shield buildings from tornadoes, debris and other outside agitators.
  99. Home schooling expanded to home churching, home sporting.
  100. Upon sudden impact, cars equipped to deploy business cards for Alexander Shunnarah.
  101. Red Mountain renamed Peak Birmingham.

• • •

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Wade’s 101: Haiku retrospective 35

Friday, June 19th, 2015

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  1. weeds among the weary vehicles
    The roving robot
    wrangled wandering carts from
    lot purgatory.
  2. a period of unconsciousness
    The hyphen lay still
    between parentheses, just
    out of his comma.
  3. worlds apart
    Let’s live in our own
    universes, unchecked by
    facts or sanity.
  4. shirk ethic
    Let the other guy
    do it. Coffee breaks won’t take
    themselves, now, will they?
  5. a professional grump
    It’s not for the pay.
    The consummate grump does it
    for the love of pain.
  6. new new beginnings
    This is the Monday
    I start my diet, early
    rising, workouts, prayers.
  7. dine and dish
    The kitchen crew spent
    an afternoon lunch break with
    laughter and rantings.
  8. reset the chairs
    Each seat would drift down
    the sea of carpet, floated
    back by tides of hands.
  9. they who would do good but not good enough
    The discussion on
    hunger ended with guests’ half-
    full plates in the trash.
  10. emerging tendrils
    The ground cannot hold
    back the seeds reaching for the
    unlimited sky.
  11. half-caf, no-foam race relations
    She handed out both
    lattes and observations
    from pale to dark brown.
  12. give our regards to the chef
    The first try was meh.
    The second, somewhat better.
    The third, edible.
  13. even pups make believe
    Two wolves battle for
    territory and fat sheep
    atop the canyon.
  14. the wiggly tooth
    The incisor found
    no rest along the bottom
    gum, so he cut out.
  15. protecting the garden
    Squirrels, rabbits and cats
    circled protectively round
    the blooming bounty.
  16. the death of signal
    The report is due
    any minute. The wifi
    commits suicide.
  17. my heart, i give it to you
    I spill my guts for
    you to digest, not for real
    but in many words.
  18. steady the quiver
    Bow before the bow.
    Let the vile target tremble
    till the point is made.
  19. something but net
    The accountant fed
    each receipt, each napkin, each
    stub into the gross.
  20. app happy
    When to breathe, where to
    go, what to eat, how to move
    and when to upgrade.
  21. a masterpiece in three cuts
    A snip here, a cut
    there, soon it will be worthy
    of an audience.
  22. kale the wonder drug
    Mash some up with your
    pills. Rub some on your skin. Snort
    it as a powder.
  23. burnt roof-of-mouth syndrome
    Eat the pizza while
    it’s hot or suffer through the
    bitter cold slices.
  24. seat 48c
    The tiny door slams
    shut 10 times an hour, then
    the sound of pissing.
  25. fear of missing any
    Goodbye to each lost
    second, wasted minute and
    ill-chosen hour.
  26. and a bunny shan’t lead them
    No lowly rabbit
    or other creature would serve
    as risen prophet.
  27. not even to order flowers
    She resisted the
    necessity of calling
    anyone at all.
  28. to bare it all in an mp3
    A jumble of words
    into lyrics, a splash of
    chords into a tune.
  29. dare to be somewhat above average
    The salaryman
    dreamt of a slightly nicer
    car and taller kids.
  30. peas, love and understanding
    From a little pot
    grew a stem and some leaves and
    pods in the offing.
  31. the organizers
    One wanted matching
    T-shirts, the other wanted
    spontaneous trust.
  32. running lines
    The tenor jogged up
    and down the stairs before back
    onstage to sing swing.
  33. harvest of shamelessness
    The country folk came
    to gawk at the city folk
    and sell peach preserves.
  34. the queue for the 3d printer
    Crosses, models, globes,
    weapons, abstract sculptures, pens
    and 3D toner.
  35. no accounting
    Piles of receipts plus
    stacks of pay stubs minus debts
    equals large headache.
  36. road warrior 2015
    Uber takes the wheel,
    Siri takes dictation, and
    hipsters take the bus.
  37. shut the front door
    The introvert stayed
    at home and lived happily
    forever after.
  38. click play to save money
    Do-it-yourself heart
    surgery seemed easy thanks
    to YouTube lessons.
  39. the body, the antenna
    Radio waves flow
    through vessels and nerves, tuning
    in the crooner’s soul.
  40. seek pleasure or seek safety
    Keep your head down or
    go after your wildest dream,
    the choice of each day.
  41. what price oil?
    Punch the ocean and
    drown the men to keep our tanks
    full of gas and blood.
  42. down in the data mines
    They chipped away at
    boulders looking for nuggets
    of consumer trends.
  43. distracted guardians
    The angel on his
    shoulder was texting, while the
    devil was sexting.
  44. coswar
    Nerds in Spandex line
    up for popcorn and trade tales
    of comic legends.
  45. two days’ grace
    Lie in meadows and
    breathe in fragrant winds and bask
    in joyous freedom.
  46. the clinking of glasses
    A happy noise rings
    out over and over with
    bubbly drinks and smiles.
  47. a new routine
    He considered a
    change to his morning habits
    while he overslept.
  48. a tragedy, as told in bruises
    Her arms marked where he
    shook her; her neck, where he choked
    her; her ribs, his jabs.
  49. green scene
    The fertilizer
    nourished all. Even the weeds
    grew thicker, lusher.
  50. the post-drizzle unveiling
    The crew swept away
    the giant handkerchief to
    reveal a dry field.
  51. stenographers in progress
    The room was quiet,
    save for the clickety-clack
    of keys lightly tapped.
  52. invasion of the countertop ants
    Ten ants crushed, and then
    another 10 take their place
    to steal tiny bites.
  53. living history in short, violent booms
    The North and the South
    clash on modern battlefields
    thanks to old blue laws.
  54. blessed are the mighty
    What good is holy
    comfort at the expense of
    the least among us?
  55. sip and slur
    The flask appeared quite
    suddenly to offer a
    brief but needed jolt.
  56. fight night
    All it took was one
    demolishing blow to the
    skull to finish him.
  57. the good kind of tired
    Chores done, projects checked,
    birdhouses built, contracts signed
    and love songs written.
  58. when the car goes bump in the night
    By the side of the
    freeway, they swore at the hole
    in the flat tire.
  59. parade of homies
    Paco didn’t mind
    the jeers of rivals. To him,
    they sounded so sweet.
  60. hot head
    Ultraviolet beams
    cooked the bare sections of his
    smooth ivory scalp.
  61. a mother’s love
    Tender, but also
    fierce. Protective, but also
    nurturing. Boundless.
  62. infected with ideas
    She wanted to change
    her life, her job, her house, her
    outlook and her hair.
  63. of quiet desperation
    The decades ticked past
    with little to show heading
    to oblivion.
  64. the radio with a thousand presets
    The driver couldn’t
    find the station for reggae
    or sports talk or folk.
  65. everyone’s an expert
    Let others decide
    how much makeup, how to rear
    kids and best yogurts.
  66. conversation with a distracted black dog in the park
    Who’s a good boy? bark
    bark Are you having fun? bark
    bark Come back! bark bark
  67. low-information managers
    They scurry from cube
    to cube, seeking approval,
    dispensing rumors.
  68. in his bones
    The weariness found
    refuge deep inside his bones,
    never to depart.
  69. a sip of tea
    The steam lazily
    drifted ceilingward, with dark
    eddies swirling round.
  70. the platinum age of heroes
    Comic panels spring
    to life on 50-inch screens
    with little Spandex.
  71. thanks, dave
    Late night no longer
    a time to sleep, but a chance
    to laugh and unwind.
  72. the black eye of the gulf
    It dwells below the
    depths, a cesspool of mankind’s
    oil addiction.
  73. sea breeze
    Not so much currents
    of air as a lullaby
    made of atmosphere.
  74. the lonely dunes
    I walked along the
    lonely dunes and found myself
    at one with others.
  75. a holiday, not a holy day
    Let us honor the
    fallen without piety
    or such idol worship.
  76. extended salute
    Honor our war dead
    by taking proper care of
    their grieving loved ones.
  77. numb to criticism
    Enough jabs and tweaks
    at the hide make it callous
    to compliments, too.
  78. the countdown to moving out
    Each lazy day brings
    the ripe collegian closer
    to new surroundings.
  79. self-flagellation
    Why are you hitting
    yourself? Why are you hitting
    yourself? To improve.
  80. harmless rain
    It trickled. It poured.
    It seemed to never stop. The
    ground soaked it all in.
  81. minister of offense
    Get in front of the
    story, and keep the players
    eligible first.
  82. the suggestive jester
    She would tell a joke.
    Her audience would laugh, then
    giggle thoughtfully.
  83. the curiously cute scarecrow
    The curiously
    cute scarecrow failed to ward off
    vermin but scored stares.
  84. summer city scavenging
    They posed in front of
    the alleyway mural with
    their mischievous smiles.
  85. have a day
    The cashier is too
    cheerful. The phone rep is too
    cheerful. Tone it down.
  86. featuring miss snuggles
    The teddy bear had
    a starring role in the tyke’s
    staging of “Snow White.”
  87. selfie fixation
    The mirror she used
    had a lens and a thousand
    faces looking back.
  88. the neighborhood hoarders
    The house next door has
    more than enough mousetraps and
    boxes full of clocks.
  89. rich in nostalgia
    Rich in nostalgia,
    but poor in decency. Earth,
    age 5 billion years.
  90. pray for rain
    The dust choked the life
    out of everything. The end
    days were upon us.
  91. a furnace on four wheels
    Open the door to
    a blast of compressed hot air,
    then stick to the seats.
  92. the miracle of sewage into potable water
    Tubular filters
    purify waste water in
    under an hour.
  93. sleep is a fickle mistress
    Many concepts turn
    into fickle mistresses
    because we lack sense.
  94. the finest print
    The elders stared in
    wonder at the wee words all
    but unreadable.
  95. a mind made of weary
    His overtaxed brain
    revved down to minimal speed
    and seemed to have stalled.
  96. the verbal exhibitionist
    Not keen to make friends
    but perfectly at ease while
    gabbing to thousands.
  97. the summer of me
    Popsicles and walks
    in twilight and fireflies
    and sandy beaches.
  98. zapping the summer doldrums
    Does boredom still come
    round when the sun’s high and kids
    worship Xboxes?
  99. no ac, just 94-degree weather
    They sweated themselves
    dry in the burnt surroundings
    of the living room.
  100. guns win gun war
    Let us not weep for
    those shot down as long as we
    worship firearms.
  101. system of tepid beliefs
    I don’t know if I’m
    strong enough to stand for some-
    thing, for anything.

• • •

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Wade’s 101: Haiku retrospective 34

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

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  1. santa’s second job
    To make ends meet, St.
    Nick delivers pizzas and
    subs across Finland.
  2. the season of light hors d’oeuvres
    Maybe a nibble,
    some eggnog, a cookie and …
    a tray of meatballs.
  3. turf wars: the blaze awakens
    First they came for the
    Blazers, and I did not speak
    out, because Roll Tide.
  4. on the loss of camaraderie
    Time in the trenches
    builds character but also
    forges true friendships.
  5. speaks volumes
    The best compliment
    I paid the wretch was to keep
    my mouth tightly shut.
  6. the illusion of what is earned
    Achievement measured
    against sweat turns up as a
    lousy ratio.
  7. goodbye, cruel branch
    The leaves decided
    en masse to give in and leap
    to a certain doom.
  8. fortune favors the bold
    She and he walked through
    the town square as night closed in
    and they thought, why not?
  9. and the heart beats a little faster
    He feared he missed her
    by a decade or two but
    vowed to catch up quick.
  10. once upon a tinder
    She swiped through one frog
    after another, seeking
    a digital prince.
  11. to my not-so-secret admirer
    The thoughtful words for
    the inscription seared his heart
    more so than the book.
  12. like a two-by-four to her heart
    Romance was a no-
    good, two-timer, and love was
    a four-letter word.
  13. love among the introverts
    They acknowledged their
    passion with an intimate
    and smoldering nod.
  14. in her own skin
    She would, at times, find
    her self pleasantly surprised
    and somewhat amiss.
  15. love contract
    Mystery room, light
    bondage, full obedience,
    three meals, no “Twilight.”
  16. a bookmark
    The passage pulled her
    back over and over, words
    that tugged at her heart.
  17. hazards of a good read
    He zipped through her taut
    pages, not quite focused on
    the words but the scribe.
  18. perfect matches without candles
    Sometimes, it’s better
    to curse the darkness while you
    cuddle up at night.
  19. baby, it’s consensual outside
    I really can’t stay.
    — But, baby, it’s cold outside.
    Don’t call me “baby.”
  20. aisles to go before i sleep
    Would she like something
    sparkly, or silky, or a
    present from the heart?
  21. pedals down
    They wound their way home
    on bicycles built for two,
    (Their hearts popped wheelies.)
  22. sweeties
    She mixed the dough. He
    prepped baking sheets. They had a
    litter of cookies.
  23. tea and honey
    Steam rose from the cups
    of green tea as they held hands
    in the afternoon.
  24. a festivus miracle
    A holiday worth
    celebrating in verse with
    enough syllables.
  25. carbo-loading for the marathon flight
    A couple of the
    reindeer do Paleo, the
    rest are gluten-free.
  26. christmas keepsakes
    Take the laughter and
    smiles and thoughtful cards and gifts
    to cherish always.
  27. how to recycle a year
    Let us not discard
    a passing year but re-use
    the best days again.
  28. the second most 2014 thing ever
    My bae? Turnt for this
    Uber lumbersexual
    fare with Ebola.
  29. the unrepentant cheerleader
    She spoke out for all
    things good, never minding the
    decay around her.
  30. the canvas of 365 days
    Should a calendar
    be filled with moments to come
    or blank with suspense?
  31. lifehack, level 2015
    Ignore all advice
    on T-shirts and memes, stick to
    flattering haiku.
  32. the international regret line
    On this side, regrets
    and sorrow. On the tomor-
    row side, hopes and dreams.
  33. feet first
    Dip the toes in. Get
    steady. One step, then one more.
    Forward, never back.
  34. every day is a new year
    Every day is spring,
    summer, winter, fall. Every
    night births a new dawn.
  35. the quaint notion of privacy
    The government’s spies
    to those little creatures who
    want in the bathroom.
  36. what progress looks like
    Sometimes, a flopping
    fish gasping for oxygen.
    Sometimes, near stillness.
  37. the ice yet to come
    It is coming, this
    true winter, this merciless
    paralyzing storm.
  38. all it takes is a wall of cloth
    Separate or hide,
    mask or protect, decorate
    or drape. Curtain doom.
  39. cautious by nature
    All the anti-germ
    soap and helmets in the world
    couldn’t stop the beat.
  40. pipe, a negative
    Oh, dripping faucet,
    how you vex me … except when
    the temps are freezing.
  41. the blues as a way of life
    Misery, with a
    steady riff and many lost
    dogs, plus loves gone bad.
  42. let birmingham be birmingham
    Foolish spending and
    aspirational facades
    in all their glory.
  43. mama always said
    Look before crossing
    the street. Mind your manners. Eat
    all your vegetables.
  44. the gap
    Between haves and have
    nots. Between black and white. And
    between left and right.
  45. where will the garden grow?
    Some sun, some shade, a
    bit of rain and a lot of
    love over the months.
  46. texts at 60 mph
    omg what did
    he say nexr? tell tht bitch to
    shut it. wher u at
  47. drink the sand
    The problem with a
    lack of leadership is the
    horrible vacuum.
  48. free air everywhere
    Lots of atmosphere
    to hold up birds and planes but
    not for my tire.
  49. a million wonderful crazy ideas
    Each idea that
    flies in, nests in the brain and
    seeps into the cracks.
  50. the spy who empowered me
    Under cover of
    darkness, he stole the blueprints
    to my secure heart.
  51. annoying choices
    Ignorance, rudeness,
    arrogance, stinginess, cats,
    talking at movies.
  52. figure rate
    Math makes a day more
    fun by 82.4
    percent. It adds up.
  53. the trek of least resistance
    Behind him were some
    44 footprints, marking
    a journey of one.
  54. the cur of destiny
    When failure is a
    mad dog nipping at your heels,
    do you run or cave?
  55. at long last loathe
    They got close, then too
    close, then slightly apart with
    an air of mistrust.
  56. when two become one
    Hearts of Dixie find
    union in a land where parts
    may or may not match.
  57. if you don’t mind spots
    The proper way to
    load the dishwasher is to
    get him very drunk.
  58. the kindly miser
    He hoarded his gold
    and gave his moldy crusts to
    those starving wretches.
  59. the device, the source, the auteur, the viewer
    Antenna, then a
    cable or dish. Maybe now
    a phone and tablet.
  60. what goes around stays around
    The crud came to stay
    for a weekend and then a
    week more. Tissues, please.
  61. let it snow elsewhere
    No more fighting for
    the last loaf and gallon. No
    more lost school and work.
  62. the planner
    Inspiration comes
    from an outline of steps and
    deadlines in one file.
  63. a battle somewhere
    Two near-champions
    prepare for epic fight, while
    I pick a movie.
  64. front porch posturing
    He fended off the
    interlopers with nothing
    more than a tall tale.
  65. rodent rituals
    Will a sweeping cold
    front bring more rain tomorrow?
    Ask the damn groundhog.
  66. string bean dreams
    A day will come when
    tiny rows of crops nourish
    our sun-baked bodies.
  67. harmony among the ribs
    The smoking hut crammed
    barbecue lovers of all
    stripes for a sit-down.
  68. the healing of the mind
    They suffer in the
    silence of the void till heard
    and loved by healers.
  69. making money
    Sheets of paper, disks
    of metal with holes, bits and
    bytes, chickens to trade.
  70. estranged fruit
    Bananas cannot
    marry bananas, only
    peaches. Just ask God.
  71. hour three at the dmv
    The guards eye us with
    suspicion. The lines grow with
    unlicensed drivers.
  72. the purposely driven life
    Let our planners and
    schedules overflow with plans
    to remain busy.
  73. the poorly chosen few
    They come prepared, sort
    of, to take up slack and spark
    a hope-like feeling.
  74. a plan for romance
    Let’s get takeout and
    light a fire, listen to
    jazz and talk softly.
  75. elevate the discourse
    Feed the audience
    with information and per-
    spective and respect.
  76. ebay rich
    Piles of junk from the
    attic travel to far-off
    states to become cash.
  77. love in the south
    Romantic notions
    over bullfrog croaks, sweet tea
    and abstinence vows.
  78. frigid panic
    Will the schools shut down?
    Will the bridges freeze over?
    Will the snow kill us?
  79. easier to give up
    Time to let those goals
    for the “new” year fade away
    like lost promises.
  80. the skid
    The routine goes so
    smoothly, then a slight shift and
    it’s spinning like mad.
  81. on birdman
    Let us celebrate
    actors in their natural
    habitat, the stage.
  82. broken china
    The revolution
    wound down as plates crashed to earth,
    out for one last spin.
  83. the legalization of potlikker
    A substance that brings
    only pleasure, addictive
    and medicinal.
  84. the fine line between televised comedy and drama
    Laugh for up to (but
    not over) 30 minutes,
    cry at 31.
  85. for a spell
    Sit, catch up, gossip,
    relax, unwind, listen to
    the birds, settle in.
  86. something gold can stay
    The parties fade and
    the talk shows take over once
    the trophies go home.
  87. as winter passes by
    Children pray for snow.
    Parents pray for sanity.
    Grocers pray for fear.
  88. a spirited toast
    Here’s to ego, the
    cause of, and solution to,
    all of life’s problems.
  89. the pettiest of concerns
    Cable outage, long
    lines, parking meters, ringing
    phones, loud neighbors, dust.
  90. the colors of the long-winded
    Easily the most
    pointless debates we have are
    Internet debates.
  91. all winter in a day
    Snow and ice warnings,
    bread and milk fights and canceled
    plans and frozen pipes.
  92. the sky a little lighter
    Coming around the
    bend, a young woman brings her
    fresh spirit. It’s spring.
  93. the kids pick the menu
    He picks nuggets and
    she picks tater tots and they
    pick chocolate milk.
  94. drive-in saturday night
    The sun goes down, the
    lights come up, the stars shine on
    the luminous screen.
  95. a dream about carbs
    Cupcakes and doughnuts
    rain from the sky into my
    smiling hollow belly.
  96. a thin sheet of death
    The blacktop hid a
    thin sheet of death, commonly
    referred to as ice.
  97. the refreshening
    What’s more refreshing:
    ice cream on a scorching day
    or tea in winter?
  98. the unwanted gift of gab
    Let us discover
    problems and talk them to death,
    for want of action.
  99. fertile ground
    One part leaves, one part
    mineral, one part moss, one
    part water, plus luck.
  100. addicted to the bitter
    A thought process stuck
    in reverse pushes the gross
    sludge to the forefront.
  101. unmoved
    He would not budge, not
    for love or pain or money.
    No, he would not budge.

• • •

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Wade’s 101: Haiku retrospective 33

Saturday, November 29th, 2014

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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
    Unseasonably
    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
    Emancipation
    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
    Government-sanctioned
    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.”

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magnetic fridge poetry

Photo: Steve Johnson (CC)

Wade’s 101: Haiku retrospective 32

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

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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
    inescapable.
  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
    Visibility:
    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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Wade’s 101: Haiku retrospective 31

Sunday, May 11th, 2014

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  1. the thermal pendulum
    Super cold. Then warm.
    Super cold. Then warm. Super
    cold. Then warm. Harsh month.
  2. everything mustn’t go
    … but leave behind the
    memories, good and bad, as
    well as our next dreams.
  3. will the groundhog see his shadow at halftime?
    And will that mean 6
    more weeks of spectacular
    music and football?
  4. causes for celebration, february edition
    Groundhogs, presidents,
    black historical figures
    and Cupid’s mayhem.
  5. a confession in ones and zeroes
    He stared at the screen,
    the screen stared back into his
    soul. End transmission.
  6. live broadcasts from early cosmology
    Every corner of
    the galaxy repeated
    its cry, “We are here.”
  7. slice patrol
    The chef’s knife zipped though
    mountains of potatoes and
    onions. Prep with pep.
  8. the bleat goes on
    Her pronouncements had
    an air of self-absorption,
    with no room to grow.
  9. roster of flags
    The countries sign in,
    one by one, before they try
    to crush each other.
  10. a subtle negotiation
    “How’s this date?” “Can’t do
    it.” “Are you free Friday?” “Yes,
    just at 2 a.m.”
  11. cardiopreliminary resuscitation
    They found each other
    and dusted off their hearts for
    synchronization.
  12. the ire next time
    The outside world lost
    its blanket of snow to be
    bathed anew in rain.
  13. the frozen south
    Highways of ice, fields
    of frost, school yards and parking
    lots bereft of life.
  14. a valentine to mother nature
    I’d give flowers and
    chocolate, but take this bread and
    open milk instead.
  15. les mots justes
    Amour when feeling
    classy, lusty when feeling
    lusty, make hearts swell.
  16. psyche drama
    A secret buried
    so deep, she felt it stab her
    kidneys when she stood.
  17. sunday schooling
    The children sat in
    a circle of chairs to ask
    their questions on God.
  18. territorial
    Accumulate, then
    label. Vigilantly keep
    all from others’ grasp.
  19. colors of the windup
    Colors mark causes,
    symbolize struggles. What hue
    aids colorblindness?
  20. the muse in retreat
    The muse found a spot
    far from the worries of her
    coterie and wrote.
  21. stalemate at the entrance
    Both held open the
    door. Both waited to let the
    other one go first.
  22. the negotiation
    The figure on the
    slip of paper brought out beads
    of sweat, tears of joy.
  23. couch to 0k
    Warmup for couch takes
    bit of stretching and pillow
    fluffing before nap.
  24. the quiet of tornado season
    No more cars on ice
    or supermarket riots
    or canceled school days.
  25. back to the gym
    After the fanfare
    and flights home, early morning
    runs and weightlifting.
  26. with knowing abandon
    Into an abyss
    of delight and mystery
    they leapt gracefully.
  27. hiding from hungry vagabonds
    They sent their change-of-
    address cards to everyone
    but the stray kittens.
  28. the piano lesson
    He flexed his fingers
    and took his time placing each
    one on the right keys.
  29. the nexus of flashbacks and dreams
    Old friends and classmates
    stop to say hi and it’s still
    1999.
  30. menu for tomorrow
    Visions of crepes and
    truffles and ribs and pasta
    filled his sleeping feast.
  31. persistence through poor listening skills
    Whenever she was
    told no, she really heard ask
    again and again.
  32. sunday in the park with german shepherds
    Big dogs, little dogs,
    panting dogs, friendly dogs, all
    leashed up and frisky.
  33. the lost art of shutting up
    No one asked, yet all
    spewed forth their insights and bile
    to ruin the web.
  34. reformation
    Bad boys can become
    less bad boys, unclean women
    can become angels.
  35. if x then excedrin
    Mathematical graphs
    fill the pages. That’s the sound
    of my head hurting.
  36. the prickly sort
    Claws out, teeth bared, all
    the signs of a curmudgeon
    fighting his nature.
  37. the builders
    The builders were not
    to be found, hiding so they
    could work hard in peace.
  38. the radio to keep him company
    The wee hours came
    upon his tired frame as
    he eased into night.
  39. sagan on the cliff
    The cosmos is all
    that is, or ever was, or
    ever will be.” Peace.
  40. the perils of a push-button society
    One wrong click could send
    the rocket to the sun or
    tweet from the wrong brand.
  41. the married spinster
    The married spinster
    bore no children, save for her
    pets Rancor and Deceit.
  42. the utopia of promises
    The witch speaks of a
    place where neighbors help neighbors
    and hipsters rate pubs.
  43. lattice be thankful
    Of all the kinds of
    pie I’ve tried, my favorite
    is all of the kinds.
  44. the fortune teller texted
    She warned of visions
    of unhappy emoji
    in disharmony.
  45. a lucrative scheme
    Arrogance and his
    brother ignorance bilked the
    townspeople at will.
  46. mowing by moonlight
    The mower clacked on
    top of weeds and tufts in search
    of ambitious foes.
  47. somewhat homemade
    The sort-of baker
    greased the pan and mixed the stuff
    for near-complete treats.
  48. a matter of process
    He combed his thick hair
    with steady strokes, counting the
    steps till coffee time.
  49. the privileged few
    Live at the expense
    of others. Find your way from
    the top to the top.
  50. friends say
    Indiscreetly they
    spill vivid lurid details
    with mock air of shame.
  51. flight of the bumble wee
    The red kite stumbled
    into the currents, half by
    breeze, half by kid dash.
  52. in front of the neighbors
    The first hint of spring
    draws out the easily burned
    and the slightly daft.
  53. the rush of days
    Flowers went unsmelled,
    sunsets unobserved, meals un-
    appreciated.
  54. the look
    The startling beauty
    of her eyes defies mere words.
    Let me peer longer.
  55. a scale of hope, a pantry of demons
    A few small bites for
    survival, a few more for
    pleasure, the rest … girth.
  56. sully the skyline
    Rooftops etch themselves
    among the clouds, distracted
    by a brash billboard.
  57. the sky is crying
    The pitter patter
    of raindrops floods the streets with
    the sorrow of spring.
  58. postmodern man
    Postmodern Man rules
    over Meta Man while most
    ironically frank.
  59. customer service 2014
    Technology makes
    it easy for companies
    to shun us quicker.
  60. imprisoned by poverty
    Their home became a
    jail cell, a sentence of hard
    labor, no pleasures.
  61. take flight while you can
    Roots are anchors, dead
    weight holding you down. Fly off,
    and harvest those worms.
  62. method reacting
    Sense the commitment
    by the actor. Listen to
    your belly rumble.
  63. the desert warrior
    Endless desert dunes
    made the charity ride all
    the more heroic.
  64. the invaders who don’t wipe their feet
    Who let them in, they
    who would cross the threshold with
    muddy stinky boots?
  65. consumer culture
    Major in Walmart,
    taking in a salon to
    discuss deep discounts.
  66. baby bumper
    She crawled across the
    floor, knocking down grownups with
    stun beams of cuteness.
  67. the creek that became a river
    Torrents brought down an
    ocean to overrun the
    banks and drown the wee.
  68. the route of least existence
    Just a little ways
    out into the world, then back
    to the great safety.
  69. society of spoilers
    First is best, knowledge
    trumps insight. To the spoilers
    go the victory.
  70. the boys of early spring
    The pitcher served up
    gift after gift, returned to
    the night sky with haste.
  71. first last call
    They gulped their cocktails
    and headed out for smoky
    enclaves to invade.
  72. piper club
    The frolicking in
    the pool gave way to a lone
    piper at sunset.
  73. stillness
    One lamp light. Dimness.
    One cricket. A steady chirp.
    One breeze. Gentle touch.
  74. a frenzied accounting
    Scraps detail the odd
    costs of doing business and
    paying off the feds.
  75. in sagan’s wake
    The expanse of the
    universe is both fearsome
    and gravely humbling.
  76. breaking the code
    Do we need strength to
    fight genetic destiny
    or is it built in?
  77. a reaper’s calling card
    Swift and silent he
    comes, leaving a cold seat at
    the dinner table.
  78. tot shaming
    She berated her
    young charge while loading the car
    and gripping her purse.
  79. impolite society
    He would often air
    his dirty laundry to get
    gasps from nosy peers.
  80. risen and resplendent
    Bonnets and pastel
    outfits and spiffy shoes make
    for full decked-out pews.
  81. the home stretch
    The finish line in
    sight, whether to speed up or
    coast to completion.
  82. severed limbs
    The sticker bush put
    up a good fight, but landed
    curbside anyway.
  83. the path of shorts
    Night brings welcome cool
    and sufficient darkness to
    stroll without long pants.
  84. heavy duty
    Can the world’s problems
    be solved before a cup of
    morning coffee? Nay.
  85. woo is woo
    Let words of love go
    out via letter, call, text,
    tweet, voicemail, Snapchat.
  86. skyline vandals
    The rectangular
    chiseled cityscape goes full
    whore with banned banners.
  87. swagger
    A walk, a tone of
    voice, a glint in the eye, all
    add up to swagger.
  88. out like a lion
    The harshest comes late
    in the month, slapping the bloom
    from the gentle land.
  89. glued to the radar
    Polygons and bright
    splotches of red and orange make
    for Doppler drama.
  90. springtime comes to the new new new south
    Squatting in a dark
    basement, helmets on, watching
    storm fronts on radar.
  91. before the driver waded to safety
    The van crept into
    the intersection, but the
    waters shut it down.
  92. the scale of the future
    Sensors detect weight,
    bad breath, alertness, dirty
    underwear, split ends.
  93. drivers in distress
    One felt terrible
    for smashing a car, while the
    other felt woozy.
  94. loose clothing, tight fit
    A diet gone right
    means cutting a trim figure
    while still indulging.
  95. mighty fine sitting
    Sunny afternoon,
    comfy chair, quiet hours
    watching from the porch.
  96. modern hieroglyphs
    Smiley face, frowny
    face, tongue out, crying, wink, heart,
    random emoji.
  97. the satellite servant rebellion
    The detour signs and
    the computer voice team up
    to send us off course.
  98. egyptian yard sale
    Glass pyramid sits
    not in the desert but the
    streets of the city.
  99. promises promises promises
    What’s the use in them
    making promises when we
    clean up their messes?
  100. smoke and marshmallows
    The campfire pops
    and crackles, a blazing source
    of nighttime comfort.
  101. the quality of mercy
    Empathy into
    action, grace for others as
    a sign of good will.

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Wade’s 101: Haiku retrospective 30

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

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  1. when insurance and e-commerce collide
    The waiting rooms were
    empty. A nation was stuck
    on the health care site.
  2. caped valets
    In a world filled with
    superheroes, no one will
    snag coffee for me.
  3. mean lean halloween machines
    Getting ready for
    the big night, spooks and spirits
    practice cleansing screams.
  4. the old guard and the new
    Traditionalists
    and trendsetters vied for sole
    control of the world.
  5. sotto voce
    “But she’s still ugly.”
    “I took the money and ran.”
    “Worthless crazy fool.”
  6. the cook at his station each morning
    The kitchen would come
    alive with classic ’90s
    hits and pan-fried eggs.
  7. path of least ridiculousness
    Frustration melted
    away as he breathed in and
    took a step forward.
  8. the triumphant return of the not missing
    The wanderer came
    back to recount her travels
    but misplaced her friends.
  9. for the in-season phantasm
    Why should ghosts follow
    a calendar when they can
    spook a bit each night?
  10. game of threads
    Do you dress up as
    your hero or your dark side?
    Do clothes make the man?
  11. unburied treasures
    An inventory
    of his soul yielded all sorts
    of hidden talents.
  12. shores of autumn
    The earth swayed and sloshed
    the waters. A turtle left
    the sands forever.
  13. the exit that is not an exit
    Do not tap on the
    still windows of the sleeping,
    snoring motorists.
  14. dance of the polka dot sisters
    They smile and spin on
    the sand, letting the rhythm
    unleash their spirit.
  15. post-modern tones
    The phone would scream, burp,
    quack, sneeze, ping, whoosh, beep, laugh and
    clink, but never ring.
  16. the early risers
    The sunrise emits
    a subtle psalm bringing all
    a gracious howdy.
  17. will flip for cash
    A splash of paint, a
    scented candle, a new rug,
    it smells like money.
  18. the sport of knaves
    Such combat that robs
    men of their faculties, their
    dignity, their souls.
  19. laziest verse ever
    Cliches are the new
    black. Avoid like the plague! The
    rest is history.
  20. jailbird breakout
    Their death sentences
    were nigh. They had to flee. The
    turkeys would escape.
  21. veterans’ days
    After the parade,
    they still need jobs, medical
    services, housing.
  22. the arctic plunge
    Before the turkeys
    could hide, before the chestnuts
    could roast, Jack Frost struck.
  23. orphaned peppers
    Frost slapped the vines hard
    scarring leaves and breaking stems
    without witnesses.
  24. cravings
    Temptation left his
    mind, only to sneak back in
    through seductive dreams.
  25. a past that never dies
    What nostalgia pins
    us to moments when we miss
    those for our future?
  26. the littlest hero
    It’s not the villains
    he caught or the deeds he dared
    but the light he shined.
  27. how to learn to save a life
    Rows of poor plastic
    patients lie with no pulse, no
    breath, waiting for aid.
  28. new to the forest
    The campers lugged in
    giant tents and fancy boots
    and vintage canteens.
  29. fester like a sore, and then run
    I look at Langston’s
    works
    and witness the struggle
    before all of us.
  30. a slow, leisurely lunch
    Put the watch away
    when we talk business and kids
    and all our futures.
  31. the word of 2013
    A pic of you shot
    by you is a selfie, once
    called narcissism.
  32. signs from across
    Her hands told a tale
    of a love lost and a deep
    bitterness that lasts.
  33. the day of the doctor
    Running, not from, but
    to danger and adventure
    and the universe.
  34. dead at 49
    He stopped to wish his
    Facebook friend a good birthday
    but it was too late.
  35. modern urban archeology
    Floor after floor of
    dust greeted the explorers
    deep in the ruins.
  36. stir fry recipe
    Chop. Chop chop chop chop
    chop chop. Heat wok, add oil.
    Cook everything quick.
  37. paw prints in the mud
    Cats, dogs, squirrels traipse through
    the yard with impunity.
    Beasts without borders.
  38. a thanksgiving prayer
    May stuffing vs.
    dressing be the most heated
    argument today.
  39. the fine art of crust
    One layer gets the
    job done, but two layers are
    flaky perfection.
  40. clash of the tigers and elephants
    Their mighty forces
    walloped one another till
    blood and tears remained.
  41. the earliest shoppers
    Their lists are all crossed
    off, with piles of presents wrapped
    and bowed for giving.
  42. dance of the sugar-free plum fairy
    The nutcracker was
    banished due to allergies
    from pecans by kids.
  43. mining sweethearts
    He spent his hours
    window shopping for a mate,
    wary of defects.
  44. last laugh
    The comedian
    found his audience in a
    mob of drunk hecklers.
  45. united party front
    The couple huddled
    behind the cocktail table
    gnawing at hors d’oeuvres.
  46. austrian help wanted
    Large harmonizing
    family seeks nanny nun
    with mad sewing skills.
  47. elfie selfie
    Santa’s minion left
    a digital trail of pics
    flashing his North Pole.
  48. the wish
    Years later, she would
    not remember that it all
    went wrong with a wish.
  49. a missing lottery ticket
    It flew out the car
    window somewhere between West
    Memphis and Vega.
  50. ghost of christmas alternate universe
    Ebenezer gawked
    at the spectral visitor’s
    gluten-free fruitcake.
  51. hoarse
    Politely shouting
    his intentions made little
    difference to his friends.
  52. terrible with names
    Everyone was named
    “Champ” as far as he knew or
    cared. Hey, Champ, what’s new?
  53. rotten luck
    A black cat ran past
    broken mirror shards in front
    of 13 ladders.
  54. biking through the villages
    He rode from town to
    town with a penchant for good
    stories, good people.
  55. the right amount of suck, cinema edition
    A screenplay needs time
    to work in the kinks and find
    its awkward, dull voice.
  56. a special kind of stupid
    They will argue, whine,
    insult, yell, huff, puff and sulk,
    but never be right.
  57. the lost art of smartassery
    All the charm of a
    third grader shines through with a
    dull wit and tired line.
  58. fireball alarm
    They awoke in the
    dark to find a home without
    walls, souls without limbs.
  59. the early riser
    The early riser
    needed no clanging alarm
    to greet the pale dawn.
  60. in search of spotlights
    Some can’t live without
    attention. The worst deny
    their narcissism.
  61. a winter’s hike
    The children ran far
    ahead, despite the brisk air.
    The trail pulled them in.
  62. ruckus two doors down
    Thumping bass keeps the
    dog up, the baby crying
    and us complaining.
  63. shorts at christmastime
    What wretched deal did
    we strike with Mother Nature
    for winter heat wave?
  64. silent not
    The carolers made
    a noise that charitably
    could be called “joyous.”
  65. holly and jolly
    Shreds of gift wrapping
    flew everywhere in a blur
    of children and toys.
  66. inside for a spot of warmth
    The bedraggled gent
    huddled quietly on a
    hard chair for the night.
  67. neat freak
    Bills unpaid. Laundry
    piling up. Children without shots.
    But the house was clean.
  68. king of the cargo container
    The tiny house had
    a tiny kitchen and a
    tiny bed crammed in.
  69. quadruple agent
    She worked for neither
    country nor agency, nor
    even principle.
  70. so 2013
    While Instagramming
    a selfie, he sent bitcoins
    to binge-watch twerking.
  71. promise to a future wife
    I will pretend to
    like your cat, even as he
    stabs my crotch with claws.
  72. a day that marks a month and a year
    To some, another
    day. To the rest, a chance at
    love joy peace friends grace.
  73. no time for reflection
    The weary laundress
    stacked shirts neatly, not letting
    her eyes drift away.
  74. frosty french toast
    Extreme cold can be
    crippling for Southerners caught
    without bread and milk.
  75. the oompa loompas are on food stamps
    Charlie shut down the
    chocolate factory and moved
    it to Mexico.
  76. sportsmanship 2014
    Taunting, shooting birds,
    killing trees, kicking, punching,
    all on video.
  77. winter weather watch
    They pressed their little
    noses against the icy
    panes seeking snowflakes.
  78. after the crowds left
    The players took one
    last look at the field and dwelled
    on what could have been.
  79. the last drop
    Inspiration can
    be found at the bottom of
    a potent beverage.
  80. someone else’s problem
    An astute few saw
    the bigger issues. And none
    lifted a finger.
  81. symptoms include listlessness, runny pancreas
    He diagnosed his
    malady as either a
    mild cold or malaise.
  82. the run-down chapel
    A few old timers
    creeped along dusty pews as
    the service began.
  83. the last noel, five points south
    The plastic garlands
    fluttered carelessly in the
    January wind.
  84. skydiving social worker seeks fly fishing accountant
    The personals seem
    like a competition in
    duck faces and wants.
  85. one week in january, winter in the south
    Wet, cold, ice, windy,
    warm, cloudy, chilly, fog, rain,
    snow, slick, sun, clear, sigh.
  86. two dollars and no place to go
    The drifter pulled his
    rolling bag beside him, safe
    and dry for the day.
  87. this postmodern world
    The boogeyman does
    not hide nor shock, but merely
    points out our failings.
  88. brief getaway
    He stared at the glass
    of pale bourbon, unable
    to shove it aside.
  89. the splat comes at the end
    He played by the rules
    and took care of others, then
    was hit by a truck.
  90. diy sonnet kit
    Tell her she’s special.
    Tell her she’s totally hot.
    Tell her she’s the one.
  91. triumph of the passable
    The city’s collapse
    came not from corruption but
    mediocrity.
  92. looking back, looking forward, looking around
    Is life a bucket
    list, a cabaret or a
    tombstone’s etched hyphen?
  93. the heavens in winter
    Frozen noses point
    to Orion, frozen toes
    planted on hard earth.
  94. the ire next time
    He steadied himself
    not for the audience’s
    scorn, but for his own.
  95. death by pleasantries
    Throngs of people close
    in and swallow me, drowning
    my soul in chit chat.
  96. spiritual harvest
    The community
    garden nourished bodies and
    planted seeds in souls.
  97. crust to crust
    The baker puzzled
    over the finishing edge
    for his latest pie.
  98. rancor in the rockies
    Hollywood types and
    trust fund kids vs. people
    trying to get by.
  99. the rainbow zoo cafe, snow day hours
    With school closed, she made
    snow creams, enough for seven
    skinny harbor seals.
  100. world’s slowest speedway
    Motorists leave a
    freeway’s worth of cars to the
    gray merciless snow.
  101. snow day makeup slumber party
    Kids sleep on gym floors
    and in classrooms, waiting for
    the road home to thaw.

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Wade’s 101: Haiku retrospective 29

Monday, October 21st, 2013

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  1. rise of the machines
    Talk to me like a
    third grader when explaining
    new tech from now on.
  2. the leaky library
    Stray tarps kept water
    off the stacks. The collection
    remained safe for now.
  3. party ingredients
    A little bit of
    hospitality, plus booze,
    tunes, smiles and munchies.
  4. the return of a southern summer
    Days punctuated
    by afternoon thunderstorms
    from out of nowhere.
  5. virtual landfill
    The Internet was
    built apparently so we
    could fill it with trash.
  6. absence fonder
    The most delicious
    thing in the world comes from
    long time without it.
  7. the joke is always on us
    Perhaps the only
    way to settle our squabbles
    is with a good laugh.
  8. balance is coming
    A state of zen is
    achieved when bad outcomes and
    good outcomes are one.
  9. weed wars
    Neither neighbor would
    mow the middle ground, leaving
    a thin wall of weeds.
  10. the promised land
    They did not let floods
    and storms stop their journey to
    the Valley of Jones.
  11. oh the stories they’ll tell
    Each story has a
    hero and a challenge, and
    sometimes they’re the same.
  12. the villain who isn’t the villain
    The misunderstood
    villain, a figure who takes
    the blame every time.
  13. the usual plots
    Love, greed, revenge, quest,
    jealousy, coming of age,
    dea/good and evil.
  14. the completist hell
    No collection was
    ever full, no task ever
    without improvement.
  15. the merchants of new venice
    Storms would bring nasty
    tides to Main Street. Shopkeepers
    watched cars float away.
  16. diamond status
    Shortstop scratches. The
    pitcher glances for movement.
    The bat arises.
  17. the bro code
    Even bros who mock
    bro behavior are, at heart,
    still bros underneath.
  18. seat of tranquility
    The worn bench made for
    a resting spot during laps
    around the town square.
  19. humid on the inside
    Two minutes in the
    car showed in the sweat patches
    up and down his shirt.
  20. lost connection
    We were once joined at
    the hip. You and I share mild
    indifference now.
  21. archimedes’ seesaw
    It is not that the
    world expects too little, but
    that we heed the world.
  22. the meteor
    A meteor struck
    wiping out the humans to
    make way for the crabs.
  23. cozy king or queen
    Tucked tight in corners,
    layer after layer of
    linens hug mattress.
  24. the dissident
    The zealous artist
    spoke out against abuse and
    oppression through works.
  25. victory lapse
    Success looks easy
    from afar, but resembles
    hard work seen up close.
  26. follow the crowd
    The mob was always
    right about crooks and sports teams
    and politicians.
  27. fluffy stack
    Each pancake rested
    atop another, then it
    rained maple syrup.
  28. low pulse
    A heart races, then
    settles into a steady
    calm. Lub-dub lub-dub.
  29. dining out for 3-year-olds
    Peeking over booth
    seats, crawling under tables,
    mischief goes with meals.
  30. saturday night swing time
    Lithe figures swirl through
    waves of smoke and heat. The floor
    pulses with each beat.
  31. the naming of dogs
    Literary, on
    occasion. Playful, breezy,
    almost never staid.
  32. academic cheat code
    Open book, read through
    chapters, study, study, take
    notes, do homework, pass.
  33. the littlest shadow
    Look carefully to
    spy a meek clawed invader
    hidden in black fur.
  34. damp
    Every step from the
    carport to the garden bed
    to the welcome mat.
  35. unswept dining area
    Elegant facade
    cannot hide the shriveled corpse
    of a curled cockroach.
  36. summer’s last hurrah
    One last carefree day
    to amble along worn streets
    with no agenda.
  37. four-word contract
    Forgetting their pens
    and paper, he said “I do”
    and she said “I do.”
  38. the college of the future
    Classrooms without walls.
    Students without schedules. One
    year to diploma.
  39. the greater depression
    They struggle along
    working three jobs, taking from
    food banks, no relief.
  40. chalkboard biomes
    Some classrooms keep the
    peace, others allow chaos.
    A few inspire.
  41. hot in short-sleeveland
    The parking lot walk
    back from lunch feels like a death
    trudge through the tar pits.
  42. the postmodern miser
    They stockpile wealth on
    the backs of others, hoarding
    their rightful plunder.
  43. franchise falloff
    Each superhero
    fights another while the bad
    guys get all the girls.
  44. praise be
    No one leaves without
    a trophy and a shout out
    since specialness rules.
  45. lost and found causes
    Ideals outlast our
    actions, principles outlive
    our work. Hope endures.
  46. tamagotchi 2.0
    Beep. New text. Beep. New
    email. Beep. Facebook chat. Beep.
    DM. Beep. Wake up!
  47. the fickle electorate
    Short memories and
    clenched fists help them navigate
    lists of crooks and cads.
  48. the referee’s prayer
    Give us the strength to
    call fouls and hurl flags, all in
    the name of fair play.
  49. land of puritans
    A pop star does a
    suggestive dance on TV
    and the world explodes.
  50. leave it all out on the field
    Two teams enter, two
    teams leave. Most will suffer from
    delayed concussions.
  51. blame the drawing board
    Half the coaches will
    erase the board, hoping the
    chalk will point the way.
  52. a holiday from
    The kiss-ups, slackers,
    meanies, gossips, hustlers, new
    faces and dead weight.
  53. the world is run by high schoolers
    Graduation is
    an illusion. We are kept
    in check by sophomores.
  54. soon the leaves will fall
    Soon the leaves will fall,
    the earth wrapped snugly while the
    pale trees stand naked.
  55. yard mullet
    The front lawn is groomed
    impeccably. The back yard
    swallowed three small dogs.
  56. options and they’re all bad
    Does strength lie in an
    honorable defeat or
    prudent withdrawal?
  57. patricidal tendencies
    She could not, would not
    confront that which kept her in
    fear: daddy issues.
  58. riding the slipstream
    Hunched over, glancing
    the scenery sideways and
    pedaling along.
  59. primordial batter
    The pan’s deep center
    hid a chocolate tar pit
    of underbaked goo.
  60. the declining value, in words
    Digital photos:
    their proliferation drags
    down the worth of all.
  61. the legacy of 9/11
    We have tossed aside
    freedom to eavesdrop and bomb
    and make others rich.
  62. calluses without callousness
    Walk a mile in their
    shoes, they said. It’ll be fun,
    they said. So I did.
  63. that new stadium smell
    Hot dogs and kraut, fresh
    chalk on the field, beer suds, paint
    and ballplayer sweat.
  64. in e-memoriam
    Eulogies and shared
    stories yield to a Facebook
    wall of memories.
  65. 16th street massacre
    The murder of four
    girls in Birmingham still haunts
    the city and world.
  66. field of new dreams
    They built it, and we
    came. They played hard, and they won.
    And we won as well.
  67. must love dogs and money and shopping and karaoke
    The applicants filled
    out long checklists to match up
    their insane ideals.
  68. the character of characters
    The power over
    words can sway minds and rally
    hearts and warp nations.
  69. the face that launched a thousand quips
    His stock countenance
    was fueled by sour lemons
    and a foul odor.
  70. the south shall televise again
    Them yokels bring their
    redneck reality to
    cable’s boundless swamp.
  71. autumnal anticipation
    They held their breath and
    waited for the imminent
    arrival of fall.
  72. all that you leave behind
    The trees shiver in
    anticipation of their
    looming nudity.
  73. traveling companions
    Anxiety and
    stress cleave to each side, always
    minding the next step.
  74. how does he not do it? volume volume volume
    The task nagged at him
    sotto voce. But all the
    distractions shouted.
  75. the charms of city life
    Potholes, beheaded
    parking meters, graffiti,
    gunshots, uncut weeds.
  76. fortune smiles upon us all
    Fortune smiles upon
    us all, though some are apt to
    exaggerate it.
  77. cautious to the end
    He waited till the
    stars aligned and all was just
    so. But then he died.
  78. the modern huntress
    Equipped with brains and
    a smartphone, ready to snag
    business deals in heels.
  79. hookup nation
    Phones chirp with stalkers
    and peers, eroding any
    hope of innocence.
  80. unbalanced sheet
    With weary eyes, the
    accountant retallied the
    books soaked in red ink.
  81. it started with a lol
    The virtual wink
    led to chats and Skyping and
    a date IRL.
  82. one last picnic
    They packed cold beers and
    finger foods for the hike to
    watch the pale sunset.
  83. kiss and ride
    He decided to
    start the kiss part long before
    the line’s dropoff point.
  84. triple meaning
    The author’s vision,
    reader’s interpretation
    and the divine truth.
  85. your tax dollars at play
    The lawmakers gave
    everyone time off for their
    own bad behavior.
  86. crazy eights
    He typed and typed and
    typed at his keyboard, sometimes
    getting up to stretch.
  87. eavesdropping out
    It does no good to
    listen in when all others
    talk about is trash.
  88. among the well-rested dead
    Their life stories are
    told in epitaphs barely
    legible in stone.
  89. a march for admission
    Huddled masses and
    wretched refuse gather in
    the park to fight on.
  90. homecoming hurrah
    The oldsters trample
    the quads in search of a youth
    already misspent.
  91. pierce the silence
    Stillness. Peace. Calm. All
    ruined by dramatic tales
    of office gossip.
  92. blackboards and touchscreens
    Chalk seems quaint compared
    to tablets and teachers on
    streaming video.
  93. the city before it was a city
    Mine for ore or work
    the furnace. Trudge home to rest
    this aching body.
  94. where unsaved posts go
    The world’s most awesome
    library has the best drafts
    lost on computers.
  95. the lone barker
    In the bowels of
    pitch black night, a distant cur
    shouts anxiety.
  96. the pothole 423 miles away
    She thus drove ever
    watchful for nails and speed traps
    and minor hazards.
  97. love and rockets
    She stole him away
    to the asteroid belt and
    danced among comets.
  98. vapors, please
    The credentials had
    all the right flourishes and
    seals to be near true.
  99. diet diversion
    Once a week, he would
    carefully indulge in each
    sinful concoction.
  100. not necessarily the weather
    Occasional fogs
    with partly windy lightning
    and chance of sunset.
  101. selfie nation
    What happens when the
    camera is turned on us? A
    flock of duck face teens.

• • •

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Wade’s 101: Haiku retrospective 28

Friday, July 12th, 2013

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  1. functional extrovert
    His grin seemed off, a
    plastered sentiment beneath
    weary darkened eyes.
  2. piracy in the 21st century
    Not doubloons or gold,
    but a digital copy
    of a “Twilight” flick.
  3. working hard or hardly resting
    The taskmaster would
    brook no break, choosing instead
    to whisper, “Don’t stop.”
  4. the mule in spring
    The mule inched forward
    imperceptibly while the
    asses watched agape.
  5. baker’s choice
    Her kitchen became
    a flour-y disaster
    zone, but, oh, the tarts!
  6. lost in transubstantiation
    Eating and drinking
    one’s savior could cause severe
    deus diabetes.
  7. strawberry delight
    Sweet harvest, bounty
    of red, sunlight trapped in juice
    beneath curvy skins.
  8. four-legged tornado
    The misbehaving
    pup shredded assorted clothes
    and tinkled at will.
  9. viral notion
    The vice president
    asked the marketing chief, who
    assigned it to interns.
  10. rounding third
    A runner made for
    home, egged on by teammates, fans
    and adrenaline.
  11. nose to the ground
    The forest floor sent
    the tail wagging with the scent
    of hidden creatures.
  12. condition blue
    Gorgeous springtime sky
    gives no hint of tornadoes
    on the horizon.
  13. prone to rupture
    The vessel for his
    madness leaked oily fluid
    onto the blank page.
  14. horror in boston
    Marathoners cross
    the finish line, only to
    find death, destruction.
  15. the unheralded organizers
    Their free time is spent
    hunting chairs, making flyers
    and scrounging for pens.
  16. like a nuclear bomb
    Flames pierce stillness of
    night, followed by explosion
    flattening Texas.
  17. the modest goddess
    Naked, unguarded,
    she possesses my soul with
    her gentle glances.
  18. negative vibes
    Senses register
    troubled spirits. Air thick with
    hope and frustration.
  19. goodnight, beantown
    Rest, you weary sons
    of liberty. Know that your
    neighbors will keep watch.
  20. post-post-postmodern
    Art is everywhere.
    We are art, everything is
    art. Is this art? No.
  21. plot dealers
    They glance around once,
    twice, before revealing the
    merchandise: free books.
  22. a sisyphus for the rest of us
    Eventually,
    the boulder wore down into
    a pebble, then speck.
  23. the buzzer is broken
    Weary shopper takes
    a seat on the metal bench.
    Clerk isn’t in sight.
  24. security in insecurity
    A bundle of nerves
    kept him both isolated
    and in constant touch.
  25. bart on the loose
    Colorful boxer
    bounds over sidewalks and steps
    to art lovers’ grins.
  26. step 3: profit!
    The plan was to do
    this, but quickly turned into
    that. Was that the plan?
  27. a land without sidewalks
    Even the full moon
    could not light the way along
    dark streets and odd homes.
  28. they came, they saw, they left
    Dark windows kept the
    crowds at bay. Though they knocked for
    service, no one came.
  29. home sweat home
    A house in need of
    a woman’s touch, followed by
    laboring in love.
  30. fight of the bumblebee
    Pup snatches bees in
    mid-flight, snacking on buzzing
    drones, stingers and all.
  31. the guardian of time
    The jaded keeper
    sat impatiently in the
    swirl of cosmic night.
  32. embrace of the teeming
    Have a card, take a
    card. Leave a card, toss a card.
    Shuffle off and die.
  33. dare to hoe
    Rows wind through the dirt.
    Squirrels tear through the rows. Birds peck
    at the black remains.
  34. big dogs on campus
    Institution of
    higher learning rewards good
    dogs with free boarding.
  35. troubadours and lattes
    A lone guitarist
    plays for coffee and change to
    crowds of day people.
  36. a tent popped for two
    The wind wouldn’t quit.
    Night fell in droplets, as they
    huddled reading verse.
  37. no one understands but her
    I am weak, but she
    makes me strong. I am confused,
    but she guides me through.
  38. how to be a juggler
    Keep those balls in the
    air. Make it seem easy. Don’t
    look away too long.
  39. countertop blizzard
    The kitchen looked as
    if a chef had hit it with
    a flour grenade.
  40. cutter’s corner
    The gentleman with
    the unruly mane took his
    seat, while the rest jawed.
  41. where shows go to die
    This fall’s lineup will
    make audiences laugh, cry
    unlike latest crop.
  42. the aural void
    Silence. A rushing
    of waves. The moan of a train
    whistle. Then, silence.
  43. let me love you till the end of time
    A heart calls out for
    a twin, one that lubs while the
    other dubs. Lub-dub.
  44. the hidden heart
    Beneath the hard shell,
    a faint ticking could be heard
    whenever she smiled.
  45. cheap and dirty
    Piles of merchandise
    wait to be adopted, then
    thrown in the garbage.
  46. a dog, a cat, an exit
    The kitchen floor still
    has rings where their supper bowls
    held their attention.
  47. draft epitaph
    Father, husband, son,
    scoundrel, drunk, beggar, drifter,
    human. Rest in peace.
  48. a waking nightmare
    His eyes opened, and
    she was gone. Never had a
    dream seemed so lifelike.
  49. before sunrise
    He scanned the foggy
    horizon, searching for … he
    wasn’t quite certain.
  50. quadruple life
    Her heart belonged to
    art and people and crafting
    and passions unknown.
  51. hidden in the beginning
    Evil monster is
    lame. (yawn) She’s unseemly czar,
    known sociopath.
  52. cardiojacking
    Knock knock. Get out of
    my heart. (pause) Oh, you can stay
    a little longer.
  53. they dared intimacy
    When he was naked
    and vulnerable, she held
    him ever so tight.
  54. the intersections that matter
    The path isn’t clear.
    We may choose a direction,
    but wander astray.
  55. duty and honor
    We could do better
    by our vets, living or dead.
    Today, tomorrow.
  56. as they should be
    Fate is fickle and
    unkind. She leads us to hope
    disguised as dead ends.
  57. foolish and free
    Soon, others joined the
    movement, not caring about
    societal norms.
  58. modern coupling
    No proposal, but
    registered at the pawn shop
    and the brewery.
  59. dual torches
    We used our phones as
    flashlights, stepping cautiously
    along the cliff face.
  60. stripped bare
    Without pretense or
    even thought, the lone figure
    began days anew.
  61. how campaigns are won
    Dirty deals in back
    rooms while smiling and laughing
    for the citizens.
  62. cure all
    The potion hadn’t
    been tested. Who knew what side
    effects would bite back?
  63. humid enough for ya
    Face, neck, brow lousy
    with sweat. Even indoors. With
    air conditioning.
  64. 73 ways to make introverts squirm
    So many reports
    on introverts makes me want
    to hide somewhere dark.
  65. famous last words
    Fortune favors the
    bold. Who dares wins. God helps those
    who help themselves. Charge!
  66. nowhere to go but
    In the pit of deep
    despair, every direction
    leads upward and out.
  67. you are the product
    What you click, what you
    share, what you read, you are a
    hot commodity.
  68. a spare arm or leg
    The starfish doesn’t
    know he has an odd number
    of appendages.
  69. of pegs and holes
    Would you ever read
    the instruction manual
    for a new sweetheart?
  70. e-pen to e-paper
    I always thought my
    first book would be about love
    or haiku. It’s not.
  71. you gotta see the baby
    Newborns achieve wild
    instant fame through their unpaid
    phone paparazzi.
  72. the extended solo
    He played and riffed till
    his fingers ached. Fading out
    into a silence.
  73. almost all grown up
    By the time the old
    traveler settled down, he
    embraced adulthood.
  74. rise of the cyber impostors
    Online, everyone
    is me and I am hidden
    among the fakers.
  75. branch dressing
    Tendrils snag any
    low-hanging limb, tangoing
    their way to the sky.
  76. condition clear, condition red
    A furious wave
    of panic rose within, then
    left. Trembling remains.
  77. the power of the power pen
    The ideas the
    words tumbled forth pouring waves
    of unwieldy prose.
  78. in the bones
    The weariness of
    existence permeated
    his flagging body.
  79. the stories we tell ourselves
    The stories we tell
    ourselves have the most cruel and
    misleading outcomes.
  80. a meadow afar
    Dappled fields glisten
    with careless splatters of dew
    as the morning wakes.
  81. this is freedom
    A blistering hot
    summer day, walking to the
    mini-mart carefree.
  82. we are all voyeurs
    Peeking into the
    lives of others, laughing, in
    shock, judging, with scorn.
  83. a common tongue
    Whether through laughter,
    food, music or alcohol,
    we bond with others.
  84. the slope of no return
    The faint ant of a
    climber hugged the bump on the
    marble of the Earth.
  85. the ruins in progress
    The aging house gave
    up the fight, part by creaking
    part, and no one saw.
  86. a notion of the past
    Those who fail to learn
    the lessons of history
    are oblivious.
  87. timer tyranny
    The countdown left no
    room for second guessing, just
    for precise action.
  88. down at the laundry hole
    Jeans go for a swim
    in cool suds. Shirts bob, and odd
    socks play hide and seek.
  89. down by half
    Half a year flies by,
    and with it, half the hopes and
    dreams we had in mind.
  90. freedom without responsibility
    What would it mean to
    roam without a care, a thought,
    a plan for living?
  91. more fun than a barrel of pixels
    The entertainment
    center needed only a
    lamp, chair, stack of books.
  92. narrative pulse
    The pages would flip
    by more rapidly as we
    neared the chapter’s end.
  93. society under glass
    What is freedom when
    we face surveillance online
    and everywhere else?
  94. caught looking ahead
    The moment of the
    present was interrupted
    by future what-ifs.
  95. a personal space that is not entirely unhappy
    Imaginary
    circle repels the wailing
    of spoiled sad sacks.
  96. mists of midsummer
    Little feet hopped the
    sprinkler, unaware of the
    light rain trickling down.
  97. that look in their eyes
    In their heads, they are
    counting the days till the next
    holiday from work.
  98. the minute hand askew
    Terminally late,
    the prince of the suburbs huffed
    out of breath to work.
  99. on the road 2013
    Jack Kerouac would
    never get lost as long as as
    his smartphone has bars.
  100. the futures that never came
    Imagination
    fueled anxiety and a
    nagging sense of doom.
  101. an external bug
    The toddler undid
    hours of work with a mere
    lick of the laptop.

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