Wade on Birmingham

Wade’s 101: Haiku retrospective 14


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  1. welcome to the neighborhood
    It is the hour
    when children devour, lawns
    are cut, and we walk.
  2. motivated to stall
    The deadline looms, yet
    the work pile remains. Maybe
    motivation soon.
  3. anywhere a classroom
    Wherever a thirst
    for knowledge, a font appears
    to quench with wisdom.
  4. missed communication
    Technology will
    fail, but we can overcome
    with words and patience.
  5. any old excuse will do
    “Hey, buddy, my bad.”
    “I couldn’t help myself.” “You’ve
    made the same mistake.”
  6. pelted by sunlight
    It is almost too
    bright atop the city, too
    much sky, too much awe.
  7. that was the day that was
    Once the day picks up
    steam, it’s hard to know where you’ll
    end up, who you’ll meet.
  8. virtually a community
    They know each other
    by avatars and user
    names. Soon, in real life.
  9. the convening of men
    All that’s needed are
    grilled meats and cold beers for a
    roundtable of guff.
  10. paired off
    In twos they parade
    down the aisle to unite a
    pair of meant-to-bes.
  11. creation and wonder
    A shaded brook, a
    Spanish verse, a lover’s gaze …
    all hold nature’s joy.
  12. insecurity, party of one
    He was raised better
    than this, but sometimes shows his
  13. hers without his
    Missing: one groom’s cake.
    Two-foot-one, dark complexion,
    stabbed with a big knife.
  14. perils of pontification
    Old rule of TV:
    The camera adds 10 pounds.
    (So does Internet.)
  15. streetlights
    The little town street
    fills with ghosts of laughter. A
    shimmer lights our way.
  16. gathering of the groomsmen
    The patio bricks
    serve as secret getaway
    for clean-cut brigands.
  17. dearly beloved
    The bride glides between
    the pews, beaming and crying.
    Love is in the air.
  18. burning pillar
    A place of worship
    lights up the day as it burns
    to the hallowed ground
  19. a field of notes
    A little night jazz
    brings out the romantic and
    the spiritual.
  20. ask about me sometime
    Let’s talk about you
    and me. Not that it’s about
    me, but a little.
  21. summer, proper
    Fireflies zig-zag
    across dark canvas of sky.
    Calendar says spring.
  22. the pancake challenge
    Hotcakes to swallow,
    and all he could think is, “Is
    there enough syrup?”
  23. looks good on paper
    Everyone knew his
    part of the plan, but we still
    weren’t sure of success.
  24. the gifted forest
    New branches of trees
    spread throughout intertwined lives
    and one root system.
  25. happy talk
    The words are cheerful,
    yet the sentiments run deep
    colored by fresh wounds.
  26. appetite for deduction
    As my friend told me
    about the cancer, I tried
    to eat my sandwich.
  27. as if to say hello
    The backyard dogs growl
    with ferocious intent. The
    lounging cats stretch, yawn.
  28. employment crisis
    If you are your job,
    what happens when your job is
  29. insanity meter
    The ideas come
    in three flavors: “radical,”
    “untried” and “stoopid.”
  30. gigi takes a bite
    The first taste of that
    chicken biscuit gave her a
    jolt of pure goodness.
  31. social climbers
    On the prowl, they dip
    their crudités ever so
    daintily, eyes fixed.
  32. domestic life
    Wine, games, piano,
    chores, walks, homesickness, dinner,
    reading, kisses, bed.
  33. can’t fight the ocean
    Wave after wave rolls
    in. They ask no permission,
    take nothing, roll back.
  34. never alone
    Hiding in plain sight,
    but never quite removed from
    public scrutiny.
  35. budding journalists
    The students know not
    what they’re embracing, but know
    how to ask questions.
  36. instant community
    Hard to find strangers
    among impromptu group of
    jovial misfits.
  37. hearth and home
    Is it weird to bond
    with significant others’
    folks over “Rock Band”?
  38. queen for a saturday
    If you had one whole
    day, what would you do? Spend it
    laughing and loving.
  39. the pipe fitter and the cat collector
    May you be fused … in
    fiery passion and tem-
    pered in strength and love.
  40. stuck siblings
    Under the skin, we
    are all red. And bloody. Wait,
    and full of organs.
  41. modesty above all
    A success here and
    there should make you more humble,
    not extremely vain.
  42. garden of shadows
    The grass prefers shade,
    but the imaginary
    veggies prefer sun.
  43. a box of indian food
    Pakora, puri,
    tikkiya. (The Indians
    call it “maize.” Who knew?)
  44. chopsticks and forks
    The peaceful table
    erupts in violence as forks
    and chopsticks parry.
  45. top of the hops
    High-gravity beer,
    baseball on the flat screen. It’s
    summer ’09 bliss.
  46. the pantry time capsule
    Pantry reboot needs
    less dust, less antiquated
    foodstuffs, more shelf space.
  47. the parasites
    Lo the winged bugs
    come to feed on bare skin that
    hides sweet blood beneath.
  48. a neighborhood, pre-hipster
    The worn buildings wear
    their mustiness with solemn
    pride as twilight fades.
  49. halftime over
    January through
    June made for a warm-up.
    Now for main event.
  50. rallying cry
    The gathering brings
    supporters from far and wide
    to lend helping hands.
  51. the laughing kookaburra remains silent
    Mushroom walks into
    a bar. “We don’t serve your kind.”
    “Why? I’m a fungi!”
  52. freedom fries
    The freedom fries taste
    better because they offend
    France on all levels.
  53. trading volleys
    Gods of tennis trade
    shot after shot after shot,
    battlefield of grass.
  54. signing on
    The neighbors’ front yards
    exercise their free speech with
    plastic campaign signs.
  55. give and take
    Sometimes, the spark comes
    from outta nowhere to bring
    bold inspiration.
  56. married lives
    Singles Island grows
    less crowded as daily tides
    kidnap newlyweds.
  57. these city streets
    One way, and then an
    opposite way, cars stutter
    along to reds, greens.
  58. moms’ table
    At the moms’ table,
    no shortage of funny tales
    and resourcefulness.
  59. shedding a skin
    Bucket of suds gets
    stained with dirty Datsun’s grit
    melting in lather.
  60. slow motion
    The world moves along
    but the body takes a less
    hurried pace for fun.
  61. a step of faith
    Who knows what lies in
    the fog of the near future?
    Who dares part the mists?
  62. secured blanket
    Her red cape simply
    a blanket wrapped as tightly
    as a fond embrace.
  63. back from the break
    When the lights go on,
    the camera zooms in and it’s
    all business on air.
  64. a crack
    A sudden parting
    of the ways leaves splintered hearts
    and unfinished dreams.
  65. robots need love, too
    An unfeeling man
    walked to the end of the world
    and turned back around.
  66. drama unfolds
    Between acts, patrons
    gulp blended reds and sneak in
    a smoke on the lawn.
  67. a good teacher
    A good teacher knows
    the limits of her knowledge
    from which springs wisdom.
  68. work related
    Somehow, I missed my
    true calling of eating hot
    dogs and playing Wii.
  69. kids these days
    We’re getting older,
    yet kids remain naive and
    somewhat annoying.
  70. cold heart, warm heart
    Such a cold heart bears
    no ill will, hides from contact
    within its armor.
  71. on top of birmingham
    Enchanted city
    looks up to her iron god
    for signs of mercy.
  72. buzzing al fresco
    The stars, the crickets,
    the wine, the cool evening air …
    oy, the mosquitoes.
  73. corrugated slopes
    Summertime sledders
    attack grassy downhill with
    fast flattened boxes.
  74. eleventy hearts and a milliondy dollars
    Search near and far. Love
    can be elusive, even
    as it grows within.
  75. fickle motor
    It’s either the fuel
    pump, spark plugs, timing belt or
    the alternator.
  76. victory lunch
    Conquest reaps lunch of
    meat and three with a glass of
    sweet tea and cobbler.
  77. ode to barbecue
    Meats seduced into
    submission, with a hint of
    smoke and tangy sauce.
  78. the enchantment of second avenue
    The empty storefront
    has room enough for a new
    enterprise of dreams.
  79. hidden creatures
    Neighborhood jungle
    contains howling pets not quite
  80. early morning at the market
    Farmers patiently
    wait for rains to dissipate.
    The dogs wag onward.
  81. how it falls, how it falls, how it falls
    The light is fading
    too soon
    . You’re two umbrellas
    one late afternoon.
  82. straining for perfection
    The day never ends
    as we toil for more things,
    better life, new fate.
  83. animal census
    We canvass houses
    to tally pets by barks and
    purrs and wagging tails.
  84. haiku humpday
    On Wednesdays, tweet your
    updates poetically
    5-7-5 verse.
  85. the mysteries of death
    Weary traveler,
    why did you leave so quickly,
    with such despair?
  86. to thine own self
    It’s easy to be
    yourself: Just don’t imitate
    others. Be unique!
  87. on a day like today
    A day made for fun,
    fishing, hiking, relaxing …
    but watching inside.
  88. inside perspective
    I’ve been kicked by folks
    bigger than a baby, but
    not from the inside.
  89. verses by the bushel
    Iambic? Sonnets?
    Limericks? Alltop has it
    for poetry fans
  90. offerings of produce
    The bean sprouts have had
    better days, but the peaches
    and tomatoes shine.
  91. a win any way you can get it
    When I think I am
    failing at life, I picture
    her smile. Victory!
  92. upside-down squirrel
    The upside-down squirrel
    would not leave the window screen,
    showing off a bit.
  93. shakespeare 2009
    To be or not to
    be? We have shuffled off this
    mortal coil, yo.
  94. the sloshing of the world
    Waves lap at toes. Stars
    sparkle overhead and all
    around. Moon hides out.
  95. guest for breakfast
    All the bird wanted
    was a little company
    and our granola.
  96. each day, a new plan
    Each day, a new plan
    forms from cobwebs and sad whims,
    only to fly free.
  97. laughter in the kitchen
    Sweeter than cherries,
    more potent than wine are the
    kitchen’s warm chuckles.
  98. it’s all in how you fake it
    The con artist seemed
    genuine enough until
    he swore he had lied.
  99. theater of the mindful
    Only two for this
    screening. Seat choices galore,
    chomping snuck-in snacks.
  100. customer service 2009
    “Hi, I’d like to talk
    with someone—” “Yeah, can’t help you,
    so please go away.”
  101. a serious relationship
    She used my toothbrush,
    and I barely flinched. And she
    has my back. It works.

• • •

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