Wade on Birmingham

Wade’s 101: Haiku retrospective 29


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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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