Wade on Birmingham

Wade’s 101: Haiku retrospective 30


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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
    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
    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
  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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