Wade on Birmingham

Wade’s 101: Haiku retrospective 37


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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

  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
  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!
  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
    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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magnetic fridge poetry

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  1. Wade on Birmingham » #sundayread for Jan. 10, 2016
    Monday, January 11, 2016, 1:05 am

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