Thursday, March 31, 2005

Manila ... and me

thoughts of Manila ...
heavy cloud shadows
on the paper

gray cogon ...
the desolate fields where
once my heart dwelt

balut shells
in the dark - the movie
was not that good

sundown -
a stray dog barks
at strangers

bay sunset -
the stench of garbage

nightlife -
Mabini's red lights
delay the morning

sun long dead -
the homeland darkens
in the distance

Reminiscing darkly about the Philippine capital. Strange, perhaps, but every time the plane lands, it is evening. My soul experiences a black-out when my feet touch ground.
These haiku were written within the past 3 months.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Tulip Tanka

deep pink
tulips adorn my garden
the colour
of the crayons I used up
to make them real

bloeien ongeremd
in de tuin
waar eens opa's as
werd gestrooid

bloom uninhibited
in the garden
were once grandpa's ashes
were scattered

Even at pre-kindergarten age, I dreamed of tulips in the garden, and spent box after box of crayola drawing them in all sizes and colours. A brick house, tiles on the roof, curtains at the window, a fruit tree of some kind somewhere ... and tulips. And guess where I live now!

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Animal Planet

dry savannah
watchful eyes follow
the zebra crossing

savannah sun
cheetah spots swipe at
an antelope's leg

hooves echo the drumming
of heavy rain

buffalo carcass
vultures jockey
into position

jungle foliage -
tiger stripes mingle
with the tall grass

only thin air
between the condor
and its prey

elephants in a
mangrove swamp - trunks
and roots in water

a lioness falls upon
a gazelle - the laughter
of waiting hyenas

table music -
a fly tugs at a
spider's harp strings

This series of linked haiku was, and still is, inspired by the various television wildlife programs on Animal Planet, a division of Discovery Channel, but also by programs on the National Geographic channel. There were originally 12.

Sunday, March 20, 2005


The turning cradle was a tin can with
a bell to summon the holy

to fetch unholy flesh concealed within,
a lump of clay in unwashed rags,

its head a ball, its shoulders shapeless,
the heart beating without sticks.

The holy women, diapers on their heads,
first crossed themselves, then

cleaned the offering with holy water,
put it in a bed with bars, gave it food.

A medicine man counted its fingers and
toes, a holy man chanted over it.

Later, a couple entered the room, and
called it a whore.

Written on 06 April 2004. One of my first poems about my abrupt "coming of age".

Friday, March 18, 2005

Wild Flowers

Original Version:

Running through the fields of wild grass,
we pluck each other, gazing, laughing,
wild flowers unpetalling, seeds drifting,
strangled in each other’s scented hair.

Your hands stroke my willing shoulders,
my nose your open neck, we face the sun
together, visions of fresh juicy plums
watering our open, insatiable mouths.

Then we take each other’s hand and walk,
flowing from shady mid-afternoon to silver
evening, the fruit-laden, fragrant earth
tasting the honeyed breath of our skin.

Linked Haiku Version:

fields of wild grass

early spring
the honeyed scent
of wild herbs

veiled and deep
the fragrance
of petals unfolding

summer day
in the buttercup field
a cow and its moo

my hair and the grass

paradise -
an earthworm shimmies up
the plum tree

sunflowers - why
do I smile back?

For rather obvious "flowery" reasons, I have never submitted the original version, written in 2002, for publishing. The linked haiku version I have posted online at the Brownsong forum. You don't have to wonder which one I prefer!

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Moon Haiku

the hunter's burden -
full moon

hunted deer
its eyes search the moon
one last time

when you see my face
what do you see?

first quarter -
half a coffee ring on
my newspaper

November moon -
the last ball of cheese
in the fridge

eve of the storm
black clouds stain
the full moon

a poker-faced moon,
three lovers

rising moon -
which basket will you
fall into?

Eight of a growing number of moon haiku. "Moon" is an autumn kigo.
Except for one, these were written within the last four weeks. "November moon" was published online at, 01-15 November 2004.