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More Haiku

by Lionel E. Deimel



The tub fills quickly.

Steam rises from the water.

The bath is ready.



Computer systemCrash

The box is silent.

My computer’s heart is stilled.

Loneliness grips me.



The poems above are some of my first haiku efforts. Again, I was not bound by the traditional subjects. (Written some time in 1996.)



Clocks are set forward,

But we do not ask where goes

The daylight we save.



This poem was written on April 1, 2001, after a trip around the house to reset all the clocks.



Early Spring

The garden’s snowless.

Crocuses through warm soil peek.

March begins next week.



House in snow



The snow has returned.

The drifts blow midst bitter cold.

March is two days old.



“Early Spring” and “Relapse” go together, of course. The former was written during a record-breaking February warm spell, and the latter was written in anticipation of the other shoe’s dropping. The rhyme, which developed by accident, makes the poems seem more occidental. (Written February 2000.)


No Smoking signSmoke

Smoke, an indoor curse,

Banished now to aid our health.

Outdoor smoke a bane.



As a non-smoker, I have been delighted as smoking has been banished from more and more places. Although indoor air is generally much improved, regulation has driven smokers outdoors. Entering or exiting a building now often involves navigating a gauntlet of smokers and the foul air surrounding them. (Written November 2001.)


Bare tree branches     

Winter Wood

Evergreen mid brown:

Trunks and branches monochrome.

Still, I see no deer.



Suburban Pittsburgh harbors many small patches of wood. Deer sometimes emerge from these, possibly to forage, possibly to travel to a nearby wooded area. Even in winter, when most of the trees have shed their leaves, I almost never see deer when I look into the wood from the sidewalk. This haiku, more traditional in its construction than other poems I have written in this form, was composed in December 2001. It does seems a bit self-conscious, however.



Gray December day;

Red cardinal on bare tree,

Eying my feeder.

     Cardinal in tree


I have an active bird feeder on my deck. Because the back yard drops off sharply, when I look out the kitchen window, I see the feeder and the tops of nearby trees. On the day I wrote this, I looked past my feeder and the birds eating there, and I saw a lone male cardinal staring in my direction from a branch of a bare tree . By the way, only after I had written the poem did I remember that it was no longer December. (Written 1/2/2002.)


Sprouting tree stump   



A tall stump remains;

Foot-long shoots sprout near its top.

Life is tenacious.



This poem was inspired by the same tract that led to “Winter Wood.” A tree near the sidewalk had been cut, leaving a stump perhaps 2-1/2 feet high. The tree was not about to  give up its hold on life. (Written 5/1/2002.)




Middle of April:

Overcast, with rain and snow;

What do groundhogs know?



On Groundhog Day 2007, Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow, supposedly a harbinger of an early spring. On April 17, 2007, however, when I wrote this poem, it was cold and damp in Pittsburgh, and storms had just brought flooding and snow to the Atlantic coast. On Easter, just over a week before, it had snowed in Pittsburgh. This poem is related in spirit to “Early Spring” and “Relapse,” above. Although it was not intentional, the rhyme in “Mid-April” mirrors that in the earlier poems.


High Way

Wire ’cross the road:

A bridge for darting squirrels,

A trellis for vines.


Vine-covered wire



While driving to the post office, I noticed a power line across the road on which a vine was growing. The vine reached half way across the street. This reminded me of squirrel use of power lines to cross streets safely. (Do squirrels actually consider the safety factor?) I immediately thought of writing a haiku combining these two unplanned functions of electric lines. The poem was written 8/11/2013.


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