Cuttings - Autumn

Haiku, Concrete and Short Poems


By Mike Garofalo 
Red Bluff, Tehama County, Northern California


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The back door
bangs shut!
September gust.


fuzzy halo
around a half moon--
foggy night 


Up in an old oak
a woodpecker knocks–
the sky opens.  


Rumbling thunder
through the drone of rain–
folding the flag. 


The Other-Fulfilling Prophesy comes true:
What you never thought you'd become, you do.  



Shells of Chevrons Fade to Powerout

Gleaming gas pumps
In the fluorescent night.

Slaves of the Almighty Dollar,
Pouring oily leaf slime
Into the bellies of Chevies.

DingDing!  Gallons go down.
Wallets open and fold.
Acid fogs melt steel-belted moons.

Headlights come and go,
Flashing over the dry Lakes of Petro.

Only dead ends ahead;
For us, for OPEC, for Fords.




Traffic halted
to clear a rockslide–
the scent of cedars. 



plastic skeletons
scattered by pranksters,
resting in pieces

This Halloween night, we cut and eat,
Fuyu persimmons, firm and sweet.

nonlocal minds
keeping out of touch
outside space and time,
an eyeless bunch, not saying much.
mouthless, what can they say?
they can't even pray. 



his fake ID–
casino lights blink. 



the toad
hop by hop towards



Chimney smoke rises
from house after house–
hazy autumn foothills.



the dark night of a soul



Pulling up
twisted tomato vines--
long autumn shadows.



    candies, cakes,
    Christmas pastries–
tighter pants



Clapping, calling,
her whistle crosses the night–
the dogs turn home.  



Facing off, fists up,
eyeballs to eyeballs;
two boys gather a crowd.  



Live long enough and the losses pile up,
Till you're tossed away like an old cracked cup,
All stained and worm, dulled by time,
Useless, leaking, not worth a dime.

Egoless, your flesh falls away, a skeleton
Lost in Nirvana; lights out, all done.

Then, the Skeleton Woman drinks your dry tears,
Drums your still heart, and sings away fears,
Slips under the quilts and gives Love a Whirl -
Spinning, twirling, your reborn as a Girl. 

Forget yourself, crack the cup on the floor,
Speak in a new voice, the past is no more.



bright yellow
    mulberry leaves
        spinning in the brisk breeze



bitter pills 10

Life is an open book in a language we can't read.
Doing something involves undoing something.
Independence depends on others.
Blame is often a dirty mirror.
"God's Will" explains little except resignation.
When your "problem free" your dead.



his hand
jumps off the hot pot–
news alert



Canned tomatoes
pulled from the pantry–
summer in a Ball jar.



Pulling up
twisted tomato vines–
long autumn shadows.



hot hot,
nostrils flared:



Splitting dry kindling
on a damp November day–
wind chimes tinkling.



every leaf drips
backlit by fog



Stalled imagination, repeating plot's old,
A dull shovel lifting wiser men's gold.
Thinking when reading, otherwise not;
Museless, unleavened, a nondescript pot.



The cold hard rain
comes and goes;
in between, distant voices.



gate ajar
    twisted hinges
creaking wind



From Maybe to No is the path of the facts;
I'm too old for another cul de sac.
Door after door is locked this time,
Only a few to open with these keys of mine.



The last seed
falls from the sunflower–
empty pond.

The long awaited
rattle of rain on rooftops–
Thanksgiving Day.



dry herbs–
freezing wind



To dance at the still point of the Time beyond time,
Beyond pasts, within futures, this Moment
Now and forever, beyond minds.
Not knowing of Who or why
We stroll in rose gardens, and Love.
Precious flowers in the sky.







A fly on my finger
rubs his feet–
every hair alive. 



I was thinking about "the Absolute"
(whatever that is)
yesterday.  (Philosophers enjoy
the rush of mental masochism:
bondage to leathery ideas,
painful flagellation with cutting words,
the humiliation of utter confusion.)

Absolute Zero - Death!
Clearly, a deep shivering Super-Conducting
Absolute No.  

The Past: a second ago, a century ago...
Dead Time - absolutely kaputt!



Blue Oaks
Dropping millions of dry leaves
Before Shasta's Throne



time drowns
sinking into sleep



The bowels of darkness, grim and cold,
Turning the heads of the hunted, young and old,
Fearing the rattle in the weeds.  White teeth,
Prowling predators, hard claws unsheathed,
Ears up listening, listening, still as knives,
Fangs barred, dripping tongues, hungry eyes.



walking into
falling leaves–
a moonlit path



The True Gardener of No Title deadheads
Persona after persona, shears the hedge
Of endless desires, digs up the dank
Roots of illusions, prunes out the rank
Suckers of sectarian ire, and weeds away
Attachments that choke out the Way.



Clapping, calling,
her whistle crosses the night–

the dogs turn home.



My big black dog burst on by
at lickety-split,
his four legs flying
in a sideways sprint,
his is mouth wide open,
drooling spit.  



The gopher snake
hisses and shakes–
the dog's hackles up.



Carrying home
her baby sister–
a sermon walking.



Between the great black rolling storm-clouds sunbeams dropped
Here and there on the Great Valley floor.  The gentle first rain
Lifted up the scent of yearning from the thirsty clay soil.
Cool winds shook the crinkled cottonwood leaves free.
The black puddles danced with raindrops.
Summertime slipped away. 



In her hands,
pictures of our wedding;
touching memories.



See the Big Picture
in the smallest of details–
unfolded map.



Wide-eyed staring into the Rich silence
Of mirrored space devoid of mind;
Not projecting or connecting, but reflecting
Supreme non-fictions, Things
Naked as they are, as they are ...



In the dimming days–
suddenly Chrysanthemums
open my dry eyes.









warm sweater
cozy sock cap–
late October



Overhead, the past lives of galaxies retreat,
Below, the bubbling red lava holds;
Between, the voices of the night
    bouncing between my ears
    disappear into dying campfires.



Working, I squat,
suddenly fart–
everyone giggles.



just one
Trick - or - Treater tonight
just one



without wood
the walls of our world
would collapse



Bird-pecked pears
shrivel on a bare branch–
a cool breeze.



Yellow willow leaves
drop in the mud–
steaming dog shit.



Pouring out
the muddy water–
three drowned mice drop.



He drives up
above the fog–
her mind clears. 



the toad
hop by hop towards



Egret perched
on a dead oak–
snowless Shasta. 



whispering                 gently                     tenderly
in my ear                   up close                   placing
her breath                  her love                  her kiss



A duck and its image
float serene–
clouds in the pond.  



swollen nipple
between his lips–
arching hips



A ball of blackbirds
rolling in the wind–
grasses bend westward.



Faces in the rolling clouds;
Thinking out loud, nothing strange,
Always Mind at its Game.





                                 Last Kiss           

                                          hard    a   softens
                                           fast    x   slowly

                                                           her smell
                                                           lingers on my lips;
                                                           catching my breath

                                                                  closing the back door,
                                                                  our affair ends



Our future stood on its head,
flipped over,
    by that ruffian, Death.



a new born calf 



Coming in
let me nourish
    like rain on a garden.
Going out
let me disappear
    like geese going south.   



every leaf drips
backlit by fog



Golden glow
of rabbit brush in bloom–
fall in the foothills.





     1   -   1   =   0   =   1   -   1






a bold zero
inked on the scroll–
fancies of one hand clapping



The tule fog
fills the sky–



the naked garden rests
the unemployed scarecrow stares
the rain drizzles



Billions of sharp sunbeams
Cut the cracked glass sky
Splitting shadow after shadow
Down, down the ancient elms,
Down the red and black brick
Walls of Laxon Hall.
    The clarion sounds–
        the sun's pace is
        traced in shadows.



preaching the Dharma
the suchness of things  



tiny onion sets
down in the soft ground
barely moonlit



You shared the spark,
You fanned the flame,
You fed the fires,
You passed the Names.
    For all those known and
    For all those unnamed,
We raise this toast,
With thanks this day. 



one shriveled pear
on the leafless tree–
the frost melts



Stripping away the self exposes the soul, and kills both.
Cracking up prevents crack ups.
When the divine knocks, don't send a prophet to the door.
One evil preacher is worse than a hundred hooligans.
Independence is a fish out of water.
The One True God is way over-priced.
Religious liberty is not a hallmark of religious politics.
A real enemy helps many feel alive. 



The old man
limps off into the fog–
New Year's Eve.








Cuttings:   August     September     October     November    December




Months and Seasons
Quotes, Poems, Saying, Lore, Myths, Celebrations
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Copyrighted © 2008 by Michael P. Garofalo. 
Green Way Research, Red Bluff, California.
All rights reserved.


I Welcome Your Comments, Ideas, Contributions, and Suggestions
E-mail Mike Garofalo in Red Bluff, California


Who is Mike Garofalo?


Cuttings:  Autumn, Fall: September, October, November, December
Haiku, Concrete and Short Poems by Michael P. Garofalo
First Distributed on the Internet WWW in September 1999.


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Cuttings - Haiku, Concrete, and Short Poems by Mike Garofalo

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Months, Seasons:  Poems, Quotes, Sayings, Lore, Celebrations, Myths, Gardening Chores