Cuttings - January

Haiku, Concrete and Short Poems


By Mike Garofalo 
Red Bluff, Tehama County, Northern California


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Pointing at the moon,
making a point–
her lovely fingers.  


Narcissus stems
slowly rise again–
cool rain.  



Black birds
swarm on
by ...


I watch–
listening ...



A screeching hawk
drifts on the wind–
so lonely.



Bent low
by the dying dog
he cried
by the grimy roadside
as cars whizzed by.  



Boxcars rumble
through Red Bluff–
winds whip Mt. Lassen. 



Interview with the master, over before it began;
He rings the bell, next dokusan.



Red Bank bridge
swept away–
circling hawk. 



New Year's Day–
fog covered
mucky clay.



frozen puddles–
the crack of axes
from four directions



January sun–
puddle after puddle
becomes mud.



Buddha is dead.
But, if you meet the Buddha
don't invent another god
or behead another demon; just
sip some tea under a tree.

"If you meet the Buddha, kill him."
-  Linji Yizuan (Rinzai Gigen, Jap.), c 866 CE   



Narcissus blooming
over wet clay–
dreams of Easter.  



Red berries
on evergreenss–
Chinese New Year



Ripping out
a walnut orchard–
diesel smoke.  



Mother and son
hand in hand–
a gentle rain.



Bulbs, dirt rows,
the noonday sun–
but where is the One? 



She gave away
everything today–
leaving for the next world.



57 reasons for celebration

oatmeal in a bowl
coffee in a cup
another birthday today

colored cards on the counter
cold ashes in the stove
wrinkled face in the mirror
old, older, bold



humming hard drive,
ticking clock. 



He giveth and
taketh away–
pruning roses.       



back gate open
dogs gone–
foggy dawn 



wrinkled and gray–
another decade. 



In the blink of Time's Eye
we lived, we died;
while stone faced Shasta was silent. 



The center never was within.
The box of monsters was empty.
We break apart from the edges,
Slip away piece by piece,
Washed away by a half-million hours.



She grunted out a last squat rack rep,
Under gleaming steel speckled with sweat.



Standing in the dark
backlit by a thousand stars–
pissing on gravel.



Surrounded by raindops–
at daybreak. 



An old man
steadies his father–
a rainbow appears. 



baby blue
empty sky–
dawn of a new year 



Four by four tire-tracks
criss-crossing green fields–
the karma of TV commercials. 



tinted green,
it puddles in my brain
cold rain



She walks by
followed by my eyes–
desires linger.  



The moon's low, a crow caws,
The landscape's laced with frost.
Under the riverside maples,
Lit by fishing lamps,
My sadness keeps me from sleep.
Beyond old Suzhou town,
Down to the traveler's boats,
Han Shan's Temple bell
Rings clear -
Right at midnight.

-   Zhang Ji, circa 780 CE
    "Night Mooring at Maple Bridge"
    Rephrased by Michael P. Garofalo
    Cold Mountain Buddhas



Scraping ice
down the windshield–
squeaking fanbelt. 



leafless twigs
appear in the fog–
a robin spies a worm



Of things mechanical I have little ken,
I fumble and fuss from start to end.
Where a mechanic pushes right
I pull left till things stick-tight,
And bend things that I shouldn't bend.



Raindrops on windshields
whooshed away–
dark roads.  



The black widows'
cottony eggs in cordwood–
in flames. 



Old Highway 99
zoned for trailer trashers–
appliance museums. 



Side-stepping every
sidewalk crack–
my cellphone rings. 



A staff in his right hand,
a pearl in his left,
Jizo at the crossroads.  



frosted grasses
white dawn,
New Year's Day



sock cap
    cozy ears  



Ono roadside cafe–
three gleaming Harleys
catch all eyes.



Far below
Clear Creek bridge–
          smashed pumpkins.



Oranges sway
in the cool breeze–
sunlight on a pitchfork.



When the bitter Winter falls on the rootless tree,
And the strong winds bend it low,
It often snaps dead-free,

And breaks apart on the frozen snow.



I turn and stare into the foggy mist;
Wondering, wondering, about what I missed.



Leafless vines
intertwined in the trellis–
Mt. Shasta glimmers



Coming home
long necked geese–

A warm rest for
coots, geese, and ducks–
wet rice fields.

The white geese
ascend from the far fields
fleeing popping shotguns.

The honking geese
a quacking cacophony
flapping overhead.

Flocks of white
geese in the light gray fog–
this way and that way.



rain-soaked soil
sticking on shoes
sopping wet socks



Four green bales
lie in the Chevy's bed–
bellowing cows.




Green Way Blog





Dutiful dogs
sit and stare–
Sentries at the Borders.



County Jail–
thirty minute visit over
broken phones.



Murmuring rooftop
gurgling gutter lines–
stalled winter storm.



Cold rattlesnakes
let the ghosts play–
Igo graveyard. 



still sleepy
work day



my boys,
bright eyed–
a tray of cookies



Brushing my dog–
    the cow licks
        her calf's eye. 



My poems: often, barely;
when good,



Disappearing souls:
empty seedpods,
scattered bones.



A smile crosses
my lips–
oranges in the sunshine.



Loosing ground from unconscious rounds
Of the "This is Not It" mantra sounds;
Burning holes in my soul
Over and over, no loophole
For escape.  None!  Replay Mind - Spellbound.



Sadistic eyes
among the crowds–
Stalking his prey. 



         out of season
         out of the florist's case

(Thinking about Nick Virgilio, who died 1/3/1989.)



Beyond the blinds–
blue dawn,
nude corkscrew willows. 



Six steps forward and
Seven steps back–
The Earth remains.




 Hidden by the fog,
 noisy magpies.

 Toying with nine ideas like one old cottonwood holds
 nine magpies.

Pica nutalli :  The Yellow Billed Magpie of California 



Reminding us,
his old finger trembling:
"just one thing!" 



Truckers in lines
miles in front, miles behind–
rough right lanes. 



don't know mind
as wide as the empty sky
above the dogma fogs
blinding the brilliant eyes
with hazy religious lies



came and went
but doomsday daydreams linger



He Awoke
in a tunnel of Light–
only the living tell. 








fifty nine years
to the day, today,
since I first cried, and
raised my fingers
towards the sky



Walt Whitman's
stony tomb–
no leaves of grass. 



bone dry
dog turds
laced with frost



The frozen weeds,
dead brown
killed by January.   



The flying Sea drops
raindrops on the leafless grove
teardrops of joy.



The leafless poplars sway
A warm and windy Winter's day–
grackles chattering. 



Snow geese
flew down from Siberia–
muddy grain fields. 



Her snores
muffled in the covers–
counting the minutes. 



countless orgasms
waste a man's prana
so Sri Swami says;
Krishna as Kandarpa says
sex is power
[Gita 10.28]



cold floors and feet
slip along numb toes
shoeless at bedtime



Wisely winking
with words
poets laugh in the Winter's night.



This cabbage, these carrots,
these potatoes, these onions
will all soon become me.
Such a tasty fact.

Bless the farm!
Bless the market!
Bless the kitchen!



Five Precepts:
compassion, honesty, fairness,
moderation, sobriety.



Beyond this year
or a year ago–
a growing vagueness. 



Wet sidewalks
littered with leaves–



Pacific Jet Stream gales
rumbling over backyards;
howling Winter dawn.



Cooks coughing in the kitchen–
I'm not hungry. 



his best suit
clean and pressed–
a matching casket 



Between the Sun
and the nearest Black Hole,
my home.



the bigot's nightmare:
M. L. King's dream
celebrated tonight 



wins in war
no body







Cuttings:    November    December     January     February     March




Months and Seasons
Quotes, Poems, Saying, Lore, Myths, Celebrations
Holidays, Gardening Chores






















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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:  January, Winter
Haiku, Concrete and Short Poems by Michael P. Garofalo
First Distributed on the Internet WWW in September 1999.


The Spirit of Gardening

Quotes for Gardeners

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

Zen Poetry

Concrete Poetry

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

Green Way Blog



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