Cuttings - February

Haiku, Concrete and Short Poems


By Mike Garofalo 
Red Bluff, Tehama County, Northern California


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I hear the truth–
gray rain on clay. 



Half-breed dog–
one ear up
one ear down. 



cat and I
eye to eye
curled in the covers



Mt. Shasta
in my rear view mirror–
Madonna on the radio. 



hundreds of bees
cypresses in bloom



The raspy-voiced crow
perched on a pine pole
preached the Winged Dharma;
wayward birds trembled, fearing
rebirth as human beings.  



A dog barks at nothing,
a thousand ducks twitch–
winds of winter.



Circled round by
snowcapped peaks–
white blossoms.  



Dragg'n my mind
round and round–
angry eyes 



at noon–
flu sweat.  



The oldest groundhog
died at dawn–
the rain stopped. 



walking past
my old dog's grave
not a trace   



Daily rain–
from the deep well
this glass of water.  



Blossoms dance down the sidewalks
as sunlight fades–
feeling my age.  



And before the wise ones appeared,
Thousands of years of Coyote Tales.



truth in camouflage
steel gray vague
soldiers march into the fog



Bee hives
stacked in almond groves–
Valentine's Day 



peeping killdeers harmonize
with roadway hum–
piercing sun 



Railing against Do-Nothing Zen
Ekaku Haikuin presses that one hand, hard,
stamps his staff–
clap, clap, clap, Clap!
Shouting, spittle flying,
he prods, and pokes, and preaches 
till the fawning monks scatter.

He sits alone the long cold night
gazing into the fires of hell.

Ivy crawls
the walls of Shoin-ji-
night boats pass in silence.  

-   Above the Fog  



warm valley–
countless geese
seeking refuge



"Eternal Truths" she said;
But in my heart of hearts,
They were forever dead.      



crying over words
more than words–
sad songs 



rereading Lao-Tsu
at daybreak
the heavens cleared



Bedside lamp aglow,
porcelain gleaming–
Shasta Dam's turbines hum. 



Biting off
more than I can chew–
a broken wisdom tooth.



Almond blossoms
mixed with mud–



Only the idea of self remains
Floating on a sea of cells;
Only heartbeats short of eternity
In breath after breath we dwell.



rain showers
    come and go
shaping the hours



puddles mark
the passing storm–
muddy boots 



Yellow daffodils
bordered by hailstones–
migraine blur. 



between the covers
and the snooze alarms
snippets of sleep



Daffodils rise up
languid green
soon to sing, "Spring." 



Droning raindrops
trickling ..... trickling:
Winter Raga.



no chirping
no barking–



Dark trees
darker clouds–
rain on my glasses. 



The Angel of Death
knocked once, knocked twice
my friend answered

Bad News
drove home with us
teary eyed  



black skies–
dreams of summertime




Valentine's Day

Sipping steaming coffee–
their eyes playing

Her silky blouse ...

creamy white pear blossoms
wave in the winds–
he hands her a rose

Waving, nods, smiles     gestures of trust

the woman    touches his hand
he is calmed

Windswept away–
    Valentine's Day
    cards dropped

His snug red sweater
turns her head–
"nice buns."

Rogers and Hart long gone
Yet their song's resung
Reviving them in time–
A Funny Valentine.

[Ornamental pears: Pyrus calleryana and Pyrus kawakamii are covered with white blossoms in our area
during the month of February.]




"You are That."
I am not That,
but part of That am I
and I a bit of That,
for the time-being,
for awhile, a lifetime, 
while That changes.

"That Thou Art."
Thou aren't That,
except "That" as understood,
as idea, as assumed, as imagined;
as I
think I am, believe I am, wish I was;
while That changes what I am,
or will be.

"That" is always elusive, expanding to 
the edge of the Big Everything
at either end of infinity....
that is the way that That is,
not like this piece of popcorn
on the tip of my tongue.  

Above the Fog




Digging a hole
the shovel splits a white worm–
bare roots in the sun. 



Squealing killdeers
sprinting across the path–
a jogger puffs by.  



The pavement ended,
a dirt road began–
stopping in the rain. 



    Soaked almond trunks



Old figs
unpruned, abandoned–
peacocks home.  



puddles remain
    after the rain
        mirroring inky moods



red bluffs
cut by a winter creek
a blue oak falls



stiff knees
sore legs
squatting slowly



Setting potted figs
along the warm southern wall–
a goose flaps by.



A sack of bones that shits and pees
After gobbling flesh, and fruits, and seeds.



Kadota figs
naked, sleeping in
a cold Saturday



strong children march
bent back by heavy backpacks
between the bells



olive branches droop–
ground fogs rise



cold midnight
pounding rain–
only ghosts about 



Stiff fingers–
shattered light bulb



Smells of wet grass
echo down the long rows–
leafless almonds 



Pygmy goats munching
wet mustard greens–
the World digesting itself.



Good weather all the week, but come the weekend the weather stinks. 
Springtime for birth, Summertime for growth; and all Seasons for dying.
Ripening grapes in the summer sun - reason enough to plod ahead. 
Gardeners focus on tasks, not on themselves. 
Springtime flows in our veins.  
Beauty is the Mistress, the gardener Her salve. 
A soul is colored Spring green.  
Complexity is closer to the truth. 
All metaphors aside - only living beings rise up in the Springtime; dead beings stay quite lie down dead. 
Winter does not turn into Summer; ash does not turn into firewood - on the chopping block of time. 
Fresh fruit from the tree - sweet summertime! 
Gardens are demanding pets. 
Shade was the first shelter. 
When the Divine knocks, don't send a prophet to the door. 
One spring and one summer to know life's hope; one autumn and one winter to know life's fate. 
Somehow, someway, everything gets eaten up, someday. 
Relax and be still around the bees. 
Paradise and shade are close relatives on a summer day. 
Absolutes squirm beneath realities. 
The spiders, grasshoppers, mantis, and moth larva are all back:  the summer crowd has returned!
To garden is to open your heart to the sky.
Dirty fingernails and a calloused palm precede a Green Thumb.
Time will tell, but we often fail to listen.  
Seeing with one eye and feeling with the other does help bring things into focus.  
Round things are very nice - fruit, women, the earth.   
Gardening is a passion to continue, despite failure and uncertainty.  
The empty garden is already full.  
Gardeners learn to live in worm time, bee time, and seed time.
Pulling Onions, by Michael P. Garofalo   



a hawk floats
in the breeze–
gophers peeking up 



With each step
the sopping clay



Family pictures
frame the hallway–
sobering relics.




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my breaths
mix with fog–
cold ears 



in and out
of mind



Meaning lost
in the saying–
the mystic's dilemma. 



The Night slips into the Labyrinths of Dawn;
Puzzled, trapped, blinded by the Light,
Lost in the Corridors of the Sun. 



Dark sky   darker still         Entering storm



She lights
mullen candle sticks–
Fires for Februa. 



Not a leaf bud
in a blue oak grove–
shadowless winter noon. 



As unbending as Watch Towers
they stand and stand;
begging for attention.



Weeding my fiction books;
into the giveaway box
two old Bibles tossed.



Presidents' Day:
George, Abraham, Franklin ...
Hail to the Chief! 



The curled cat twitches
paws over eyes
dreaming of flying
down teeming skies.
What does this mean?
"Imagining what we see."




Years ago
my mother died–
the sadness still comes
    and goes.

She read her last mystery novel;
later fell into a deep sleep and died.
Her last words:
"I never thought
it would end
like this."

Bertha June Garofalo  4/2/1921 - 2/12/1994











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:  February, 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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