Behind the Trees

trail junction
Click to enlarge

Haiku Comment Week continues.


The five-pointed star inside each apple. The pattern of roots beneath the soil. The fetus sucking her perfect, tiny thumb. Blind fish in the depths, the ultraviolet messages flowers send to bees, all the colors hidden in white, the fossils buried deep in solid rock.

This morning
I saw behind the trees
the first bits of sky.


The Rain in My Purse

somewhere there’s a beard with my name on it
a nest for crumbs and smoke
because life comes at you from all directions
when you’re a man

You can have mine
when I’m done with it — right after
I rob a bank.


Pines Above Snow

Lucky Charm and his successors became my ambassadors to the outdoors, drawing me away from my books and literally carrying me into the woods and fields. On Lucky’s back, I chased foxes, watched a snake swallow a frog, and developed my first hostile relationship with an invasive species–bull thistle–due to its impact on bare legs.

Every young dreamer
should be issued a horse
just for the thistles.


Riverside Rambles

Often these wisps of spider-silk travel through the air at an angle of around thirty degrees to the ground. This is because the lower trailing end is gripped and weighted down by a small spider traveling to a new home.

To see ballooning spiders,
stand in the trailing shadow
of a tree.


The Middlewesterner

The farmer with flowers at Five Corners is parked there looking at them; as I pass through the intersection he pulls away.

The first morning back
on Standard Time, the farmer
checks on his flowers.


box elder


The first fire
sprouts from a pine cone’s cluster
of crackling tongues.



Couldn’t stand to look at that miserable excuse for a painting another minute so I changed my position, sat close up to the table, grabbed my palette knife and attacked.

With three empty chairs
and only two apples, this life
can hardly stay still.

6 Replies to “Behind the Trees”

  1. I’m charmed by the intertextuality of what you’re doing here.

    Also I quite like many of these haiku, especially the first, second, third, and last ones in this post.

  2. I have observed some of your haiku around the place already. They are a good way of composing a comment, save that thumb-twiddling, I-liked-it-but-what-to-say feeling, giving a focus.
    Over at Robin Starfish’s Motel you get an extra chocolate on your pillow if you comment in haiku, though being a virtual one it is somewhat lacking in savour!

  3. I’ve been questioning the time I expend on plugged in reading and writing lately, especially since reading an Orion essay (November/December ’07) by Robert Michael Pyle, “Pulling the Plug.” But your blog as exemplified by your haiku comments posts reassure me against Pyle’s assertion that “electronica may threaten not only serenity but society itself.” Reading your haiku enhances my serenity and makes me proud of being part of the blogging world. Thanks for the inspiration.

  4. I’m glad this is working for you all. It’s a lot of fun! The only drawback of course is that it’s very time-consuming, which is the main reason why I’m reprinting these haiku comments here: the project leaves me little time to compose my own blog posts, much less to maintain a suddenly redundant Smorgasblog. So, probably not sustainable in the long term, unless I decide to completely revise my mode of online activity.

    Lucy – Not sure I’ve heard of that blog. I’ll have to check it out.

    Julie – Funny you should mention Orion. I just left a 17-syllable comment about Orion over at Creek Running North yesterday (this post).

    Thanks for your kind words about my blogging.

  5. Dave, I’m so honored to be included in your inspired haikus and I love “the life that can hardly stay still.”
    Gives me a whole new outlook on still life.
    There could also be new motifs, eg:
    Is this still life?
    Is this life still?
    Waitress to customer: Would you like your life still or sparkling?

  6. Waitress to customer: Would you like your life still or sparkling?
    Good one! I’m always a sucker for comparisons between art and food/drink. Of course, when the art also depicts food/drink it’s not too much of a stretch.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.