Unborn Haiku

The world shows me how
small minded I am. Typhoon
Hagabis, 100-

miles-an-hour winds strikes
Japan. Can I hold that in
my mind? One minute?

Yet I am asked to
avoid metaphysics. Like
the idea of beauty.

It too blows my mind—-
not the idea only the thing
of it. Turning the

corner towards the
setting sun the bay shimmers
as within my reach.

I think of Thom Gunn
testing his limits in love—-
the unborn haiku.

Love in Old Rome

Crossing over the
Tibur to Trastevere
with the slow river

gradual and green
under us was comforting
I now remember.

Our late love needed
memories and those crossings
made us a couple.

We Others

Do take this at self-
value. It’s just a selfie
taken in a full-

length mirror. Montaigne,
Durer, Schiele, Auden’s
rubbery face. So

other we are. Still,
our contingencies promise
sweet festivity.

I’ll Take It

News of the first Nor’-
Easter. As I stepped inside,
the trees heaved a sigh.

Raindrops now and then.
We expected something sub-
lime and took a walk.

Cat Wang’s Triumph

My master prepares
for nothing by sitting still—-
nothing original

about that. As his
cat I am his example.
Nothing in his face

gives him away—-he’s
that good. Yet something gives way.
He rises, goes to

his desk, and starts to
write. There’s no alternative
for me but to jump

up there, sit on the
still blank page. He loses it.
I maintain my cool.

Our Interesting Times

A wanderer I
reach this quaint village where I
read master Li Po

who made the most of
violent times. I can not
concentrate on mine.

Sometimes a little
thing—-a fly, a sparrow, a
breeze—-is the last straw.

That I am at all
and that I’m as nothing fuse
to my confusion.

I’m beside myself,
a coin found in the street, both
sides rubbed out smooth, or

out beyond myself
with the fly, the sparrow, the
breeze, though sitting here.

Whereto next, Li Po?
In your time of troubles you
took your dodgy raft

as far as Tung-t’ing
Lake. You died in its depths with
China on your mind.

The poems you left
behind are now taught in schools
by the faint of heart.

Mr. Nothing

Where are the young men
in polished shoes, white shirts, dark
glasses, anxious hair,

Manhattan canyons!
I once fit in that crowd, but
lacked purity of

heart. To see one now
spring down from the bus on his
way somewhere hurts, hurts.

I return to my
task. Who recommended me?
A Mr. Nothing.