A Still Wintery Friday Afternoon at the Haikulodeon



Here’s this week’s heap of haikus:


A snowy landscape
seen through a dirty window …

(Photos taken Monday morning from my doctor’s office overlooking Stuyvesant Park.)


A city of dreams,
adventure hides underground
the space between trains.



No enlightenment

is reached without questions asked.

Teach and you shall learn.




Through the train’s windows,
I see, on the platform bench,
my g*d-d*mned briefcase.


Don’t feel discouraged
when your back’s against the wall …
you’ve found some support.

Time flies, ( Yes it does),
‘Here and now’ will soon be ‘Was’…
Why you ask? … Because.



In 1902,
Snowstorms hit, folks slipped on ice.
Some things never change.


Doctors conspire
to keep from treating the sick?
Health care’s still broken.


Double haiku:

 I dream, I wish, I
want, hope and wait … then give up
and go back to sleep.

I dream, I wish, I
want, hope and wait … then give up
and go back to sleep.



On a shady lane,
there lives a lonely girl that
dreams of love fulfilled.

At the sky’s edges,
mountaintops still pierce the clouds,
to peek at heaven.

Martini’s shaken
and not stirred, makes olives bounce …
and Bond, James Bond, drunk.

Words had no effect,
so, reluctantly, he tried
throwing sticks and stones.

Slouched in a corner,
of a dingy juke joint, a
young man learns the blues.



Both Summer colds and
crazy ex-girlfriends remain


Comfy and cozy
and wrapped in a patchwork quilt,
she sipped hot cocoa.

bad theatre-ku:


“Haberdasher’s Hopes!
“Picnics in Cluttered Canoes”
(Outoftown closures.)

As the dusk draws nigh
chickens roost and dogs bark at 
approaching shadows.

When feeling lonely,
don’t sit in your room and sigh …
Go join a parade!



Like a garden rose,
the nurse showed up in the Spring …
then pricked my finger.


He has a smart phone,
but a stupid housekeeper.
So things evened out.


(Alternate 2nd line:  but a dumb toaster-oven.  That’s for those that don’t want to cast aspersions on housekeepers.)




Driving down the road,
looking for the right exit.
Billboards distract me.

A Winter’s kindness.
Kindling gathered, I light
small fires of hope.


Sitting quietly,
pondering vicissitudes,
sure works up a thirst!



Imbued with romance,
and lightly pastel of hue;
delicate roses.


 An old man’s lament-ku:

A willowy blonde,
winks at me on the bus, then …
offers me her seat.




 Scribbled reminders
that I can not decipher …
I just have to laugh.



The smell of incense,
beaded curtains, black-light art;
Hippies in dorm rooms!

1950’s-ku: Being grown-up meant
a clean, folded handkerchief
in your breast pocket.

Sometime in your Life,
you’ve fascinated someone …
other than your mom.

A moonlit whisper,
two lovers in silhouette;
urgent affection.

When do hab a code
dere isn’t much do tan do
‘cept sniffle and sneeze.


Live a life of love,
look to better angels, carve
your own walking stick.

Cold wind, freezing sleet,
and an angry dog make me
wish I had stayed home.

Do not expect an
elephant to understand
a hummingbird’s fears.


tanka haiku: A runaway slave
that settled in Elmira,
John W. Jones

helped others get to freedom
and treated his foes with honor.

John W. Jones was a man, whose story I came across while researching my family tree in the area around Elmira, NY.   Mr. Jones, born in 1817, was a runaway slave who escaped in 1844 and eventually found his way to Elmira, NY and became a sexton of a local Baptist church and helped run the local station on the Underground Railroad.   Elmira was a major stop on the Underground Railroad, where runaway slaves would be put on a train for Canada and freedom.  

During the Civil War, Elmira, NY was home to a POW camp for Confederate soldiers which came to be known by the nickname “Hell-mira” for it’s harsh conditions.   At the time, people didn’t travel as much as we do now, so many Northerners had never seen a Southerner before, and, believe it or not, bleachers were set up just outside the camp so that curious local citizens could bring their lunches and sit and watch the prisoners.
But I digress.
Towards the end of the war, a cholera epidemic swept through the camp, and thousands of prisoners died.  Mr. Jones, who had been hired to tend to the camp’s dead, did a remarkable job, showing compassion and treating each of the deceased Confederate prisoners with dignity … which included two of the grandsons of the slave-owner from whom he had escaped some 20 years before.
Of the 2,963 prisoners that Jones buried, only seven are listed as unknown. Jones kept such precise records that in 1877 the federal government declared the burial site a national cemetery.

Ironically, the Federal government paid him the sum of $2.50 for every body that he cataloged and prepared for burial. Seeing as the epidemic had killed nearly 3000, the money he earned made him one of the richest black men in the area at the time.   He used the money to buy a farm and continued to work as a sexton at the church. He died on the day after Christmas in 1900.

Why am I telling this story? I don’t know, I just like it.   His kindness to his enemies makes me smile and feel good.   It reminds me of Nelson Mandela forgiving the guards that imprisoned him.  I think it also goes to show that there are amazing people with fascinating stories everywhere.  I am so glad I came across this story about this extraordinary man.  


By the way, the barn he was discovered hiding in when he first got to Elmira was owned by a man named Smith, who gave Mr. Jones shelter and helped him.  So far, I haven’t made the connection to any of my Smiths that lived in the area, but that would be a nice twist ending, wouldn’t it?

That’s all for now.   More later.

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