the necessary fly
new & selected haiku 1995 - 2000 

A Winfred Press ebook
x
x
Larry Kimmel
x

Copyright © 2002 by Larry Kimmel  All Rights Reserved
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_________________________________
 Spring

 

the smell of soup
in institutional halls
the forced forsythia . . .

 

 

muddy boots
everywhere the gurgle
of freshets

 

 

soft rain
an unfurled plenty
of skunk-cabbages

 

 

pussywillows behind
the Court House ... the smart click
of high heels

 

 

all over town
turn signals flashing—here,
spring peepers piping

 


crabapples bloom
in the morning chill
a young woman's peaked blouse

 

 

raspberry sherbet -
the pink bloom
of sidewalk crabapples

 

 

crabapple petals everywhere
I brush one
from her cheek

 

 

through a haze
of leaflets ... the ugliest gargoyle
ever

 

 

xxxx


tired from a day
in the field, I close my eyes
apple blossoms

 

 

by the stone church
in the pearly-gray sunlight
the dogwood's pink

x
x

she loiters
smelling a spray of violets
the nape of her neck


x


maternity ward
mine the only home-picked
wildflower bouquet

x

"Just look at the mud
on you pants!" ... in his fist
violets for her

x


where the small lake
leaks away . . .
a tea-dark gurgle

x

this fluid snake -
really not much more
than a roving esophagus
x


leaning over
the muddy boot print -
a white flower



x


matchbox left in the sun -
a racket of Mexican
jumping beans

*

 


Summer


 
 

the June bug flips
right back over -
"ingrate"

 

 

the door hangs
by a rusted hinge . . .
cluster of brown-eyed Susans

 

 

the leaves of maples
turn their pewter backs against
the coming storm

 

 

no work today -
even with shutters shut
the sun's too loud

 

 

sidewalk cafe
a sparrow's slight crouch
before take-off

 

 

the sticky sound of tires
on noontime asphalt -
lemonade 10¢

 

 

at Kate's Diner
under the plastic cake lid
- the necessary fly

 


in the spoon's lustre
wee and awry it pinwheels
the ceiling fan



a screen door bangs -
all past summers summarized
in one brief report

 

 

July
the screen door studded
with flies


 

the first cicada -
one long sizzling syllable
says it's summer

 

 

staining my palm
with musk ... the small toad
scooped from the lawn

 

 

 

in the woods
the creek endlessly crinkling -
a cellophane . . .

 

 

 

where the sun bursts through -
mountain water
over golden cobbles

 

 

 

small rain ahead of storm -
white butterfly crawls under
Queen Anne's lace

 

 

 

long afternoon
a fly rides
the pendulum

 

 

 

in a shaded spot
the ruins
of a sundail

 

 

 

shaking the stone from her shoe -
a white opal swings
from between brown breasts

 

 

 

evening -
the stone at the edge
of the lawn

 

 

after sunset
we lean against the stone wall
- the warmth


 

alone tonight
a moth taps
at the window

 

 

on the porch
by moth light we sit -
not a word between us

 

 

listening for the barred owl
a moth flutters
into my shirt

 

 

lying awake
listening to the night sounds
- white curtains billow

 

 

sudden shower -
a smell of slaked pavement
the rose in a passing lapel

 


under the tailgate
a sparrow
sitting out the rain

 

 

along the handrail
beaded raindrops . . .
day lilies too

 

 


on the dusty dashboard -
a daddy-longlegs teetering

 


the blond curl
of the flypaper
a buzzing triad

 

 

another scorcher
powder-fine dust
on the roadside ragweed

 

 

after a hard look -
the copperhead flowing
into the stones

 

 

 

dead butterflies
litter the road's edge
the asphalt bubbles

 

 

 

another scorcher
the slow crunch of tires
on a gravel road

 

 

 

sun-warmed pebbles -
every throw a bull's-eye
in the campus pond

 

 

 

a snake released -
the feel of it
stays in my hand


 

touch-me-nots
the big plump pod about to burst
- couldn't help myself

 

 

 

huckleberry bush
too high to net -
drunken birds

 

 

 

stemless in the dusk
the Queen Anne's lace float -
the path grows luminous

 

 

*

 
                                          Autumn

 

 

in the dusk
of the covered bridge -
slatted sunlight

 

 

rolling a spruce needle
between thumb and finger
- harvesting the scent

 

 

after a day's debauch -
webworms crawling home
along a cherry branch

 

 

with barbed wire
deep in their guts ... the old trees
at the pasture's edge

 

 

a cow's bleached skull -
in the cranium
a paper wasp's nest

 

 

sunrise
three raps of a hammer
sunrise

 

 

dense fog
to the north a chain saw
gnars a tune

 

 


watching the loggers work
I rub my paper cut

 

 


one after the other
three crows become one
with the fog

 

 

 

 

ancient apple trees
along the pathway
small-fisted fruit

 

 

just plucked -
the apple warm
clear through

 

 

thumps in the night . . .
apples dropping
in the moonless orchard

 

 

hunter's moon -
the cat comes home
faintly smelling of wood smoke

 

 

you should be here -
the inventions of autumn
are everywhere

 

 

outlawed -
but somewhere the incense
of burning leaves

 

 

honking
a wedge of geese
heading

 

 

again, the great maple
turns Halloween orange
again, this longing

 

 

on the closed spinet
an arrangement of bittersweet
her favorite . . .

 

 

November sunlight -
its clear clean slant
over threadbare pasture

 

*


 

           Winter              

 

 

in the dim
of a December afternoon -
huge snowflakes



after stacking wood -
a steaming bowl
of barley soup



where snowflakes become ocean
she takes my arm
- the cry of gulls



calico curled
in the bookshop window
slant of winter sunlight

 

 

big soft snowflakes -
seeing her smile
I unbuckle my frown


 

a quaint street scene
painted on a tin . . .
scent of hot cocoa

 

 

on the cheek
of the brass teapot -
the embers' cherry rouge

 

 

the snow falling
in the park at dusk . . .
the yellow windows

 

 

a clear winter night
the empty branches are strung
with constellations

 

 

Christmas Eve -
across the snow-hushed town
St. Mary's chimes . . .

 

 

wassailing
so cold the rum
can't find our toes

 

 

this bitter bitter night -
a wild wind warps
St. Brigid's bells

 


a sudden flush from peach to rose -
winter sunrise

 

 


such an affection
for this only spider -
Christmas alone

 

 

a chickadee feeding
from my hand ... the clutch
of tiny talons

 

 

o stare
and
become

dizzy

fast
falling
snow

x

 

on the gusty street -
a snow ghost pirouettes
and disappears
                                                                   
   

away from the party din -
Jupiter's bold shine
among black boughs

 

 

moonlight
and the crunch of snow underfoot . . .
her brown brown eyes

 


snowscape at dusk -
on a hillside through leafless woods
farm lights

 

 

through bleak branches
a white moon ... on the snow
a shadow orchard

 

 

snow falling falling
through a clutch of apple boughs
- my failing mother

 

 

dim in driven snow -
two crows hunched
on a white-black bough

 

 

along the snow path
the faint clatter of a curled leaf
rolling in the wind

x

in snow
and stony silence, her name
- graven in granite

 

 


over glazed snow a spider crawling toward the end
of February

x


snowy afternoon -
glazed on my coffee mug
pussywillows

 

 

an essence of summer
in the buzz of a fly
snowflakes at the window

 

 

spring in the valley -
on the rock face, fanged drool
frozen

 

 

after a winter of boots
a certain spring
in my step

 

*

 

 

 


 

   Non-Seasonal

 

x

her diary -
if only I hadn't forced
its tiny lock

 

 

shying away
she leaves her sly smile
but not her name . . .

 

 

where she stood
a twist of blue smoke lingers
in the misting air

 

 

she's been here
and gone ... the gift
of her perfume

 

 

her face
anticipating my words
an exaltation of larks

 


cruel words
the inadequacy
of long-stemmed roses

 

 

she talks of her past . . .
on her face the window prism's
iridescent bruise

 

 

storm tossed
poplars ... if only
she'd phone

 

 

late sunlight
climbs the hotel wall -
cigarette by cigarette

 

 


the restlessness of leaf shadows on a crimson couch

 

 


 

xx

stars in a black sky -
across the river a clock
strikes one ... strikes two

x


I stick with the
weather

the erotic jive
in her eyes

shuts
down

x

xxx

 

her answer tatters away
with the wind
seagull's cry

 

 

watching the cruise ship
head for sea, a sea glint
cuts my eye . . .

 

 


drawing a straight noise across the sky——the Cessna

 

x
rubies on the right
diamonds on the left: I-91
by twilight



in all but one room
a death -
Victorian homestead

 

 

after his stroke
a safety razor—the strop still hanging
by the door

 

 

this wooden chain -
no one remembers
who carved it

 

 

on the wall
where I live
a watercolor of home

 

*


Acknowledgments are due the editors of the following pub-lications where these poems, sometimes in different form, first appeared: black bough; Bridge Traffic; Brussels Sprout; chaba; The Christian Science Monitor; Cicada; Crinkled Sunshine (HSA Members' Anthology 2000); Dasoku; frogpond; From a Kind Neighbor (HSA Members' Anthology 1997); Haiku Headlines; HSA Newsletter (Winter, 1997); The Heron's Nest; Intersections (HSA Members' Anthology 1999); Light and Shadow (HSA Members' Anthology 1998); Modern Haiku; Mirrors; Nor'Easter; Northwest Literary Forum; Persimmon; Poetry in the Light; Point Judith Light; Raw Nervz Haiku; snow on the water (Red Moon Anthology 1998); A Solitary Leaf (HSA Members' Anthology 1996); South by Southeast; still; Through the Spirea (Herb Barrett Anthology 1998); Time-pieces 1997; Taoism and Poetry; Woodnotes.

Copyright  ©  2002 by  Larry  Kimmel 
All  Rights Reserved