the necessary fly
new & selected haiku 1995 - 2000 

A Winfred Press ebook
Larry Kimmel

Copyright © 2002 by Larry Kimmel  All Rights Reserved


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Collected Poems Online: 
               the longer poems of Larry Kimmel              


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




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


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


maternity ward
mine the only home-picked
wildflower bouquet


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


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


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

leaning over
the muddy boot print -
a white flower


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





the June bug flips
right back over -



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



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


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







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



three raps of a hammer



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



a wedge of geese



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







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 . . .



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





on the gusty street -
a snow ghost pirouettes
and disappears

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



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


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



over glazed snow a spider crawling toward the end
of February


snowy afternoon -
glazed on my coffee mug



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



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



after a winter of boots
a certain spring
in my step










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





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


I stick with the

the erotic jive
in her eyes





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


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