A haiku is a seventeen-syllable poem with a seasonal reference. Haikus describe moments as they are, generally without using metaphor or simile.  But that doesn’t prevent them from being richly evocative and metaphorical. Here is a selection of some of my favorites written over the years.


swimming in the lake
no need to run for cover
when it starts to rain

holding his toddler
a man leans toward the fountain
till they feel the spray

July 4th weekend
a car speeds up the thruway
under two kayaks

ferns in evening light
bowing to one another
a prayer for me

vacation treasure
all the freckles on her nose
that weren’t there before

yard sale butterfly
stopping for a few moments
on the rocking chair


September morning
two girls running toward the sea
for one last dunking

carried by the stream
each of the fallen leaves
finding its own way

rainy Thanksgiving
struggling with an umbrella
and a covered dish

a leaf in the stream
turning over at the edge
of the waterfall

walking with a cane
noticing every fallen
acorn on my path

November forest
the darkest red possible
that isn’t yet brown


in the subway car
a boy with snowflakes knitted
into his sweater

on a winter night
steam rising from the dumplings
in the takeout place

candles keep falling
out of the clay menorah
that our daughter made

when I walk away
the wet logs finally burn
in the cabin stove

the silence after
the snowmobilers move on
envelops the field

alone in the woods
following someone’s footprints
on the snowy path


the daffodil bulbs
that I planted and forgot
blooming near the steps

Adirondack chair
emerging from the winter
with a broken slat

after spring rain
every now and then a drop
on the cabin roof

I slow myself down
in the March sun, my father
walking with a cane

on a clear spring night
pausing on a street corner
for the crescent moon

on my sister’s grave
an ant traces the numbers
of her birth date