Hometown Haiku

These little poems were inspired by the #NaHaiWriMo prompt (“hometown”) provided by Scott Abeles for October 11th, and by memories of a great little gathering place nestled between Roosevelt University and the Fine Arts Building. Check out the NaHaiWriMo Facebook Page for more lovely haiku.

artist’s café
surrounded by sound
hungry musicians
~~~~

listening to the song
of the wind
in the windy city

the little king

This is a poem from “loopwork: my life as a bureaucrat,” which can be found on the “Poetry Collections” page of this web site.

stepping out

faltering

friendless

he plays the part

of

magnanimous ruler

generous dictator

and

organizer of the masses

but

gets no rave reviews

◊◊◊

dwarfed

by an office

of grand proportions

hoping

his adversaries

are at least as intimidated

by it all

as he is

◊◊◊

celebrating

alone

the passage

of one more year

ensconced

(captive!)

in his hard ego-shell

while unwitting colleagues

hope for his

(or their)

release

[FGC #16] Allies

Together now, they gather here
They struggle, knowing we hold dear
That fragile thing, the subject of
Our heart and hearth, that human love
We long for peace! Our voice is clear

They slew the dragons, shed no tear
But decades have not stilled our fear
Of resurrected beasts that move
Together now

With open mind and listening ear
Encompassing each cheer, each jeer
With prayers for guidance from above
To recognize the hawk, the dove
All voices speak, all nations hear
Together now

my life as a bureaucrat

This is the first poem from my collection, “loopwork – my life as a bureaucrat.” The short collection of eight poems can be found on my Poetry page.  The poem was written long ago, but it seems appropriate today, which is so dark and dreary here.

lake view

still-life boats
silenced
against their will
moored
in a gray mist
where
the point at which
fog
meets water
is
obscure

◊◊◊

all colors are
muted
shoreline trees a darker
green
parched park grass a lighter
straw
lawyers in striped suits
drabber
even than usual
no
variation

◊◊◊

i wait for the water
cycle
to fulfill its
promise
and watch in stifled
surprise
as everyone accepts the
emptiness
matter-of-factly
without
protest

It’s the end of the bean as we know it

This little piece of flash fiction was inspired by eMergent Publishing’s “End of the World” writing prompt, and R.E.M.’s lyrics:

It’s the end of the world as we know it (It’s time I had some time alone) and I feel fine.

c. Mario Savioia – Fotolia.com

The Bean 

It looks like a shiny button floating in a muddy black pool. The sculptor called it “Cloud Gate,” because it was designed to reflect clouds in the beautiful, changeable sky of the Windy City. We called it the bean, because that’s what it looked like – a stainless steel kidney bean. Being a descendant of Illinois farmers, growers of soybeans, corn and pigs, I thought of it as a soybean.

Things have changed now, and any type of bean would be welcome. I look down at the city from my perch on the 21st floor, and wonder how long it will be. How long till I run out of food, how long till I die of heat stroke, how long till I see another being, how long till I see my God and have to explain what a mess we made.

We used to walk through the bean, touch its interior, and see the reflection of our smiles. Now, only the top three feet of the 33-foot sculpture is visible.  And it’s only visible to me. Everyone else was smart enough or mobile enough to evacuate, except for those who lingered in city hospitals or not-so-assisted living.

Some smart-ass (but not very smart) kids hung back, hoping to loot their favorite stores and brag about their new electronics, clothes or cars.  But since most of their favorite stores were at ground level, they either drowned or became high-rise residents like me.  They took over a few broadcast signals temporarily, but soon found themselves marooned in office buildings that had little to offer in terms of creature comforts.  Their electronic bully pulpits shorted out or switched off. Theirs were the last young voices I heard.

Most apartment dwellers go through phases, looking for the most economical place to live in their youth, when they have no savings to do otherwise, and later in life, when their savings have dwindled or been consumed by divorce, illness, economic meltdown or old age.  I was a survivor of all of these, but had been happy in my little studio looking down at the clouds, reflected every day in Cloud Gate.

Until now. Now the clouds cloak the sky every day, never changing, always the same muddy hue as the bean.