Poem: The Haiku Maker

I need to reorganize my poetry pages, so meanwhile I thought I’d put this one here. It’s just been published in one of my favorite magazines, The Briar Cliff Review (2021 Volume 33). 

The Haiku Maker

Go to the bamboo
to learn of the bamboo, said
Basho the master

The thing is itself,
look into its own nature,
metaphor misleads

I pick up these books
of haiku I know you’ve touched,
I know you’ve read them

I learn to breathe in
the seventeen syllables
that you have breathed out

If I say my skin
becomes paper and my heart
ink, I don’t mislead

I go to the things
you love, to learn of your love,
though love is abstract

It has a book’s heft,
the bamboo’s way of bending,
and a skin of words.

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