My Selected Haiku Sequences


Letting Go


creak of ropes
tied to the dock
always the waiting

pulling the tail
of the slipknot
letting go

wading deep
to the maw of the sea
stones in my pocket

high tide
stripped naked
washed up on shore

salt clearing the nostrils
—the animal in me
shaking itself

first appeared Red Cedar Review April 2015 UW Barron County
also Avocet Nature Poetry Summer 2015


Brady Street Tap


pockets bulging
a boy gambols about—
bursting milkweed

bar stool swivels
practicing his thumb flick
—cats eyes

a goateed man
rattles the bones
slams a shimmy shake—

he glances at the kid
orders another round
“it’s a horse apiece”

blue shadows
rack balls—chalk the tip
sun slips down

first appeared in  Special Issue #12 2014 Lake City Lights




artwork by my grandson, Jacob Kerkhoff




—of my youth
mockingbird trills

weathered silo
pasture headstone                                 

wild phlox
purpling a rusted plow—
corn crib bones

open stone walls
expose gutters— stanchions
a soaring hawk

shagbark tree trunk
threads barbed wire
—hickory husks

pigeon shadows
windmill turning—turning
morning glory

red barns
fading to a whimper
only skeletons

first appeared in Fox Cry Review of University of Wisconsin Fox Valley
April 2014.




Sheet Music


birds on a wire—
guitar strings strung
pole to pole

swim match
heads bob between lines
—sheet music

runners’ score—
starting blocks of treble clefs
a myriad of dots

Abbey Road Crossing
white picket fence keyboard—
notes in her fingers
first appeared in Red Cedar Review, UW Barron County, Rice Lake, WI April 2014




cross country
back seat of a yamaha
—tail bone tired

Canada ride
flooded fields of sky–
sea of flax

leaning into curves
under the tires a mile hums
—then another


first appeared in  Holiday Edition of Brawler Lit November 2013
also 2014 Goose River Anthology


Growing up Catholic

going to school
on an empty stomach
communion rail

Blessed Virgin
crowned with a braid
of dandelions

warm eggs
reciting Catechism
in the hen house

watching clouds
form the face of God
waiting for a miracle

beating the breast
of a corn husk doll
mea culpa mea culpa

family rosary
kneeling up to kitchen chairs
parched fields

first appeared in Modern Haiku Vol. XIX, No. 3  1988 under the tenure of Bob Spiess




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