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I enjoy writing haiku. Attempting to convey a message in 17 syllables is challenging mental exercise. Just for the discipline, I am strict about the 5-7-5 syllable count. I am less strict about having a season word, including a cutting word, avoiding metaphor, and doing juxtaposition. I do word-play a bit too much.

I offer my apologies for the quantity. I know haiku are best when served in small doses.

On Bonsai

I used to do bonsai. I still have some trees, but fewer of them, and, as a result, more time for more important things. Then, I spent a lot of time participating in the rec.arts.bonsai and alt.bonsai newsgroups, and the linked Internet Bonsai Club mailing list. I wrote a lot of bonsai haiku, many in reaction to current events, or seasonal activities. I hope, for a general audience, there are not too many in-group references in these.

Bonsai in the night,
Did you dream of lofty heights?
Awaken to spring.

Droplet of water
Nestled in the thick green moss.
Slurp. The bonsai drinks.

On the news that herbivore saliva contains plant growth hormones, and speculation that insect saliva does, too:

Madame Grasshopper
Dines on the locust bonsai.
Oh precious slobber!

Roly-poly bug,
Don't crawl beneath my bonsai.
You are out of scale.

In the summer heat,
Is the Norway spruce bonsai
Pining for the fjords?

Bonsai die? Sigh. I
Started with a famous tree:
The brown juniper.

No wee tree is seen.
It's just the negative space
Of the empty pot.

Her bonsai is dead.
Did I give it too much love?
That damn Serissa!

Still beneath the snow,
The bonsai'd elm makes spring plans:
"Leaves, I think, this year."

Bonsai limbs are held
In copper-wrapt attention --
Worth their wait in gold.

On reports of "mad cow" disease:

I fed it bone and
Blood meal. Now, must I fear for
Mad-bonsai disease?

Inverted bonsai,
Is it true that fruit falls up
For little Newton?

A full moon lights up
A gold maple in a pot --
A. japonicum.

A hawk stops to rest
High in a great pine. I blink.
A wasp. A bonsai.

Muck ingredients:
Organic peat and fibers --
Don't say it's dirt cheap.

Bonsai on TV,
Loves the light of many suns.
Zoom in. It is huge!

State Fair: a pig squeals;
Three kids see their first bonsai.
We three. Wee tree. Wheeee!

Pink is the color
Of spring, for my bonsai plum.
So, how does it know?

Shh. Do you hear it?
Chirping... from that tiny tree!
No bird. Vivaldi.

My glasses fall down
Among some bare-limbed bonsai.
They help me to see.

Enterprise bonsai:
24th-Century trees.
"Warp one?" "Make it so."

May. I prune bonsai
With the old carpenter's saw:
Measure twice; cut once.

Travelogue bonsai:

Highway 101:
Avenue of the Giants.
Volkswagen beetle.

17-Mile Drive:
The Pebble Beach "Lone Cypress" --
Won't fit in the car.

It's hit deep, deep, deep...
The ball arcs -- toward a bonsai!
Meteor Crater.

Big Basin State Park:
A bowl of foggy redwoods.
Cool! Thank you, Teacher!

Old dogwood bonsai:
70 years of struggle --
Ten in human-years.

A bonsai trembles
Under a blanket of snow.
Jack Frost, bogeyman!

Bonsai azalea,
If I move your boughs just so,
Will you move my soul?

A big pine tree shades
A small. Eyes closed, I forget
Which is the bonsai.

"Look at the pine bud."
"It's the future, unfolding."
"No! Now, look at it!"

Pot, tree, nature, mood.
A lot done with a little.
Pen, ink, nature, mood.

The summer solstice:
Short trees, short nights, uh... short shorts.
Short attention span.

Blue sky, green bonsai,
Yellow rock, brown pot, red bench.
Black and white haiku.

Strands of copper wire
Soak up magic from the fire.
Sorcerer: bonsai'r.

Web-like roots suggest
It's virtually a tree:
Cyberspace bonsai.

One hundred and ten
Miles per hour. Windswept... away!
Hurricane bonsai.

On the news of a stolen bonsai:

No truth, no beauty.
A purloined bonsai. No pride.
No joy. No damn point.

A stolen bonsai:
An empty spot in the yard,
And, one in the heart.

On the subject of a region-wide electrical power failure:

Western Blackout II:
My bonsai do mock me still,
"Use solar power!"

Western Blackout II:
I remind my bonsai that
Solar fails each night.

New student, new tools.
New pot, fresh soil, fresh water.
Old tree. Stale master.

"What's estivation?"
"It's heat-induced dormancy."
"Oh. A siesta."

A cold autumn night,
Another needy bonsai --
Time to go to bed.

An angry sky. Hail!
The bonsai are hale no more.
Icy burial.

In this haiku, do
Preventative maintenance.
"Preventive" won't scan.

Thank you very much.
Who is my bonsai master?
Those trees over there.

I am so sorry.
Who is my haiku master?
Those words over there.

On the definition of "Potensai":

Potted pot! Wee weed!
Truthfully, a portmanteau:
Potential bonsai.

A secret affair
Makes you want to have answers.
Don't ask how. Ask why.

Rain. Torrent. Deluge.
Are bonsai overwatered?
No, under water.

Two hands. Too busy.
One by one, bonsai leaves fall.
Tick... tick... tick...

First bloom, a good start,
New bonsai. Aged master,
Last bloom, a fine end.

Old bonsai artist,
And her old bonsai, once more:
Vow to meet in spring.

Beautiful bonsai
Slowly, shyly sheds its leaves --
Ugly pot belly!

Older than the hills,
The ancient bonsai endures.
Older than Bob Dole!

A new oak bonsai:
Two wise critics size it up.
Squirrel cries. Dog laughs.

Another new tree:
Same two wise guys size it up.
Squirrel dies. Dog sighs.

Godzilla rampage:
Stomping through Hibiya Park.
Aw, no! Bonsai trees!

"It's 'Soaring Eagle'."
"Is that the name you gave it?"
"No. The name it chose."

Fallen bonsai leaves
Conceal forgotten scissors:
Rusty irony.

Green, dark green, light green,
Blue-green, yellow-green. All greens:
Primary colors!

Working on bonsai.
Publishers Clearinghouse knocks.
Working on bonsai.

Poor ginkgo bonsai
Holds on to its last gold leaf.
Makes us all richer.

Unwisely potted,
It now goes: "Roll, thump. Roll, thump."
Tumbleweed bonsai.

Homely mall bonsai
Engages a beginner.
Lovely mall bonsai!

Death-defying acts,
Aerialist performance:
A Ficus circus.

Holiday bonsai:

Made by this turkey,
Grateful to be still alive:
Thanksgiving bonsai.

Not so much broom style
As it is... menorah style:
Hanukkah bonsai.

"I said, 'TRIM the tree!'"
"I trimmed it. I trimmed it GOOD!"
Christmas bonsai stump.

Last night's lush cascade,
Now an arid hang-over:
New Year's Day bonsai.

At winter's midpoint,
Its shadow is no matter:
Groundhog's Day bonsai.

Punxsutawney Phil,
If you chew my tree, you die!
Groundhog's Day bonsai.

Symptom: mushy bark,
Root cause: a tiny carved heart.
Valentine bonsai.

Cement pond egret,
Do you not know it's man-made?
Or, do you not care?

"I want a bonsai!"
"Ehh! Nobody HAS bonsai.
They just DO bonsai."

Vicious winter storm --
I fear we'll lose some blossoms!

Outside: gray nightmare.
Inside: green tree sunny dream.
Tropical bonsai.

Green pine tree -- achoo!
Black squirrel changes perches.
Yellow pollen clouds.

Bonsai wake. Spring. Dawn.
Icy doom... just passing through:
Hale-Bopp encounter.

In British usage,
This wire can wrap up haiku:

The year 2000.
Bonsai mark the occasion:
Another growth ring.

For My Sweetie

I love you.

Cold December rain.
A precious orchid is missed.
Warm December tears.

Apple blossom time.
Another petal floats down,
And I think of you.

Monterey beach scene:
Wind, waves, and rocks, at sunset.
Where are the lovers?

Yosemite Falls:
In November, remember
The promise of spring.

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