Haiku: Spectral Fingers

I just have a quick announcement before I get to my haiku. I’ve got my book out in a couple different electronic formats. The ink and paper copies will roll off the presses sometime in the near future. If you’re interested, you can find it at the following link  https://kellan-publishing.selz.com/item/the-lake-erie-lights

There’s a brief synopsis that will give you a little insight into what the novel is all about. Take a look and see if it’s your cup of tea. Feel free to share the link, too. I’d appreciate it.

Now, on to the haiku. This one’s for everyone who has been hard at work raking leaves in the waning light of late autumn. Enjoy.


serpentine shadows

spilling from barren branches

like spectral fingers

Haiku: Snake Eyes

I’ve been to Las Vegas once when I was a young man. I played Texas Hold’em my first night there, and finally walked away from the poker table with an extra $200 in my pocket.

Right before I left the casino, I decided it would be a good idea to bolster my profits at the craps table. After about fifteen minutes, my hard-won earnings had dwindled down considerably. Finally, it was my turn to roll, and I wagered the last of my chips. I rolled a two – an outcome that is also known as snake eyes because the two dots just kind of stare upward from the table like beady little eyes. The odds of that outcome are 1/36, and it results in a loss for the shooter.

Oh well. Easy come, easy go. I went outside onto the main drag, and a guy I didn’t know walked right up to me and said, “See that?”

“See what?” I had to ask.

He pointed in an upward direction and said, “You can tell how your luck’s gonna go if you watch the sky at night. It’s my night tonight.” He took a $100 chip from the Bellagio out of his pocket and held it up. “That’s all the money I got left in the world.”

“Maybe you should just cash it in and buy some groceries,” I suggested.

“It’s too late for that. I’m gonna let it all ride tonight,” he said as he walked away.

“Huh,” I said, looking up into the night sky. All I could see was a neon haze.

I made it a point to look for that guy whenever I was out on the Strip, but I never saw him again. Sometimes I still wonder how his luck turned out that night. I imagine it didn’t turn out well, but you never know. Anyway, I wrote a haiku about the experience. Enjoy.



fortunes coalesce

in the gaudy neon haze

snake eyes pierce my soul

Haiku: Zodiac

I was trying to log in to my Amazon Prime account so I could stream the Thursday night football game. I couldn’t remember my password, so I had to walk down to a neighborhood bar to catch the game.

It was one of those rainy autumn nights that reminds you Winter is in the mail – express delivery, no doubt. I got a Scotch and a basket of fries to fortify me for what was supposed to be a highly contested mid-season showdown between two football powerhouses.

But, by half time, the game had turned into a horribly one-sided affair and I had all but lost interest. Then, something unexpected happened. An attractive woman sat down next to me and said, “Not much of a game, is it?”

“No, I guess not,” I said.

“So, it looks like I got stood up tonight. I don’t recommend internet dating sites.”

“Sorry to hear,” I said. “It’s their loss, though,” I added.

“Well, he’s an Aries. They’re just flaky by nature. What are you?”

I didn’t quite follow the question, but after a moment, I realized she wanted to know my Zodiac sign. “Um, Capricorn,” I finally stammered.

“Oh, too bad,” she said. “I’m a Libra. It would never work. Well, enjoy your night,” she said.


After she paid her tab and walked out, the bartender set another Scotch in front of me and said, “This one’s on the lady who just left. What’s her story, anyway?”

“She’s a Libra,” I informed him.

“Oh,” he said.

I sipped my Scotch and thought about Astrology. I thought it’s strange that even now, in the 21st century, so many people consider Astrology to be a pillar of reality. Then I thought about how strange my notions of reality must be to other people. I believe in the feasibility of String Theory, and therefore, I believe there must be extra spatial dimensions beyond the three typical ones. Crazy, huh?

I decided everyone should be allowed to choose which philosophy they subscribe to, free of judgement. And to show I was really serious, I wrote the following haiku on a bar napkin as a tribute to Astrology.




the days bleed into

cold obsidian fathoms

where stars forge our fates

Haiku for Autumn

I haven’t been around for a minute, but I haven’t been idle either. I’ve been working on a Sci-Fi novel, and it should be released pretty soon. Actually, Sci-Fi is probably a little too general. There are also elements of psychological horror, dark humor, and a little pulp sprinkled in for good measure. I like to think of it as eclectic fiction.

I’ll speak more on the book later. For now, I just want to pick up where I left off. So, here’s another haiku. Enjoy.


Autumn Colour


leaves crimson and gold

riot against ashen sky –

autumn’s last hurrah

Haibun: On Being Still.

This is a haibun I wrote that was first published in December of 2017 in a quarterly journal called, Haibun Today. Just a quick refresher – a haibun consists of a prose segment accompanied by a haiku. The editor, Ray Rasmussen, really helped me through the revision process so that I could get the haiku portion up to par. He suggested I abandon the 5-7-5 syllable count in favor of a more streamlined form. The only criteria was that the haiku had to be three lines, and the total syllable count could not exceed seventeen. This style is becoming the preferred method in English haiku.

Ray Rasmussen is a master of the English haibun form, as are many of the authors who appear in the journal. I was just happy to be along for the ride. Haibun Today is one of my favorite journals, and it is absolutely free to read. Just go to haibuntoday.com and you’re in.

So, here’s my work. Questions, comments, criticisms are always welcome.


Hawkelson Rainier
On Being Still

The old timer pays me for the work I did on his roof and offers me a cold beer. I tell him, “Thanks, but I better get going.” At the end of his lot there’s a wooded area – towering oaks and maples. Just beyond the trees I hear it – the drone of the interstate. It sounds angry, like a huge hornet nest that was pelted with rocks.

I say, “A cold beer does sound pretty good, after all.” He brings out a couple, and we sit on lawn chairs and are quiet for a minute. Semper Fi is tattooed on his right arm, and I wonder if it was Korea or Vietnam where he got that faraway look in his eyes.

“My daughter thinks I should put the house up for sale,” he says after awhile. “Wants me to move to a retirement community in Tampa.”

“What do you think?” I say.

“I think I’ll just hunker down here and live out my days.”

We click our beer bottles together, and we each take a good draw. The talk turns to baseball, and the frenzied world pulses by.

long shadows –
water droplets condense
on beer bottles