Haiku: Defunct

The tax deadline is fast approaching, and I find myself wishing my record keeping was a bit more systematic. I basically have a shoe box packed full of documents and receipts, and now I have to make sense of it all.

I also wish I had kept better records of my literary submissions throughout the years. Many of the publications that accepted my work were little independent presses that are now defunct. I’ve either lost or given away most of the contributor copies, and I never used to keep duplicates or even bother to back up my hard drive.

I suppose my early stuff is essentially lost, but I like to think at least one poem has survived. Perhaps it’s in somebody’s basement in Skokie, Illinois, sandwiched between stacks of old National Geographic and Sports Illustrated magazines. Maybe someone will even happen upon it one day during a spirited spring cleaning frenzy. Maybe it will even be read one more time before it finally ends up at a recycling facility where it will be reduced to a pulpy cellulose in a chemical vat and repurposed for something else. Anyway, here’s a haiku about it.



those early poems

languish on brittle pages

of dead magazines

Haiku: Caesar at the Rubicon

It was long thought by historians that Julius Caesar had epilepsy. However, modern medical experts believe it is more likely that he suffered a series of mini-strokes over the course of several years.
Accounts from Caesar’s doctors reveal that nightmarish hallucinations haunted him during these episodes.
It was recorded that Caesar suffered such an episode as he stood at the banks of the Rubicon River. He collapsed into the water and had to be pulled to safety by his bodyguards.
When his head cleared, Caesar told a confidant that he had witnessed a ghostly woman rise from the water. She warned him not to bring his army across the Rubicon.
Hallucination or not, it was good advice. At the time, Caesar was considered an enemy of Rome. Bringing his army across the Rubicon boundary could only be viewed as treason.
Of course, Caesar ultimately decided to press forward – an act that plunged Rome into civil war. General Pompey, who had been charged with protecting Rome, proved to be no match for Caesar and his battle-hardened legions.
After defeating Pompey, Caesar became an all-powerful dictator who was regarded as a deity. Even with ultimate power and mind-boggling riches, he must have known his days were numbered. The political currents in Rome were powerful enough to sweep anyone away – even a god on Earth.
In the years leading up his assassination, Caesar was mired in a deep depression and a constant state of paranoia. The troubling hallucinations persisted, and I can only wonder if Caesar ever regretted crossing the Rubicon that fateful day.


strange apparition

rises from the Rubicon –

even Caesar balks