Contents

 

 

 


Sketchbook 

John Daleiden, US
 

 

 

A Haiku Sequence

Autumn in the Desert

 

among the palms
autumn sun sets too soon—
a cool desert night

 

 

autumn morning
not even bright desert sun
warms the dawn

 

 

a pygmy-owl perched
in his saguaro cactus
relentless sun

 

 

startled roadrunner
scampering through the mesquite—
dust devils swirling

 

 

long-tailed Inca Dove
in the mesquite thicket—
a coiled snake

 

 

 

 

Fibonacci Poem

Battle

Sea
shore
lines curving
in gentle wide arcs—
brushed with the sweep of hungry waves
day and night, rising and falling on the great moon tides—
each wave imbued with ferocious, tenacious power
tearing sand and rock with the might
of young Hercules,
carving sand
from shores,
rocks,
hills,
plains—
land
transformed,
crushed, dissolved
and washed out to sea.
Look out from this promontory—
See the curves and bends of the land…

 

 

 

 

Free Verse

I’m Being Held Captive In A Woman’s Dress Shop

I am patiently waiting
in the Neiman Marcus Dress Shop
while my wife tries on expensive gowns
from the reduced sales rack.

Speaking in a heavy accent
an Asian sales lady wearing a conservative
black suit with a colorful neck scarf says:
“All the designer gowns on this rack
are fifty to eighty percent off today only.”
I tell her, “Everything is always on sale
for a price—
or else they wouldn’t be open for business.”

We both laugh
and the sales lady smirks
giving us her best dour Nan* grimace.

In the foyer a string combo
begins to play “All That Jazz**”
and we join them singing
the chorus in perfect harmony:

“Skidoo
And all that jazz
Hotcha...Whoopee
And all that jazz.”

The astonished sales clerk
hangs the dresses on the rack
and retreats through a door
marked personnel only.

“Come on babe, why don’t we paint the town?
And all that jazz.”

 

*Nan. American Gothic by Grant Wood, 1930, Chicago Art Institute. The dour faced woman in this painting is Grant Wood’s sister, Nan.

**Chicago, a popular musical.

 

 

 

 

Living With Royalty

Tetractys

All day Emily gazes on the world—
like the poet,
her purring,
a soft
song

 

 

Haiku

demure, she watches
from her black velvet cushion
a fly buzzes by
 

 

Fibonacci Poem

On Command

With
steps
regal,
befitting
the realm’s Crown Princess,
she announces her need for food
with a wag from her tail and a nudge on my left foot
as if to say, “Your attention
please, I’m hungry Now!
Remember—
I am
the
Queen”.

 

 

Cinquain

A Functionary

Employed
as a royal
footman to her Highness—
I tend the door when she commands
egress.

 

 

Triolet

A Different Drummer

She sits all day in the sunny window;
Unperturbed, she watches the world pass by.
Sometimes she stirs and chases her shadow.
She sits all day in the sunny window—
Does she dream of mousing in the meadow?
Or feasting on pigeon and kidney pie?
She sits all day in the sunny window;
Unperturbed, she watches the world pass by.

 

 

Tanka Sequence

Knight With Ensign High

in the boudoir
my lady sleeps soundly
on a satin bed
in her dream the ocean waves
are filled with shrimp and salmon

she stalks a bee
on the summer garden blooms
then chases Mr. toad—
with proud dignity she lays
his bloody corpse at my feet

I say to you—
there is no better friend
than this feline—
she curls on my pillow
softly singing in my ear

when I am away
I often think of her,
patient, alone—
I know she will greet me
at the door when I return

Oh, lady fair
you are my precious queen
let me protect you
from unworthy roués
who would stain your dignity

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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