welcome to the haikutimes

Issue #118, October, 2005. Visits to the James Peak Wilderness, a front range Pumpkin Farm, and a Rockies baseball game round out this issue of the haikutimes. As October brings a change of temperament to the mountains, Ptarmigans change plumage; pumpkins ripen, and the Rockies and Giants battle it out under orange skies at a September 2005 Rockies game in Denver. Haiku, photographs and drawings by Jonathan Machen.

white-tailed ptarmigan
in mid-plumage change
blinks quietly

a moment passes
before i notice
camouflaged feathers

down on the plains
october heat cooks the town
peak-hopper dances

as if belching
moffat tunnel expels smoke
modern day dragon

carbon monoxide
tunnel whines

a hue of the sun
october plants

steady hikers
with hyper puppies
avoid my glance

gold leaves
silver clouds
mountain alchemy

the day
with earthy pine smell

a literalist
i am not making this up
no haiku fiction

yellow and orange
forest floor interrupted
by meandering trail

my need for adventure
the sound of the creek

early october
the forest is warm, inviting
cold winds but a thought

limited photons
hitting my pixel array
photo blurry

warm october light
the voices of children
keys in my pocket

lichen - so vibrant
like a tokyo storefront
neon green glow

and shortness of breath
slowing me down

400 pound stove
on rickety staircase
will insurance matter?

on the first day of october
two-thousand five
i leave the house on my bike
attempting to coordinate
a trip to the bank
with a bike ride up lee hill road
where steve and his
newfangled pellet-eating stove
await assistance.

the day is vibrant
the sun has blown the storm
back into september
i sweat behind two spandex-clad
racers and turn off lee hill road,
up steve's steep driveway
where i encounter wes,
the man from the stove store
ready with the pellet-eater
perched on a flat bed trailer
attached to his buick.

wes wears a white turtleneck
scrunched up to his ears,
jeans and black suspenders with
a clip-on cell phone,
frizzy white hair
folded over his pate
from a part next to his ear.
he has been installing stoves
for twenty-five years.
upon my arrival
he announces with satisfaction
that i must be the volunteer
who has agreed to carry heavy stoves
up and down stairs.

the pellet-burning, energy-efficient stove
rests quietly,
as does the third-level staircase
with the rickety fourth step.
lashing the stove
to a hand-truck with a pulley
we push - two from below,
one pulling from above,
step by step.

the old stove, heavier still,
must be taken away.
it awaits the same journey in reverse,
down three flights of stairs,
past the one with the rickety step.
we lash it's steel frame
to the hand truck,
removing the door
and ceramic bricks from within.

wes casts his experienced eye
at the stove, then the stairway,
then reinforces with webbing
two spots where we imagine
the wood might splinter open like a zipper
under the weight of our transport convoy.

mid-way through the effort
when we have carefully past
the groaning fourth step,
we pause for a breather.
wes takes the opportunity
to tell us about the storm of '78
in chicago when he and his sons shoveled
snow off two-story roofs,
made money with snow-blowers,
and watched the city manage without
multi-lane highways.
later he regales us with a story
about his wife's miscarriage.

Robert Plant in Denver 7/12/05
Pregnant mother with a baby
walking down Wazee in Denver

at a fish house i order guinness
and wipe the sweat from my brow
after riding my bike friday
down a one-way street the wrong way,
spurning all observed traffic laws.

feeling the pulse of the city
the guard at the universal lending pavilion
tells me robert plant
has been sitting in his trailer
since two o-clock.

between the pavilion and the Platte
Elitches throws people around:
bungee-gondola devices
strung and bouncing
between two opposed poles

enrapturing those inside
with a sense of gravityless-ness,
or perhaps glee
to have escaped, for a moment,
the bonds of gravity.

guy twists earplugs
before rockin' set begins
outdoor stadium

evening haiku
like evening raga
last one on the trail

young girl reading
right up to the point
when he steps on stage

watching that family
dad, raised on zeppelin
proud of his youth

swallows and moonlight
over the blue light entrance
of v.i.p. club

rain falls, thunder clouds disperse
he stands in front of me,
waving hands in front of my binocs

i watch the band huddle -
paige nudges me and says
he's peed in his pants

all converging
within two sandstone rock walls
tattooed arms so thin

they came in limo
ukranian driver waits
for concert to end

Rockies baseball game 9/24/05
baseball suit
on a two-year old who
basically loves balls

for the fifth time
that we're on the bus

cotton candy buzz
sugar engenders sibling dispute
spun pink fluff

crowd responds
to rock 'n roll
and spicy nachos

bright light
brings daylight
just an opportunity
for everyone to scream

home of the rockies
by the fifth inning
third tier bleachers are cold

barry bonds strikes out
red tongue from cotton candy
spectators wait to be filmed

evening descends
stadium grows light
mountains grow dark

batter poised
camera flashing
the crowd boos

fans with mitts
duck as bat splinters
flies into audience

sound bytes
free t-shirts
sun wo-kim up again

bases loaded
resounding rock chorus
music propelling us
to eat more nachos
and drink more beer

orange summer cranes
flags waving, evening descends
september light

spontaneous human wave -
can't wait
'til it reaches me

five second
heavy metal
sound bytes

solo/group kukai
jonathan machen