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Heaps of Haiku – Tanka Too

Keeping in Touch

– A Psalmody for Janet

Matins:Good morning, Lord. Still
dark so back to sleep. Bless the
homeless… keep them safe.

Lauds:Birds just waking up
to chirp your praise. Cars and trucks
hum along. Me too.

Prime:Up and out! Spirit,
pray in me, guide my choices,
my words. Make me kind.

Tierce:Some close calls, but no
real mess-ups – thank you! Help me
live your dream for me.

Sext:Great meal – thanks! May we
all, friend and stranger, share our
bread with the hungry.

None:Evening news always
so sad. Let me be peace in
your tired, hurting world.

Vespers: Loving Fire, burn in
me! Comfort the lonely, touch
the troubled tonight.

Compline:Take me, dear God, as
I am, but make me all that
you want me to be!

Amen.We did it – thank you!
Dear God, I love you. Goodnight.

In the Yard

Firewood piled high – flag
flying higher. Rusty cars,
pick-ups, propane tank,
broken toys, green cattle gate,
and one sturdy sunflower!

The Deer

Cautiously he crosses
the dusty road, clearing the
fence in one great leap,
yearning for fresh, cool running
streams as I, Lord, long for you!


Scent of Rising Bread!
Stay with us now, O friend, in
shared and broken bread.

Simple Pleasures

Another sunrise!
O world! You are happening
again, and a cool
orange awaits – firm, juicy,
straight from loving groves to me!


That tiny flame, so
like my prayer – it’s all we can
muster this morning.
But you, Lord, are happy with
both – our best, our all, for you.


Rooted in mud, its
tiny flowers push upward
to water’s end, till
at last, bursting into clean
blue air, they blossom in light

Marguerite Speaks…

Some of Marguerite Bourgeoys’s words
are almost ready-made haiku! For example,

she would say to her sisters –

Be always little
and poor, my daughters, humble
too, like cabbages

and pumpkins, lowly
of heart like Mary – highest
of all earth’s creatures!

and she reminded them –

Yes, we must bear with
others’ faults so that they too
will then bear with ours.

Love others, do them
good, but don’t forget – try to
help them love you too!

challenged them –

Unless prayer comes straight
from our hearts, it is no more
than a fruitless dream.

Souls, bodies – readied,
pure! The Spirit will set us
afire with his love!

We are charcoal, fired
deep in its center, kindled
by God – and consumed!

She compared Mary to

Living water, clear –
crystal clear! – springing up from
our Savior’s fountains!

In sharp contrast, we are like muddy water,

but take heart, because –

Joined to her as to
our true source, we will be cleansed,
refreshed, refreshing!

As a sister would set off on mission, Marguerite

would say,

Go, dear, to gather
up the drops of Jesus’ blood
which are being lost.

Then on this cheery note, off they’d go!

Since all good comes from
God, may you suffer with joy
anything – for Him!

Another Psalmody

for Sister Lorraine Caza

Pre-dawnBefore stars close their
eyes, raucous roosters crow – loud,
off-key Glorias!

DawnWith dainty steps young
rabbits, noses twitching, dance
their wonder and thanks!

MorningTall grass gossips with
butterflies, tickles wind gusts,
whispers happy hymns!

Mid-morningBarbed wire? Dusty roads?
Tumbleweed smiles. Roll me, Lord,
wherever you will.

NoonSentinel prairie –
dogs yip; Danger! Quick – below!
Please, Lord, keep us safe!

Late afternoonBox-elder bugs (Peace!
Peace to all!) snuggle, sunwarmed,
humming silent psalms.

EveningYucca stalks, purple
against a gold-streaked sunset,
raise their pods in praise.

MidnightOwls hoot, coyotes
wail in wakeful longing for
God of dark and day.

P.S. to Lorraine:You called them forth, these
haiku-from-the-prairie, here
on St. Lawrence shores!


Pulsing with promise,
brimming with hope, each new breath
is God’s gift to us!

In snail crawls or wild
leaps, each moment lived with love
is our gift to God


New day, new year, new
decade – with dawn-tinted snow,
immersed in God’s love!

Autumn Play

Chasing sunbeams or
each other, golden leaves swirl,
soar, tumble, fumble,
pirouette, sway, stretch out, laugh,
pant for breath and finally rest!

To Mary Sorrowing

Simeon’s words pierced
your soul over and over –
as all mothers know.

A sword, he’d said, and
you gripped your child tighter, stepped
back to keep him safe.

A lifetime later
you held him close again, and
felt the final sword.

We share your heartbreak,
Mary, when loved ones suffer,
age, fail, rally, fade.

Edging closer, Death’s
arms await – and yours. Ready
their tired hearts – and ours.

A Visit with You

… is like a tall glass
of sparkling hope – cool and fresh,
to sip for soul-strength.


Unique, flawed, perfect,
they swirl and dance, rest on tongues,
mittens, fence-posts, fur.

They blow, drift, pile up,
slow us down, block roads, close schools,
nourish winter wheat,

sail towards friendly foes,
look through button eyes, or up
at other angels.

The Unexpected

Some songs surprise me
with their softness – psalms too and
birds’ morning music.


Like Hafiz, I heard
God laughing as I prayed. You
call this prayer? God said.
Prayer. More like a butterfly –
or toddler in a toy-store.

But toddlers are dear
to me, butterflies too. So
smile, relax, enjoy.