AUTUMN Livelihood

A Dictionary of Haiku
Jane Reichhold


cloud jeweled day
blackberry jam
on the windowsill

huckleberry jam
all the tiredness
up in jars


old maid's tea
pouring boiling water
on unopened flowers

soup bubbles
the past lives of vegetables
throbbing with heat

pepper shaker
in gathering darkness
a sharp sound

dinner over
the knife is clean and
the cup is empty

autumn rain
walking about in stocking feet
tasting the soup


old buttons
threaded on strings
lips closed

a blue coat
the length and width
of a shadow

his old jeans
pockets torn to flaps
in full possession

early autumn day
just right for throwing away
old tennis shoes


her ashes
the bad times

cutting wood

morning trees
feeling the woodcutters
coming to work

chain saw stilled
the sound of the ocean
comes into view

old forest
cutting across the road
chain saws

clear cut
a sign on the stump
no trespassing

the mountain path
being drawn through the woods
a sound of saws

chopped kindling
the axe head warms
scarlet weather

above a chain saw
a tree bends

going bald
the logger
the mountain

years going out
the rings of a tree
just cut down

puff of exhaust
our earth's lungs
hauled to the mill

the logging truck
shifts down

exciting the air
with sunlight


women at the bar
bleached and scarred

singing low
sea-white fog disappears
into bar lights

life on the river
muddy water saloon
mountain still

in water the colors
of painted canyon


into death
into earth

angel wings
the skeleton's feet
arranged in bones

edge of the cliff
the old couple discuss
going home

my parents
their breath gone
yet the wind blows

last sip
bitter taste of earth
in the water

death rattle
the bookmark in his Bible
does not move

fire starting

morning sun
the basket of fire-starting
twigs white with frost

firing clay

sunset's glow
the heat in clay pots
being fired


gathering chestnuts
in the fall
a crack

returning year after year
to this one place
chestnuts and harvesters

chestnut burrs
open and defenseless
after harvest


a hunting dog
turning the stones
into quail

pulled taut
his long eyelashes
at the bow

a man with a gun
goes alone into the forest
of armless hunters


almost there
searching the dust
for moccasin tracks

no one home
the Indian village
of house trailers

lace curtains

home from the dentist
he brushes his teeth
by a lace curtain

wearing the lace
behind thin clouds
the moon


a kerosene lamp
filling the pitcher
with sunflowers

making home movies

long dead
he laughs and speaks jerkily
super eight home movie


watching the moon
grandma goes to sleep
with her glasses on

mushroom gathering

carrying umbrellas
strangers in the woods
hunt mushrooms


autumn sun
in a far cabin corner
a dulcimer

putting the dulcimer away
the last note lingers
drops to the floor

raking/burning leaves

gusts of wind
raking leaves in a pile
without hands

autumn's dusk
the smell of burning leaves
brings tears to my eyes

rummage sales

rummage sale
at the Lutheran church
a rosary


leaning scarecrow
real estate dealers also
are not upright

new owners
the familiar scarecrow
left his post

writing home

autumn evening
adding a long postscript
to mom's letter

Continue to AUTUMN Animals.