SUMMER Livelihood
A Dictionary of Haiku
Jane Reichhold


up in the smoke
faces I've met there

waiting area
mom and dad's faces

airport carpeting
the dizziness
above and below

before boarding
a finger on the wingtip
cold and sweaty

among strangers
sun rises without a night
flares on metal wings

bare feet

her sweat socks
still do

smooth sand
chasing children down the beach
their foot prints


watered silk
bright surf catches
her pants leg

a huge wave
rolling up her pants
still wet

missing the malls
on the ocean beach
she gathers shells

the fat child
gathers the most sea shells
pockets bulging

high tide
the beach leaves a mark
in her book

afternoon wind
all the beachcomber's words
blown out to sea

heat wave
on the beach crowds
cool fog

cold beach walk
on sun-warmed car seats
two sweatshirts

curls of waves
yet on the beach all day
her hair goes straight

smuggler's cove
stones wash on the beach
the size of skulls

a special beach
I put a pebble in my mouth
before leaving

car doors slam
essence of starfish comes
home with us

gift of civilization
a hairbrush

beach bums
at a sermon of gulls
one tries to sleep

smelling the light
on her tanned shoulder
home from the beach


picking up a nail
from a crosswalk

flat country lane
a man on a bike
slices the sky


too tipsy to drive
out in a canoe

choppy waves
the small boat between
two worlds

behind the speedboat
water bent and broken
mends with ripples

streaked with gold
sunset in the rich folks' harbor
the tallest mast

in a canoe
a man eating a banana

a summer day
drifting by
in a canoe

river's bend
wave lengths of setting sun
broken by a canoe

rowing on the lake
boats filled
with empty sounds

stopped down
by the river's pace
drifting boats

studying waves
he drifts off
to sleep


cabin closed
the waiting in the woods
as we come

the tiny cabin
listening to pine wind
its very own planks

early summer
cabin walls leaking
late night cold

back again
in the summer cabin
winter dreams

tin roof
hearing the edge of a cloud
wet with rain

warm dry air
the river low in August
a door opening

leaving for home
summer cabin floors
swept bare

building a hut

man's first home
a wall of green wind

pillared by pine
driftwood logs
slanted sunlight

a driftwood shack
remembering other times

fights forgotten
neighbor kids building
a club house

the open window
screened with a web
leaf shadows


remaking the bed
the river flows by
the campground

nearly awake
sea-gathered light
on sleeping faces

environmentally sound
wiping the new-age camper
with recycled paper


the way to the circus
childish voices

the sun goes around
up and down

city life

Berkeley sidewalks
the rest of my education
on the street

selling peace buttons
he buys the mulatto a coffee
room for the night

street woman
her tits at home
in T-shirts

city park
hands of the blind

cutting grains

home from haying
the weight of a wooden rake
on sun burnt shoulders

a giving sound
wheat leans into
the mowing machine

it is still hot
tractors coming home
with headlights


sound of a fan
blowing a cool hole
back into summer

paper and sticks
the coolness of a ocean
painted on a fan

forest fires

dry wind
the smell of smoke
bright red

hot moon
marked and spotted gray
by forest fires

plowing a firebreak
the dry earth
a cloud of smoke

clearing a trail
it only seems clean
after a shower


the girl-watcher pinches
a peach


your long letter
a garden around me
tall white summer skies

voices among flowers
patterned paths


evening song
the scythe set a stone
leans on the fence

snapping beans
she doesn't look up
when the gate slams

garden spider
at home in a hat
dangles at my ear

a new hoe
chopping the grasses
of last spring

cabbage gardener
seeing white butterflies
in a new light

going home

long walk home
the incoming tide
refills footprints

hot stones
footprints of swimmers
going home

homeward bound
our days of vacation
in brown skin

driving in time
rivers flow backwards
as we leave the sea

going home
down the mountain road

the ocean waves
come back

tracks on the beach
all the feet have returned
to the city

welcome home
the far ridge filled
with thunder

coming home
to the rest of rain
all day long

the way home
a scent of open fires
clinging to my wrist

ginko *  success
finding back home
sand between my toes

*ginko - Japanese for a walk taken 
with the purpose of writing haiku

the weight of eyelids
home from the beach
full of sand

home again
a bath and the towel
with a blue border


hikers rest
at the waterfall
coming down to earth

heavy sweating
the taste of mountain
on a hot day

squeaky knee joints
canyon river sounds
coming up the hill

canyon springs
where water rest in light
travelers pause

going down the mountain
its rocky river words
still in our ears

tired bones
back-packed in
a mountain hike

"the back of my hand"
he said
and we were lost

looking down
the tops of trees
rooted in the canyon

hitch hiker
leaving the no-camping area
his pack all lumpy

one path
heel to toe
and warm

mountain climbers
their voices higher
than the rocks

effortless the assent
of their voices

soft pink hills
the hiker invited to rest
way over there

in the valley
stretched to the setting sun
soles of hiker's feet

hikers resting
yet the mountain moves
its morning shadow

"Pomp and Circumstances"
mountain hikers

mountain hikers
morning as wide
as spirit shapes

Sierra hike
taking John Muir's word
home again


on the picnic basket
several small bugs

hitch hikers
a car full of flies
going to LA


sun on her knee
stuck on raspberry jam
dripping through toast

August beaches
for moms and crabs
the nitty-gritty

tumbling on the sands
over-playful waves

afternoon quiet
the grandson's crayon
melts on the porch

evening clouds
stretched low on the horizon
a child's name being called


on her breast
brightness next to shadow
of lace

ocean foam
all night the loveliness
of a lace gown


laundry day
the gardenia blooms
clear white

billowing white
filled with a summer day
clouds on a clothesline

laundry dries
a change of sea wind
dampens it again

bottom of the basket
the sandy beaches
of dirty clothes

home again
the mountain that remains


land's end
the low star turns
into a lighthouse

the lighthouse
mirrors over the sea
a yellow pyramid


two lollipops
wrapped in cellophane
matching sisters

mid-day nap

a noon nap
rock shadows

picking up sleep
where you left it at dawn
afternoon nap

roadside rest stop
getting out of the car
all the tiredness

not really tired
a summer day
lays down to rest

beach sand
measuring a poet
stretched out

shadows from a nap
have moved

mountain climbing

slick rock faces
climbers' strain
against the rope

dots of shadow
climbing the mountain
flute notes on both sides

to the summit
to view the lowest point
in the valley


ridge dark
in town
a good movie

outdoor movies
around the old films

after the show
the smell of rain
on hot asphalt


summer afternoon
the coolness of white
naked on a quilt

moss-green bank
the woman reclining nude
as is the river

nude beach
nothing new
under the sun

on the porch
passion flowers

swimming in the river nude
on your birthday

on the nude beach
from her tits to her toes
it's Saturday night

outdoor concert

outdoor flute concert
the second movement
the wind

singing low
sea-white fog disappears
in an outdoor concert

following strings
stars hum along
with the guitar

tightened spinal cords

hot summer night
all that jazz
shared by neighbors

going insane
radio rock
a block away

stop light
music from other cars


in her hands
coming out of the hills
clay pots

beach clay
in her hands palm prints
a vase for flowers

how quiet
the cove where divers left
their trash

dune buggies
in the desert night
electric fireflies

dune buggies
nights in valley lights

inspiring view
eating cereal
with a pencil

row upon row
torn from a notebook
mountain lines

sea painting
a child's water color box
full of sand

watercolor paper
stopping a wave
with a brush

trying to paint highlights
on tops of waves

following the brush
into a watercolor

watercolor class
the beach giving lessons
in making waves

a Sunday painter
the lighthouse just as big
as a gnarled thumb

dried up
in a box of paints
summer sea colors

a hummed tune
painting a wave

in exchange
for a special rock
flute notes

a gentle breeze
river willows not moving
lost fishing lines

looking up
from the crime story
passion flowers

as everyone knew
poets who write by the sea
are all wet

desert notebook
fills with sand

the book closed
yet hearing the poems

green faded ribbon
the English lute
hangs songs on a nail

sounds of a harp
drifting into the forest
into birdsong

- for Elizabeth Searle Lamb

in rows
bees and his lips
at harmonica holes

- for Jack Stamm

tuning the dulcimer
legs of a spider
crawling out

country market
the humane society sponsors
a flea market

the world stops
just to find it


raspberry jam
on a peanut butter sandwich
high noon lips

weathered picnic tables
after the summer shower
mustard stains wet


ocean view
tourists taking photos
leaving trash

taken by the view

on the ground lens
a wind-swept pine

when the show's the best
the lights go out

canyon rim photo
after the click he sees
his toes in space

loaded with cameras
donkeys with a master's degree
in photography

worn smooth
the wind-swept cedar
everyone photographs

in the desert
a sudden whirring
camera's automatic rewind

silver sunshine
on a photo


summer afternoon
filling the pool
with neighbor's kids


at the gynecologist
knitting a baby blanket
for the seventh grandchild

for Caitlin Steiner


restless waves
newly arrived

restless sea
houses of folks
taking it easy

night rocks
in beach fog
drunken voices

digging their toes in sand
cliffs of California

reliving history

playing my flute
ten thousand years ago

my mind still fits
the grinding place

bare bones

roughing it

watering the desert
a small yellow stream
between her feet

a load of firewood heats
wheelbarrow handles

mountain lights
the glow of candles
in jelly glasses

rusty pump
cussing and swearing
it goes again

cooking clouds
in oyster stew

outdoor plumbing
showering with stars
sandy soap

outdoor shower
in a path of moonlight
surf sounds

outdoor tub
bathing in the scent of pine
still on the trees

city girl
how to brush her teeth
with a wet finger

in the tub
heat of the day
goes down the drain

squatting over earth
just as I pee

the scorched earth
where he always pees

sleeping on the floor
an Indian rug curls up
beside me

wakeful hours
bending a square of moonlight
a rag rug

dried prune faces
guests when they hear
we have only a privy

stern child
on the wall behind the hippie
her baby picture


all day outlines
dust on her sandals
where toes were

sleeping outdoors

hot weather
wearing the day
all night

summer moon
patterns on the porch
a crazy quilt

summer evening
the porch swing moves
a new moon

high tide
waves breaking loud
around my pillow

night bushes
the candle's flame
red in animal eyes

in the night stars changing
the summer sky

a canopy bed
covered with summer stars
airy blankets

mountain winds
sleeping all night
with open mouths

light from the sea
in her face

stars turning into

waking up
the itch of bug bites
brand new


Grand Canyon
a hole in the ground
filled with mountains

Point Arena lighthouse
snags the morning sun
and $3.00 each

unfenced precipice
he remembers as unpaid
life insurance

Japanese journey
Sacramento rice fields
and Mount Lassen

carried into caves
tourists' candles

Indian cave:
songs still

cave dwellers
the grinding stone

bringing home
of Indian caves

in the petrified forest
no smoking signs

harbor town bells
on Saturday night

rock woman
facing into desert sun
her sky-blue eye

flattened against the sky
warmed at the edges

Salton sea
its blue also covers
the far hills

on every road
canals with drawbridges
for pictures

country villages
the sloped roofs huddle
against green growing

before their doorways
in the hour before darkness
people as statues

in the museum
yellow flowers floating
a glass paperweight

seeing my face
in the crowd I bought
the mirror

straw hat

naked breasts
wearing only the dark lace
shadows of her straw hat

her straw hat
asleep by the garden
of noon-day sun

sun bathing

eyes closed
only my breast to view
the sea

off-shore breeze
coming to land
on bikini bodies

cooling the sand
the fat lady's shadow
on a hot day

evening deepens
the tan on her legs
with varicose veins

grains of sand
days of a life
lying on a beach

to seek and wrap around
the body nothing

except for the places
a fly sits

given to the desert

hot bathed body
dried by desert

saving water


drawing closer to the fire
sun-burnt faces


green waves
florescent with surfers
in mod wetsuits

sleeping in the sun
only surfer dreams
ride the bright waves

black suited
among seals


rationed water
in the desert
our wet places

bright blue armpits
the indigo blouse fades
into a hot day

beach day
evening turning
flesh to fire

summer illness

lumbago's dull pain
a summer breeze frisks
by the bed

on a hot day defrosting
the refrigerator

summer colds
the neighbor's dog barks
when we cough

on one hand
the liver spots of aging
poison ivy

summer lovemaking

churning seas
in the hot tub

making love
into hot tub foam
falling stars

an undriven nail
caught in the lighthouse
at land's end

between our legs
dancing flames
in a fire place

log to ashes
our love-making

after the tryst
the red candle gutted
yet  comes sunrise


ocean waves pound
the tattoo on his arm
blue skin

the rocky river
our knees a buzz
with the current

afternoon heat

salt crystal ripples
washing shells on my feet

sitting in the river
rhythmic waves between my legs
does it for me

taking heat
down from the ridge
into the river

hills and valleys
a woman lying flat
in the river

an old woman
swimming the August stream
the mossy smell

catching the big one
a fat old lady hauls out
on the nude beach

swimming alone
the drag of undertow
mom calls

tea garden

tea house
fresh air fills the cup
with green tree


date groves
palms waving
at single tourists

bound by a bell
strangers in the street
of ancient churches

good for the tongue
names of Norwegian
home-cooked food

sidewalks of Paris
the smell of coffee
on a foreign tongue

nasal tones
long bread under dark blue

tourists at sunset
in canyon walls
a sea of red eyes

closed in sleep
all the eyes
seeing the canyon

still keeping alive
ghost towns

dry river bed
round rocks moving
into tourist's cars


airport parking lot
bubble gum sticking to me
my home town

going home
car doors close
out the river

going down the road
rocky river rhythms
in our legs

eyes on the map
miss the turn

mid-morning hunger
driving right past
the chocolate hills

a sign
at the fork in the road
fine dining

car motors

granite boulders
rolling along the roads
tiny tin cars

driving home
the wrecked car
still there

a trip
with maiden aunts
coming apart

after traveling
the hot tub filled
with strangers

sea side darkness
leaving the city bright

dancing in bed
next to the nightclub
motel sleeplessness

Grand Canyon
so very huge
no room in the inn


desert vacation
the first day back
into a mountain stream

in the hot tub
two on vacation

vacation home

for rent
on the door
magic runes

rented windows
190' of ocean view
on Mastercharge

window to window
oceanside vacationers
eyeball to eyeball

roadside bench
everyone drives
right on by

sea escape
the cliff house hangs
out in space

two views of the sea
a color TV

six o'clock news
we turn to watch the world
of a picture window

my bare legs
on the stranger
legs of chairs

shutting the door
not shutting out
surf sounds

a cup of coffee
the cruise ship steams
into another window

by the window
a fireplace joins
the lighthouse

the first day
without rain

seaside summer
hearing the foghorn
then nothing else

vacation house
sitting on the porch

visiting shrines

Indian cave
shadows deep in cracks
from other suns

pepper trees
hot as hell
at the mission

circling the mission
a flutter of wings
just pigeons?

jet age
still in the ancient mission
an offering of fire

church yard
colors of fallen stones
raised by flowers

mission church
a roof of song in rows
of starlings

at the shrine
pine needles crisscross
the holy spot

holy place
sitting on sacred rocks


the only ones on time
are the stars

sun through fog
visiting children blow
soap bubbles

kids discover
spooky white in beach sand
grandma's ankles

child finally sleeps
stars come out singing
a lullaby

palm reader

Gypsy lips
curve into a smile
future revealed

all during supper
the city boy sits
on the tractor

how he inspects his fields
the man with visitors
from his wife's family

how good to see her oven
dirtier than mine

sun cookies
the kids ate them all up
before the eclipse

serving zucchini bread

his relatives
serving zucchini bread
disguised as special

visiting relatives
the narrow bed holds
us together

an old album
in the granddaughter's lap
rose petals

summer guests
taking it with them
back to town

deserted road
first the tourists leave
and now the geese

three lizards
together on the mountaintop
- and we talked

wicker chairs

creaking with the weight
the noon-day sun heavy
in wicker chairs

new cushions
on the lawn chairs
thick moonlight

wind chimes

moonlight in wind chimes


in the zoo
tiger lilies
growing wild

a wild lion
caged in his eyes
small children

children's eyes
in the snow leopard's cage
touching his spots

Continue on to SUMMER Animals.