WINTER Livelihood

A Dictionary of Haiku
Jane Reichhold

bean soup

cold rain
falling into bean soup
chopped onions

soup cooking
in the wood stove too
rain on the roof

out shouting
rain on the roof
bean soup


shiny doorknobs

not seeing
the candle shorter
the room brighter

red candles
above a rusty wood stove
leaking light

into the hot tub

dimmed lights
dried flowers imbedded in

cheese making

first daylight
a bowl of whey
pressed from cheese

children visiting

wrinkled hand
fists of another grandchild
clasp mine

open mouthed
amazement seeing grandma
clean her glasses

folded in grandma's linen closet
pure white

unpainted house
a crystal in the window
coloring the walls

chores in winter

after dark
the machine washing
white clothes

winter's cold
dishwater hardens
white grease

mismatched socks
in hand

after the dishes are washed
a smell of cabbage

unfinished poem
because it stinks
dumping the trash

holes of winter
unseasonable snow
a mended gown

hard flash of light
stabbed by a knife
falling into water

gray dust
the fluffy cat brings something
from under the bed

death in winter

death watch
a dropped stitch

freezing rain
another breakdown
in the dialysis machine

death watch
one thread

the oxygen tank

death morning
snow flakes falling
each alone

windshield wiper
not brushing away
the tears

the child that dies
before its shape is clear
in heartbeat waters

given in marriage
and with a child
she dies

sucking bones
the toothless old man
buried by a crooked pine

drinking tea

boiling water
to make tea
dulcimer tune

morning light
the taste of snow
in thin tea

handle of a cup
of herb tea

clear tea
holding a calm
in the storm

out of the cup
cold air giving steam
a shape

farmers in winter

a farmer
how he walks through his meadow
when his boots leak

weathered wood
the old guy leans
on the fence

fishermen in winter

for ships at sea
the sun also

arthritic knuckles
winter fogs untangle
knotted fish nets

a thin man
opening a jackknife
leans on his elbow

getting fat

garage sale
buying the skinny lady's
old wide pants

foiling heredity
mother and daughter

going to church

stone church
the breath of statues
frosty tonight

mountain villagers
a stony church with candles
warming each other

cry of wind
in chapel walls
chanting mouths

heavy chapel stones
weighed down with bass chanting
a cold apse

Gregorian chants
sunlight on stone walls
rounding warmth

power lines on

the many visitors
polished rocks

crystal glass
monastery bell fills
it with wine

rows of crosses
a monastery bell tolls
above the vineyard

a sermon
the deep breathing
of a sleeping child

her scarf
covering the sleeping face
a dream soul net


gnarled knuckles
knotting rag rugs
for a hope chest

dulcimer chords
patterns of a quilt
fitting together

spittle strings
collecting threads
from the new quilt

string catches colors
on the loom

a shuttle hums
between strings
a deep twang

crippled fingers
the forgotten way
of making paper

winter drizzle
crocheting a blue rug
at the door

to farmlands
bare trees

weaving a blanket
this wood stove perfumes
carded wool

to close out the gossip
a stitch snarls

a chalk drawing
a piece of amber
very near pain

stained hands
a rag rug crocheting
winter's evening

deep in winter
the lady lives alone
unfinished baskets

foggy morning finds
a torn book of poems
the patchwork quilt

black buttons
under broken baskets
bugs stare


before the fire
deer hunters discussing

old hunter
confined to setting traps
for mice

caught in a mousetrap
a night's sleep

ice skating

a broken mirror
now the ice breaker pushes apart
the joys of skating

making candy

in the 'fridge
the dark chocolate
with the door closed

making snowmen

the young boy
refusing to build
a snowman


incense burns
inside a moon shell
whorls of smoke

knots in wood
temple walls echo
a gong

monks slow song
of evening chanting
stomachs growl

tantra monk chants
the mouth nearest mine

monks chanting
the crooked pine
wind straightened

sun moves
over rough-sawn planks
monks chanting

one bowl koan
Zen students laugh
and lap it up

the balance of chi
in two hands

ascending heaven
monks chant

earth heavy
chanted prayers ascend
into high humming

stars during the day
still there

alone in the forest
closing one gate
opening the other

tapered prayer
a lone pine points
into heaven

Zen garden
patterns raked by falling rain
still the dust

stiff from sitting
how welcome the fire
of crooked branches

Zen student
asked the way home
shows his koan

the fog horn
hums along

music listening

a flute concert
the cat breathes gently
through her whiskers

soprano solo
measures the cathedral's
highest praise

organ recital
loosened soot falls free
in the stove pipe

piano concert
by firelight the flickering
of notes

the oiliness
of earache medicine
organ music

organ recital
the cherub over the altar
sways in time

organ music
the school principal's words
"go to my office"

church organ music
wondering if my tampon
will hold it all

high tenor voice
carries into a vaulted arch
my tears

harp notes
sewing the hem
of winter's robe

humming in pine walls

soprano's aria
a cavity in my tooth
fills with pain

flute concert
salt water crashes
into silver spray

flute concert
blown from foggy skies
silver drizzle

from the 15th century
rain continues

music making

Christmas carols
the Buddhist convert
hums along

in notes from the harp
stringing together
evening hours

singing old songs
the surf rolls on the sand
its roar

winter room
warmth of a string vibrating
old songs

desert wind
composing a flute concert
in pine wood

deep at sea
wind in the harp
of whale songs

with the harp
the whole house hums
a windsong

closing his eyes
his horn finds
the blue note

plucking the strings
frozen flakes fall
far from the harp

a German zither

Saturday night
in the widow's cabin
dulcimer music

rented house
harp hollow

the room seems empty
without zither notes

outdoor plumbing

going out to pee
he gives it a shake
hurries back to the fire

outdoor plumbing
with a shower of snowflakes
soap bubbles

winter nights
thawing pipes
taking a leak

stars watching
me shower
with snowflakes

all around the shower

clean feet
on redwood steps
a pad of snow

an outdoor shower
snow-caked soap

more white
in washed-wet hair

power outage

winter storms
dinner by candlelight
every night

computer software
reading the new manual
by candlelight

how small the room
without power

cheese sandwiches
warmed on the wood stove
where soup cooks

yuppie neighbors
with central heating
around the cookstove

without power
the snap sound working
in a mousetrap

haiku poets too
chop wood carry water
when the power's off


Zen Flesh Zen Bones
corners turned down

after the fasting
the bitterness of salt
speaking again

castle of light
a spiritual pattern
on the path


book of poems
on each page fingerprints
of a soul

underlining sentences
in a book

down from bookshelves
ancient myths come to life
thick ocean fog

paperback romances
the eyes of a woman reading
her own story

finger of darkness
a forest of black shapes
closes my book

remembering ancestors

my ancestors turning to larva
under the mounds

smoked glasses
in oak wood frames

grandfather nods
portraits on a farmhouse wall
in a wobbly mirror

in a flash
not letting him die
a photograph


rest home
knitting potholders for the kitchen
she no longer has

in nursing home halls
peeling from the molding

old folks home
the no trespassing sign


gentle holes
in clean underwear filling
the sewing basket


snow and sunshine
pulling cars with skis
into mountains

bouncing from snow
so young the sunshine
on childish cheeks

streaks of sunshine
sliding down the north slope
laughing children


putting away the sled
the frayed rope drags
in the mud


digging out

snow pictures

catching a chill
the failure to photograph

snow shoveling

shoveling her snow
the parakeet hops behind
glass frost flowers

a chapped lip sound
the neighbor shoveling snow
on a brick path

an old woman
the harshness of winter
in her hands

starting fires

casting snow
from a bundle of twigs
the first warmth

borrowing twigs
his hand outstretched
to the meager fire

cold gathers
the sulphur spark
against thin wood

striking a match
dawn flashed in
the oval mirror

cloud mountain
sitting around the stove
feet on the fender

above the wood stove
the antique mirror
reflects the warmth

in a much-used fireplace
a scratched match

deep in the forest
a blazing stove
hearts beating

black wood stove
the bright sounds
of warmth

into the clearing
wood smoke
for pea soup

a rusty wood stove
warmth spreads into the room

a log breathing
tongues of flame

the conversation
between wood and the iron stove
our few words

behind the stove
the old clay demijohn
of firewater

burned out
remains of a cabin
a fireplace

dark in dark
then lighting logs
in the fireplace

blazing logs
gas flowers bloom
red and orange

gas flowers
warm a winter room
blazing logs

embers darken
the eastern sky
a warm glow

heavy fog
enclosing the hearth fire
gray stones

warmed by a wood stove

cracks in hearth stones'

polished red eyes
in the copper kettle

worm holes
in the blazing log
warm again

hearth stones
around dark embers

forming fire
into logs

quieter now
flames subside
in ashen sleep

rusty iron
drawing flames
above logs

sparks from a log fire
brighten the night

ah! the heat
from old Playboys
the fire starts

cliff side house
inside ocean spray
a fireplace

picture book
flames from a curved log
warm the heart

unfinished cabin
insulated with bookshelves
warm day and night

crash and burn
the sound of surf
in a fireplace

nights  something growing
wood in the stove
a flame

the started fire
my chattering teeth


winter clearance sales

winter clearance sale
the size of snowflakes
coming down together

winter illness

wild with fever
dreams come wearing masks
pale at dawn

my back to the floor
walls become slatted trees
wobbly with fever

sick in bed all day
how the shape of the oak
has entertained me

after the flu
cups half-filled with tea
very small steps

even when ill
the day ends
with evening

chewing cough drops
a basket of nose-wet tissues
spill to a sneeze

around the eaves
the wind whistles
into an earache

in her fevered brain
the patterns in the quilt
solid blocks of light

winter cold
of damp tissues

the sky fills with flakes
of hard snow

for grandma
with love at Christmas
- the flu -

sickroom feeling
the fake formica

ears open
the soul follows
the pain

to smell a splinter
long under the skin
my little finger

rain predicted
calling the doctor
for an appointment

a confused brain
unscrambling the diagnosis
renal failure

at your side
the huge bandage
without comment

in the hospital
your house slippers scuffed
by our floors

after the injection
you smile at my story
and sleep

sitting in a canyon
on a split rock

all the electricity
back in the lamp

care full
folding  the new stitches
into a chair

a fuzzy bicycle
straddling my nose

new reading glasses
a black blur
crosses the threshold

a poultice
on my shoulder
dreams of haymaking

two days
separated by the sameness
a broken bone

in plaster

blue tin cup
the burn on a finger

steady rain
the dentist's drill
turning to snow

snowing again
a cold wind bites
the newly capped tooth

veins holding a heart
above dark waters

a wound without shape
cut-away skin

winter's seclusion

winter rain
the cook eats alone
in the dining room

a silent slice
into the sky

broken shells
the fishing boat pulled ashore
for winter

closed shops
a loose board bangs
on the winter wind

well-tended gardens
here lies the snow
especially deep

blunt with ice
the barge's bowsprit
anchored fast

bothering the drapes
of a closed window

battery cables
giving winter's morning
a jump start

home again
my lacy white pillow
ocean surf

unpainted porch
sea fog comes
to a closed door

clearing his throat
the lawyer plays with the fob
on his watch chain


light heart
the pressure of writing
with lead pencils

ashes of incense
a page of poems
hiding words

before the journey
my last poems
copied neatly

winter shadows
poems written on the back
of an electric bill

covering holes in the wall
with a wide brush

white paper

ink blot
where haiku

a page of poems

with the poem
written down

poetry contest
my name misspelled
on the first line

rainy weather
award propped on the table
sticks to the sugar bowl

rainy day
poems on the page
water spots

pen moving
in the dark black ink
of clear images

a chain link fence
writing renga in prison
holds him together

beach poems
written on driftwood
with charcoal

rough paper
snagging ideas
in black

writing down a poem
in that time-space
the fire takes hold

morning's faint light
seeing again the words
in the sent letter

 Continue on to WINTER Animals.