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Spring Haiku

from NCPR
Spring 2007



Long dark alleyway
Silent as I pass slowly
Light snow on the ground



St. Lawrence sirens
Call remnants of aging snow
Goodbye winter ghosts

Steve Diehl, Antwerp


Dirt on my fingers
Mosquitoes biting my arms
Bats swooping lower

Sun is setting now
Bats swooping low, near my head
Time to go inside

Towhees, catbirds, wrens
Gather wisps of detritus
Designs in the round

Vici Diehl, Antwerp


Snow melted at last
Mourning dove cooing in spruce
River running high

Drawing garden plans
Having lunch on the back steps
No black flies here yet

Rain with thunderstorms
Birds singing and building nests
Peepers in puddles


Vici Diehl, Antwerp, NY


a blade at my eye
its point a tear shaped mirror
at once the dew drops!

Joseph Longshore II, DeKalb Jct.


1. Yesterday:
The power went out.
We worried about the sump.
Save energy, bail!

2. Today:
Ninety nine point five
A half foot below flood stage.
The sun shines today.

3. Tomorrow:
Will we still be here?
The politicians will be
Please send them to Mars.

Katja and Chris


The North Country Spring:
The snow melting, trees budding,
Hopefully by June

Mike Balonek, Potsdam


Black-Cap in its tree:
Look! Me! I'm here! This is me!
Tasting the warm air.

Jay, concealed, yells:
Yeah! Yeaah! Clear out! Clear out, you!
(Rivals flew north, too.)

Robin on the ground:
Over here? There? Look there! Worm?
Earth is warming through.

Crow scorning from its branch
All that Jaw!-Jaw!-Jaw!
Stow it! I was here all year!

Christopher Dunn, Potsdam

Note: Christopher says he went 7-5-7 for the crow because "Crow is a bigger bird; needs more wingspread."


A hillside brook starts
Talking to sleeping maples,
Sun leans close to listen.



Eric Folsom, Kingston, Ontario


through the melting snow
a yellow daffodil smiles
fragile child of spring

spingtime dances through
painting flowers as she goes
nature rejoices

Mary Beth Kikel, Lake Placid


four inches of snow
deadline for taxes today
the skunks are at large.

Katja and Chris


Seamstress (For Barbara)


Needle, fabric, thread.
Deftly you create beauty.
Cloth becomes a gown.

Dan R. Creazzo


Flurries predicted
When will Spring come to this place?
We wait anxiously.

Crocuses are up,
Daffodils peeking through sod.
Why is it snowing?

I am so grateful
to see Spring come back to me
after Winter's gloom.

Cherie Colton Binns, Wakefield, RI


two geese winging south
disoriented? or what?
don't they know it's spring?

Canada geese float
serenely on these farm ponds
resting between flights

thousands of wild geese
congregate on river flats
plucking last year’s grass

mountain streams rush down
carrying winter away
dancing merrily

Bonnie Colton, Lowville


sweet spring flows between
rusting sap and bees rushing
honey yet to glean

Elisabeth Ward, Westport


Spring snow on withered crocus
I sigh and long for
the return of the warm sun

Holly Chambers, Potsdam


Duck tracks in the snow,
They too, are ready for spring
When will winter end?

Roseanne Gallagher, Malone


    Trying to plan
shorter portages...plum petals
    lie on the table

John Scarlett, Rossie


Easter Inspiration

Rising in the east
Our sweet sun loves one and all
Hail the inner light

Don Snedeker, Costa Rica


Spring wakes us with sweet
birdsong and lulls us to sleep
with soft rains at night.

Marque Moffett


Some instructional haiku: In authentic traditional haiku, form is only one of several elements. Using the form, but not the other refinements, here is a primer on haiku construction for those who may want to improve their skills. This should not be taken as a criticism of beginners’ efforts—only an expanding horizon for the adventurous!
Bonnie Myers Colton—author, poet, fellow learner

there's more to haiku
than seventeen syllables.
ready for challenge?

simple directions
for writing superb haiku:
find pen and paper...

just five syllables
next line seven syllables
repeat first line beat

got that down pat? good!
verse also should describe a
natural-world scene

always remember
show action in present tense
look for unique slant

you master the form
now use language with deft skill
surprising the mind!

practice makes perfect
discipline enhances skill
join the haiku trend


A response to instruction:

Gotta buck the trend
Give me rules, I'll ignore them
THIS is MY "nature"!

Cherie Colton Binns, Wakefield, RI


13 haiku from students in Jacquie Werner-Gavrin's 4-6 grade class at Red Cedar School in Bristol VT.

A hummingbird flies
Over villages and hills
Pulling spring with it.

A fox is outside
Light begins to disappear
As he runs through trees

Nimaya Lemal, Ripton, VT

Waves come crashing down
Falling up towards the sky
Come booming to earth

4. Stream
Running restlessly
You never slow yourself down
For fear you might stop

Leyla Namy Dickason, So. Starksboro, VT

5. Trees
Kings of the forest
Of meadow lake shore and hill
Crowns of cloud and sky

So bright and happy
Rolling hills, summer is alive
Summer is alive

Margot Levey, Fayston, VT

7. The Bath
Swimming in the tub
Splashing around with the waves
Baths are my ocean

8. Free
Running with the wind
Playing with my life, happy
Dancing for the world

Evy Jacobs, Monkton, VT

9. Boots
Black and slick like a
Shining armor, comfy and
Stylish. Oh yeah.

10. Ben and Jerry
Ben and Jerry, you’re
Too good to be true. Creamy
Lovely to my mouth.

Gabrielle Schlein, New Haven, VT

My name is Jeffrey
I live in a comfey shoe
But I cannot rhyme.

Evan Harry, Underhill, VT

A beautiful horse
With a mane as black as night
And hooves silver gray.

Three pretty flowers
Dancing in the brightened breeze
Beckon me to them.

Miranda Selinger, Hinesburg, VT


On a snowflaked branch
Red robin sings lullabies
To the frozen night.



Pamela Cummings Rice, South Hero, VT



Cluster flies invade
Dive bomb my head as I work
Where are the spiders?

Regional Art Director


A moment of Sun;
Then Snow Returns.
So too the national conscience.

Lynne Stewart, South Bombay and NY, NY


Womb beneath white sheets.
Savor, sleeping infant son.
Wipe your death away.

Dominick Ferro, Massena, NY


the river flows
and talks to me
stop! listen! splash, splash

Rhoda Gough, Malone NY


White turns brown
Brown to green
Alas green to brown again

Joan Mazzacano, Malone


Sugar snow dusting
Long lingering winter
Sun! Melt back to green

Heather Eldridge, North Lawrence


Snow leaves too way soon
Mud, noise, barking dogs, chores loom
I miss winter’s peace

Judy Ross, Plattsburgh



The snow melts quickly.
Time to visit pipe chambers,
hope I can hear frogs.

Dave Raville, Chaumont


Looks like the ground's bare --
I think sugar snow's in the air.
C'mon snow, I don't care!

Pete Lavine, Potsdam


spring rain falls in sheets
sheets on the line white and crisp
crisp white sheets of ice

Jan DeWaters, Potsdam, NY


Rain is raining down
Load outhe cozy wheel-ed home
Escape the oozing mud.

Rae Louise Tate, Star Lake


Snow melts, cold rain falls.
Flowers push through soft wet earth.
My dog rolls in mud.

Anastasia Osolin, Potsdam


Fragile ice shelves perched
Over waters edge at morn
Soon will fly away

Joe Reilly


Earthy, somber hues,
the palette April holds dear
while dreaming blossoms

Nancy Howard, Tupper Lake


Deployed far from home
I forgot last spring's haiku
But now I am home...

Mike Handy


Read the Spring haiku
on the public station’s site.
Feel community.

Valerie Ingram, Canton


Snow hatches silver
Branch tips blush like teenage girls
Invisible thrush

stu kuby


Oh eight election
Democratic candidates
Dog sh*t emerges

Oh eight election
Republican candidates
Dog sh*t emerges


3. the signature line is also 5/7/5
Brian McManus

Doesn't matter whom or what
Fed up with these guys


crocuses freezing
robins pecking hoary ground
drip maple sap drip

Don Mandigo


Birds are back. Flies attack.
Soil is tilled. Flowers appear.
Mud comes, trails erode.


Yvona Fast, Lake Clear NY


Parts of myself
     I don't remember closing
opening    bud by bud

John Scarlett, Rossie


Gravestones pierce through snow
Daffodils clamber their way through dirt
But the casket doesn't move up

Bear thinks of waking
Geese already are flying north
While I dream of fall

Pete Klein, Indian Lake


Adirondack Spring
I wake to NCPR
Predicting more snow

Caperton Tissot, Saranac Lake


Ahhhhhhhhhhhh. . . . .. . . . .end of the day
time to run, jump and play, hurray
life is A. O. K.

Charles Shene


Turkeys return, scratch
dark earth from ice in search of
life or maybe corn.

A half-dozen deer
approach cautiously; spooked by
dog, they disappear.


Joanna Loucky-Ramsey, Norfolk


If someone should offer you love --
should you not return it

Karl, Norwood


Gentle signs of spring
Feathered friends appear on limbs
As trees yawn and stretch


Kelly Woodruff, Potsdam


Buffalo Sabres
are going to the playoffs.
Joy in Pominville.

anonymous regional magazine editor

Buffalo Sabres
are heading for the playoffs.
Ruff! Ruff! Ruff! Ruff! Ruff!

her dog


Some syrup season haiku:

Under the lid
of a full sap bucket
full moon

Tapping in a spout...
on the same tree
a woodpecker

V of geese
to cursive

Maple steam
rises through rain
the sound of geese

of the bit brace
Escher into geese

Hidden by mist
father and son reminisce
across the evaporator

"Lift me up, Pa"
granddaughter and I
check the buckets

After the geese
the sound of geese
lost in the mist

Five gallons
in each hand..rain
drips off my nose

The ox pees
a steady stream
of light amber

One pint of syrup
equals the five gallons of sap
I just spilled

Low-flying geese
honk louder and louder
"First poet!"

How rich?
maple syrup
and haiku

John Scarlett, Rossie


Otter lies on snow
next to the first big ice hole
soaking up the sun.

Dina Kennedy, Newcomb


the lake ice melts
and the sky goes deep.
a sparrow in the pine.

Chris Shaw, Bristol VT


Adirondacks wait
Remembered scents buried deep
With wings not yet born


Pete Benson, Saranac Lake


On Passover we
opened the door for Elijah.
Now our cat is gone.

From Ellen Rocco via Florida friend


Warm and raining now
The trail has more brown than white
The last day to ski

John Doty, Westford VT


brand new eyes seeing
his first Spring arriving now
child rejoices

Lizzie Girard


Melting Revelation

Mound of bear asleep
The winter long near our road
Morphs to a hay bale

Kenyon Wells


Trees poke through the snow.
Ron bends knee, breaks a binding.
No robins up here.

Phil Brown, Saranac Lake


lover's moon shines bright
peepers singing merrily
on a warm spring night

Mary Beth Kikel, Lake Placid, NY


My boots love the mud
When the slippery ice goes
But my rugs do not.

Helen Condon, Parishville


In the pale, green, grass
We hunt for colorful eggs
baskets overflow

Simon Roome, age 6 (with a little help from Mom)


Raindrops hit bare earth
Where nothing is awake now
but green will soon come

Mud puddles are great
No boots can save me now
Soon I will be drenched

Good morning says the
tiny bird in the apple blossoms
Join me in the day

Gentle breaths come down
consuming me with warmth, and
wrapping me in light.

Petals of light, pink
strewn the distant sky in colors
too pretty for words

Geoffrey Roome, age 17, Madrid


Spring is coming
the signs of it are many
snow melts on the ground

Leaves grow in the trees
geese come back from the south, and
goats have their babies

The sun shines brightly
kids splash in water and mud
we come in dirty

Hot baths are needed
with great, big, bubbles galore
when the day is done

Do you hear it now?
honking, the geese come slowly
landing on the ground

Sophia Roome, age 9, Madrid


Ice and slush melted
The bicycle is ready
Time to ride to town

Mary Roger


Driving through the fog
As warm moist air meets cool ground
Earthbound clouds of Spring

Anita R. Figueras


Grasse River ice sculptures
Sun warms and ice melts away
Look, here come the geese.

Snow is going
Tiny green sprouts peeking
Flowers are so near.

Pam Short, Madrid


Heel bone got broken
Falling from a snowy roof
Crutches schlup in mud


Coop, Colchester VT


Back to the North Woods -
Do we miss South's early Spring?
Not a slushy bit!

Anne Smallman, Malone


Robin, where are you?
Snow's melting. The worms await...
Alfresco dining.

Nancie Battaglia, Lake Placid


Spring’s warm fingers reach
deep into the frozen earth,
tickling life awake.

Beverly Ewart, Potsdam


snow disintegrates
brown grass soil - muck and mess
fresh earth, ancient scent

Kim Andresen Patnode, Lake Placid


These "haikoons" first published in Hill Country Observer


Elsewhere, I read, hear
spring’s fauna, colors return
but here, still grey snow.

Todd calls for haikus
of spring as I car-bound wait
Road crews have returned

Minus fifteen? Fie!
Season’s change is here, and warmth.
Just wait, just wait, wait…

Through trees, a rushing
Is it wind? Or river freed?
even at night, spring

trunks now fill with sap
leafless branches take color
blood-red, pale green, mist

Peter Wilson, Saranac Lake


Crocus tips push through
soil released from winter's frost,
yellow like the sun.

Nanette Holt, Potsdam


Belligerent March winds
Push against bodies and branches
Then, let go!

Carol Poole, Saranac Lake



Two geese on a lake
Reflected clouds surround them
Flying or floating?

Crisp calligraphy
Snow geese on blue paper sky
What can this sign mean?

Trillium bursting
From winter roadside gravel
Can we see rocks move?

Bloodroots—not blood red
But silk white—blooming in shade
Late snow or petals?

Mud—red, blue, yellow—
Darkens the still bittern’s pool
Feeling fearless fish?

Willows mimic fur
On bare branches in April
Wind wails or cats’ cry?

Wasps bump against glass
Like drunks on their way home
Happy or confused?

Cadmium yellow
Drips from your spring swollen breast
Will she be dazzled?

Bob Robbins


At the sugar house
Drip, drop, plop, sap fills buckets
Sweet scent fills my nose.

Yvona Fast


Construction season;
Get your APA permit;
Avoid bad karma.

Emily Tyner, Saranac Lake


Traveling around
Its easy to see Spring come
from under the snow

Dave Bradford, Potsdam


white dawn of snowscape
melts beneath day-long soft rain
bare lawn by sunset

sixteen years have passed
now taller than Mom, Dad's next
Spring baby--all grown

Lucy Martin, Ottawa


Squirrel tips feeder
Red wings, chipmunk, dove, mouse join
Share a spring snow feast

Roof ice, brown snow melts
Sun up and around, hope springs
It's coming, almost

Red fox falls through ice
Rises, wet, shakes and runs, shakes
Spring's last lake ice trip

Susan Sweeney Smith, Cranberry Lake


Hockey playoffs start
As baseball season begins.
Springtime sports are here!

Liz Resseguie, Paul Smiths



Red-winged Blackbirds trill
in fields; robins hop on lawns;
Spring is truly near.

Nancy Gates, Lisbon


ice cracking, gaping
maw wide, lake swallows winter
sonic booms echo.

sitting on the porch
wrapped up in Woolrich, coffee
in hand, feels like spring!

dampness all around
me, mud and sap are rising,
birds warbling "be mine!"

Dina Kennedy Newcomb


Old stone in new work
Welcomes Spring and healing vines
Toad found his new house!

Paperwhite blossoms
Burst alive from the ashes
Of my big white dog

Though some think it trite,
Haiku is real Poetry
It passes the test.

You can always end
With either "Burma Shave", or
"Happy Mother's Day."

Mark Holland, Dallas TX


the scent of wet earth
i am so in love with you
when i am in bloom

dre, malone


Spring in the Blue Ridge
Buttercups, Forsythia
Best of all Dogwood.

It is time to dig
That first shovel full of soil
Sweet smell makes me swoon.

Maureen E. Donovan Stuart, Virginia


Night, a big raccoon
meets a bigger possum, the
raccoon moves aside

Snowdrop blooms nodding
Rhubarb poking thru the soil
Asparagus next

Goldfinch turns yellow
Red-winged blackbirds creaking
in song, crows cawing

Prune my apple trees
Tap maples for my reward
Golden light amber

Vici Diehl, Antwerp


Cooped up for winter,
six plump hens now bathe in dirt.
We call it “the spa.”

Todd Moe, NCPR


Drip Splash Drip Splash Drip
Big Puddles Are Now Forming
Mud Season Begins

Erica M. Neufeld, Lake Placid


Outside this morning
the pleasing smell of wet soil
I breathe deep and smile


Randall Swanson, Saranac Lake


Hate the racket of studs,
driving with my windows down.
I'll need them once more.

Hot sun on porch roof.
A well-timed drip from the snow
sends chills down my neck.

Patches of bare ground.
Snow tracked into the kitchen
no longer dries clean.

Ted Merlesmith, Keene, NY



Black running stream
Unseen for months under white
Still flows to the sea

Steve Murphy, North Creek, NY


Giant heaps of snow
riding in a yellow truck.
Dump it in the lake.

Wendy Gordon, Plattsburgh


Not quite haiku


Bright blue sky.
A distant cacophony of sound.
Snow geese, hundreds, maybe a thousand.
Long skeins of white, wavering across the sky
Strings of pearls, every gem vibrantly alive
Full of energy and hope
A new season

Murray Beidler

78 more listener haiku from Spring 2006



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Making Spring haiku--
it is not rocket science.
Follow this pattern.