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Gleanings: Haiku by Bob Barancik

Read by Roxanne Fay, a Tampa Bay actress, novelist, and playwright.


He cannot elope
with a cantaloupe and squeeze
the hot tomatoes.
She must chill out in the fridge
and just veg her days away.

Pretend you’re sorry—
act like nothing much happened
and shrug your shoulders.

Haiku went away
and stayed away for 4 weeks—
then knocked on my door.
She left a brown paper bag
filled with cut dandelions.
(filled with 4 dried red roses,
filled with persimmons and pears)

Covid eats our dreams
and muffles our silent screams—
it rhymes with morbid.
The coronavirus tires
us and makes us afraid
of our own shadow touching
another frightened shadow.
Will it ever end
before my patience runs out—

Everything curls and
wants to cling like grape tendrils
climbing an arbor.

To find levity
in the brevity of life—
the joke is on us.

We swim together
the sea and me until
just the ripples remain.

The white August moon
was an alabaster plate
on black tablecloth.

Next time I will fly
high into the wide blue sky—
my feet become wings.

The flying fish soars
over the raging white caps
and swims beneath waves.

I fish for myself
and catch this present moment—
and catch a fat large mouth bass—
and catch an old leather boot—
and catch clumps of slimy kelp—
and catch yesterday's old news—
hook, line, and sinker. 

I fish for myself
and bait hook with mind worm.
and bait hook with moldy cheese.
and bait hook with hearts desire.
and hope something bites.

Please listen to me
please listen to me right now—
please listen to me!

The world is too big
to care about so I grasp
my wife’s narrow wrist.


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