Zen Poetry

Zen, Haiku and Senryu

Haiku: Seasons


impatience of new beginnings:
January cherry blossom

through an open window
come our winter visitors
sparrows and snowflakes

green, balloon dog
scuttles from December winds

Christmas spider:
threads of icicles
adorn park bench

full moon
winter night

white, lichen covered boulders
beckon winter snow

blue tits dance
tree to tree
travelling companions

with bowing branches
the oak surveys
her river grave

on an up-turned pine root
snowdrops stretch to the sky

entwined in ivy
ash tree
frozen in time

evening play
catching breath
frosty night

faint shadows
on stone
inhabit graveyard

faint tap tap tap
on gravestone
song thrush and snail

walking the same path
not the same path


“we are all in agreement”
daffodils nodding
in spring breeze

flirting with spring winds
autumn beech leaves

delicate rainbow
a-top ploughed soil
spring butterfly

jackdaw’s laughing
a welcomed announcement:
spring is here!

on spring winds
acrobatic buzzard
performs in his circus

cold and wet
passing of life
in the blackbird’s nest

fallen from the nest
owlet seeks shelter
in my wellies

with a sweeping hand
daisy buds break
their snow blanket

lazy bumble bee
drunk on sycamore pollen

angry faces
etched on water
spring torrent

wearing his best suit
but no date this year
spring chaffinch

carpenters toiling
on high-rise homes:
spring crows


incense smoke dances
around summer raindrops

day-dreaming collie
a-top tractor
counting sheep

in morning sun
yellow wagtail
dances a jig

along water’s edge
heron stands- fishing

“all aboard Lovely Nellie”
Kirkcudbright day-trippers, tripping

summer showers
little lochans
adorn Alchemilla

leaf to leaf
water cascades
down Peony

clicking mala beads
attract a grasshopper

summer bonfire
fireflies melt
into twilight

now I’m here, now I’m not
hesitant lizard
embraces morning sun

along an assault course
of Mango leaves
ants shopping

hitchin’ a ride
on saffron robes
house fly
visits the Temple

on the Temple roof
pied wagtail dances
with his golden shadow

as summer ends
even the sail-boats
are heading south


through cracks in the gutter
raindrops compose
their own mantra

race against time
poppy buds dance
in autumn winds

dew-drops caught
in the spider’s web:
a string of diamonds

dew-drops caught
in the spider’s web:
a string of tears

with every fallen leaf
its nakedness appears
cherry tree

with every fallen leaf
cherry tree drifts
into her hibernation

separated by wire
mothers lament
their spring lambs

white horses ride
St. Mary’s Loch
autumn winds

orange bracken
once-green hills

seconds pass
by leaf fall
nature’s timepiece

newly shed
oak leaves
newly gained

sleeping under
gowns of moss
stone bears

rock-pools of oak leaves
autumn beach-combing

floating leaf
carries away
my dreams

thud!… autumn wind-fall

sudden downpour… of oak leaves

single fallen leaf
comes to rest on my hand
an absent friend


“Pakistan Summer” a five sequence Haiku

of plastic and feathers
Pindi’s kites
cruise the evening sky

along my floor tiles
ants navigate
their criss-cross highway

in early darkness
of the Punjabi summer
fireflies play tag

in irrigation ditches
serenade mosquitoes

on snow-covered treetops
cranes sleep

often I stop, and look back

someone else’s shadow

walks with me today

my mind haunted

by images of the past

emotions rush

through my body:

a river in spate

walking briskly

but going nowhere

in the middle

of the road

Buddhists converse

meditating on death

blackbird and ambulance

sing their own lament

that long walk home

stopping awhile

give my shadow a rest

looking for clarity in my life

through muddied water

staring at his reflection

happy face, sad eyes

mountains and lochs:

a world I belong, don’t belong

another paint-laden

spider, another mantra

walking in Torridon

my only companion

a distant, barking dog

walking the same path,

not the same path

new moon

new hopes

and fears

feeling happy

feeling sad

familiar birdsong

tossing coin

into pond

carrying it’s secret

roar of the river

drowns my thoughts

Carrick’s peaks

bathed in sunshine

tempting my cold heart

twisted man

climbs twisted peak

helps him

straighten things out

“peaceful protest”

we exclaim

under police hooves

sunshine then showers

echo my emotions

sunshine then showers

reluctant bride

slips into her gown

of happiness

our parting:

you sit beside me

but are miles away

the right words

but wrongly spoken

and now I’m alone

she comes to me

only in my dream:loneliness


that shirt

our love fades

with her smell

lost, but not possessed

the irrationality

of unquenched desire

that instant; hear, feel

an internal dialogue;

blink, moment passes

this cavernous space

once held an open, wise mind

now a broken heart