Haiku Tuesday: Sand Sea Sentinels

Tempting overlook
green hills distant call our names
the trail maze confounds

Hail the desert king
loyal, we stiff arm salute
stand at ease, refused

At painted sunset
smooth brushstrokes fail to evoke,
your presence required

Beneath rocky crags
under lifeless stone and sand
tiny eyes peer out

Summer sun beats down
weak smiles conceal winter’s sins
tears soak arid earth

Haiku Tuesday: A pirate’s life for me

Swab the poop deck clean
Hoist the sails and scrape the hull
Romancing the sea

Months upon the waves
Land and women forgotten
Cabin boys beware

Stowaways revealed
Passengers must pay full fare
Sharks pick up the tab

The Jolly Roger’s
rictus grin beckons you join
brotherhood regrets

Shiver me timbers
cannonade’s volley strikes true
flotsam my altar

Fire burns the water
bright, the mast, a candle dies
moonlight shimmers cold

Fathomless graveyard
wreck-strewn, riches lost, now what?
Final adventure

Haiku, Senryū, Zappai: seventeen syllable poems

OK, leave it to the Japanese to have a name for the 17 syllable trash I’ve been writing.

Haiku is a type of short form poetry originally from Japan. Traditional Japanese haiku consist of three phrases composed of 17 phonetic units in a 5, 7, 5 pattern; that include a kireji, or “cutting word”; and a kigo, or seasonal reference.

Senryū is a Japanese form of short poetry similar to haiku in construction: three lines with 17 morae. Senryū tend to be about human foibles while haiku tend to be about nature, and senryū are often cynical or darkly humorous while haiku are more serious.

Zappai is a form of Japanese poetry rooted in haikai. It is related to, but separate from, haiku and senryū. Lee Gurga defines zappai as a form of poetry that “includes all types of seventeen syllable poems that do not have the proper formal or technical characteristics of haiku.”


I’m guessin’ that I’ve hit the mark on writing an actual haiku about 5% of the time, a senryū about 5% of the time and the rest of them are all zappai.

I’m good with that.

Of course, I couldn’t give a fuck either way. I don’t do this to appease some jerk-off poetry gods. I do this because I’m bored to tears and yet my narrative juices have dried up and now my story-mind is a useless husk.

Regardless, it’s an interesting tidbit to know that there’s an actual name to this drivel I’ve been peddling. And no, I won’t be changing the Tuesday offering’s name. Haiku purists can go fuck themselves.

Hmm, that was harsh. Being a software developer, I know what good code looks like. I know what exquisite code looks like. And, I know the effort that’s required to write such code. Adding that “Una poca de gracia”, that “little bit of grace” necessary to take a zappai to the level of a haiku can demonstrate poetic awareness and attention to craft necessary to prove one is not just a hack.

I’ll aways be a hack.

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Haiku Tuesday: What lies unseen

35mm macro of a sea creature slithering out of a dark pool of water in a forest

Terrifying thoughts
slither between pleasant dreams
unease haunts your day

Slime drips down your thigh
cool green ooze pools beneath you
melting popsicles

Horrific demons
from realms suppressed since childhood
sing sweet lullabies

Drifts of sand tremble
shudders belie hidden bulk
sleeping giants wake

Desert blooms unfold
glaucous glands leak toxic goo
resigned surrender

Haiku Tuesday: Whether Weather Wears Weary

Thor tosses Mjolnir
crushing thunder rings our ears
soft rain billows down

Paintbrush and lupens
bask in sunlight, drink their fill
winter oblivious

Storm clouds intimidate
mortals optimistic plans
gods make no amends

Virga drapes her locks
wispy tendrils dangle low
impotent showers

Cumulus portends
precipitation in waves
west winds blow them clear

Thirsty grounds beckon
gravid clouds to spill their loads
sorry, not your turn


Haiku Tuesday: Preppers of old

My apocalypse
arrives without instructions
corn cakes anyone

The potter’s wheel spins
soft clay glides beneath skilled hands
hard fired stone revealed

Grain centuries old
stored safe to stave off famine
sustenance wasted

Barley and water
experiment forgotten
lo and behold beer

Alone in the dark
strange sprouts whisper bold secrets
ergot tastes of death

Not Haiku Tuesday: Lucky My Ass

Feeling lucky punk
preparation sets the tone

Universe favors
those with low expectations
be happy with less

Shitty odds aside
fortune favors the foolhardy
says the survivor

With Dixie chickens
and chances with bartenders
and songs sung so well

Your fate has been set
stars are mapped planets aligned
sail the course assigned

Destiny debunked
free will is yours to command
take the lonely road

Haiku Tuesday: If you go into the woods tonight

Woodsmen come prepared
flint and steel send burning brands
catching tinder smokes.

A single flame blooms
littered leaves and twisty twigs
kindling fears the flame.

Lonely travelers
quit their trek in darkened woods
campfire feels like home.

Foreboding forests
filled with fantastical freaks
flash in fire’s flicker.

Simmering cuppa
blow clear the drifting ashes
satisfying sip.

Haiku Tuesday: We need our dough

4 a.m. arrives
new-age bakers flip the switch
machines never tire

Is something missing
wheat yeast water salt all there
ah the human touch

Automation takes
gives idleness new meaning
empty incentives

Eastward the Levant
its microorganisms
no longer give rise

Break it and share it
bread binds cultures together
without it we starve

Haiku Tuesday: Martian squirrels conspire

A scolding so vile
a dog, pest poison, murder
Anti-theft bird feeder

Feasting on acorns
some locations forgotten
old oaks nod sagely

On desolate Mars
forsaken dreams lie waiting
train rides to nowhere

Build a second home
a contingency backup
first one forsaken

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Wolves prowl the alleys
while collies sip hot coffee
with bourbon chasers

What wee hours business
contrived in desperation
gives daylight solace

Haiku Tuesday: Tolkien in the corner

A hard day’s slaving
at labor meant for machines,
tavern ale awaits.

Wave the bartender
a silver for the table,
let’s toast to friendship.

Blow the frothy foam,
tip your tankard, feel the burn
gasp and wipe your lips.

Tall tales grow bold,
boasts of conquest beg belief,
grins belie the truth.

Conversation ebbs,
backs are slapped, patrons drift out
time to stumble home.

I found an interesting voice synthesizer site ElevenLabs and wondered if it would read poetry. Haikus need pacing, which this fails at. Still this is entirely fake — no humans involved.

DALL-E’s images are getting sloppy. I can’t seem to generate a quality image anymore. Oh well, beggars and choosers and all that…

Pathetic: as if drawn by a child

The Aegean Sea brings only tears,
as Athena calls me forth.

Waves leap high and tempt my fears,
they push me to the North.

Notus blows his arid breeze,
back home I fear disaster.

But on I row, I huff, I wheeze,
to heed her words, her laughter.

For I know all humans, she disdains,
we are her toys, her chattel.

Athena’s voice, compelling strain,
refuse and tempt her battle.

Dredging up old DALL-e images, practically grotesque.

I can feel my Sometimerz disease really kicking in these days. Seeking simple rhymes, I fumble and resort to google. Maybe AI is coming at just the right time for me. Apropos of me losing my faculties, simultaneously no longer needing them.

Haiku Tuesday: The Open Road


Sun sears vinyl seats
as the horizon dances,
the mirage beckons.

The backseat cooler
leaks our precious blue ice-melt.
Next gas ninety miles.

Roadside attractions
other-worldly aliens,
dinosaurs loom tall.

The map wrong folded
crackles and flaps, resisting
my seventh attempt.

Five hundred and one
miles done, cassette tape broken
silent hundreds to come.

Haiku Tuesday: Bottled hope

A photorealistic image of a blue glass bottle washed up on a beige sandy shore, inside it is a rolled up message, the sky is stormy, but the sea is calm

Imagine a time
of ships, sails, flags and rigging
and wrecks upon reefs

Pen a solemn oath
sealed with a venomous curse
bitter and spiteful

Upon parchment dear
a last testament writ plain
lies of no regrets

Cast upon the sea
our curiosity piqued
expired salvation

A desperate wish
to connect, to touch a soul
in futures unknown

Haiku Tuesday: Tilting Wind Turbines

To challenge the wind
Believe you are first master
Of your broken heart

Dulcinea’s eyes
Gaze sweet upon my dour face
Her tears like crystal

The swoosh of my blade
Rends the clouds my enemies
They stack against me

Leap Rocinante
O’r the sun the liquid moon
Seek impossibly

To all I survey
Let them know I persevered
Despite my failures

ChatGPT: Write a moody poem about the moors of Scotland

Can you write a moody poem about the moors of Scotland.
Include the baying of hounds, mists, moon light and the forlorn love of a maiden.

Mists cling to the moors of Scotland,
Eerie silence save the baying hounds.
Moonlight filters through the fog,
A spectral scene of ghostly mounds.

The maiden wanders, love forlorn,
Her heart aching with each step.
She searches for her lost love,
In this land of mist and kept.

The hounds’ howls echo in the night,
A symphony of sorrow and pain.
But the maiden trudges on,
Through the moorland’s endless reign.

For in this land of mist and moon,
Her love is all she needs.
Though the moors may be dreary,
Her heart forever heeds.

So let the hounds bay on,
And the mist forever swirl.
For the maiden’s love will guide her,
Through the moors of Scotland, a pearl.

Can you try that again but in the style of Robert Service?

The mist on the moors of Scotland,
Is a ghostly, eerie veil,
The baying of hounds a haunting tune,
That echoes through the gale.

The maiden roams the moorlands,
With love forlorn and true,
She searches for her heart’s desire,
In this land so wild and blue.

The moon shines bright on heather,
A spectral light so fair,
But the maiden’s love is all she needs,
To guide her through the glare.

The hounds they bay, a mournful sound,
A symphony of woe,
But the maiden trudges on and on,
Through the mist and misty snow.

For in this land of mist and moon,
Her love is all she needs,
Though the moors may be dreary,
Her heart forever heeds.

So let the hounds bay on,
And the mist forever swirl,
For the maiden’s love will guide her,
Through the moors of Scotland, a pearl.

ChatGPT: Can you write me a song about floating down a river?

Verse 1:
I grab my paddle and hop in my canoe
The river’s flowing, it’s calling my name
The sun’s shining, the birds are singing too
I’m feeling free, like I’m in a dream

Floating down the river, it’s a peaceful ride
The water’s calm, the breeze is light
I’m taking in the sights, just letting my mind glide
Floating down the river, everything’s just right

Verse 2:
I pass by the trees and the bushes so green
The fish are jumping, it’s such a sight to see
I close my eyes and breathe in the air so clean
This moment is perfection, it’s where I wanna be

Floating down the river, it’s a peaceful ride
The water’s calm, the breeze is light
I’m taking in the sights, just letting my mind glide
Floating down the river, everything’s just right

I don’t know where the river will take me
But I’m not in a hurry, I’m just letting it be
I’ll soak in the beauty, and the tranquility
Floating down the river, it’s where I want to be

Floating down the river, it’s a peaceful ride
The water’s calm, the breeze is light
I’m taking in the sights, just letting my mind glide
Floating down the river, everything’s just right

So come and join me, let’s float down the river
Leave your worries behind and let’s just quiver
With the beauty of nature and the peace it delivers
Floating down the river, it’s where we want to be.

Haiku Tuesday: Depressionist art

Shadows meander
peacefully amongst the pines,
silent wolves keep still.

My friend Mike told me about Ellen Dittebrandt who was an impressionist artist living in Oregon who died in a car accident in 2014. This image is generated by Stable Diffusion and looks nothing like her art but, her name was used in the prompt. Clearly AI art-gen still has a ways to go.

Solitude never
feels so all alone, if you
share it with nature.

This image came from a simpler prompt which merely named the previously named artist. This engine, Stable Diffusion, although trained on 5.6 billion images gleaned from the internet, fails to appreciate the true nature of Dittebrandt’s work.

Styx allows passage
to any who pay the price,

This was created using Dall-e2. Hades sailing the river styx in the style of raphael.

I recommend Ellen Dittebrandt’s artwork, it’s rather pleasing.