H  A  I  K  U     S  P  I  R  I  T
James W Hackett

James Hackett

Wind gives way to calm,
and the stream smoothes, revealing
its treasures of leaves...

Deep within the stream
the huge fish lie motionless,
facing the current.

In this tide pool,
crawling out of a crushed crab -
several little ones.

The fleeing sandpipers
turn about suddenly
and chase back the sea!

Two flies, so small
it's a wonder they ever met,
are mating on this rose.

Just an old leaf, yet
try to follow its structure -
or count its colors!

Snail may creep his way,
but see how he binds with silver
each moment he leaves.

Sly black butterfly -
your stunts always seem to end
on a marigold.

What wealth can compare
to this tea stillness, these walnuts,
and slices of orange!

Sometimes the oddest thing,
like this orange pip,
begs not to be thrown away.

Gentle falling leaf,
your meander throught he air
holds everything.

Autumn evening...
the weight and shape of this moment
is a distant bell.

Look at this fly that
long since met eternity -
his kneeling remains.

A bitter morning:
sparrows sitting together
without any necks.

A distant dog
is adding another shade of gray
to the morning.

Broken last winter,
this branch dangling by a strand
is full of blossom!

The spider dangles,
waiting for wind to swing him
to another limb.

An apple core, just
short of the sea's surging wash:
caravanning ants.

Trapped within the house,
this fly chose to die clinging
to my vased weed.

The dreaded thistle,
for all of its many spines,
is a host to bugs.

Snail falls; then slowly
rights himself shell and all
by grasping a straw.

Need friends ever speak?
There's tea to taste, and windsong
from the garden trees.

A tiny spider
has begun to confiscate
this cup's emptiness.

Still on this bath tub:
the little bug that I had
promised a flower.

These barnacled rocks
just uncovered by the tid...
how busy they sound!

Snail, your confusion
has covered the pavement with
an exquisite design!

My mouser cat, though
merciless with flies, just sits
and blinks at the bee.

Ever suspended
above the ground that he strolls,
the daddy-longlegs.

Now stores, the orchard
with summer grasses, boy-high...
where I played and dreamed.

For a real measure
of the day's heat, see the length
of the sleeping cat.

When finally caught,
the kitten's tails is given
a real good licking.

A miracle of grace:
the great blue heron
unfolding into flight.

Waking... amid grasses
and wild flowers bright with dew:
cold mountain sunrise.

A black bear fishes
the stream, while her restless cubs
harass the beaver.

A single criket
is warming the quiet
of this lonely night.

A heavy night fog
has so silenced the city,
each light seems a friend.

A white tapping cane,
revealing a world of colors
to passersby.

All of a sudden,
every bird becomes silent...
the sound of fall.

Drifting whitely
over a deserted beach...
the sound of surf.

That gull in the surf,
though deluged by breaking waves,
always reappears!

From a few blossoms
on the autumn plum, come fruit
for the vwinter birds.

Hailing suddenness...
the long ears of the puppy
stand at attention.

That tenement child
performing his long shadow,
somehow sustains the world.

How drab this rock seems,
and yet what hidden color
each raindrop reveals...

Sun just after rain...
the color of a wet rock
fading into steam.

Combing out my dog...
attending his ordeal,
a whole sill of cats!

Now within the house,
a new emptiness... I listen
with tearful eyes.

Cherry blossom wind...
playing amongst the petals,
a white butterfly.

Now that I have freed
the butterfly from the web,
I feel uneasy.

Redbird won't swallow
the bee in his beak until
it is wholly still.

Wild mountain cherry:
being borne on every branch,
the way of the wind.

In Japan

The monastery dog
bids the stranger welcome
with wagging silence.

On reading this poem
of Basho, I find myself
swallowing hard.

Viewing the garden
more floating, than flying:
a jaunty butterfly.

This beetle running
circles around his prey...
is working up an appetite!

While being scolded
the old cat licks his shoulder,
pretending not to hear...

Soon bored with vastness
I kneel to the wild flowers
and all their wonders.

The stillness of dawn...
yet the leaves of lofty trees
reveal its presence.

In this nothingness,
gull after gull emerges
searching for the sea.

A great bank of fog:
sea gulls emerge and then soar
- right back into it.

To the toddling child,
an orange is a treasure
everyone must see!

A spider crouches
at the center of this empty web,
trusting his design.

This pool's old goldfish,
the one with the grand tail, never
appears anymore.

An autumn tempest:
just a playground for the wind,
this turbulent world?

For this dandelion
that struggled throught he sand,
the wind from the sea.

Ever lingering
in the taste of the walnut:
deep autumn.

Come! See how fresh snow
has silenced every edge
of this moonlit night.

One bud on this bush
has been chosen to awaken
a butterfly!

Lying on a leaf
full of holes: one caterpillar,
and half another.

Especially for those
who are blind to birds: the song
of the purple finch.

On the cabin wall:
a pine being blown by moon,
its every move...

Snail, how can you move
at your embracing pace
on this blackberry vine?

Carrying the world,
and everything beyond:
this burdened beetle.

Whatever my dog
was chasing within his dream,
he is now sniffing!

This flat skipping stone
kept for its color, appears drab
without the stream...

The depth of night, yet
growing across the valley:
the mountain's shadow...

Nothing but mountains...
and yet with every wind,
the smell of the sea.

Swinging on a pine,
the wild beyond echoing
my newest haiku.

At the end of this trail
now overgrown with wonders,
lives an ancient friend.

Now, from the sea's edge
to peaks clear across the sky,
is sunset glory!

Summit now is all...
of the world nothing remains
but a sea of cloud.

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