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A Year Of Haiku

01 Jan, 2024 | Return|

Happy New Year to you all. I bet you didn’t have “READ LAST YEAR’S HAIKU BY TIM EASTON” on your dance card resolutions for January. No worries. I just type stuff into my phone and laptop as the year goes on. Sometimes I scribble them in my journal. I often use the Haiku form to just get started on a thought. If things are overwhelming me, I can just say to myself: “all you have to do is write a Haiku and it doesn’t matter if the syllable count is exactly 5-7-5 because that is not what the Japanese did.”

I do not mean to belittle this incredible art form. I love reading the masters like Basho and marveling at how he went on an immense journey of self-discovery and such, often spending a full season in one meditative spot, and then produced two haiku that summed up every emotion wizened from the experience. I’ll not go on and on about it, because their are dozens of Haiku-esque pieces below, and we all have lives to live. Some of these lines become parts of songs, some are just there to get a rhythm going. I am not reinventing the wheel or even the chair with these pieces. I just write them, and move on. May you and yours have an amazing New Year. 

(photo by Judson Baker)

Lots of work ahead…

 

New Years Day gambling

poker face not holding strong.

Humility lessons.

 

Thunder cracks boom

when Winter rain is angry.

Meditation is over! 

 

Hot drinks, games, poets

Nighttime at the coffee shop.

Stop writing. Live life.

 

Caffeinated head

reads, writes, scrolls, questions, answers.

Eventually naps.

 

South coast Winter rain

Cold winds from the West.

Scarfs in Florida.

 

Wintertime waves

blue skies over white beaches.

Sticking to the woods.

 

Exhausted again

Almost happy tired. Wired

on tea, joy, songs, sex.

 

Martin Luther King

Is celebrated today.

I am six years sober.

 

Six years no booze, drugs-

some minor bumps with bruises.

Growth? Yes. Finished? No.

 

David Crosby died.

Just the physical presence.

Buddha giggles.

 

Life gets too heavy.

Escape seems reasonable.

Book Alaska dates.

 

Day of anger, pain.

Light is not getting inside.

Dinner with daughter.

 

Entertaining folks—

strange vocation with speed bumps,

connection, desire.

 

Dead rock stars galore

remind us of youth when they pass.

Shane MacGowan lives.

(Keith Richards lives!)

 

Hands down depression

is only mitigated

by lifting hands up

 

Hungry, angry, tired,

unable to concentrate.

Artificial joy.

 

People seem to love

artificial art, music.

Was I born skeptical?

 

Million dollar home

on a dead end country road.

Isolation clouds.

 

Neruda was murdered

whether by poison or censorship.

Words live eternal.

 

Romance is fleeting.

Love lust longing loom large

only love remains

 

Doctors appointment

has fear knocking on my door.

I answer naked.

 

February slacks

Come easy after hard push

of resolutions.

 

Slowing output down

to make room for emotions.

How do they escape?

 

Before the big trip

excitement gets bogged down

with reality

 

Yesterday’s flight

arrived in the future.

We are down under.

 

February’s gone

like a bin chicken with lunch.

Try catching a bird.

 

Australia’s sunshine

does not take a walkabout.

It awaits you.

 

How cool is Melbourne?

How blue is Lightning Hopkins?

Walk, listen, learn.

 

You are never lost

when the magpies are singing.

Follow the tune.

 

Bank breaking my mind

is nobody’s fault but mine.

Anarchy in mind.

 

Lazy day needed

where nothing at all us done.

Eat, read, sleep, repeat.

 

Why all the worries

about things you can’t control?

At one point, you could have.

 

Dogs in the Yarra

swim fine against tight currents.

I have walked too far.

 

Potters colonies

turn into wealthy suburbs.

Artists settle first.

 

(After aboriginals, of course)

Joan Didion writes

with surgical precision.

 

Study the masters.

Happy doing nothing.

Books, bed, food, repeat.

 

Beach town in the rain.

Eager to be free

of anyone’s instructions.

 

Airport 4 hours early.

Fifteen hour flight.

That’s six movies easy.

 

Trapped in window seat.

Running behind

each season like a blind wolf.

 

Exploding flowers.

Easter is rebirth.

Halloween is re-death.

Both have benefits.

 

I want everything to crackle

or explode into a song.

Sometimes it just walks.

 

Paralysed, but not.

I can move. I am writing,

but it’s all from bed.

 

What brought me here—

to the cave’s entrance,

the abyss?

Action, or lack there of?

 

Fifty seven years

doesn’t feel as old

as it sounds. Lucky.

 

Wilco demonstrates

sounds of formerly struggling

men now rocking freely

 

Canadian flight.

Stewardess speaking French.

Excitement.

 

I lived and traveled

the world over

and I still love it.

 

Overnight rainstorm.

Sudden sunshine at coffee shop.

Where you been Britpop?

 

Rolling through stop signs

balancing pumpkin seeds.

Car crash in the night.

 

Lucky to be here.

Lucky to be anywhere.

Seconds & inches from death.

 

Rolling hills, graffiti.

Black cows in fertile meadows.

Switzerland unfolds.

 

Laughing Italians

on a Southbound train.

Misty mountain rain.

 

Capitalism

is a salty, dying kiss.

Too much and you spit.

 

Jet lag is a joy

I wish I woke up each day

with mist in the trees

 

African woman

at the gate. She smiled.

We spoke of music.

 

One slip at the pool

brings on the understanding

of old age body pain

 

Sam “Ligtnin’” Hopkins

concrete heavy emotions

Winter is coming

 

Three squirrels frolic

In the yard. They know nothing

about Hunter Tim

 

Two feet of snow fell

in Anchorage last night

Plans for Spring begin

 

I have a crush

on a conservative Christian.

Satan is grinning.

 

Mance Lipscomb plays chords

not taught in books or on streets

of my youth

 

The car accident

knocked me sideways at first.

Then forward.

 

Beckett arrives just

when he is supposed to.

When you are older.

 

Is there a fake book

for relationships?

Watch out for key changes.

 

Thanksgiving head cold

plus dry cough, fever, aches, pains.

Gratitude for life.

 

Hands up if you

have been broken up with

but then asked for sex

 

Shit has just changed.

I get chocolate. Angry

it’s vegan. Enjoy immensely.

 

If I see some rule

that is involved with making art

I must break it.

 

Antisemitism

is everywhere in America.

Somewhere love assists.

 

Mississippi John Hurt

takes me on a journey

away from darkness

 

Addictions are jokes

until you wake up crippled

with fear, pain, anguish

 

I plan daily haiku

then forget for weeks

then play obvious catch up

 

One sentence per day

unlike one Haiku per day,

is doable, barely

 

Wintertime simply

is not aggressive down South.

Cardinals are laughing.

 

Shane MacGowan lives

on in songs, stories, bar tabs.

Forever searching.

 

Roots musicians

grounded in history.

Remember when Devo

covered The Stones?

 

Forever watching Shane

fall down the stairs

with a suitcase full of bottles.

 

Two nights interrupted.

Awake before the sun comes up.

Sex dreams. Not too bad!

 

Mance Lipscomb sings

from my parents big speakers.

Eternal back beat.

 

Infinite projects

begin with one tilt of the head.

Love life; help others.

 

Monday sunshine

chores await. Internet too.

Coffee first. Then walk.

 

The second to last

Friday of the year brings joy,

traffic, stress, release.

 

The world is bigger

than you ever imagine

thinking about yourself.

 

The South is difficult

to explain, contain, remaining

loyal to emotion.

 

My song list is long

I comb it before I play

hoping for the change up

 

Exercise or loaf?

Addicted to step counting.

As good as it gets.

 

Too much on the plate.

Some obligations bring joy.

Must walk in the woods.

 

I have accomplished

a lot of work in bed.

Not a metaphor.

 

Daughter told a friend

she wants to be a writer.

I was proud, frightened.

 

Recording two hours

to provide a song for you.

Hoping for smiles.

 

Carolina girls

in the house. Toilet clogged.

Had to shit in crick.

 

Friends, food, guitar love,

stories, jokes, sunshine giggles.

Birds don’t fly alone.

 

Lunch meeting, new friend.

Discussed family, songs, guitars.

Almost old friends now.

 

Morning pages, tea,

cream, honey, poems, stretching out.

Solid day ahead.

 

Scatter my ashes

throughout Spain and Alaska.

Take your time. Eat well.

 

Here’s what we do know:

Short term memory is shot.

What do we know?

 

Catastrophic friends

speak in hyperbole

every now and then

 

A man is dying

that does not have to die:

Alcoholism

 

Morning explodes with

low, fast moving clouds.

My friend may die soon.

 

No regrets. no fear.

Ridiculous expressions.

All of us have both.

 

January’s face

froze in place this bleak morning.

Life is underneath.

 

Hold a good friend close.

Give them everything you have.

Dead flowers blow away.

 

Exhaustion is real

sloppy with dull punches.

Just lay down right now

 

Old drunk friends wander

to the barn loft in my dreams.

Jump out the window.

 

Train whistles at night

remind me of hobo times.

Now I sit happy, still.

 

One town, three bookstores,

four cats, five memories.

One guitar, one church.

 

Deep ocean awaits

all troubles, desires, dreams.

Disappearing act.

 

Tik-Tok famous

means nobody will know you

tomorrow

 

Technology woes

cripple crush destroy creation.

Walk in the woods

 

Black dog has me under.

Solution is to run

or bow and walk

 

Improvisation

is not a secret weapon

until it exists

 

Good morning Melbourne

magpies sing R2D2.

Your future awaits

 

Australian coast

smashes cold waves in the face.

Flat white coffee now!

 

A man discovers

he can no longer walk.

You can, so begin.

 

Wouldn’t it be nice

if constant reminders

kept us living free

 

Five weeks in Alaska.

Fifty pounds of fish.

Difficult re-entry.

 

Take a break today

I know that you need one

Just look at your life

 

Switzerland, Italy

another journey. My journal

overflows again.

 

I bought a journal

in the Zurich airport.

Abandoned in Tennessee.

 

Words are good, yes.

Feelings are important.

What is for lunch?

 

Mushroom coffee

will not change the world just yet.

Will anything?

 

Japan plans on table

Excitement

Nothing more to add

 

Return to Elk River

Stunning sunset, full moon rising.

Zero fish caught.

 

Christmas songs

interrupted by gun violence

with advertisements

 

What is New Years Eve

if not memories, then fear.

Did we love enough?

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