Nearly Spring Haiku

nearly spring

Most likely I am guilty of slaughtering a venerable form of Japanese poetry. But I must admit to loving the simplicity, the challenge and the possibilities for humor and juxtaposition that Haiku provides.

It is Nearly Spring here in my little part of Canada, that aching time of seasonal limbo when we hover between the lingering cold and the coming green. A lot of snow has melted, yes, but certainly not all. The ground that has appeared again isn’t green but grey. The trees still look bare except if you examine them closely, then they reveal their humble bud beginnings.

These Haiku poems I share today are a form of therapy for me during Nearly Spring. I confess to eagerly awaiting True Spring with only tiny shreds of patience. These humble lines of five syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables help me cope.

Nearly Spring Haiku 2018

Spring ready to leap
But winter will not release
Its icy talons

Have you every thought
Spring sprung in February?
Poor befuddled fool

Snow post March twenty
Feels like a wet soggy slap
Across your bare cheek

Brownish greyish gunk
Never looked so beautiful
As on a thaw day

The snow blanket goes
Revealing the plows scrappings
Suburb detritus

Melted mini-lakes
Make some of the sidewalks seem
The place for canoes

Tiny buds appear
At the tree branch fingertips
Peeking at the sun

Spring surprise party
As things hidden for long months
Grin at us again

Green will soon o’er take
Winter’s ice-blue dominance
Time guarantees it


by Ronald Kok, March 24, 2018

Conference Poetry: An Oxymoron to Battle Banality


I attended a conference in London, Ontario this past week. Though there was much good to be had, like most conferences, it had its share of disappointments. On the last day there, April 24, I took to writing some flow-of-thought poetry to help me make it through. Below are the four poems that emerged from that unlikely context.

Hi Speed Blah
(Written while a keynote speaker orated at high speed off the top of his head. Disjointed, confusing, too fast… all at 8 a.m.)

Hi speed blah blah blah
Words at high speed
Remain meaningless
Too much Too many
Can put you to sleep
Why am I here?
Why is my brain made
To pay attention to this?
Might as well be speaking
Is Turkish a language?
More interesting to ponder
Than hi speed blah
Blah Blah Blah
Too much Too many
Words rapidly delivered
How is it we are so capable of communication
Yet so poor at it?
We’ve all endured too much
Blah, blah, blah
A tragedy of life

We Got to Fix This
(The Battle Against the Banal has been my life-long struggle. It continued at this conference)

We got to fix this
Banality and brutality
The brutality of banality
Stifling creativity
Putting spirit to sleep
Deflating passion
Stomping on the eternal

We got to fix this
Banish banality
Brutalize the brutes
Who ravish our dreams
With beauty we strike back
With color, shape and sound
Inflating passion
Tender eternal with loving care

We got to fix this

In Forest City
(London is known as Forest City. I took a break at one point, sitting out in the sun on a London street)

In Forest City
Run, Forest, Run
Sun, finally, sun
There’s been no spring
In our spring ‘til now

Forest City hubbub
Bubhub, Hey, Bub
Wind still chilly in tads
But just a tad
Compared to artic air
Swept through, sliced through

Forest city smells
Cancer stick wafting
Combines with new growth
Cold enough out to
Encourage me to pee

Back inside soon
Forest City, thanks

You, Yeah
(I couldn’t help but think of a couple of people who would have been better served being at the conference than me)

Thinking of you, yeah
What I hear may not apply
To me
But to you, yeah
Vision, passion, commitment
You have
Can I help you, really?
Not sure but I’ll try
Getting info, meeting people
Wish you were here
Instead of me

Thinking of you, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah
Want you to thrive
Want your awesomeness to fly
That’s why
I’ll apply
Myself for you
Instead of me