Haiku Poet of King County

 by Will Flemming

Drinking cool water
from a tin cup,
I think of stilled Basho haikus; 

I dream up clouds of
Cherry-blossoms, hung above
a nomad’s bald head 

mind and nature, side by side
in perfect measure. 

I can see him now:
beard and stick in blue meadows—
plucks a blade of grass; 

stoops in rest; salutes
a dim crescent moon, looming
over distant hills. 

Within his satchel,
a poet’s stylus carves out
wonders of the world; 

in his body twists
a poet’s wind-swept spirit,
craving sweeter words 

to transcend the poor
transience of infinite
sketches; immortal 

is the legacy
he leaves—an homage to the
fleet mortal voyage. 

With another sip,
I pluck a haiku poet of
King County up— 

setting off eastward
to retread steps; words; riprap
laid down by himself 

to inaugurate
a vacuum in the hollow
of the skull; a womb
              wherein the world is born anew.