Eight Haiku

The Ocean Beach Pier
Whole families casting lines
Into black water


The restaurant
Is so well-tended the birds
Go elsewhere to eat


In the lobster tank
The piled-up lobsters seem dead
Or to be dreaming


Through binoculars
The cars moving on the bridge
Seem barely to move


Slender cypresses
A Roman poet called you
Candles of darkness


The coyote lopes
Down the street in the evening
His ribs prominent


The rapacious owls
Rest till dusk in the tall trees
Above tiny skulls


Lovegrass, crabgrass, and some mossy weed
I can’t identify, in the month’s rain
have filled the cracks in the big brick patio
my father-in-law painstakingly put down

forty years ago, Sundays on his knees
peering at the level to dead-center the bleb
on the front, back, and middle of each brick.
It took him a whole year to do the job

he had to do to put something in the place
of the lush grass his wife contrived to kill
by overwatering, the sprinkler on full blast
Indiscriminately, spitting left and right


Living a different life I might have been happy.
Not merely enduring each day—that’d be happy.

From here the tall buildings downtown hide the hills.
There some man lives unseen and so is happy.

Her face grown wizened and despondent now
you see in photos was once radiantly happy.

Self-medicating with booze of several kinds
sustains the illusion I too will be happy.

Files full of letters from friends back there.
Rereading them now makes me less unhappy.