Sprague’s Haiku


All haiku © 2017 Richard Jonathan. All rights reserved.

Paul Klee, Winter Picture, 1930



Parakeets gaggle,
The cock treads the hen. I scream:
His heat sears my heart

Two to Six


The night’s sleight of hand,
Stars: The sparkle in your eyes,
That alone is real

Stars drowned in daylight:
Nobody knows, only I,
You are with me now

Black night, empty sky;
Stars’ hidden presence: Your touch
In my memory

A riot of stars
Crowds the sky: Through wet eyelashes,
Your face in my mind

So distant, so close.
Thanks, praise, forgiveness: Like you,
Stars make me religious



Raindrops, window pane.
A breath blows: To the river
They run together.

Eight to Eleven


Dreamfall, the dagger
Between your teeth: Fervent,
The rose flaunts its thorns

Deathwatch, when freedom
Is vertiginous: Violin,
Knife, spear and arrow

Nightworld, the black art
Of sound’s speculum: Auditive light
In the eye of the heart

Starlight! Out of the rose,
Cold brilliance takes the spectre:
You give it back the ghost

Twelve & Thirteen


Swaying cypresses,
Wine, roses, nightingales: No.
Just the essence of you

And how it moves me!
Marietta, the turning world stops
When you touch me



Your diamond-dust shoes—
Hand them down to me, big sister:
I’ll be your bridesmaid

Fifteen to Twenty-four


Hands cupped around heart,
Protecting the inner flame:
Could fists have done the same?

Blood of the impure:
Everywhere an alien
At home nowhere

Transparent zombie
Nobody sees you: Except
The loving ancients

Blood of the impure:
Can one who does not belong
Be loved? Turn the page.

Thoroughbred beauty:
In your fearful symmetry
Blake’s tiger abides

Paralyzed, frozen,
Numb: To the last redoubt
I retreated, dumb

Enough! The horror
Of being incomprehensible:
Love me till I’m intelligible

Sister of mercy,
See beyond my tears: See into
The wasteland inside me

By what miracle
Have you come into my life?

Lady, do not rise
Till Lazarus has bestowed
His blessing: A kiss

Twenty-five & Twenty-six


Algae bloom
In spring frost: A hint of green
In your fingernail gloss.

In wisps of blonde
Earrings sway: From the treadmill of events
Time breaks away.



Hatched, the egg of night;
Black thoughts, brooding monsters:



Summer’s over,
The beach deserted: Your hand in mine
Knows no season.

Twenty-nine to Thirty-three


Blue gloss
On toenails: Blue note
In my heart

Skin aglow,
The kingdom; eyes in the know:

Sway of breasts,
Slope of shoulder: The flame,
The candle, the holder

Fall of hair, lake through leaves:
Sifting what she knows
From what she believes

Sweat on skin, gleaming;
Hair a wheat field after a storm:
I want you again



Earth, sky, underworld:
Through the realms she weaves me,
My plumed serpent

Thirty-five & Thirty-six


The tremble of lust,
Gold leaf on squirrel brush:
My lips on your lips

You got me rocking,
Leporida: You got me
Cooking, cottontail

Thirty-seven to Forty


If she were to bite
I’d join the undead: The life
Of all flesh is blood

But I am already
Bitten: Returned in body
She is you again

Touch me, fatal sister.
Come, possess and destroy me:
Infect me with love.

Bite me, pollute me,
Mingle your blood with mine:
Take the stone from my mouth.

Forty-one to Fifty


Bending a piece of driftwood,
You bend destiny to your desire:
Isn’t that what vast horizons are for?

Heavenward, you launch
Your thanks and praise: Joy overcomes

Land, sea and sky,
One unbounded plain: As boundless
As my love for you

Blowing your hair, the wind
Hides your face: Into the open
My ardour is driven

Parted, poised to spread,
Your lips pause: The eternal
In the instant

Tilted head, tight frame;
Fortuity: Whole is your beauty
In half a face

Shock of recognition:
Through the lens I see it is you
Who are looking at me

Offering what it withholds,
Furtive yet forthright: Your face
In its inner light

Body in flight,
Silhouette afloat: Grace
Makes gravity luminous

In tall grass we crouch.
Three, two, one, click! A portrait
Of Cathy and Heathcliff

Fifty-one & Fifty-two


You slip a violet
Into the folds of my dream:
Aflutter, I find it

Vertigo, recall—
Your prophetic dignity:
You are leaving me

Fifty-three to Fifty-five


Blue shadow, metallic sheen;
Edged in brown, a hard outline:
In your eyes I am the fire.

Redefined, darkened,
Arched and tapered out:
In your brows I am the arrow.

Cupid’s bow, mahogany;
The light that lives in darkness:
In your breath I am the spark.

Mara Marietta