Poetry of Robert Fisher
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Two Haiku for Norman

White petals, wet on black marble,
Just below my son’s name and dates.
Someone has waved a flag
And doves stream overhead.

July 23rd, 2016

Explorer of creek and woods,
Never abducted,
Yet nowhere in sight.

July 24th, 2016

For Sandra on Her Birthday

The stone splits the stream,
But in a moment the water
Is one again,
Like you, flowing among people.


In the distance the cone of the volcano,
Snow-clad, its smoke trailing above the horizon,
A ship steaming across the desert.
Below, the field of maize,
And below that, the cemetery with its cactus
And desert flowers, extra bright.
Beyond weeping we carry the child’s coffin,
The musicians weeping for us with their trumpets.


For Norman

His days could fit in a seashell,
His heart —
Ask his thousand friends.


Even on land the high seas make me quake.
In my hands a cat,
Crying as I did in the cradle.


Spring Haiku

Even before dawn
A nest alive with chirping —

Weary of winter
We smile half-asleep.

April 22nd, 2014

There you are,
Behind the first blade of grass,
In the spring snow.

March 28th, 2008

A fluttering in the tree
And a drop of last night’s rain
Circles my ear
So long ago my first love!


She tightens her flowered kerchief.
At her side a white-haired man carries their books.
— Everywhere the scent of burning leaves.


Bury me in an unmarked grave,
In a field at the edge of the forest.
— In time our continent becomes an island.


Every waking hour I used to fill the air with words.
Now I hesitate to break the silence.
— The geese overhead honk at the moon, then diminish in the dusk.


A sprig of lilac, jostled:
A puff of perfume
— One of your visits.


Lovers on the wooden bridge,
She coy and alluring,
He tall and unsuspecting.
At rest for a moment
A dragonfly ponders
Before mating in the air.


In the streambed below
The water wears away a speckled stone.
Birds riding their reflections,
Others bathing in shadow:
Is this not the nature of existence?


I choose an unmarked grave.
For you: ashes mixed with your native soil.
— On the stone wall behind the sycamores,
Mottled shadows flicker.


A blood-red host sinks
Into its tabernacle on an island offshore,
Dragging its train of purple.
— The mountains and I are speechless.


Empty cup, cooling teapot,
Reed mat unstained
— How black the spaces between the stars!


Bamboo forest, jade light,
Slender leaves brush the moon.
For a moment the scent of pine resin:
Home distant a thousand li,
My wife feeding the kitchen fire.


She leans on the rail of the well
And sings to a cricket
About the boy who guided her hand
On the kite string
In the pail: black eyes, white hair.


Tendrils climb the withered bamboo.
Purple blooms on the yellow stalks.
— If only I could love again.


There you are,
Behind the first blade of grass,
— In the spring snow.

March 28th, 2008