George Swede


In the beside lamplight

a new topographic map

of my hands and arms

revealing even more

      underground streams     



sea breeze

my body just being

while my mind

vainly searches

                                                for meaning                                                 



Awake from a

 dream of being lost

I gaze at stars

that might still

 be there 



Another evening

with bare black branches

 criss-crossing a sunset sky

and thoughts of what

lies beyond Sedna 



A wide valley

between rolling hills

 and jagged mountains

 the forces that shaped

     mother and father     



When I had no one

a yellow evening sky

evoked despair

now fear of

                                    impending loss                                  



Barber shop mirror

   more wrinkle and sag

than I thought

my hair invisible

                                     on the white apron                                    


Note: Simply Haiku no longer accepts non-traditional Japanese Short Form Poetry


His first collection of tanka, First Light, First Shadows, won the 2005 Snapshot Press Tanka Manuscript Competition and was published in  2006. His second collection of tanka, White Thoughts, Blue Mind, is forthcoming later this year from Inkling Press. In all, Swede has published 32 collections of poetry, 18 of them haiku. He is the current editor of Frogpond: The Journal  of the Haiku Society of America.