Heed not Steve

Category: haibun

Hard Work

If I worked for a temp agency, for every new job, I’d wear a big, fake mustache and ugly, horned rimmed glasses.

Then, even if I were slow and bad at the job, people might think I was an Undercover Boss.


.I’d coast right on through to payday, Baby.



strong wind
a spider weaves its
tangled web


© Steve Mitchell 2021

Scam Of The Month Club

I get these texts, all these texts, all these unsolicited texts, all the same, all the time.

Hi Steve, this is (random name). I noticed your property at (address). Do you want to talk about selling? Please respond with STOP to unsubscribe.

And I get so ANGRY.

Unsubscribe? I have to respond to your stoopid, unsolicited text to unsubscribe from some thing I’VE NEVER SUBSCRIBED TO?

That’s nonsense.

Screw you, (random name). Screw you and keep screwing you.

Screw you (random name) and keep screwing you until you respond with STOP to unsubscribe.



the wind blows
it’s nothing personal
a dog farts


© Steve Mitchell 2021

This Or

On a whim, feeling peckish, with a coin or three to spend, he orders:

“I would like the large family small jumbo shrimp combo cocktail platter for one, please.”

His order arrives and he flips one coin or three onto the counter. “Yes, thank you. This will fit nicely into my porcelain cocktail platter collection. Good day!”

I step
into the sun and
get the chills


© Steve Mitchell 2019


If a woodpecker, maybe selling magazines or cookies, were to knock on my front door, I probably wouldn’t answer.  He’d knock and knock, thinking, What the hell, Dude?  Why doesn’t anyone ever answer the door?

And I’d frown and turn up the TV, thinking, What the hell? Woodpeckers are so damn loud. That one sounds like it’s practically on my porch! 

The cookies might be delicious.

I’ll never know.


waning gibbous –
our dog carries a soup bone
to the backyard


© Steve Mitchell 2019

Much Of This Is True

Far outside, a duck quacks 13 quacks.

Quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack

A few minutes, later it quacks ten more quacks.

It finishes with seven more quacks.

There’s a pattern. There’s a definite pattern.

What does it mean?

I grab my phone and run the duck-speak through a translation app.

I get my answer:

“Et, voila! Violent Violet plays viola of her own volition!”


Ducks know French?

telling stories
around the campfire
with no fire


© Steve Mitchell 2019

Numbers Game

Our hero, renowned for his skill with the bow and arrow, discovers, with his arrow in the neck of an angry boar and with two hungry wolves slinking up from the shadows, he is only adequate with the bow alone.

He vows, should he escape with his life, to give up the bow and arrow forever more, and, instead, to take up the bow and arrows.


every day
on the breeze dandelion


© Steve Mitchell 2018

Slow Shadow

Every time I forget something, every time I’m slow to retrieve it…what’s that word?  It’s on the tip of my-  Ahh, what’s that guys name?

I’m not a spring chicken.  It’s normal, these lapses, at my age.  Right?  A name here, a word there.  But, every time now, every time I misplace some memory, a little voice whispers, “There it is.  That’s how it starts.”


noontime –
all her chickens run from
a hawk’s shadow


© Steve Mitchell 2018


Two men walk up to the entrance of the Möbius Inn.  Neither man can see the other.  They stand facing the front door, a wooden door.  They also stand facing each other.  The door is between them.

Both men knock, in unison, three times.

knock knock knock.

They pause.

They knock again, twice.

Both men frown.

They each tilt an ear to the door and listen.


They both turn and walk back to the parking lot.

“Are you looking for a room?” One asks the other.  He unlocks his car.

“I was,” says the other, at his own car.

“I think they’re closed.”

“Yeah, must be.”

a hungry cat
ignoring its reflection
in the fish pond


© Steve Mitchell 2018

Do You Smell That?

In his attempt to lay low after robbing a bank, the Invisible Man realizes, too late, he maybe could’ve picked a better hideout than Mrs. O’Halloran’s Gifted and Talented School for Lights Out Sleuthery.  

this heavy air
lifted by clicking


© Steve Mitchell 2018


He lives in his head, so much in his head.
How do I help him, from here, in my head?


an acorn
drops the idea
of a tree


© Steve Mitchell 2017