Heed not Steve

Tag: haibun

A Cold Wind

A mosquito, there, along the windscreen, down the freeway at 70mph – is it inside the car?

It is.

The mosquito bobs up and down and I lose it against the black dash then I find it.

I reach my right hand up and sort of rap the mosquito against the windscreen with the back of my fingers.

It’s dead, beyond dead.  There’s no mosquito left.

I just obliterated this tiny life to avoid the minor discomfort of a bite.

It’s not hardly fair.

But here I am, down the freeway, at 70mph.


at night
sometimes in the cold wind
the door knocks


© Steve Mitchell 2013

And Of Course Haiku

I meditate and focus on my breath, the focus on my nose, the air on my nostrils moving in and out.

But my mind, my mind, the thinker, always thinking, wants to think.

I meditate and focus on my breath, the focus on my nose, the air on my nostrils moving in and out.

But my mind, the thinker, sees the narrative.  I alternate between the moment and the future.

I meditate and focus on my breath and I try not to write my blog.


I follow the coffee pot
a cricket


© Steve Mitchell 2013

Somewhere Up There

I’m in the men’s room at work and I hear a cricket.

The cricket hides, like they do, and it chirps and chirps and those chirps echo along the flat tile walls and off the metal stalls and it’s so loud!

I finish my business, but –

Where is that cricket?  

I wash my hands while the cricket chirps.

I dry my hands while the cricket chirps.

Where is it?

There’s nowhere for a cricket to hide.  The room is all open and lit with no cabinets or drawers or shelves or . . .  hold on.

overhead, in the ceiling,

an air vent

I take my flashlight and aim it at the vent.

The chirping stops.


ceiling cricket


the moon
in full daylight
at noon


© Steve Mitchell 2013

Time Unlimited

“Sir!”  Wilkes runs up to Senior Adjunct Floor Manager Barnes, 3rd Shift Supervisor of Trafalgar Chronography and Timepiece, Ltd..  “I have news!”

“Eh?  What is it?” asks Barnes.

“Sir, Petrovich has infiltrated manufacturing.  He’s here!”

Barnes lifts an eyebrow, “You’re saying Petrovich is on the premises?”  He frowns.  “What’s his game?”

Wilkes whispers, “I’ve heard it’s sabotage.  He intends to add a fourth hand to the timepieces.”

Barnes gasps.  “A fourth hand!”


“Not on my watch!”


asleep in the grass –
nothing but time
and sunlight


© Steve Mitchell 2013

Taking Flight

Hey!  Another room!  Look at that!  

I decide to check out this other room, this new room, this mystery room.  I run.  Yeah.  Running feels good.  I run and run, feet slapping, arms pumping.

I’ll be there in no time.  But, wait.

Who’s that?

There’s some guy in the new room.  He’s about my age, or a little older.  He’s running too.  Why is he running?  What’s in that room?

He has a manic glint, in his eyes, a hard glitter.  He looks alarmed.  What’s wrong?  Why is he running from that room?  What’s in the room?

I must know.

I run faster to the room even as the other man runs faster away from it.  I’m no coward.

Almost there.  Almost there.

I yell, “Hey, Man!  Get out of the way!  Hey!  Hey!  Get out of my way! HEEEEEYYYYYY!”

We collide.  Hard.

I bounce back into my room.  I am stunned.  I decide to rest a little while.

His skin was so cold.


in its cage
my parakeet sits
perched, preening


© Steve Mitchell 2013

And Now, Ladies and Gentlemen, I Present What May Be Perhaps the Shortest Haibun Ever Recorded, Perfect for the Increasingly Efficient Attention Span of the Modern Reader in This Digital Age

There’s that buzzing . . .

o –


© Steve Mitchell 2013

Closer To

Ah, sure, it’s fun to complain.

I complain about the heat. I complain about the austere, bleached sidewalks and about the relentless, murdering, chase you indoors sun and about the droning, droning air conditioners.

But it’s home.

It’s home with two silly, panting dogs underfoot. It’s home with a full sized coffee pot in the kitchen and with easy, peaceful stillness and with neighbors I trust and know by name.


It’s fun to complain.

But it’s nice to be home.

our life
in the desert – closer to
the sun


© Steve Mitchell 2013


A coworker brings in a big ol’ plastic tub of on sale, grocery store, bakery type cookies.  They look like chocolate chip cookies.

Oh boy!  Chocolate chip!

He offers them and I thank him and I reach in and grab a cookie without really looking but then, when I do look, I realize it isn’t a chocolate chip cookie at all!

It’s some stupid, generic, sugar/butter cookie.

What can I do?  I’ve already grabbed the dang thing.  I can’t just put it back.  I don’t want it but what can I do?

I eat it.

It isn’t very good.

So, I go about my job, and, a couple hours later, around break time, I think, Oh I know!  I’ll get another cookie but this time I’ll make sure it’s chocolate chip before I touch it.

And I look into the tub and I pick out a cookie and I take a bite . . . .

and it’s a raisin cookie

and it isn’t very good.


lost in thought –
I scratch at an itch
and find a spider


© Steve Mitchell 2013

More Not Dark

It’s a Sunday morning ride to work and wide open.  The air is not quite cold and the sky is not quite bright.  I have five lanes to myself.

I have five lanes almost to myself.

There’s a pickup truck, somewhere, behind me.  I saw it.  A black pickup truck.  Where is it?

I glance left and don’t find it.  I check my left mirror, those little mirrors, and don’t find it.

But I know there’s a pickup truck.

I crane forward and look deeper in the left mirror.  Okay.  There’s the truck.

Good.  I roll on, five lanes almost to myself and a pickup truck in my motorcycle blind spot.

Man, what a big blind spot.  This blind spot is as big as Missoula, Montana.

Well, I’m not sure how big Missoula, Montana is.  I think I drove through it once.  It was dark.

I couldn’t see much.


just yesterday  
it was dark


© Steve Mitchell 2013

Into the Evening

Okay.  Today, this evening, I’m going to Bikram yoga, for the first time, with Lucie.  Last night she asked me if I was dreading it.  I said I wasn’t because I really wasn’t.

Now, though . . .

Ooh, I’m more than a little anxious.

It’s not so much the yoga or the heat – it’s the unknownedness of the experience.

I just made up that word; I think.

I get anxiety about new situations, about unknown, future situations where I don’t have any idea what I should do or how I should do it or what will be expected.  I don’t mind being a newbie.  I don’t mind learning from scratch.

But I get anxious.  I’m self-conscious and private.


Deep breath.

Oh well.

Deep breath.

It’ll be fine.

It’s like stage fright.  Once things start, the anxiety will drop away.

Deep breath.


This really isn’t a plea for encouragement.  I’ll be fine.  I can tolerate anxiety.

I only mention it because, honestly, I can’t think of a single other thing to write about.

I’m locked up.

My mind is stuck.

I can’t even rattle up a single, gangly haiku.

Well, maybe one . . .


walking so  
a long shadow
precedes me


© Steve Mitchell 2013