A collection of jazz haiku

September 27th, 2023

.

.

“Kind of Blurred” by Henry Denander

.

.

Dear Readers:

…..Earlier this year I invited poets to submit jazz-themed poetry that didn’t need to strictly follow the 5-7-5 syllabic structure of formal haiku, but had to at least be faithful to the spirit of it (i.e. no more than three lines, brief, expressive, emotionally insightful).

…..This collection, featuring 22 poets, is an example of how much love, humor, sentimentality, reverence, joy and sorrow poets can fit into their haiku devoted to jazz.

…..As always, thanks to the poets, and I hope you enjoy…

Joe Maita

Editor/Publisher

.

.

At the conclusion of the poems, short biographies of the artist and poets contributing to this collection are listed in alphabetical order

.

.

___

.

.

 

 

Listen to the 1959 recording of Thelonious Monk playing “You Took the Words Right Out of My Heart” [Universal Music Group]

.

.

 

Terrance Underwood

.

First haiku

Egrets launch long wings
…………..Feather white to sapphire sky
Dexter hangs tears to dry

.

Start

Mourning Dove breast soft
…………..coo a Getz breath scale sweetly
beginning morning

.

After Some Mileage

tossed through air leaves drop
…………..muted trumpet curls descent
glide to autumn ground

.

A Farmer Cultivates

one note per measure
…………..landscape a garden design
warm tone flugelhorn

.

Celestial Report

Whipcrack sky startles
…………..Each direction of daylight
Mingus thunder beams

.

Constellation

Red notes form crystal stars
…………..a Garland necklace of light
shines clear through aged mist

.

Ahmad’s Trio In Time

Percussive pull back
…………..Swing melody intercedes
Choice note gathering

.

Young Swing Haiku

Joyously Lester
…………..Made two to tango wrangle
Foxtrot it is not

.

Ben’s Way

Honk a robust growl
…………..Dark toast for a cherry jam
Fluttered lightly sweet

.

Tonic

After some distress
…………..Wes and Bags chime graciously
Their stairway leads out

.

.

___

.

.

Charlie Brice
 .

Fifty years ago
on a sofa I held her breast;
some enchanted evening.

.

Like a dark lake her
black hair pooled on my pillow;
a love supreme.

.

Billy Strayhorn drove
these rain-soaked Pittsburgh streets;
a daydream for me.

.

Pain medication
my chemical salvation;
you go to my head.

.

Autumn leaves skitter
along dusty, lonely, streets;
thunder before rain.

.

Even in high school
your silky voice made me cry;
my funny valentine.

.

For fifty years my
woman held me close in love;
night and day and night.

 

.

.

___

.

.

Amy Barone

.

Lloyd plays standout jazz
Masterpiece Forest Flower
A man and his horns

.

Terrence Blanchard blares
Carries the Gia film score
His horn tells the tale

.

Crosby, Fournier
Ahmed Jamal at Pershing Lounge
Sweet “Poinsiana”

 

.

.

___

.

.

George Held

.

 

Try to enclose
Miles Davis
in a haiku

.

His horn burns
the cymbals clash —
the jazz beat goes on

 

.

.

___

.

.

Russell duPont

.

Analyzing Jazz —
a worthless waste of one’s time.
Jazz is all feeling.

.

Feel the air vibrate.
Feel Mingus’ bass riding
to the outer limits of cool

.

Gerry Mulligan
swings at the Village Vanguard
Come Rain or Come Shine

.

Dinah Washington
Baby, You Got What it Takes
All or Nothin’ Blues

.

improvise me a
syncopation, a rhythm
so cool I’m on fire

 

.

.

___

.

.

Barbara Anna Gaiardoni

.

jazz scales
watch your step on
the way down

.

plucking the strings
the rest is illusion

.

the guitar body
isn’t the PC mouse

 

.

.

___

.

.

Lauren Loya

.

The Devil’s Music

Black magic rhythm
Wild cats seducing, dancing
Cannot be silenced

.

Jazz Demon

It takes possession
Sensual sidewinder sax
Snaking through your ears

.

Get Lost

Miles’ maelstrom
Bitches Brew acid trippin’
Snarling dissonance

.

Jazz Noir

City cloaked in fog
Standing on a lonely bridge
Hear the night cry out

 

.

.

___

.

.

Geer Austin

.

Kind of Blue

I listened to it
repeatedly on vinyl.
Rain fell outside the window.

 

.

.

___

.

.

John Kendall Hawkins

.

let’s face it again
the music we hold sacred
bursting in our hearts

.

The all-night jazz fest
stars off-chart and percussion
Pharoah Sanders dreams

.

particles of time
space between the teeth
of Sun Ra’s funk up

.

Billy Cobham’s fast
like he played ahead of time
I was white and soft

 

.

.

___

.

.

Henry Wolstat

.

Sun Valley Serenade
Glenn and Tex and all the band
ski those slopes

.

stride piano
perfected by Fats Waller
always misbehavin’

.

route sixty-six
Bobby Troup had you covered
got my kicks.

.

drum boogie
Anita got me dancing
floating on high

 

.

.

___

.

.

Leah Ann Sullivan

.

between drum beats
he taught us to listen
a passing moon

(haiku for Max Roach)

 

.

.

___

.

.

Michael L. Newell

.

A Love Supreme majestically sails
into sixties a blessing from Coltrane
overwhelming the prosaic the stale the mundane

.

rocking dancing swinging jazz
Horace Silver free and sassy

.

conscience unleashed upon fifties
sixties and seventies full throttle
Nina Simone and Charles Mingus

.

muted Miles a definition
of melancholy beauty

 

.

.

Listen to the 1961 recording of Duke Ellington performing “Piano Improvisation #3”, with Jimmy Woode (bass) and Sam Woodyard (drums). [Columbia/Legacy]

.

.

Mike Jurkovic

.

it was a New York
night strangers become cohorts
in jazz and blue notes

.

Mingus and the moon
over Mohonk the myths the
mountain melody

 

.

.

___

.

.

Connie Johnson

.

What’s more free than jazz?
Pinpoints of light surround us
The soul reveals all

.

How to explain it?
Sun Ra, heliocentric
All worlds collide here

.

Blue like old school jazz
Your lonely soul built for this,
Audaciously proud

.

Diving underground
Spirits and jazz co-mingle
I can feel you now

.

A blue note Sunday,
My father in his church suit
Plays some Jimmy Smith

.

Do you remember
The hand that gently released
Ella’s midnight sun?

.

So celestial
Tony Bennett in command
Heavenly Moon Glow

.

Lost like Chet Baker
Ungentle truths and secrets
Hello and goodbye

.

Sax solo, keening
Cries like a human being
Truth is so heavy

.

Sing it like Billie
White gardenia in her hair,
The blues always win

 

.

.

___

.

.

Martha Patterson

.

Brunch Haiku

Jazz with brunch – bass line
Like a throbbing engine, and
Moans of sax – let’s eat!

.

Bill Evans Haiku

Bill Evans’ swishing
Notes lift my heart like the red
Wings of cardinals

.

Midnight Haiku

It’s late for phone calls
But my radio plays on,
Dulcet jazzy hymns

 

.

.

___

.

.

Molly Larson Cook

.

The language of jazz
speaks of longing, sweet love
falling in, falling out

.

I once said “I want
a guy who can hum the first
four bars of Doxy”

.

Orange globes on the cloth
soft lights on the instruments
small town bar, big time jazz

.

Changes on changes,
the beat of your lonely heart
comfort ‘round midnight

.

Rubato,” she said,
“for Body and Soul let the
tears set the tempo”

.

No wonder they tried
to ban it –jazz—just try to
make love to Mahler

 

.

.

___

.

.

Dayna Genevieve

.

like Charlie Parker
sloping fingertips give way
flying time has come

.

jazz harmonica
dips french fries in mayonnaise
Dutchman name is Toots

 

.

.

___

.

.

Aurora M. Lewis

 

She drinks Stella Rosa
When she dances the Bossa Nova
A flower in her hair

.

Betty was her name
Backseat of Miles Davis fame
She was hot, no shame

.

Voice sweet as honey
And sometimes she was funny
Her name was Miss Ella

.

There was only one Billie
Her voice was uniquely divine
Left us before her time

.

His name was Ronnie
He wanted to be Coltrane
Close enough for me

.

He listens to gospel
She digs R&B and Jazz
So they chat instead

 

.

.

___

.

.

Mark Fogarty

.

Homer Simpson says:
Those jazz guys, they make it up
As they go along.

.

At the jazz improv:
My two teachers leave the stage.
I shit a few bricks.

.

Shaking Tyner’s hand
I tell him, the best ever.
Erm, hrm, he replies.

.

Signed with an eighth note!
Not as good as Kind of Blue:
Miles as a painter.

.

First Sketches of Spain:
When I played it I became
The father of sky.

.

Evans, LeFaro
In the set that never ends:
Foolish, dying souls.

.

A jazz bassist walks
In gardens of hibiscus.
Or tramples roses.

.

The blue note gets loose:
Old friends ghost your midnight ass.
Wash is wet on lines.

 

.

.

___

.

.

R. Bremner

.

Blossom Dearie

.

Float, Blossom Dearie!
Breathy voice, sly piano,
one plum of a gal!

.

‘round Midnight

When sleep runs away from me
Monk calls, ‘round midnight
grooves with me till dawn

 

.

.

___

.

.

Diana Rosen

.

88 Reasons Why

no need for whompin’
the keys; caress them, like a
seasoned lover would.

.

music to make love to
is dexterous, adroit, exact
Teddy Wilson Perfect

.

Blossom hip, Shirley smooth
Nina dangerous, oh those femmes
who could play and sing.

.

.

Nightclub Nostalgia

Fusion, schmusion, gimme
melody, harmony, something
for us to hum along

.

something to dance to
cheek on cheek, yearn for soft nights,
dreams, that never end

.

Listening to Joe croon
hurry on down to my house, baby
my guy and I, remember

.

Witty, rollicking
happy to please, with/without
Shearing, Torme’s the top.

 

.

.

___

.

.

Daniel Brown

.

hat, beard and shades
a strange chord…
my life changes

..

the morning moon
crosses telephone lines
like a blues chord
.

listening to the blues
a thousand miles from anywhere
frost covers fall grass
.

my, my Mingus
your rhythm’s surprise
decade after decade
.

Dolphy’s flute
circular trills
join the summer chorus
.
Billie sings
‘Travelin’ All Alone’
Prez handles the luggage

.
Jazz is kindness
millions of notes
blowing away hate

 

.

.

___

.

.

Curt Linderman

.

Rahsaan

the reeds cry out
many voices from
a single breeze

.

.

_____

.

.

Short biographies of the artist and poets contributing to this collection are listed in alphabetical order

.

.

 

 

Geer Austin’s poetry has appeared in many literary and online journals, and is the author of the poetry chapbook Cloverleaf.  [Poets Wear Prada]. He lives in New York City.

.

___

.

 

Amy Barone’s most recent poetry collection, Defying Extinction, was published by Broadstone Books in 2022. She lives in New York City.

.

___

.

 

R. Bremner has been writing poetry since the 1960s, and appeared in the legendary first issue of Passaic Review in 1979, which also featured Allen Ginsberg.  He has published eight books of poetry.

.

___

.

 

Charlie Brice’s sixth full-length poetry collection is Pinnacles of Hope.  He lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

.

___

.

 

.

Daniel Brown’s poetry collection, Family Portraits in Verse, was released in the spring of 2023, and was published by Epigraph Books.  He lives in upstate New York.

.

___

.

 

Molly Larson Cook is an award-winning writer, writing coach, and artist. In 2016 she received the first Steve Kowit Poetry Prize in a national competition.  She was a Fellow at the Fishtrap Writers Conference in Oregon, where she lives.

.

.

___

.

.

 

Henry Denander is an artist and a poet whose work has been published in many books and magazines.

.

.

___

.

.

 

Russell duPont is an artist and an author whose artwork is included in a number of public and private collections. He has published three novels, two books of poetry, and two non-fiction chapbooks. He was the founder and publisher of the literary magazine, the albatross.

.

___

.

 

Mark Fogarty is a poet, musician and journalist. He curates The Jaco Pastorius Gig List on Facebook.

.

___

.

 

 

Barbara Gaiardoni is a freelance pedagogist and love writer who has written children’s books published in Italy, as well as Japanese poems published in English.  She lives in Verona, Italy.

.

___

.

 

John Kendall Hawkins is an American freelance writer currently residing in Australia. He is a former winner of the Academy of American Poets prize.

.

___

.

 

George Held has published 22 books and received  11  Pushcart Prize nominations. His forthcoming book, The Lucky Boy, collects nine of his short stories.

.

___

.

 

Connie Johnson is a Los Angeles, California-based writer whose poetry has appeared in numerous literary and online journals.

.

___

.

 

A 2016 Pushcart nominee, Mike Jurkovic’s poetry and musical criticism have appeared in over 500 magazines and periodicals worldwide.  He lives in upstate New York.

.

___

.

 

Aurora M. Lewis’s most recent book, Jigsaw in a Vortex, was published in April, 2023.  She lives in Southern California.

.

___

.

 

Curt Linderman is a Seattle-based short-form poet  whose work has been featured in a variety of literary and online journals.

.

___

.

 

photo by Kelly Sime

Lauren Loya is a graduate of the Literature, Language, and Writing program at the University of Kansas. Her poetry has appeared in Coal City Review and Kansas City Voices.

.

___

.

 

Michael L. Newell lives in Florida. He has had seven books of poetry published in the last three years.

.

___

.

 

Martha Patterson’s work has been published in more than 20 anthologies and journals, and her plays have been produced in 21 states and eight countries.  She lives in Boston, Massachusetts.

.

___

.

 

Diana Rosen is a poet, essayist, and flash writer whose work has appeared in many journals and anthologies online and in print all over the world.

.

___

.

 

Leah Ann Sullivan  is an ESL/EFL teacher and spoken-word and poetry performance artist whose poetry has appeared in many collections and literary journals.  She lives in Nagoya, Japan.

.

___

.

 

photo by Jack Underwood

Terrance Underwood is a retired Rolls-Royce Service Engineer, veteran, College Grad (B.A. History) who has been listening to recorded jazz music since he was 5-6 yrs old. One of his first memories is listening to a 78 version of “Cherokee” by Charlie Barnett.

.

___

.

 

Henry Wolstat is a retired psychiatrist in his late 80’s living in the greater Boston area. He has been published in many journals, and is the author of the poetry book, Driftwood.

.

.

_____

.

.

 

 

 

Click here to read the summer 2023 collection of jazz poetry

Click here to read the spring 2023 collection of jazz poetry.

Click here to read a collection of short jazz poetry, published in January, 2023

Click here to read the fall/winter 2022/23 collection of jazz poetry

 

.

Click here for information about how to submit your poetry

Click here  to subscribe to the quarterly  Jerry Jazz Musician newsletter

Click here  to help support the ongoing publication of  Jerry Jazz Musician, and to keep it commercial-free (thank you!)

.

.

___

.

Jerry Jazz Musician…human produced (and AI-free) since 1999

.

.

.

Share this:

5 comments on “A collection of jazz haiku”

  1. Great idea for a collection. So cool to be a part of all the talent featured here. Thanks for all you do, Joe.

Comment on this article:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

In This Issue

"Nina" by Marsha Hammel
A Collection of Jazz Poetry — Winter, 2024 Edition...One-third of the Winter, 2024 collection of jazz poetry is made up of poets who have only come to my attention since the publication of the Summer, 2023 collection. What this says about jazz music and jazz poetry – and this community – is that the connection between the two art forms is inspirational and enduring, and that poets are finding a place for their voice within the pages of this website. (Featuring the art of Marsha Hammel)

The Sunday Poem

photo by Mel Levine/pinelife, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
“Lady Day and Prez” by Henry Wolstat

Click here to read previous editions of The Sunday Poem

Poetry

Proceeding From Behind: A collection of poems grounded in the rhythmic, relating to the remarkable, by Terrance Underwood...A relaxed, familiar comfort emerges from the poet Terrance Underwood’s language of intellectual acuity, wit, and space – a feeling similar to one gets while listening to Monk, or Jamal, or Miles. I have long wanted to share his gifts as a poet on an expanded platform, and this 33-poem collection – woven among his audio readings, music he considers significant to his story, and brief personal comments – fulfills my desire to do so.

Publisher’s Notes

photo by Rhonda Dorsett
A very brief three-dot update…Where I’ve been, and an update on what is coming up on Jerry Jazz Musician

Poetry

Photographer uncredited, but the photo was almost certainly taken by Chuck Stewart. Published by ABC/Impulse! Records.. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
“And I’m Not Even Here” – a poem by Connie Johnson

Click here to read more poetry published on Jerry Jazz Musician

Essay

"Lester Leaps In" by Tad Richards
"Jazz and American Poetry," an essay by Tad Richards...In an essay that first appeared in the Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Poetry in 2005, Tad Richards - a prolific visual artist, poet, novelist, and nonfiction writer who has been active for over four decades – writes about the history of the connection of jazz and American poetry.

Interview

photo of Pepper Adams/courtesy of Pepper Adams Estate
Interview with Gary Carner, author of Pepper Adams: Saxophone Trailblazer...The author speaks with Bob Hecht about his book and his decades-long dedication to the genius of Pepper Adams, the stellar baritone saxophonist whose hard-swinging bebop style inspired many of the top-tier modern baritone players.

Click here to read more interviews published on Jerry Jazz Musician

Poetry

Three poets and Sketches of Spain

Interview

IISG, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Interview with Judith Tick, author of Becoming Ella Fitzgerald: The Jazz Singer Who Transformed American Song...The author discusses her book, a rich, emotionally stirring, exceptional work that explores every element of Ella’s legacy in great depth, reminding readers that she was not only a great singing artist, but also a musical visionary and social activist.

Trading Fours with Douglas Cole

Trading Fours with Douglas Cole is an occasional series of the writer’s poetic interpretations of jazz recordings and film. This edition is influenced by Stillpoint, the 2021 album by Zen practitioner Barrett Martin

Review

Jason Innocent, on “3”, Abdullah Ibrahim’s latest album... Album reviews are rarely published on Jerry Jazz Musician, but Jason Innocent’s experience with the pianist Abdullah Ibrahim’s new recording captures the essence of this artist’s creative brilliance.

Short Fiction

Christerajet, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Short Fiction Contest-winning story #64 — “The Old Casino” by J.B. Marlow...The author's award-winning story takes place over the course of a young man's life, looking at all the women he's loved and how the presence of a derelict building informs those relationships.

Click here to read more short fiction published on Jerry Jazz Musician

Book Excerpt

Book excerpt from Jazz with a Beat: Small Group Swing 1940 – 1960, by Tad Richards

Click here to read more book excerpts published on Jerry Jazz Musician

Poetry

"Jazz Trio" by Samuel Dixon
A collection of jazz haiku, Vol. 2...The 19 poets included in this collection effectively share their reverence for jazz music and its culture with passion and brevity.

Jazz History Quiz #170

photo of Dexter Gordon by Brian McMillen
This bassist played with (among others) Charlie Parker, Erroll Garner, Nat King Cole and Dexter Gordon (pictured), was one of the earliest modern jazz tuba soloists, and was the only player to turn down offers to join both Duke Ellington’s Orchestra and the Louis Armstrong All-Stars. Who is he?

Community

photo via Picryl.com
.“Community Bookshelf, #2"...a twice-yearly space where writers who have been published on Jerry Jazz Musician can share news about their recently authored books. This edition includes information about books published within the last six months or so…

Contributing Writers

Click the image to view the writers, poets and artists whose work has been published on Jerry Jazz Musician, and find links to their work

Coming Soon

An interview with Tad Richards, author of Jazz With a Beat: Small Group Swing, 1940 - 1960;  an interview with Laura Flam and Emily Sieu Liebowitz, authors of But Will You Love Me Tomorrow? An Oral History of the 60's Girl Groups;  a new collection of jazz poetry; a collection of jazz haiku; a new Jazz History Quiz; short fiction; poetry; photography; interviews; playlists; and lots more in the works...

Interview Archive

Eubie Blake
Click to view the complete 22 year archive of Jerry Jazz Musician interviews, including those recently published with Richard Carlin and Ken Bloom on Eubie Blake (pictured); Richard Brent Turner on jazz and Islam; Alyn Shipton on the art of jazz; Shawn Levy on the original queens of standup comedy; Travis Atria on the expatriate trumpeter Arthur Briggs; Kitt Shapiro on her life with her mother, Eartha Kitt; Will Friedwald on Nat King Cole; Wayne Enstice on the drummer Dottie Dodgion; the drummer Joe La Barbera on Bill Evans; Philip Clark on Dave Brubeck; Nicholas Buccola on James Baldwin and William F. Buckley; Ricky Riccardi on Louis Armstrong; Dan Morgenstern and Christian Sands on Erroll Garner; Maria Golia on Ornette Coleman.

Site Archive