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By Kimberly Blaeser

         i. Spring


the tips of each pine

the spikes of telephone poles

hold gathering crows


may’s errant mustard

spreads wild across paved road

look both ways


roadside treble cleft

feeding gopher, paws to mouth

cheeks puffed with music


yesterday’s spring wind

ruffling the grey tips of fur

rabbit dandelion


         ii. Summer


turkey vulture feeds

mechanical as a red oil rig

head rocks down up down


stiff-legged dog rises

goes grumbling after squirrel

old ears still flap


snowy egret—curves,

lines, sculpted against pond blue;

white clouds against sky


banded headed bird

this ballerina killdeer

dance on point my heart


         iii. Fall


leaf wind cold through coat

wails over hills, through barren trees

empty garbage cans dance


damp September night

lone farmer, lighted tractor

drive memory’s worn path


sky black with migration

flocks settle on barren trees

leaf birds, travel songs


october moon cast

over corn, lighted fields

crinkled sheaves of white


         iv. Winter


ground painted in frost

thirsty morning sun drinks white

leaves rust golds return


winter bare branches

hold tattered cups of summer

empty nests trail twigs


lace edges of ice

manna against darkened sky

words turn with weather


now one to seven

deer or haiku syllables

weave through winter trees


Northern follows jig

body flashes with strike, dive:

broken line floats up.


Kimberly Blaeser, “Haiku Journey” from Apprenticed to Justice. Copyright © 2007 by Kimberly Blaeser. Reprinted by permission of Salt Publishing.

Source: Apprenticed to Justice (Salt Publishing, 2007)

  • Activities
  • Living
  • Nature

Poet Bio

Kimberly Blaeser
Poet, critic, essayist, and fiction writer Kimberly Blaeser was raised on the White Earth Reservation in Minnesota by parents of Anishinaabe and German descent. She is a member of the Minnesota Chippewa tribe. Blaeser worked as a journalist before earning her PhD at the University of Notre Dame. In 1991, as a professor at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Blaeser co-founded the multicultural writers’ organization Word Warriors. She lives with her family in rural Wisconsin. In 2017 she was named Poet Laureate of the state of Wisconsin. Blaeser’s poems offer intimate glimpses into the lives of her subjects through loose, conversational portraits of Native American life and culture.

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