Freak April blizzard--
lawn-care sign forlorn on a
plain of icy white.

—Michael J. Barney

About the author: Michael J. Barney works for a multi-national insurance megalith (not, alas, the same one as Wallace Stevens) where he toils day and night to facilitate the transfer of wealth from one pocket to another within the same pair of pants. In his spare time he scribbles poems, dotes on his wife, speculates on why Leonard Cohen and Jacques Brel are not as popular in America as Ricky Martin or Britney Spears and runs Gravity Presses (lest we all float away) Inc., a small press publisher of poetry chapbooks and a quarterly magazine, Now Here Nowhere. He can be contacted at mikeb50 at


Responses to the haiku for 15 April 2003 by Michael J. Barney

    2003-04-15 13:24:20


    2003-04-15 19:15:03

    Well this one certainly doesn't do all the work for you, does it? On first reading, my reaction wasn't all that far from Guy's. But slowly it begets a picture in my head, and I'm cold just looking at it!

    So I took a look at your other haiku on tinywords, and you certainly have an unusual style, Michael. I've always tried to keep metaphor out of haiku, but you clearly take a different view. I feel its inclusion writes too much of the poet's self, resulting in a poem that is prescriptive (of the reader's emotional reaction) more than just descriptive (of the moment that caused the poet's emotion).

    Nevertheless although I find your haiku jarring, there's no doubt they give very vivid pictures. Anyone else any thoughts on this?


    Helga Härle
    2003-04-16 00:55:05

    Hi Mike

    well, I like the image of your haiku - living in Sweden where we just some week ago had a blizzard succeeding the first days of spring, it really appeals to me.
    Still, I think you haiku is a bit to wordy.It actually could do just containing the last two lines. E.g. something like:

    lawn-care sign
    forlorn on a plain
    of icy white

    Perhaps you could come up with some even better solution!

    Then I must also add that I really enjoyed your prestigefree and straightforward, not just witty, but also authentic bio! (What freshness, compared to most texts that one sees of this genre)

    Bob (Tarheel_Boy at webtv dot net)
    2003-04-16 08:30:28

    Michael: Having just experienced a one day freak april blizzard, I thought your haiku was excellent. I don't look for strict adherence to "the rules," but rather whether or not you have painted a picture with words. You did.

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2003-04-16 10:40:51

    hmmm, i see there's another bob in the house.

    michael, all-in-all, i like your thoughts.
    though i had conflicts with your opening line, i remembered another time, in years gone by, snowy weather was from september to may. the magnitude of the storm was never a freak, merely more snow.

    on first reading, the mass of words leaped for my eyes, then upon relaxing, i whispered all is ok. i fear the suffering of "brevity" having become a set rule. if one can use the maximum, "according to the rules", number of syllables to do the job, then use the maximum.

    michael, to exhibit one's own style is a plus. "i" feel if more would put parts of themselves into their writing, a new revolution would truly be underway. many fail to realize, imitation might be a form of flattery, but originality is where it is.(wondered why i wanted to end this with "at")

    my curiosity has been stirred, now i venture off to read more of michael's creativeness.

    john tiong chunghoo (bagiruang at yahoo dot com)
    2004-01-07 11:03:52

    her unique features
    the feeling that she's
    from a family that have seen gods

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2004-06-07 22:12:41

    typical storm --
    river bed
    through the green grass