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Issue #113, Highland Lakes, Texas, June 17-19, 2005, haiku and photography by Jonathan Machen with help from Tony Ward

for tony the surprise comes
one week after his birthday
friends gather at a lake retreat
positioned alongside the shore
to await his dawning recognition
that he is the focus
of the weekend's frolics

this lake-artificial
where once stood limestone and cactus
now stands limestone, cactus,
and expensive lake-front homes
covered boat houses
dragonflies in humid june sun

in full morning sunshine
man waits for the bus

roads leading nowhere
insignificant circles
from wandering jeep

eastward to kansas
checkerboard squares and earth tones
to the west - mountains

balcones escarpment
the springs of san marcos
the golden-cheeked warbler
threatening the juniper
that now populates the
hill country rangeland
where lyndon b. johnson grew up

blanco river
marble falls
pocatella river

furious lake wake
speed motors and watercraft
on this peaceful surface

bumping into jon
a portrait of swallows and sun

steering wheel
mysteriously on
front dock

coal plant on north shore
powers elegant homes
the fractal shoreline

light sail
or light rail?
the light pale

swallows under moon
young cries barely audible
over jet ski

abandoned boathouse
claimed by hungry young family
of swallow squatters

duck preens behind reeds
at surprise dock

dramatic engine event
renders power boat useless
call the boat doctor

lyndon johnson lake
orange suburban horizon
speed boat makes big wake

in the lake twilight
great blue heron lifts from tree
long legs dangling

the road to nameless
mentioned in literature
passing on our right

friends and family convene
three guitars with nylon strings
darth vader water sprinkler

wanda glares at me
when mom offers me her room
i sleep on mosquito balcony instead

bullfrogs croaking in lily-pad evening
orange plastic kayaks push
through invasive species
speckled white with herbicide

i stop being critical of lakefront houses
when, exhausted and sweaty
from afternoon bicycle exploration
i stumble thankfully
into the westermans' air conditioned
house with the cliff-like stairway
bug bites on the balcony
at three a.m.
eyes puffy with pollen
moving into living room to sleep
on hardwood floor

green lizard walks
on red metal roof
i rub sleepy eyes

solo/group kukai
jonathan machen