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Issue #176 Trip to California June22-July 11, 2020

vacation delay
behind flashing yellow lights
ten minutes from house

bird in the back seat
heading to California
during a pandemic

Bonneville salt flats
i spray the salt from my feet
sanitize my hands

old car abandoned
dilapidated hotel
tarps cover windows

in Winnemucca
porches strewn with childrens’ toys
left for all to see

the only echo
in affluenza suburbs
is the leaf-blower

realtors’ strategy
to plant american flags
by expensive homes

Oakland streets below
Diablo summit above
in between two worlds

the higher you go
the more the houses are priced
with more to protect

danville redwoods dry
some needles turning yellow
fall on the parched ground

empty at the park
with once bustling people
a few left in masks

at the trader joes
they sanitize my hands -
pandemic worsens

waterfowl more at ease
while people anxious inside
look at their news feed

even black asphalt
sparkles in the morning sun
roadway to the stars

hanging by the door
his old hats and walking sticks
now gathering dust

the lawns all the same
in upscale foothills enclave
uniformly neat

war memorial
with Lincoln’s words to console
she who lost five sons

on a family drive
to the top of Diablo
Orion car sick

social distancing
with relatives from oakland
awkward mask greeting

suddenly screeching
worn-out brake pad on steep hills
metal on metal

the kids’ old routine
to go to the dollar store
and bulk up on crap

dollar store treasure
inflatable swim donut
perfect at swim hole

twenty-four batteries
feeding cabin electrons
to run microwave

desiccated mouse
at the bottom of his bag
motor home buzz kill

the off-grid cabin
isolated in the woods
her dad’s legacy

oldest son’s delight
to put his grandfathers shop
back into order

waking up to see
the partial lunar eclipse
shine through my window

up pudding creek road
shasta daisies surrounding
her little cottage

sun sinks orange and low
towards the pacific ocean
a sense of deep peace

Allison walks here
on this land by the ocean
her sister keeps watch

the kids grow older
and they need me a lot less
lonely while sketching

fourth of july bash
under red and blue shade tarps
sitting far apart

replacing the wire
that has frayed in the hot sun
cabin maintenance

a brand new porch light
that grandpa never installed
now proudly in place

Haiku and photographs
by Jonathan Machen
June-July 2020

please visit jonsportraits.com for portrait inquiries
or Jonathanmachen.com art archive

solo/group kukai
jonathan machen