running highku 2019

In 2019 I wrote a haiku (or senryū) during or right after each of my ninety-six runs, which totaled 796miles (1281km). I ran in Boulder, Portland, a few other US cities, and Sydney. Scroll down to read or jump back to my 2020 verses.

©︎ M.W. Shores, 2019.


Boulder Canyon sun
On pine needles, rock and ice
Dave Matthews’ “Dive In”

Elevation gain
1540 feet
Canadian geese

Is the math correct?
These 41-year-old eyes
Still 20-20

Eyeing each other
Northern flicker and magpie
Sunshine on fresh snow

Up and down and up
And down and up and down and
Grateful for life’s ride

Quacking, clamoring
You ducks have a lot to say
But what’s in your heart?

Snow clouds from the west
Old train whistle from the east
Google in between

Rain and snow falling
Around in circles running
These cold bronze statues

Here on Poorman Road
Word of nephew’s improved health
I’m the richest man

Forever chewing
Wagging your tail then ‘barking’
Rodent turned canine

Water birds on ice—
Eye to eye with fish below?
Boulder Reservoir

A layer of snow
On your honest, brave shoulders
Arapahoe Chief

Frost shines on branches
Still too chilly to go out
Let’s curl up inside


Head down to the wind
Trying to keep my balance
These feet make me smile

Please, no parking here
But up ahead feel free to
Grab a hula hoop

On my house’s eaves
Icicles stretch toward the ground
Reflecting daylight

Can you feel the warmth
In your earthy dormant feet?
Stretching fingers high

Translucent jewels
Pulled from pristine granite stones
Roll on a pink tongue

Aged college town
Crouching in dawn after rain
Plantation houses

Great Dane in its prime
Cougar’s worthy opponent?
Ears and jowls flapping

Don’t forget parkas
When going on a bear hunt
Frozen little hands

Grasshopper sparrows
Curious docile yearlings
Sunny chirps and moos

Snow begins to fall
And the port town grows quiet
Five miles by treadmill


Running across town—
Getting passport notarized
To get out of town

Stocking caps and gloves
Conversation through snowflakes
Smiling passersby

Crows fly high above
Black winter branches twisted—
Cawing over roosts

Friend on the hill up
Firm wind blowing on my back—
Soggy slushy toes

Saturday mornings—
Sleeping in, drinking coffee
Refilling suet

Through open windows
The smell of rain on asphalt—
Memories of my youth

On the town’s margin
Peaceful Jewish resting place—
Wishing we had met

My brother Philly
Was a St. Paddy’s baby—
Warm spring charm lucky

Romantic indeed—
Final thing the lovers see
An elephant butt

Young insects come forth
From under leaves, behind bark
Humming smiling fast

Five months in hard earth
In silent cold dark, patient—
Ready for new skies

Of all sights to see—
Cows, goats, pigs, sweeping mountains
Full jar of pickles

Is this where you come
To take some time to yourself?
Ladybird sunning

The sky more brilliant
And these tired minds energized—
Overnight snowfall

Finding something new
At every turn, at each home—
Bright green running shoes


Beckoning the rain
Picking off insects midflight
Crying conk-la-lee!

Trees are now leafing
The wild grasses a young green—
Bugs mate on the wind

Blizzard on its way
Typical Rockies April—
Robin in the rain

If the mountain’s peak
Disappears into the clouds
Just how tall is it?

A human smiling
Running just to be running—
Funny animal

Oh dandelion
Who says you’re not a flower?
Certainly not me

Some days don’t start well
From there it’s just up to you—
Trout could care less though

Brother visiting—
Breweries stretch in spring sun
Rainbow tulips smile

So far from the sea
How did you find your way here?
Friendly sea otters

Families and their dogs
Enjoying picnics and hikes
Bull snakes sun on trails

Smell of fresh cut grass
Stirring whiz of humming birds
Snow begins to fall


Some wish to stay put
Some can’t wait to fly away
Some like here and there

I like saying Hi
Even though I don’t know you—
Why not share a smile?

Do goslings return
To their parents once they’ve grown
To convey their thanks?

Though summer soon comes
Light snow powders town and hills
Crab apple blossoms

Western tanager
A new friend at our window
Hungry fledglings cry

It’s always better
Taking in sights together—
With partner, running

Bird calls in slow clouds
May flies kiss mountain flowers
Humid verdant trail

Into the mountains—
Cloud cover on a warm day
Dirt paths fragrant moist

Lilac leaves reflect
Tanagers’ soaked sunburst heads—
Rain patter on hoods

Cool water rushing
Morning sun through leaves dancing
Deer’s hooves black solid

It’s hard not to stop
With so many distractions—
Poppies and plovers

On your mark, get set…
Bacon, beer, tequila shots
Live music galore!

Time spent with a friend
Stacking stones in the river—
Last run in Boulder


Wheat fields and wood mills
Ball games, tree forts, and mischief
Small town of my youth

Tree farms on the hill
Retired tractors brown with rust
Bulls in heat roaring

Running on black soil
Fragrance good enough to taste
Breathing in my home

Two score two years back
On the first day of summer
Mom gave me the world

Climbing the mountain
I search for my home below—
Tiny little dot

Old Catholic church
Fresh strawberries on the wind
Road to wine country


A nice garden bath
After a meal of earthworms—
Some privacy please…

Young scrub jays bounce forth
And wildflowers keep blooming
Though the clouds may come

The time I spent here
Seems so very long ago—
Portland’s green west hills

I ran to the shore
But could only go so far—
Saltwater sunshine

Breathing in the wind
Wheat, evergreen, gravel moist
Pumpkin Ridge quiet

This beautiful land
Is not one of exclusion
Not one of “get out!”

The load may be large
But nothing can squish you up
Baby bumble bee

Many of these roads
Were rich dirt and grassy fields
Long before iPhones

Midsummer harvest
Brings livelihoods and bounty—
And worry of guns


Planes fly overhead
Countless new birds calling out
White ibis in sun

Along Cooks River
The welcoming committee—
Mynas swooping down

End a great weekend
With a Monday run in mind—
A new pair of shoes


Squawking parrots dart
Through warm eucalyptus air
Time irrelevant

Out to greet the sun
And commuters zipping by
Laughing cockatoo

Saturdays are grand
Especially this one is so
Green and shine and us

The sun rises high
Over Sydney’s Inner West—
Cicadas clicking


How long will they last 
These old legs I think I know—
Shadows on the ground

Respect for people
Indigenous to this land—
Dewy flowers bloom

Bright sun on porches
Soft wind through hedges blowing
The weekend our way


Myna beaks in grass
Jacaranda in soft sun
Watching trains go by

Chasing bird calls blithe
And overhead clouds swirling—
Gardenia wind


Hibiscus waving
At boys fishing in the bay
Flax lilies in shade

Sandstone walls recall
Blue Mountains being ocean
Long before bushfires

Aged green canopy
Helping filter bushfire smoke—
Santa on his way

Year end holidays
Muscles and curves oiled and bronze
Bondi to Bronte

Softshell crabs scatter
Through oyster beds at low tide
Crested pigeons tense

Gulls float on the waves
On fragrant breezes my heart
Iron Cove shining

Blue-eyed crows cawing
Flapping black wings and pecking
Kiss the year goodbye

 Jump back to Running Highku 2020

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