high 5-7-5

In 2020 I’m continuing the ‘tradition’ of writing Running Highku. To mix it up a bit, I’m incorporating Japanese onomatopoeia. See a list with definitions here


Along Cooks River
Insects stir bun-bun sultry
Kookaburras laugh

Pelican on waves
Pushed along from behind—hyuu 
Galahs unruffled

Men sit on a boat
Not a word… pochapocha
The town awakens

Sandstone lapping up
Precious drops shito-shito 
Praying for much more

Fresh morning blowing
Smiles with strangers exchanging
Nikkori flashing

The hot dusty state
Quenched by benevolent clouds
Chapu-chapu run

It’s too hot for golf
And horses feel the damn same
Hi-hiiin bu-ru-ru

Seeing my shadow
Saaa’—shoaling smelt gone at once
Grey sky in ripples

Cheeky corellas
So smart, playful, destructive
Leaves zuta-boro


Super Bowl beer run
Pushu’ tapping the Rockies 
Brewed in Australia

From a quiet tree
Comes an unsettled kii-kii
Flying fox at night

Into large white sails
On calm harbor waters suuu
Gently pushed along

Stomach full of fish
Cormorant sleeps wings open
Guu-guu contented


Sunshine kerori 
Ground wet soft warming fertile
Feet saku-saku

Narrow path ahead
A fitting sign of the times?
Life aya-fuya

Strolling though the park
House plants green tsuya-tsuya
Social distancing

Cast iron covers
Could tell a few tales I bet
Jaran gattan chin

Parents, kids, friends, dogs
Warned to stay in but how now
So papparapaa


A six a.m. start
Construction gachi-gachi
Perfect day for Zoom

Be good to yourself
Smile and acknowledge others
Don’t be so tsun-tsun

Monday morning sun
Etchira-otchira stroll
Wise elderly smile

Cold cloud covered cove
Out from the charcoal green depths
A mullet—bashan

This riverside path
Daku-boku like tree bark
Roots and worms below

Did I change my clothes?
Indoors the whole weekend long
Oh blue sky run-run

San-san shining bright
Through leaves filtered yellow-green
Speckled asphalt warm

Lined up in Balmain
For what can’t be sacrificed
Uiin shaa proper joe

Follow winding streets
Taking in neighbors’ gardens
Fairywren chii-chii

Not straight is life’s path
But inguri-chinguri
Zigzags, turns, forks, boons

Sound running advice
Distance and dairy, not friends
Goro-goro buu

If you were the rain
There’d be no talk of parades
Dosha-dosha love


Eyes closed breathing in
Lemon vermillion amber
Leaves gasa-gasa

A fresh crisp morning
Warmed pokkari by the sun
Bridge in the harbor

Cleaned up the pantries
Rearranged the furniture

Shrouded sandstone walls
Migrant’s old quarry claim dark
Zoku-zoku chill

My swollen liver
Just how long can you take it
Wine gabu-gabu

Stretching out her arms
Through Sunday’s first rays of warm
Poki’ … earth’s old joints

Millions of gallons
Of crude oil doba-doba
Gone from Ballast Point

Though the years have passed
My shadow’s feet still chase me
Taka-taka young

Cautious pelicans
Eyes majira-majira
Why the long faces?

So camp this suburb
That one rather vanilla
Both have cats—nyaa-nya

Humans can be good
Near perfect from time to time
Copper wind sappari


“Put your jacket on!”
Cheeks fukura-fukura
A mum’s love priceless

If you saw me here
Would you send for the uu-uu?
What if I was black?

Myriad bird calls
Shaking dew drops on cold grass
Dog tags charari

Life can be a mess
Shitty mess banbarako
So get cleaning then

Clouds swell gureri 
Rain plucks leaves from limbs still
Brocade stream in flames

Dogs waku-waku 
Oblivious to the fog
Sniffing morning butts

The rain fell this far
Just to say there would be sun
Uha-uha sheen

There I go again
Digging holes I can’t climb out
Oro-oro mess

Cats too can get stressed
But biting off their tails, no
Gaji-gaji… yowl


Like counting footsteps
Abacus pachi-pachi
Day stacked upon day

Breath buku-buku
Not a clue about COVID?
Swan’s head in water

The cold rain and grey
Inspired curry over rice
Gutsu-gutsu warm

Hold on my dear friend
Things will surely get better—
Holding you gyutto

Through the drowzy mist
Tomorrow the sun will rise
Cool warm silk shū-shū

Behind shiny leaves
And silent eyes golden fixed
Tail kune-kune

Where have I seen you?
I know those drained troubled eyes
Hushed odo-odo

Early morning dream—
Dash trot quick zip to-to-ton
Across the water

At the reservoir
Cormorants sit with wings up
Water still… geppu

Where are they off to
So bubbly wacha-wacha
Dog wanting to play

By pigeons startled
My trapezius strained stiff
Ita-ta… ends July


Beneath gazes warm
It moves dark heavy smart cold
Bay water non-non

They put me at ease
Your eyelids soft and peaceful
Hono-bono calm

Beads of light dancing
On leaves verdant frolicking
Jingling yurara

Jet fuel for my run
Last night’s pizza and gnocchi
Starch kerosene pyuun

Reeling ka-ririn
Man fishing under a bridge
Birds watch from above

Like shy hermit crabs
Cotton swabs go in sterile
Up tense nostrils su’


Wings bata-bata
Cockatoos flash sun rays white
Clinging to branches

Fleas, ticks eying dogs
Uzu-uzu on leashes
Watching children play

Eight and a half miles
To dip my feet in the bay
Botany hoi-hoi

Swaying in the breeze
Like they were choreographed
Leaves soyo-soyo


Trees offering shade
To woman and her trolley
Wheels gara-gara

Flowers, fruity drinks
Beautiful women and men
Then buun, mozzie bites


Slowly jog a block
Just like that—you’re a runner
Dawn ura-ura

You can read my 2019 verses here.