Back then

October, 1956
aunt Alice provided room and board
I pumped Shell gasoline, checked
tires, oil and washed windshields,
customers all paid cash.

May, 1968
days began and ended on
Whippoorwill calling its name
waking a pleasant foretell
sleeping?, all right, already.

May 1978
we strolled a Zurich alley with Trudy
our new friend pulled off a lilac branch
we were taken aback
back to our Wisconsin blooms too.

Palmer R. Haynes
© May, 2015

Preparing for a nap

Monkshood had begun to bloom
its color unusual for fall, their long stems
waved purple slowly, as railroad wig-wags do,

and, a brisk wind had brought first leaf fall,
spread the deck with a white ash patchwork
my mind’s eye resolved the coverlet to muted greens.

Before my slumber bright sun entered the skylight,
leaf shadows were busily scrubbing the far wall,
upon waking that scrubbed wall still needed work.

Palmer R. Haynes
© September, 2015

Monkshood: Photo from

Cousin’s 80th

before we arrived
May shower, rushed
food and guests inside

first cousin’s friends
crowd cozy living room
and stay dry

guest book is numbers
tall green eight, white aught
we sign on the white

two second cousins
I hadn’t seen for some time
view my family video

over extended on ice
son-in-law explains complex leg brace
knee, immobile down to ankle

couple seated near
are cousin’s church friends
for over fifty years

this stage of life
birthdays, longevity are celebrated
mortality acknowledged

Palmer R. Haynes
© May 2015

Sand Hill gleaners

Sand Hill’s

     Once Nebraska
again in Indiana,
view was only from hidden blinds.
Their grace, their courtship dance
held us in awe.

     Township birds
elongated and aerodynamic
pass close, very close.
Glide just above tasseled corn,
our pleasant surprise

     Trees blind
their modulated wing strokes.
This pair for life, reappear
descend on Tom Sutter’s
golden wheat stubble.

Sand Hill’s are gleaners.

Palmer R. Haynes

© August, 2015

Photos by Catherine Haynes, taken at the Audubon crane blind on the Platte River in 2009

Mornings on the Roof

          -with Parroquia, San Miguel Arcangel-

     Up early
where the air is still, the hand
rail cool
morning birds moan and dogs bark
bus and driver find a gear
     to climb Hidalgo.

         Pear shaped
carnival striped
pilot flames the burners
canopy cheeks bulging hot air
     its rise imperceptible.

         Day two
within stripes a yellow Greek cross
majestically rises full
annunciates distant cathedral
         its main spires.

of inordinate stillness
no fewer than seven ships are aloft
hour on hour they pass, easy
   destinations unknown.

   This last day
solo pilot challenges overcast sky
the rail is still cool
buses make stops, and
    dogs bark.

Palmer R. Haynes

© January, 2015

On Syvrud Road

Unnumbered pebbles were married
that unmercifully hot day by bituminous tar.
Locked still, each stone passes below a footfall
as a stream would flow under a bridge.

Now and again this familiar acoustic event
presents a definitive distant throb on my ears.
Its common fuselage came close, markings unclear
gray color mimes the sky.  Hospital destination?

My mind’s eye draws on the far ridge
delineates commuters voyage on Wisconsin 78,
writhing south along a forgotten Indian path,
dark mobile silhouettes lent to the ending day.

Palmer R. Haynes
© December, 2015

Driftless Road, By Doug E. L. Haynes

A Diary of Dates

24 July
; Camp Greenleaf, Georgia trains Army Veterinarians.
I am to become a Medical Corp man.

27 August; aboard the troopship USS Great Northern;“I could never imagine the ocean so large until I actually crossed it.”
my hammock is so small; “I wasn’t a bit fearful.”

3 September; ship docked at Liverpool; “an English soldier
gave me a postcard welcome from King George V”.
“the English have received us with the greatest of joy”

4 September; “Mother: I expect you were surprised to getthe card telling I was safely across.

20 October; we marched to the front, many horse
drawn ambulances are going the opposite way,
men bandaged, some sitting up others laying down
the regimental commander assigned our medical aid station,
he says shelling has been heavy, many gas casualties,
the wind has favored the Germans

the night of 24October, “I went out to find a man calling for help,
carried him in and found our aid station blown up.

28 October; I had my mask on, had trouble with the canister
my lungs were burning, I must have collapsed,
must have been on an ambulance wagon away from the front

22 November; “Mother: I am still weak and my lungs
have been feeling pretty bum the last few days.
I hope to be home for Christmas, so prepare a great big feed.”
“I hope you and grandma are feeling fine.  I will return before long,
and write me.”

Call to report for service