With Tanya McDonald


Left Behind

as if
she were still here
mourning doves

the unplanted garden
sprouts volunteer sunflowers

her handwriting
on the sugar canister
first hummingbirds

what she would have wanted
dividing up
the bearded irises

her African Grey, her voice

dandelion seeds
the weight
of her ashes

Lew Watts
Tanya McDonald

Haiku Society of America, Rengay Contest, 2020—first place.

Miles and Miles and . . .

braided stream
she lets me touch
her varicose veins

sharing a granola bar
and a salt-tinged kiss

packs back on,
with a flick of a tail
no chipmunk

a birdcall
we don’t recognize—
forgotten hiking poles

switchbacks . . .
waiting for each other

krumholtz pine
his vacation stubble
against my cupped palm

Lew Watts
Tanya McDonald

Mariposa, issue 43, 2020

(HPNC Rengay Contest, Honorable Mention)


lakeside cabin
we leave the party

above the silver road
rising moon

sheltered cove
one by one
the mother-of-pearl buttons

after our skinny-dip
the first stars emerge

waves lap the pebbled shore
. . . his tongue

drifting away
water off a duck’s back

Tanya McDonald
Lew Watts

Presence, issue 67, 2020

Nice and Naughty

late night movie
on Christmas Eve
“is this seat taken?”

after Bad Santa
look who’s sleeping in my bed

naughty or nice?
sliding down
the chimney

flush-faced fairy
the scent of pine
on her panties

warming her embers
with his peppermint breath

she tells me
pa rum pum pum pum

Tanya McDonald
Lew Watts

Failed Haiku, issue 49, January 2020

lew watts

With Charles Trumbull


rain-lashed trailer
gran says nothing
beats a flush 

through rank ferns, with my slingshot, 
stalking the northwoods chipmunk

another downed duck
in a smoke-filled arcade...
salad days

yearly cook-off:
once again Auntie’s pasties
are judged the best

salvaging mom's butts
for sandcastle cannons

favorite cousin —
we build a cardboard compound
for the horny toads

Lew Watts
Charles Trumbull

Frogpond, vol.42.2, 2019

Passin’ a Good Time

through cypress knees,
silently, a watersnake
and a canoe

muddy waters—a belch
from the redfish

dead in the water
a rusted Red Bull can
with a bullet hole

breaking the silence
a little lagniappe
for the swamp gas

poling down the bayou
pierogi in my dinnerpail

empty hip flask . . .
still no sign
of the fai do-do

Charles Trumbull
Lew Watts

Presence, issue 66, 2020

Sneaking a Peek

by her swimming lake
ready to be blown … away

gardening … a sneak peek
at the neighbor’s patch

plumber’s truck
her curtains open
a crack

through the aperture
of a compound microscope
the prurience of germs

zooming in … next to the dentures
horny goat weed

coitus interruptus —
in our bedroom window
two grinning faces

Lew Watts
Charles Trumbull

Prune Juice, issue 29, November 2019

Dear TripAdvisor …

attic room rafters:
I whack my head a good one
in the middle ages

shared bathroom … the scales

on a black mamba’s tail

Stalinist high-rise —
the dezhurnaya winks at
our furtive trysts

seven-year itch
still desired
by bed bugs

sleepness night in the tropics:
two-inch tear in the netting

middle age …
blocked pipes knocking
in the room next door

Charles Trumbull
Lew Watts


1. White Hart Hotel (est. 15th century), St Albans, England
2. Victoria Falls Hotel, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
3. Hotel Ukraina, Moscow, USSR
4. Travelodge, M4 Motorway, Cardiff, Wales
5. El Establo de Tomás, Tena, Ecuador
6. Hotel Rosorio, La Paz, Bolivia

Presence, issue 65, 2019