Pure Death

I gaze
at the white rose;
a symbol for me
of purity, but
which speaks of death
to that Japanese fellow
writing a haiku.
both of us
are right.


Death and the Virgins

Death loves only virgins,
never coming
to the experienced;
tasting only those lips that were never
touching the skin of those never
possessing those who were never
so possessed;
and doing so until
the fluttering heart
is stilled.

[previously published in SubtleTea, August 2004]


C W Hawes is a bureaucrat by day and a poet by night. His muses are Whitman and Millay, Basho and Issa, the Imagists and Ishikawa Takuboku. His favorite living poet is Wendell Berry. His published work has appeared in a variety of print and electronic publications, including Tryst, SubtleTea, Simply Haiku, WAH!, Makata, and Poetic Voices, where he was twice the Featured Poet. He edited a Japanese form issue of The Muse Apprentice Guild (Summer 2004) and was a winner in the 2004 Tanka Splendor contest. He lives in the midwestern United States with his wife and daughter.