Every spring, I write one of these lame haiku columns. It’s for my own amusement, and I hope, yours.

Then last year, it got serious.

A few days after my annual affront to good poetry and good taste was published, I received a package from a concerned reader. It contained a short book of poetry, the book “Writing and Enjoying Haiku, A Hands-on Guide” by Jane Reichhold, and a letter.

“I read your column and care about its quality.

“Your column ‘Sidelines’ Sunday (5/20) ‘The Haiku Returns,’ inflicted enough harm against haiku poetry to motivate these lines,” the reader wrote.

He went on to explain all the ways I butcher haiku, and hoped that the haiku how-to would provide guidance and inspiration. I’m pretty sure he meant well. I took no offense.


I’ll be honest. I flipped through it and never opened it again until just now, about a year later. I appreciate constructive feedback from any reader, especially one who obviously cares about poetry enough to take time out of a busy day to try to help a hack like me.

I did try to make these better this year. Really, I did. This is where I ask patrons of fine poetry to avert their gaze. The rest of you, let’s do this.


Dustin Pedroia

laser show over

stiff knee, ninety feet so far


tip cap, limp away



Lumberjacks, maybe

it’s about heritage, right?

Kennebecs, or Moose



Triple Crown

mud, rain, pure chaos

Maximum Security

no mind to safety



Kyrie Irving

flat earth? yeah, okay

max nonsense allowed only

with top max  effort


Rob Gronkowski


touchdown! spike! such joy

Monday, pain pulsates body

rest now, and spike life


Jackie Bradley Jr.

that glove a black hole


that bat, alas, black hole too

slump or awful truth?


UMaine football

red turf burns Black Bears

expectations come, new coach


success, bulls-eye now


UMaine women’s basketball

Pit shakers, noise, wow

threes rain, crowd stands, Black Bears reign

pure basketball joy



Stanley Cup

names, so many names

winter grail, holy chalice

hoist, drink, parade, shave



Tuukka Rask

cool, calm, quiet saves

glove side? nope. blocker side? nope.

brick wall, velvet rope


Poor NHL officials


how did you miss that?

hand pass, net above glass, ugh

you missed another!


Boston Bruins

twelve down, four more wins


immortality’s doorstep

Leafs fans weep and pout


Boston Celtics

Pats, Sox, and Bruins

spoiled fans mock second round


duck boats idle for you


Chris Sale

mirage? are you back?

April nightmare is May ace

needs runs, wins will come



Wet spring

cleats squish, socks soaked through

fans shiver, gloves muffle claps

quick dry sales way up

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