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Terse Verse: A Collection of American Haiku

By C. Thomas Howes

Introductioon to Haiku

Introduction to Terse Verse

Haiku is brief, so let's be Brief.

We live in an ocean of words and information that demands our attention and often threatens to drown us. To combat this we must sort out the news and knowledge to determine what is important and what should be discarded.

One way of fighting this onslaught is to be more selective in what we hear and what we read. It is difficult if not impossible to read every word or every article in a newspaper. Instead, we usually scan the headlines and then choose. In business, executives pick the summaries and skip over the details. In reading a book, the plot is better remembered, as the characters and descriptions fade into the background. With Haiku, it's so brief, you often must read it twice to "get" it.

In literature poetry presents ideas in a more compact form, fitting the thoughts in an appropriate format. Sometimes those thoughts can appear complex like a code that must be cracked. Other times the poem is much more simple and is more quickly understood. Rhymed or unrhymed, whether Haiku, sonnet, or blank verse, poems must be able to establish a connection between the writer and the reader to communicate ideas.

In Terse Verse the format boils down to presenting ideas and observation on human behavior and American culture using idioms, puns, and wordplay that can be easily read and enjoyed. The key to effectiveness is simplicity and the key to simplicity is brevity. And that is what Terse Verse is about in a nutshell.

The Index is Just a List of Guideposts.

Buisness Brief

Car Senses

Culture Shocks

Family Manners

Food for Thoughts

Good Sports


Modern Times

Money Matters

Mortal Fears

Personal Problems

Pet Projects

Politics as Usual

Shopping Talk

Social Scenes

Stage Frights

Vanity Fares

Wordly Ways

Write or Wrong

Last Laughs


Terse Verse: Bar Flies

Bar Flies

Pub scene
They're seen
Hop long
Mix throng
Give hug
May bug
Night ends
Part friends

Next meet
Quick greet
Skip dine
Bee line
Where found
Buzz round
Last see
Flit flee

Terse Verse: Oh Zone

Oh Zone

Loud pounds
Bring Zounds
Drums blaze
Eyes daze
Songs boom
Aches Zoom
Swap Zest
For rest

Noise Zaps
Cause naps
Needs days
Flee craze
Loose cloze
Help doze
Sweet breeze
Catch Zees

Terse Verse: Sit Calms

Sit Calms

When stress
Starts press
Soothe woes
View shows
Where tale
Stays pale
Sweet ends
All friends

These breaks
Cure aches
Same plots
Link dots
Ease pains
Leave brains
Minds mend
Wits end

Terse Verse: Wild Card

Wild Card

Life's real
Raw deal
Each day
Act play
Eye scans
Plot plans
Slow quick
Count trick

Bluffs twists
Clench fists
Good hand
Turns bland
Last call
Bet all
Man bumps
God trumps

Terse Verse: Wise Cracks

Wise Cracks

Earth quakes
Land shakes
Sounds deep
Wake sleep
Shocks rise
Cloud skies
Cold chill
Time still

Try smile
Fears pile
Wide eyes
Must hide
Can't halt
World's fault
Think fast
Laugh last

Terse Verse: Heads Up

Heads Up

Look down
Coin found
This clue
Hooks you
Means luck
Has struck
Real wish
Catch fish

So kneel
Quick feel
Prize looms
Face blooms
Hopes high
Then sigh
Why glum?
Dad gum

Terse Verse: Pay Dirt

Pay Dirt

Fan mags
Oft rags
Snap pix
Sly tricks
They pry
You buy
New tells
Sin sells

Neath earth
Much worth
Rake muck
Gold struck
Flesh pots
Were hot
World's ways
Grime pays

Terse Verse: Psych Outs

Psych Outs

Wind wails
Weird tales
Fans cheer
Love fear
Dark nights
Quick frights
Best part
Jump start

Ghouls ghosts
Best hosts
Get kicks
Scares tricks
These kooks
Seek spooks
Love taunts
Old haunts

Terse Verse: Choice Cuts

Choice Cuts

Long run
Less fun
Some wait
Trust fate
They find
Slow grind
Take grief
Don't beef

Those keen
Choose lean
Don't stew
Quick do
Dash fleet
Win meat
Right breaks
Prime steaks

Terse Verse: Boot Camp

Boot Camp

Shoe piles
All styles
Need pair
To wear
When done
Have one
Hunt wait
Find mate

Can't catch
Make match
Odd fly
Reach sky
Stray far
Near star
Black holes
Lost soles

Terse Verse: Spot Lite

Spot Lite

From blue
Star new
Flash fame
Blaze name
Crowd wowed
Roars loud
Signs high
Lights sky

Sun blinds
Cloud minds
They fear
End near
Sparks flirt
Fans split
Fades clout
Lights out

Terse Verse: Tap Dunce

Tap Dunce

Hey feet
Look sweet
Be deft
Not left
Flair arms
Tout charms
Make mate
Look great

No wins
Klutz spins
Sad moves
Miss grooves
Steps slip
Shoes trip
No cup
Jigs up

Terse Verse: Twin Peeks

Twin Peeks

Socks do
Play boo
Wash dry
One shy
First eyed
Two hide
No fun
When done

Next day
Seek stray
Breathe pause
Lost cause
Hope pray
Can say
There deuce
Foot loose

Terse Verse: Well Versed

Well Versed

How brow
Praise now
Poems blank
Words rank
Free style
Rants vile
No song
Is wrong

Prudes plead
Slow speed
Their test
Old best
Sweet rhyme
Keep time
More sense
Past tense

Terse Verse: Non Plus

Non Plus

Math whiz
Ace quiz
They dig
Calc trig
Know how
Score wow
Minds quick
Fast click

My skill
Proves nil
Not blessed
Like rest
Test books
Blank looks
Tongue tied
PI eyed

Terse Verse: Tongue Wags

Tongue Wags

Frank tales
Top sales
Write trash
Gross cash
Tell alls
Fights brawls
Slice smut
Cold cut

Friends rue
Your coup
Their beef
In brief
Wish they
First say
Were first
Knock worst

Terse Verse: Clock Work

Clock Work

Tick tock
Crows cock
Day dawns
Rise pawns
Must move
Find groove
Drink cup
Wind up

Days end
Home wend
Find place
Soothe face
Time grinds
Wears minds
Woes drown
Wind down

Terse Verse: Dumb Down

Dumb Down

Self sees
Two Mes
One side
Boasts pride
Thoughts wise
No guise
Words sound
Pro found

View two
Me too
No airs
Oft errs
Faults hid
Off grid
Neath ground
Con found

Terse Verse: Loan Range

Loan Range

Dear friend
Asks lend
Needs now
Makes vow
Pay back
No flak
Act rash
"Here's cash"

Once grant
Cans can't
Won't pay
Goes way
Past due
Must sue
"Twas steal
Dun deal

Terse Verse: Dough Boys

Dough Boys

Cool guys
Toss his
Then let
Caps set
Sit loaf
Look oaf
Stay bums
Earn crumbs

Gents doff
Hats off
Shun couch
Don't slouch
Old schools
Have rules
Rise head
Well bread

Terse Verse: Hind Sight

Hind Sight

Eyes choose
Rear views
All styles
Spout smiles
Each rimp
Hearts thump
Girls guys
Breathe sighs

Songs play
Swing sway
Fat thin
Tails spin
You'll find
Old grind
Leers same
End game

Terse Verse: Pest Friends

Pest Friends

When hear
Those near
Say hug
Then bug
Their plea
Help me
They moan
Need loan

Cash bind
Cruel kind
Yes con
Dough gone
Say no
Pals go
Two things
One stings

Terse Verse: Pitched Fork

Pitched Fork

Man's seed
Starts greed
Young old
Thirst gold
See pomp
Think romp
Road splits
Strikes hits

Pride tempted
Glitz dream
Rogues wait
Cash bait
Square trust
Bite dust
Pro 'Round
Con found

Terse Verse: Knight Time

Knight Time

MoSt find
Man kind
Pray sin
Won't win
Yet know
World's woe
Wars fights
Wrong rites

Hope brave
Free slave
Take reins
Burst chains
Long run
Cause won
When strong
Right wrong

Terse Verse: Self Steamed

Self Steamed

Watch those
Who pose
Please crowd
Speak loud
Words sweet
No meat
Stand tough
Spout fluff

Mild dote
Sing quote
No strain
Trust vain
Hearts leam
Chests beat
Fools bluffed
Shirt stuffed

Terse Verse: Still Life

Still Life

Late years
Shift gesrs
From go
To slow
Let pills
Fight ills
Put breaks
On aches

Touts tongue
Stay young
Hot wires
Keep fires
Live fast
Till last
Dodge dread
Quick dead

Terse Verse: Hard Brawl

Hard Brawl

World maze
Vast craze
Each age
Joys rage
Must look
For nook
Use wits
Find fits

Brave years
Trials tears
False friends
Dead ends
Woes sighs
Cloud eyes
Tough game
Cry shame

Terse Verse: Miss Cast

Miss Cast

Stars rage
Fight age
Cling youth
Scorn truth
Puff lips
Squeeze hips
Their goal
Young role

Times change
Shift range
From hits
To bits
Gone vamp
Now camp
Script signs
Laugh lines

Terse Verse: Star Light

Star Light

Most find
Man kind
Pray sin
Won't win
Yet know
World's woe
Day cares
Night mares

Hope brave
Free slave
Take reins
Burst chains
Dream one
Long run
Reach stretch
Far fetch

Terse Verse: Up Grades

Up Grades

Old days
Car ways
Few fears
Brakes gears
Swift kicks
Quick fix
Use glue
Made new

New styles
Glitz dials
Not same
Nerd's game
Geeks rule
Feel fool
Bye wreak
Hi tech

Terse Verse: Tongue Tied

Tongue Tied

Give talk
Words balk
Stay tip
Of lip
Hem haws
Long pause
Wish hide
Save pride

Fears lock
Voice block
Can't go
With flow
Face flush
Friends blush
Not cool
Dam fool

Terse Verse: Fire Back

Fire Back

Love breaks
Heart aches
Heats cool
Mate mule
Gone flames
Burn blames
Old vows
Cold rows

Friends feel
Need heal
Cure darks
Stir sparks
Turn blues
Red hues
Score catch
Strike match

Terse Verse: Stars War

Star War

Films stare
Fights rage
Foes plot
Scenes shot
Fire works
Jousts jerks
Pros cliques
Con flicks

Good plays
Win praise
Broad casts
Have blasts
Stay top
Till flop
Noise calms
Buzz bombs

Terse Verse: Suite Dreams

Suite Dreams

Jack pots
Thrill lots
Greeds urge
Bets surge
Plan prise
High rise
If score
Top floor

Soon hopes
Turn mopes
Big one
Not won
Fade dins
House wins
Home sign
Flat line

Terse Verse: No Nos

No Nos

Fed's tool
Flood rules
From hills
New bills
Add laws
No pause
Those codes
Tax lodes

Folks roar
No more
Hate regs
Loath negs
Drop dead
Tapes red
Fear aughts
Dread naughts

Terse Verse: Air Crafts

Air Crafts

Plane trips
Get flips
Can't do
Straight thru
Must change
Ports strange
Gone hope
One stops

They're shrewd
You're screwed
Firm feats
Drive seats
Long run
Choose one
Their way
High way

Terse Verse: Track Down

Track Down

Quick way
Down weigh
When train
Fats drain
Each turn
More firm
Wheels round
Feet pound

Stretch outs
Squeeze stouts
Quick step
Pops pep
Down road
Less load
Ends trail
Thin rail

Terse Verse: Wish Wash

Wish Wash

Life bleak
Turn cheek
Pray rain
Cures pain/br> First cloud
Meek bowed
Come floods
Drown duds

Crowds crunch
Fools bunch
Praise Lord
Quick board
Those brave
Ark save
If wait
Pearl gate

Terse Verse: Hot Times

Hot Times

Life's choice
Choose voice
Good news
Black views
Words smart
Warm heart
Those vile
Buirn bile

High road
Line toed
This guide
Up side
When stray
Down way
Fork ends
Pitch blends

Terse Verse: Star Struck

Star Struck

Long haul
Life small
Our place
Brief space
Sky gaze
Deep maze
We Sprang
Big Bang

Now Pause
Breathe awes
Once earth
Gave birth
Short bloom
Then doom
Soon dust
Big Bust

Back Cover to Haiku

Beside Being Japanese, what's Haiku?

Haiku is a Japanese way of looking at things. Poetry is their form of literature using imaginative and creative words in a compressed form to express unexpected new ideas.The ideas are universal; the attitude is Japanese.

There are two basic forms of Japanese poetry. One form is blank verse while the other follows a fixed or standard format. Two examples of the latter are Haiku and Limericks. Haiku are three-lined unrhymed poems while limericks are five-lined rhymed poems of a humorous nature. Terse Verse poems follow standard 16 lines of one syllable, in a gently humorous style.

Themes of Terse Verse are observations of everyday life and, more recently, comments on American lifestyles and behavior. Terse Verse uses puns and wordplay to give readers a different viewpoint of familiar situations. It is difficult to group these poems into specific categories since there are a wide variety of topics. Each poem must be read and enjoyed on its own merits.

In brief, Terse Verse is one-way poetry can reduce strange ideas to fewest words, delivering new points of view while bringing smiles to the reader.

--Tom Howes


Please Let Us Know What You Think


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Introductioon to Haiku
Poetry is a form of literature using imaginative and creative words in a compressed form to express ideas.

Terse Verse: Bar Flies
New blog 2015-02-18 19:16:00 description

Terse Verse: Oh Zone
New blog 2015-03-05 21:43:20 description

Terse Verse: Sit Calms
New blog 2015-03-18 16:55:38 description

Terse Verse: Wild Card
New blog 2015-03-18 17:50:21 description

Terse Verse: Wise Cracks
New blog 2015-03-18 17:56:03 description

Terse Verse: Heads Up
New blog 2015-03-20 17:50:24 description

Terse Verse: Pay Dirt
New blog 2015-03-20 18:40:10 description

Terse Verse: Psych Outs
New blog 2015-03-20 18:51:37 description

Terse Verse: Choice Cuts
New blog 2015-03-25 17:47:11 description

Terse Verse: Boot Camp
New blog 2015-03-25 18:15:23 description

Terse Verse: Spot Lite
New blog 2015-03-26 15:24:56 description

Terse Verse: Tap Dunce
New blog 2015-03-26 17:05:25 description

Terse Verse: Twin Peeks
New blog 2015-03-26 17:57:36 description

Terse Verse: Well Versed
New blog 2015-03-26 18:27:19 description

Terse Verse: Non Plus
New blog 2015-03-26 20:36:13 description

Terse Verse: Tongue Wags
New blog 2015-03-27 18:40:57 description

Terse Verse: Clock Work
New blog 2015-03-27 19:36:19 description

Terse Verse: Dumb Down
New blog 2015-03-27 20:03:51 description

Terse Verse: Loan Range
New blog 2015-03-27 20:28:30 description

Terse Verse: Dough Boys
New blog 2015-04-02 16:07:39 description

Terse Verse: Hind Sight
New blog 2015-04-06 19:59:01 description

Terse Verse: Pest Friends
New blog 2015-06-04 16:28:43 description

Terse Verse: Pitched Fork
New blog 2015-06-04 16:33:56 description

Terse Verse: Knight Time
New blog 2015-06-23 17:35:44 description

Terse Verse: Self Steamed
New blog 2015-06-23 19:30:56 description

Terse Verse: Still Life
New blog 2015-06-25 19:13:09 description

Terse Verse: Hard Brawl
New blog 2015-07-14 18:28:34 description

Terse Verse: Miss Cast
New blog 2015-07-15 20:25:40 description

Terse Verse: Star Light
New blog 2015-07-21 15:56:39 description

Terse Verse: Up Grades
New blog 2015-07-21 20:34:25 description

Terse Verse: Tongue Tied
New blog 2015-07-23 21:28:31 description

Terse Verse: Fire Back
New blog 2015-08-12 15:22:37 description

Terse Verse: Stars War
New blog 2015-08-21 19:50:41 description

Terse Verse: Suite Dreams
New blog 2015-09-09 21:16:47 description

Terse Verse: No Nos
New blog 2015-09-11 15:50:08 description

Terse Verse: Air Crafts
New blog 2015-09-21 20:28:38 description

Terse Verse: Track Down
New blog 2015-09-23 20:55:41 description

Terse Verse: Wish Wash
New blog 2015-11-17 18:58:49 description

Terse Verse: Hot Times
New blog 2016-05-05 18:11:51 description

Terse Verse: Star Struck
New blog 2016-05-10 18:08:31 description

Back Cover to Haiku