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Cozy Haiku

my wife’s wisest gift

Swedish sweater socks wrap warm

wool around my feet



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Play It Cool

Play It Cool


ice cubes tumble

down the shoot

into glasses with a cling 


couples banter

servers scramble

you gently stir your drink


“Seat taken?”

a soft voice asks

your glass drips with condensation


she gestures to the bartender

one move pulls out the stool

for conversation 


“Uh, yes...I mean no!”

your head shakes 

your straw now...

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And so I thought 


once I felt seen

got praised, got a raise 

it would go away


once I de-stressed

got time off from my job

it would drift away


once I reached my goal

got rated “exceptional”

it would surely leave


once I felt proud

of all that I’ve achieved

it would bring reprieve 


And so I thought



© Candice Reineke 2020


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The Grammy goes to...


eager crickets sing in chorus

at the top of their lungs 


gusts rustle leaflets

in the string section of dwarf palms


nervous gnat raises his falsetto 

as high as he can


dragonfly’s baritone buzz

upstages her wingspan 


pileated woodpecker plays his pine 

keeping on the beat


tufted titmouse takes her tenor solo

melodic and neat



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Moment of Glory


God grabs a handful of reeds

to relieve an itch in his nose


lifts the emerald bundle to

inside his nostrils lined with gold 


scratches them up and down

‘til his ticklish urges subside


pulls the straws out half-dipped

like fence paint dripped and dried


their marshy roots dangle

in fish-scented air


God pushes’m back to the muck

swamp sti...

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Atlantic Beach “Public Parking”


chipped mint letters

flicker at Florida’s first coast


pearly tin sign

atop a tall weathered post


two “P” words compose

a minimalist statement 


crystals swirl across girls’

distant giggles on pavement 


fiery rust streaks 

from the top-center screw


faded cat sticker

smirks like a sleuth 


slots always taken 

in the mayhem of Ma...

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Lufituaeb er’uoy


let your index finger 

gently lift towards her

in one smooth motion


keep your eyes

fixed on hers

let your jitters simmer


open your hand

thumb pointing at your chin

fingers pointing up


roll your fingers across

the front of your face 

in clockwise fashion


like a carousel 

lightly turning

shadows to glimmers


end with your fing...

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Pink Lady


I’m 52 mg/dL and falling

I need you just as you are

Crisp like the night’s breath


Desperate to end this faint feeling 

I open the door

See the blush of your skin


Under the bright bulb 

I reach for you

Cold to the touch, round in my hand


I rush to the sink

Rinse you clean 

Dry your moist flesh and stem


I can’t wait any longer 

Crazed c...

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Type 1 diabetichypoglycemia



cling-clangs against my brain

feign solutions but they’re all the same 


feasts for frantic fissions 

unbridled, undeniably out of 




the drug I’ve always craved

but can’t do a thing other than




did I say it wrong?

did they hear me right?


I’m sure of it 

So unsure of it


I may be wrong

maybe all is well



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Some drive in silence with their mind 

free as the thought patterns they find


Others drive with the crevasses of their soul bare 

to the “lucky” listener sitting there


Some drive with laser-focus, turning on a dime

constantly checking their arrival time


Others drive with beats blasting, casting glances 

hoping partners will join in their dances


Some driv...

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driveroad trip

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