DailyHaiku - A Daily Shot Of Zen


Special Feature 7—Neon Buddha Poems

Neon Buddha Poems: A Selection
by Michael Dylan Welch

— September 15, 2010 —

for a payday loan
neon buddha

not for sale
at Home Depot
neon buddha

power outage
the neon buddha
loses his smile

class reunion
the neon buddha
has a crooked tie

father-daughter dance
the neon buddha
sits one out

the neon buddha
learns to play
Stairway to Heaven

because he loves Jesus
neon buddha

Author's Statement

A friend once asked me where the neon buddha came from. In reply, I almost said Toledo. More accurately, he's an avatar—sometimes a surrogate for me and what I've done or would like to do, both ordinary and extraordinary, and sometimes an everyman who's definitely not me. The neon buddha is also like the Travelocity garden gnome—a little naive or overwhelmed by the world, but always game for adventure. And perhaps he’s like R. Crumb’s Mr. Natural—an underground sage who likes to have fun and can’t resist a double meaning. I’ve written many hundreds of these haiku-like poems, which have unfolded as a surreal sort of personal mythology.

Michael Dylan Welch

Michael Dylan Wlech

Michael Dylan Welch has written haiku since 1976. He's currently serving as vice president of the Haiku Society of America, cofounded Haiku North America in 1991 and the American Haiku Archives in 1996, and founded the Tanka Society of America in 2000. He is editor/publisher of Tundra: The Journal of the Short Poem (since 1997) and of Press Here haiku and tanka books (since 1989). He previously edited Woodnotes (1989–1997). Michael's haiku and longer poems have appeared in hundreds of journals and anthologies in fourteen languages, and he's won first prize in the Henderson, Brady, Drevniok, and Tokutomi contests. In 2010 he was selected for the Jack Straw Writers Program. He lives near Seattle, Washington, and his website is titled Graceguts.

Past Special Features

"What is a special feature?" you may ask. The DailyHaiku special features section is dedicated to innovative collections of haiku and related forms that work very well as a thematic unit, bring the reader a new perspective on the form, explore the seasonal nature of haiku, or push the bounds of haiku in novel directions. Special features will be posted throughout each year (usually as a surprise) and will also be included in the yearly print edition.