Forget the Ides of March. The 15th of April strikes considerably more fear into American hearts. But even the Internal Revenue Service deserves a little haiku love — or bitter poetry.

We didn't insist on a particular poetic form this time around, so some poets took respite from their 1040s and Schedules A through Ugh by venting via haiku or limerick. But Hayward poet G.W. Enos introduced us to the 5-line cinquain form, which may become our new favorite thing: the first line contains a single word, the second a two-word description, followed by three words, four, and then a final word to sum up. Enos' cinquain was wickedly brilliant "... um, unless you're the IRS agent reviewing our tax forms, in which case all these poems are a travesty against a noble, dedicated government agency.

Naturally, one SoCal intellectual took issue with our use of haiku, an august and rarefied artistic form, to riff on taxes. "Seems to me," he wrote in an e-mail a reader forwarded to us, "to degrade the form."

"You bet," Stan Morner replied cheerily. "I taught legitimate haiku concepts to generations of high school students, wrote articles for several haiku journals on Japanese concepts and practices "... And now I have allowed myself to be drawn into this nonsense. Yes, life is funny and, perhaps, it is best to see it in a humorous light."

We maintain that a little goofy fun is all that keeps us sane these days. And that only a truly gifted writer could make tax day sound so darn poetic. Or funny. Or crocodilian.

— Jackie Burrell

IRS Haikus

1040 Forms rise

On Internet's magic waves —

pastel blossoms fall

— Stan Morner, Walnut Creek

Tax collector wrote

"Loved your creativity,

Sending auditor."

— Marilyn Slade, Pleasanton

Investigating

Schedules and forms, my hope: One

Brilliant deduction.

— Dave Osburn, Pinole

Not just rob me blind,

But make all the instructions

Confusing as hell.

— Cynthia Bass, Danville

As deadline draws near

Frantic search for deductions

Unleash paper piles

— Mike Takayanagi, Fremont

A pound of flesh was

all that the Venice merchant

sought; sounds like a deal.

— Rebecca Thompson, Lafayette

Now I savvy sheep.

Sheared of that which feels so mine.

Victim of fleecing.

— Harry Morgan, Pleasanton

Taxes prove we were

alive — receipts for getting

and spending, archived.

— Sherry Sheehan, Crockett

Searching for papers

Add! subtract! again! again!

The Taxman Cometh!

— Shirley Stuart, Berkeley

He stops to slap dead

The first mosquito of spring —

A black briefcase man.

— Stan Morner

I understand the

"Internal Revenue" part;

"Service" is puzzling.

— Rebecca Thompson, Lafayette

April fifteenth stinks!

Nadya needs diapers and

My taxes buy them.

— Ann Hudspeth, Fremont

And other poetic forms"...

I.R.S.

Crocodilian type

Teeth baring smile,

Comes calling every April

Ravenous.

— G.W. Enos, Hayward

Hey I.R.S.

I know I.O.U.

Give me a break like A.I.G.

— Bobby C. Richardson, Benicia

You may think that the system is hokey,

You resent it — and that's okey-dokey.

But try to defraud it

You're in for an audit

And maybe a trip to the pokey.

— Pat Corr, Martinez

HAIKU YOU

Got a Yen
to Haiku?
Last week's rainstorms brought to mind the adage about April showers bringing well, soggy shoes, anyway. So this time around, we're giving you until Thursday, April 30 to pen a haiku -- 3 lines in a 5-7-5 syllable pattern -- on April showers and what they wrought. Send the poetic results to jburrell@bayareanewsgroup, as usual. Then look for our favorites in print Monday, May 4.
Online
Read more reader-written haiku at ContraCostaTimes.com/haiku or In
sideBayArea.com/haiku