Too-Late-At-Night Police Blotter Haiku

Yet more police blotter haiku for your reading pleasure.  At this rate — if it continued — I’d have enough in six months for another book.  And who knows? I might be crazy enough to put together another one.

In the meantime, enjoy.  And perhaps be glad that you don’t live in a neighborhood with a pit-bull-based ecosystem.

A car struck a bear
They say ‘no injuries,’ but
no one asked the bear.

She loved her new pants.
She wore them even to the
store she’d swiped them from.

What would “two nude teens”
do in the back of a car
besides “intercourse?”

When you track people
through a rifle scope, young lads,
They WILL call the cops.

They wouldn’t tell him,
and he didn’t know, why they
beat him with fence posts

Broken shop window.
A face appears in the hole
and rambles strangely.

People they don’t know
roam their street asking questions
that they cannot fathom.

She bags her garbage
and throws it on the road where
the pit bulls eat it.


Writer’s Block Police Blotter Haiku

This week I couldn’t write a good haiku to save my life.  Honest to God, I thought I’d run dry.  But tonight, things went went well.  I had the Gregorian chant channel running on YouTube; perhaps it centered me.

Here’s tonight’s batch: as always, seventeen-syllable haiku based on crime stories from the police blotter columns of the nation’s newspapers.  Tonight’s come from the California Gold Country, where life is — colorful.  That’s it.  Colorful.  Enjoy.

“Dog bites man,” they knew,
and “man bites dog,” but nothing
of “dog bites your car.”

They weren’t aware of
what alcohol made him do
till he’d had three drinks.

His home-made bullwhip!
The power made puberty
seem almost worthwhile.

He thought it safe to
abuse a homeless women.
Sadly, he was right.

For three days she spoke
a long, soft soliloquy
in front of his shop.

He threw a punch at
the car that almost hit him.
It missed, he missed… peace.

Piss in a storm drain…
His urge could not be constrained.
But someone complained

New Year’s and Open Carry Police Blotter Haiku

Here are more police blotter haiku, true tales of crime and error in a mere 17 syllables. The pic above is from my book of such haiku, perpetually on sale at the Great Beast. The haiku below are not from the book; I’m still writing new ones.

I wouldn’t have nearly as much material to work with without all the states who pass “open carry” laws. I should be grateful — I guess.

Booze, old war stories.
A gun for sale, passed around.
And then, the flesh wound.

A naked man seen
running down the state highway
appeared to be cold.

A man dressed in plaid.
Holding a Christmas present
and talking to it.

Jumping on his van,
cursing, did not help him reach
the keys locked inside.

Locked in a hot car,
a dog hits the hazard lights.
The cops scratch their heads.

It’s never over
till your ex-wife doesn’t know
where your girlfriend lives.

Busted for fishing
right next to the gigantic

A thief made good use
of the sledgehammer that he
stows on the front porch.

By law he can leave
guns in an unlocked car for
thieves to steal, and did.

The constant gunfire.
It annoys her, even though
it’s just the neighbors.

Gunshots pierce the night.
“Happy New Year!” BLAMBLAMBLAM.
“Hey, get the shotgun!”

Christmas Night Police Blotter Haiku

You probably spent Christmas night celebrating with your family and friends.  I wrote haiku.  It was, actually, quite cozy.  And it’s good to have the week off; it’s not just that I need time to write these haiku; I need to feel that I have time. Then I can relax and get down to business.

As always, enjoy.


Last seen at the beach,
wearing camp colors and
hefting a chainsaw.

They’d like to break up.
But each of them holds ransom
the other’s key ring.

“Pay obeisance to
the King of Nicaragua!
And… stand me to a meal?”

Too much coke! he groaned.
Lying on the PCH,
wearing only shorts.

Was it news to him
that the cheap iPad he’d bought
from “some guy” was hot?

His whole neighborhood
can hear the porn movies that
the deaf man watches.

Others can get elbowed
shooting hoops but no, not him.
He’s calling the cops.

Two taps on the glass?
So she thought, after midnight,
alone in her bed.

He refused to leave
unless the bank gave him access
to his wife’s account.

He thought it was love.
She didn’t, and passed her card
to another man.

Return to Rotten Egg

Here are a few more haiku based on police blotter reports from Rotten Egg, Tennessee, the town where the air smells  funny and people misbehave as they do in most places, only a little more so. Enjoy.

Burning game consoles:
A telling message from a
neglected girlfriend.

He got himself jailed
for drunken driving on a
riding lawn-mower

Cafes everywhere,
and “large and shirtless” chose theirs
to pick a fight in.

Thermostat dispute.
In anger, he left the house
carrying his sword.

Child abuse? No, not
when the son is 22.
They still busted her.

Fire in the restroom!
(Recently vacated by
an ex-employee.)

Screams of missing cukes.
Elderly neighbor blames you.
And pulls a knife.


Haiku from a Different Sort of Town

When you read enough police blotter columns, you learn one thing: men get into more trouble than women.  Especially drunken men.

But there are are exceptions, and one is a small city in northeastern Tennessee where the air smells like rotten eggs and everybody drinks too much.  And I mean everybody.

The newspaper has a police blotter, and the first item I read generated this haiku.

She borrowed Mom’s car
to commute to her fake job.
And never came back.

The second item generated this haiku:

She borrowed his cell,
went outside to make a call
and never came back.

I wondered: is this a one-woman crime wave?  But no: in Rotten Egg, Tennessee, the women get into as much trouble as the men.  And drink just as hard.  The results are interesting: the haiku practically write themselves.  Enjoy.

Three kids in the car,
she went after (and ran down)
his other girlfriend.

“Someone attacked me,”
he said, and then pointed out
invisible men.

She told her ex to
“Come alone,” and when he did,
she punched his mouth, hard.

“He’s been gone for months,”
she told the cops, while he hid
beneath her floorboards.

His ex-girlfriend stole
his wallet, clothes, and false teeth.
“How” wasn’t revealed.

It’s a trucker’s life:
bombing down the interstate,
exposing yourself!

A good fathers should
teach his son what he knows, but…
he was a burglar.

A stove in the yard.
A sign reads, “Do not remove.”
But it was ignored.

Dispatch implored her
to let nature take its course
when stray dogs have sex.

A reminder: Police Blotter Haiku, the book, is for sale on Amazon.  If you’ve already bought a copy, please leave a review on the book’s Amazon page.


Haiku for Late September

Here are a few haiku I wrote the other night while running door security at my wife Rhumba’s Thursday evening knitting group.  I pity anyone who wanders in looking for trouble.  Those knitters are much tougher than I am.  Try something with them in a dark alley and they’d leave you with a concussion and a pair of mittens. I like them.

The haiku themselves are based on stories from newspapers near and far. As always, enjoy.

She lifted her cell,
and he abandoned all plans
to stalk her further.

“Snipers! In the trees!
“And someone owes me half a mill!
“Thank God for my drugs!”

Someone shot at him,
he thinks, and now he reports
every passing car.

You DO have a room,
neighbors yelled, while the two sexed
on their balcony.

The locals wonder
why he’s directing traffic
on an empty road.

Her deceased husband
rose from the grave to apply
for a Sears account.


I’ve been writing these late at night; and frankly, I don’t know whether they’re bad or good. I’m writing crime haiku while half asleep, that’s all I know.   The subconscious is in charge.

These are again based on police blotter stories out of Grass Valley, a town that could be accused of anything  except restraint.

“They say I’m missing,
but I’m NOT missing, I’m here!
And I’m fine, really!!”

The proposition:
She’d burn down his trailer, or
he’d give her a smoke.
His tenant slugged him,
but he won’t file charges because
eviction is sweet.
He calls 911
and admits to random crimes
for the love of jail.
A note from her son
gave precise instructions for
finding his remains.
She stood in the road
and screamed at cars to hit her.
But none of them would.

He lay in the road,
and his wife couldn’t resist
running over him.

He was supposed to
buy food with her debit card.
Food, he didn’t buy.

Two naked people
making out in a hot tub
broke no laws at all.

A pistol in hand,
he sighted on his mother
and then walked away.

Haiku from Red Dog Road

In working on a batch of haiku for my Kickstarter supporters, I downloaded several weeks’ worth of police blotter columns from the Grass Valley (CA) Union as source material — hundreds of items in one fell swoop, all dumped into one file.

And what I noticed that was any incident that took place on “Red Dog Road” had a one-in-four chance of being strange — that is, good haiku material. The usual hit rate is about one in forty.  There’s something odd about Red Dog Road.  So below find the haiku I wrote about Red Dog Road, with the original items.  Interested in a vacation home out that way?

11:05 p.m. — A caller from the 11000 block of Red Dog Road reported a dispute with yelling and screaming and people possibly throwing wood at each other. 

They scream, they bellow,
they throw wood at each other–
out on Red Dog Road.

6:19 p.m. — A caller on the 11000 block of Red Dog Road reported her neighbor for “roaring” again. 

“He’s roaring again!”
she complains of her neighbor
out on Red Dog Road

5:26 p.m. — A caller from the corner of Red Dog Road and Jasper Agate Court reported a woman with a backpack going into traffic and yelling at cars. 

She strides through traffic
and shouts at the passing cars
out on Red Dog Road.

3:51 p.m. — A man from Red Dog Road reported a woman was stalking him. 

A she stalks a he,
and the he is complaining
out on Red Dog Road.

3:52 p.m. — A caller from Chalk Bluff and Red Dog roads reported an attempted attack with a machete. The parties had been separated. A woman who is five months pregnant later filed a report alleging she had been shoved down in a dispute. 

They’re waving machetes
and shoving pregnant women
out on Red Dog Road

2:15 p.m. — A caller from Jasper Agate Court and Red Dog Road reported a man talking to a wall. 

It is reported
that a man talks to a wall
out on Red Dog Road.

A thought

Has anyone checked
for “things” in the well water
out on Red Dog Road?

Late-Autumn Police Blotter Haiku

The leaves dropped their trees; Thanksgiving came and went; I turned 58; and suddenly it was time to write more police blotter haiku.  These haiku were drawn from crime stories in coastal California newspapers.

The haiku don’t come as fast as they once did; but I enjoy spending more time on each one.  I like the results better, too.

There’ll be a book soon. Enjoy.

“Someone’s chasing me!”
the shoplifter told the cop
in front of Walmart.

A dropped wallet.
Bills fly from it on the wind
like green butterflies.

Shots fired, three men flee.
The bullet holes in the wall
have little to say.

She hates rejection.
It put her at his window
with a gun in hand.

If the law seeks you
and you have long, purple hair,
why not go brunette?

Clothing on the ground.
A naked young man nearby,
followed logically.

Their love gone to dust,
he stole from her the ashes
of one she’d adored.

Glue drips from the locks
of a much-beloved church
that someone can’t love.

Drunk, asleep, alone.
A bottle of brandy was
her only escort

Woof! Chase the raccoons!
Woof! Chase them all up a tree!
Woof! Now bark for hours!

Here-and-There Police Blotter Haiku

Here are few more police blotter haiku: 5-7-5 haiku based on small crime stories from small newspapers.  As always it’s the humanity in these stories – or the the lack of it – that provides my inspiration.

Some of today’s batch come from the hills above Santa Cruz, California.  Some of them come from the area around Lubbock, Texas.  I find them very similar; yes, we’re all different.  But different in the same ways.

But not all ways.  Down Lubbock way I read a report of a woman concerned about harassing phone calls.  The deputy assured her that she had little to worry about; but recommended her to a good gun shop if she needed more peace of mind.

That’s not Santa Cruz.  I’m rather pleased that it isn’t.

Handcuffs_playIt’s all fun and games
till the keys to the handcuffs
refuse to be found.

The funeral home
“picks up” but he chose to drop
Mom off himself.

They searched her three times.
And each time that they searched her
the cops found more meth.


rockthrowShe bickered, he drank.
And drunk, stepped out to throw rocks
at the passing cars

Shoplifting lumber
requires a truck and no shame.
He had both of those.

Though his spelling lacked,
the word BITH, scratched on her car,
conveyed his message.


beaterHis car needs some work.
To the neighbors it sounds like
a running gunfight.





Crimes of the Better Half

People go off the rails even in the finest communities.  You probably can’t afford to live in any of the towns that this week’s haiku came from – with perhaps one exception.

But their citizens are as human as you and I: as fallible, as vain, and as fragile.  So from the flower-strewn lanes of Carmel to the mean streets of Burlingame, here is another batch of police blotter haiku.

uneasy hairdreser woman

Feeling uneasy
about a phone call from a
long-lost hairdresser.

A coffee mug, hurled.
At the back of her man’s head
with exquisite aim.

He steals cars for fun.reckless brother
When fun’s done he dumps them in
his brother’s driveway.

After eight hold-ups
he should have guessed that the cops
could ID his car.

On the ground weepingteen crying
for the fate of a cell phone
dropped down the storm drain.

A teen, a senior.
A fight – and the assailant,
84, is jailed.

Their toddler escaped.child with butcher knife
The cops found him outside
with a butcher knife.

Someone stole his car,
got in an accident, and
returned it – he says.

Three house plants are gone!cop taking notes
Stolen, she claims, by – someone.
The cops write it down.



Police Log Comics

I’m not the only one who finds inspiration in the police blotter column.  Cartoonist Owen Cook mines the weekly Police Log column of the Carmel Pine Cone for Police Log Comics: comic strips which illustrate the verbatim text of a police log item. Here’s a sample:


I take a police blotter item and strip it down into a haiku; you fill in the details with your imagination.  In contrast Owen’s comics retain the terse, impersonal verbiage of the original story; but his illustrations interpret the text for you, and in unexpected ways.  Yet he leaves plenty of room for your thoughtful speculation.

I think he and I get to the same place, by different roads. I heartily recommend a visit to Police Log Comics.

In the meantime, more haiku are coming soon; keep the faith, and thanks.


Just When You Thought You’d Heard Everything…

As I write this I’m sitting at the dining table late on a Saturday night. Music from Radio Swiss Jazz streams through my laptop.  Specifically, a middle-aged Swiss gentleman named Erich Nussbaum performs a cool swing version of the theme song from the sixties-era “Flintstones” cartoon sitcom. (“Flintstones! Meet the Flintstones! They’re a modern stone-age family…”)

That’ll bend your brain, especially if you’re as sleep-deprived as I am.  Next I am expecting William Shatner to poke his head up through a hatch in the floor and invite me into an exciting new world of discount hotel rooms via the Internet.

Or not.  In any case, that the world is surprising is no surprise to me.  I have read so many news stories of crimes large and small, that surprise itself seems unsurprising. Except when it comes in the form of eccentric Swiss jazz musicians.

And yet: while there may be only so many ways to sin, some gifted individuals manage to bring a special nuance all their own to theft, assault and – my special field of interest – disorderly conduct.  Police blotter stories are all about disorder. And so are the haiku that I derive from them. What’s more human than disorder?

And so please accept another batch of haiku: from the backwoods counties of Georgia to the elite ‘burbs of the PNW and points in between.  And as always, enjoy.


He phones to threaten.
Behind his bluster, softly:
(click) a gun is cocked.


Wanted for fraud, him.running-after-bus2
Last seen catching the next bus
for anywhere else.


A dog who hates him,
awaits him, whenever he
strolls down Lower Drive.


Her Nike gym bag,
left behind on the sidewalk,
didn’t wait for her.


Cops’ Tips for Couples:
Relationships issues are
best solved when sober.


Somehow it made sense
to enter the neighbor’s house
and steal her laundry.


Busted by the storm.
Cops seeking shelter barge in
on his cocaine deal.


He wants a record
of his girlfriend’s father’s threat
to “whip his ass good.”


Ex-wife incursion.
She smashed all the windows, and
his new girlfriend.


Someone’s having sex!
They leave used condoms in his shed.
He could lock the door.


The teens have no cluebadboys
as to how those cans of beer
appeared in their car.