smoke from the fire
mingles with the stars
hugging my knees closer

—Todd Claus

About the author: C. Todd Claus (todd.claus at is a former Pararescueman who now writes about the military care health care system. His work has appeared in Stylus Poetry Journal and in the Mainichi Daily News. He is currently working on a collection of conversations with members of the American military special operations community. He lives with his family in rural Maryland.


Responses to the haiku for 18 June 2003 by Todd Claus

    Connie Donleycott (cjkdtwo at attbi dot com)
    2003-06-18 13:47:39

    Very nice, Todd! I feel a sense of vulnerability or aloneness in this poem (how very 'small' we are). Yet,there's a certain sense of contentment also.

    Craig McLanachan (cramar at actrix dot co dot nz)
    2003-06-18 21:07:51

    I like this because I think most will relate to it. Beautiful picture of the intimate world of a campfire.

    2003-06-19 02:23:14

    ...or perhaps the poet is the sole survivor (but for how long?) after a plan crash in the arctic night...


    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2003-06-19 06:08:25

    no great mystery...
    simply natural, with no unnecessary artificial fillers.

    no need for the reader to conjure up an assortment of things going through the mind of the one experiencing the moment, though i see some are trying, seemingly not realizing it tend to spoil the moment, eh norman.
    it does evoke memories in the reader.

    it seems, todd, you have done quite well.
    however, yes there is to be a however, you had me worried at one point, giving me cause to think perhaps, you were merely another "wanna be", a don quixote.

    "i think" we all have our bad days, from time to time.

    Ellen G. Olinger (ElinGrace at wi dot rr dot com)
    2003-08-11 11:07:55

    A really good poem, Todd. Thank you. I looked up more of your work because I appreciated your comment and remembered your military address.

    My dad served in World War II and then taught history for 32 years. One of my uncles served overseas, too, and then was a doctor in a VA hospital. Another kept the trains running here.

    Falling asleep
    after you died--
    train whistles in the distance

    Blessings on your writing, all genres,


    john tiong chunghoo
    2003-12-31 22:58:12

    security lock
    nudging my toe
    against hers

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2004-06-22 20:15:14

    lingering aroma
    winter reminiscence ...
    closing my eyes, tighter


    Joe Pass
    2005-05-11 23:23:58


    2009-01-23 11:48:54

    dipping temps--
    stars too far away
    to warm my hands