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Book of the Week: A Ragbag of Haiku


Brian Tasker was the leading British Zen-inspired haikuist through the 1990s, editing a beautiful if short-lived journal (bare bones) during that time, and self-producing books such as this one from 1996.

Do you have a chapbook published 2009 or earlier you would like featured as a Book of the Week? Contact us for details.

All haiku in the Book of the Week Archive are selected by Tom Clausen, and are used with permission.

the temple bell sounds; a woodpigeon pauses to fill the silence
sudden heart beating wings of the pheasant breaking cover
after the rain the stars
all my expectations my lover letting down her hair
summer storm: on an old radio jazz crackles
after she's gone unwinding a long hair from my pillow
first cold morning— on the bathroom heater dust burns
in and out of our argument a butterfly
at the rest-home slowly I wake my father dreaming of the past
another day without work early morning mist drifting
the smiling doctor waves me into his room: the grey afternoon light
high tide over and over the shifting shingle
a light rain into the evening mist— woodsmoke

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. As my life comes back, like scrambled eggs going back in the shell… I’m so happy I stopped by THF to discover this book by such a sensitive artist. Many thanks.

  2. Brian Tasker’s A Ragbag of Haiku includes a number of fine poems : ” summer storm:”,
    ” first cold morning— , and ” after she’s gone”, among others. These poems are vibrant!

  3. Brian has a website, mostly, but not only, devoted to his involvement in Playback Theatre: I know that John Stevenson also did a lot of playback. Brian tried to get those of us who were in the British Haiku Society 10 years ago to do some Playback, with very mixed results.

    Brian is also a fine tanka writer, as well as haikuist, but I’m not sure if he’s still writing much.

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