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Book of the Week: bug-eyed & bird-brained by Rick Clark with Sumi illustrations by Fumiko Kimura

Rick Clark is a poet, editor, and educator who has also dabbled in classical violin, birds, filmmaking, photography, Zen, and yoga. Rick’s lifelong love of birds and other small creatures have become the central focus of his haiku. In the Introduction, he writes “I like to think I have within me the compassion that Issa felt for small creatures and expressed in many of his haiku. I like to believe that we all have this same compassion within us, perhaps nearer the surface in some while in others deeply buried and hidden — along with a sea of grief waiting to be felt and shared. Bird, bug, and small creature haiku help me stay in touch. I hope that reading them helps the reader stay in touch with small creatures as well.”

bug-eyed and bird-brained can be ordered from Red Moon Press and other examples of Rick’s haiku can be found on Living Senryu Anthology.

The artist, Fumiko Kimura, writes about her art in the book: “I chose special, traditional tools and materials to produce the illustrations and haiga in Bug-eyed and Bird-brained. My approach emphasized “purity” and seeks to honor the legacy of brush painting originating in China and culminating in Japan. I collected and used fresh rainwater to produce the ink solutions and rinse the brushes. I gather such “pure” water after it’s been raining for about thirty minutes during the “midstream” rain.

parked right on top
of the no-parking sign —
the wind-ruffled crow

the one-legged sparrow —
still embraced by the clan
on the power line

my popular wife —
her nose visited today
by a butterfly

a friend’s friend
killed in Mali — I resist
swatting a fruit fly

You can read the entire book in the THF Digital Library and please share your favorite poem from the book with us.

Do you have a chapbook published in 2016 or earlier that you would like featured as a Book of the Week? Contact us for details. Haiku featured in the Book of the Week Archive are selected by THF Digital Librarian Dan Campbell and are used with permission.

Rick Clark

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. The guy who swept his path before making a step to avoid stepping on an ant,,, Who was that? That was Issa, wasn’t it? Rick Clark refusing to swat a fruit fly make me think of Issa! Rick’s every haiku seems to me morally charged, I love it already, before even reading the “bug-eyed and bird-brained” collection.

    Talking about collections,,, The Writers & Lovers Studio has just published an international collection of erotic haiku titled, “Sucking Mangoes Naked” which seems to be another take on the same subject ,,,

    1. Thanks Tad for the comment on Rick’s haiku and I will see if I can get a copy of Sucking Mangoes Naked for the THF library!

  2. There must be something special in someone who notices and appreciates the wonder in small creatures. Rick Clark’s poems speak of this admiration and kindness, and Fumiko Kimura’s art work is a lovely accompaniment.

    late June afternoon —
    even the ants
    cast long shadows

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