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Book of the Week: earthjazz

lucas_earthjazzMartin Lucas left us a significant legacy of work, as founder and editor of Presence, of course, but also in his several strong collections. This one (Ram Publications, 2003) is one of his best-known and -loved.

You can read the entire book in the THF Digital Library.

Do you have a chapbook published 2010 or earlier 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 Jim Kacian, and are used with permission.


turning a page in the exam booklet; the may breeze
after the interview walking uphill into the sting of hail
high tide when I return to the river the swans return to me
after the dragon dance the queue for noodles
my fingertips stained with beetroot juice spring dawn
summer’s passing . . . the bracken rusts

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. This powerful haiku is my favorite:

    deepening winter
    darkness in the eyes
    of a chained dog

    a wonderful collection

  2. When I saw the title, I had to had to read the book. Earth and Jazz fused together.
    I am not familiar with Martin Lucas’ works, but I think I will be able to recollect a few when I see the everyday spouting them at me.
    The haiku that piqued my interest the most are the ones I have experienced. Because I never ever saw the commonalities as happenstance haiku moments.

    From the section Jazz:

    a path to the sea:
    the intense blue
    of the jogger’s top

    autumn sunlight:
    dust on the jars
    in the spice rack

    I also sense a tinge of humour in Lucas’ observations like in:

    she clings on to
    the dolphin’s tail-
    the balloon seller

    or from the section: New Year’s eve

    Christmas Eve:
    the taxi drivers chat
    in Urdu

    or even this one which takes into consideration the tradition of the dragon dance performed during the Chinese new year. ( If life is not funny, then what is it like?)

    after the dragon dance
    a queue for noodles

    The common everyday tasks have earn their niche positions:

    in the dark
    striking the wrong end
    of the match

    now I’ve eaten
    the last chocolate
    it’s just a box

    summer’s passing

    summer’s passing …
    the face of the boy
    who missed the train

    Why I like the book?

    The sections are not boring. There is no mundane repetition. Each haiku is in a league of its own.
    It has been a most interesting experience to read the book. Thank you.

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