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Book of the Week: Earthlings by Allan Burns

From Simply Haiku – Allan Burns has published haiku in Acorn, Frogpond, The Heron’s Nest, Modern Haiku and other magazines. His essay, Haiku and Cinematic Technique, originally published in Frogpond, has been anthologized by Red Moon Press and translated into Dutch by Max Verhart for the journal Vuursteen.

In a review of Earthlings, Michael McClintock writes “This finely crafted chapbook about our earthen brethren is sensitive and eloquent in its appeal for global rectification and change in human attitudes toward all life on the planet. The voice and power of modern haiku, in the immediacy of direct language and clear imagery, carries the argument forward with surprising force for a new generation that is determined to meet the moral challenge. In Earthlings, an ancient art puts its shoulder to the Great Wheel. Whoever said art is useless in such endeavors?”

Additional books by Allan In the digital library include: Distant Virga, Haiku and Cinematic Technique, Muttering Thunder: An Annual of Fine Haiku and Art, Refrigerator Haiku and To Kyoto.

ill this fall day…
a crow softens peanut shells
in the bird bath

the captive elephant
paces concrete
paces concrete

slaughterhouse –
pigs frolic in green pastures
on a mural

firesky ridge –
the tanager drinks
his own red

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 2017 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.

Allan Burns

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Choosing one favourite from Allan Burns’ book, ‘ Earthlings ‘ is impossible for me, so here are just a couple of my favourites, in no particular order:

    spring torrent —
    the river otter’s
    rolling place

    It’s enjoyable to watch this river otter enjoying itself, rolling, playing in the water pouring down. But Allan warns us: it’s the otter’s rolling place, so don’t even think of joining in the fun. These otters look cute but are wild, fierce and likely to take a chunk out of intruding humans.
    .
    Nothing but
    silence and the dance
    of fireflies

    I like this one because I experienced it, the awe, the fascination and the beauty of it (long ago now, on a hill above Lake Toba, Sumatra, with no-one else around apart from the bloke I married.)

  2. Of these, I’d pick the plain but unorthodox:

    we sit down
    the birds
    come back

    Thanks Dan for a varied diet during the year, and all the toil.

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