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Book of the Week: Short Distance—Long Journey: Haiku Style Verse


Jeb Barton’s only appearance in the haiku world was marked by the appearance of this exquisitely crafted “box-book” of short poems, many indeed haiku or haikuesque, that he published himself in 1998.

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

Do you have a chapbook published 2009 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, following a concept first explored by Tom Clausen, and are used with permission.

The hands of the bricklayer. Awaiting their turn To hold the kitten
Dragonfly— Suddenly blown off course. Thinking about what?
Midnight rain I stumble over a bicycle That has no handle bars.
Fresh snow. Only the mailman's trail. He looks drunk.
Huddled alone on a bare branch A single sparrow.
A spring breeze Hurries some goats Toward a mountain village.
Leafless branches Scratching At the winter sky.
Icy morning fog. Screaming crows —Unseen
Fighting furiously To turn over, The fly stops to rest.
In this world Of so many lives— Do the waters count the fisherman?
A lantern hurries into the darkness. A horse is dying. Snow continues to fall
Cups, Chairs, Minds- Emptied.
Dark doorway. A tiny sunlit hand Waving.
Short distance. Long journey.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Leafless branches
    at the winter sky
    ~ Jeb Barton
    ” Leafless branches” would be my pick.

  2. This 1998 book is not Jeb’s “only” appearance in the haiku world. In 2009 or 2010 he published another, even more deluxe boxed handcrafted artbook of haiku, one third of which was the old book presented here, but with two new books added. You can see one of several photos of this expanded book set starting at (click the right arrow to see additional photos of the book and Jeb’s paintings). He’s also taught haiku with the Nature of Words organization in Bend, Oregon, for some years. He was also a guest, displaying his haiga and zenga, at the Haiku Society of America’s national quarterly meeting in June of 2010 at the Seattle Asian Art Museum (you can see photos of the weekend, including Jeb’s stunning artwork, at You can explore Jeb’s website at While some of Jeb’s poems are closer to haiku than others, it would be good to see more of Jeb’s work in various haiku publications, if he chose to submit.

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