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Montage #25

Montage #25, presented by Allan Burns, is now up here on The Haiku Foundation website. This week’s theme is “The Adobe Wall” and features the work of E.S. Lamb, Marian Olson and Edith Bartholomeusz.


                              the hawk—
                              sun lengthening
                              the spread of wings


                              into the sun
                              where eyes can’t follow
                              a red-tailed hawk


                                 before letting go
                              letting go


This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Alan,

    I assume your comment was prompted by Marian Olson’s “stars” haiku? Personally, I find Maurice Tasnier’s haiku compelling for the way it speaks to scale. The 25 brightest stars as seen from Earth range from 4.3 light years away (Alpha Centauri) to 1,500 lya (the super-massive white star Deneb, which forms part of the Summer Triangle in the northern hemisphere). One light year is, of course, six trillion (6,000,000,000,000) miles. The idea that standing up will bring one closer to stars is very amusing and potentially brings this poem into the realm of senryu. Certainly, it speaks to the gap between human and cosmic scales.

    Some other of my own favorite star haiku (there are many more):

    another bend
    now at last the moon
    and all the stars
    (John Wills, Reed Shadows)

    behind the fallen leaf — a star
    (George Swede, A Snowman, Headless)

    a marmot’s whistle
    pierces the mountain
    first star
    (Ruth Yarrow, no one sees the stems)

    campfire —
    outside the circle of light
    an expanse of stars
    (Christopher Herold, A Path in the Garden)

    first star
    the leaf that shed a raindrop
    springing back
    (Peggy Willis Lyles, To Hear the Rain)

    far into twilight
    milkweed seeds cross the meadow —
    the evening star
    (Wally Swist, The Silence Between Us)

    desert chill
    the ocotillo’s long reach
    to the stars
    (Cherie Hunter Day, The Horse with One Blue Eye)

    deep winter
    stars between the stars
    I know
    (paul m, called home)

    after the rain
    bomb craters filled
    with stars
    (John Brandi, The Unswept Path)

    starry night…
    what’s left of my life
    is enough
    (Ron Moss, Shiki Monthly Kukai, Dec. 2006, First Place)

    your cold hands
    those first stars
    were already there
    (Jack Barry, All Nite Rain)

    camping alone one star then many
    (Jim Kacian, long after)

    the owl’s flight unheard stars appear
    (Peter Yovu, Modern Haiku 38.3, 2007)

    And here’s one from the current Montage:

    a smear of stars
    from horizon to horizon —
    the loon’s necklace
    (D. Claire Gallgher, The Heron’s Nest 10.1, 2008)

    And finally one of my own:

    coyote choir
    we wake beneath
    next season’s stars
    (Roadrunner 7.3, 2007)

  2. One of my favourite haiku with ‘stars’, and many others’ favourite too, is…

    standing up
    for a closer look
    at the stars

    Maurice Tasnier
    “From the Ninth Star on the Left.”
    Snapshot Press, 2000

    This was posted as a good example, with permission from Maurice, onto the webpage for a Space Haiku competition for children I organised (as With Words) for local children but also asked for submissions from the famous Nairobi haiku school clubs.

    Over fifty space haiku entries were also hidden for local children to find at a Science centre.

    Why does Maurice’s poem for so many people? I personally feel it’s obvious, and I’d love to hear from others why it connects to them, or why it’s obvious or even why it’s not obvious at all! 😉

    With Words

  3. Hi, Allen, September is getting off on a very hectic note. And most people are thinking more about Labor Day weekend. I for one am going to be taking things really slow and easy for the month of September as THF has given me a great deal to think about. Time to pull back now for me to digest a bit of it before I can go on.
    But the more I look at one-liners the more I think they have a lot to offer us in clear thinking…

  4. Just so everyone knows, Montage #26 (“One-Liners”) was posted last Sunday. It features what I feel is some pretty interesting work by Matsuo Allard, Stuart Quine, and Jeff Stillman.

    Montage galleries are usually created about a month in advance. Since I put that one together, I came across a quotation concerning Harold Henderson that I probably would have worked into the headnote had I known it. It comes from the minutes of an HSA meeting on 13 April 1970:

    “Professor [Harold G.] Henderson suggested that experimentation with one-line haiku may be in order. After all, that is the Japanese method” (A Haiku Path, 1994, pg. 28).

    The one-liner by Michael Segers I cite in the headnote was written a year later.

    Btw, Scott told me he is moving and may lack Internet access for a bit.

  5. While I have always loved the haiku of these three haiku poets,
    (and I hope no one minds me using poets as neutral gender since in art I don’t distinguish between male and female) it was very interesting to read them side by side. It wasn’t until I came to Edith Bartholomeusz “an armful of lilies” though that I felt the enormous power a haiku can hold. When I read the last line I felt the same thing I felt when they handed me John’s ashes. It left me shaking all night and I’m still feeling it all over again when I read it again today. John and I were soul mates and his loss like a death of myself.

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