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Per Diem Archive: J. Barlow November 2012, One-Line Haiku

Even Less of a Good Thing... One-line Haiku

This selection features haiku published over a span of 35 years, from 1975 to 2009, almost the entire period over which one-line haiku have been written in English. Classics from the 1970s and early 1980s by Marlene Mountain, John Wills, Cor van den Heuvel, et al. have been interspersed with less well-known historical examples from the 1970s by poets such as Matsuo Allard, Elizabeth Searle Lamb, and George Swede, all of whom also made highly notable early contributions to the tradition of one-line haiku. This mix of the familiar and the less familiar continues through the late 1980s and 1990s, exemplifying a few of the multitudinous ways that content has been melded with form and paving the way for the many approaches of this century. From poems deeply rooted in the haiku tradition by vincent tripi, Carolyn Hall, and Allan Burns, through the poetic spells of Stuart Quine and Martin Lucas, to the gendai-influenced work of poets such as Chris Gordon and Scott Metz, the exquisite combinations of language, imagery, and form in this selection never fail to stimulate. And perhaps, if by chance a haiku is being encountered for the first time, surprise.

Author: Alan Pizzarelli
waterbug running by the frogulp
Author: R.C. Matsuo-Allard
all these sounds not one of them a falling leaf
Author: Tombo (Lorraine Ellis Harr)
an owl hoots darkness down from the hollow oak
Author: Elizabeth Searle Lamb
the blind child reading my poem with her fingertips
Author: Marlene Mountain
pig and i spring rain
Author: George Swede
Spring thaw          wings beating inside my skull
Author: John Wills
dusk      from rock to rock a waterthrush
Author: Bob Boldman
touching the ashes of my father
Author: Peggy Willis Lyles
clay on the wheel I confess my faith
Author: Cor van den Heuvel
a stick goes over the falls at sunset
Author: Alexis K. Rotella
swans      stir of his breath against my hair
Author: Ruby Spriggs
lingering on this earth   dried onions
Author: Penny Harter
mallards leaving in the water rippled sky
Author: Nick Avis
deep inside the faded wood a scarlet maple
Author: Marlene Mountain
thrush song a few days before the thrush
Author: Fred Schofield
between the piano’s phrases night wind
Author: Janice M. Bostok
muzzle of the drinking cow glides across still water
Author: Martin Lucas
I breathe the wind breathes through the aspen
Author: Stuart Quine
heading home I return the stone to the river
Author: Lee Gurga
farther than the amtrak whistle stubblefields
Author: Chris Gordon
a love letter to the butterfly gods with strategic misspellings
Author: David Platt
rooks weaving darkness into the dusk
Author: vincent tripi
Ah water-strider never to have left a track!
Author: Jim Kacian
pain fading the days back to wilderness
Author: Peter Yovu
the owl’s flight unheard stars appear
Author: Carolyn Hall
white wind the eyes of the dead seal missing
Author: Pamela Brown
night rain a calf stands tight by the bull
Author: Scott Metz
the blood rushing through my blowhole winter stars
Author: Lorin Ford
their wings like cellophane remember cellophane
Author: Allan Burns
in the otherwise still twilight a clamor of robin wings
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