Alan Summers, Earthlings: Allan Burns

Alan Summers, The Deep End of the Sky: Chad Lee Robinson, What Was Here:
Julie Warther, The Sound of Shadows: Chase Gagnon, grandma’s chip bowl:
David Jacobs

Lorin Ford, An inch of Sky: Paresh Tiwari

Lorin Ford, apology moon: Cherie Hunter Day

Ljubomir Radovančević, Minimalistic haiku-art by Djurdja Vukelić-Rožić

Garry Eaton, Antlered Stag of Dawn: Gabriel Rosenstock

Guy Simser, Voice of the Cicada: Raffael de Gruttola

 

Vol. 12, No 20, Summer 2015

Fay Aoyagi, In Borrowed Shoes: Clelia Ifrim

 

Vol. 11, No. 19, Winter 2014

Dietmar Tauchner, noise of our origin / rauschen unseres ursprungs: Lorin Ford

Milenko D. Ćirović Ljutički, Здраво 'свануо/Happy Wake Up: Zoran Raonić

 

Vol. 11, No. 18, Spring 2014

robert d. wilson, A Soldier's Bones: Boris Nazansky

Charles Trumbull, A Five-Balloon Morning: Marian Olson

Damir Janjalija, Sloboda u izmaglici / Freedom in the Mist: Dimitar Anakiev

 

Vol. 10, No. 17, Summer 2013

Issa's Best: A Translator's Selection of Master Haiku by Issa Kobayashi; English translation by David G. Lanoue

Vesna Oborina, Proljeće u srcu / Spring in the Heart: Zoran Raonić, Milenko D. Ćirović Ljutički

 

Vol. 9, No. 16, Summer 2013

 

Damir Janalija, Otisci snova/Imprints of Dreams: Dimitar Anakiev

David G. Lanoue, Frog Poet, Red Moon Press: Curtis Dunlap, Michael McClintock, Marjorie Buettner

 

Vol. 8, No. 15, Winter 2011

George Swede, Joy in Me Still: Haiku: Michael Dylan Welch

Helen Buckingham, Armadillo Basket: Liam Wilkinson

Ljubomir Dragović, Uska staza/ A Narrow Road: Robert D. Wilson

Tomislav Maretić, Leptir nad pučinom (Butterfly over the Open Sea): Dubravko Marijanović

 

Vol. 8, No. 14, Summer 2011

Helen Buckingham, Christmas City: A Haiku Sequence: Anatoly Kudryavitsky

Zlata Bogović, Pjesma slavuja / Nightingale's Song: Vladimir Devidé, Vasile Moldovan, Đurđa Vukelić-Rožić, Zvonko Petrović

Petar Tchouhov, Safety Pins: Morelle Smith

Slavko J. Sedlar, Таквост 3 (Suchness 3): Mileta AĆIMOVIĆ IVKOV, Nadja Brankov, Zoran Raonić

Ljubomir Dragović, Uska staza/A Narrow Road: Vladimir Devidé, Mileta Aćimović Ivkov, Dragan Jovanović Danilov, Dimitar Anakiev

 

 

 

Patricia Prime, New Zealand  

 

Gathering Dusk by Ellen Compton. Snapshot Press, Ormskirk, UK. www.shapshotpress.co.uk. (2015) Pb. 80 pp. ISBN 978-1-903543-33-7. £9.99.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gathering Dusk is Ellen Compton’s debut collection of haiku. Compton lives in Washington, DC, where she has worked in the visual arts and freelances as a writer-editor in environmental and social studies. Many of the haiku in this collection have received awards.

Since poets first gave voice to story, they have sought to explore and explain the nature of our existence. Wherever the setting, Compton’s haiku remain personal, and this touching accessibility, it seems to me, is her greatest poetic gift. As the haiku illustrate, Compton makes places, nature, characters and their all-too-true heartaches ‘real’:

fallen leaves –
his hand in hers
the folded flag

The haiku illustrate just why Compton’s work has won so many awards: the simple words express a deep feeling of togetherness in loss. Compton is a poet of evocative language use, as we see in the following haiku:

father’s deathday
a trillium
lighting the hill

In this haiku, there is sharp observation: what is gone is gone and cannot return, but the trilliums will always reappear, lighting up the landscape. If there’s something impressionistic, colourful and inventive about Compton’s diction, her way with words is but a vehicle to explore nature and human nature and to articulate the intricacies awaiting out observation. In the following haiku:

Tanglewood dusk –
the shape of stillness
after the violin

The music has ended, but we can visualise the shape the absence of the violin leaves behind.

In the collection there are haiku that illustrate not only nature but the bond between mother and daughter:

river
that my mother swam
. . . the swan

Much as Gathering Dusk seems impelled to tell its brief stories, it does so with economy and observational precision. The form of the haiku varies from time to time: from the 3-line left-justified poem, to the 3-line indented haiku, to 2-liners, and to the following one-word per line haiku:

one
pebble
into
the
stone
soup
winter’s
end

This variety of forms, tempered by line and detail, gives the collection a careful change of pace.

One of the strengths of the collection lies in its attention to detail. Sometimes, it is just a moment, as in

whispers of a fragrance
my sister loved –
evening in spring

Where the detail of “whispers”, “loved” and “spring” is crucial to the haiku’s tone, which seems to indicate the passing of the poet’s sister. Other haiku gather momentum by composing interesting details together or by being lively juxtapositions, as in the following:

age happens . . .
a bit of color still
in the dogwood

At times, the spare, meditative haiku create a simple music from the savouring of words. These are most successful when tinged with sadness, pairing death and nature. One example is the following haiku, where the implied white of December is compared with the white of gloves:

December sun –
the whites
of the pall bearers’ gloves

The haiku are rich in observed intensities, the poems radiating out from the poet’s imagination and sensibility. Nature, human relationships, death and love are the compelling themes. Compton’s haiku reveal a searching, scrupulous intelligence and a willingness to engage language and experience, while retaining control in form and content.