Rows of Corn

This is the second in a four-part series exploring the seasonal sections of my forthcoming haiku collection The Deep End of the Sky.

“Rows of Corn” is the title of the summer section of The Deep End of the Sky, my forthcoming collection of haiku from Turtle Light Press. This section of the book features 11 haiku that focus on farm-related tasks and continues to explore familial relationships. A few examples:

the Big Dipper—
rows of corn connect
farm to farm

cemetery—
the scent of muskmelon
from the next hill

wind in the tall grass . . .
an old blue car
almost in motion

South Dakota’s top crops are corn, soybeans, hay, wheat, and sunflowers. Of these only corn and wheat make an appearance in “Rows of Corn”, but muskmelon and watermelons also show up as well. Besides hay (bales), my favorite of South Dakota’s crops is the sunflower. Even though there are sunflower fields all around Pierre, I have yet to write a haiku about them that is as good as the haiku in The Deep End of the Sky. Oh well, maybe I’ll get one written for my next collection.

If you enjoy these haiku, and the ones from my post “The Tractor’s Radio”, then you should think about getting a copy of my book The Deep End of the Sky. It’s available to pre-order from Turtle Light Press for $12.50 with free shipping in the US.

Advertisements

The Tractor’s Radio

This is the first in a four-part series exploring the seasonal sections of my forthcoming haiku collection The Deep End of the Sky.

“The Tractor’s Radio” is the title of the spring section of The Deep End of the Sky, my forthcoming collection of haiku from Turtle Light Press. This section of the book features 11 haiku beginning with these two:

at
the
deep
end
of
the
sky
prairie

meadowlark—
all you’ll ever need to know
about sunrise

And here is this section’s title haiku:

stars at dusk:
the tractor’s radio
crackles

My family has deep roots in South Dakota. So, while many haiku in The Deep End of the Sky depict the farm landscape of America’s heartland, others are more personal, touching on aging and the loss of loved ones, such as this one, also in the spring section:

spring rain—
speaking of the dead
in a softer voice

Here’s one more with South Dakota’s state flower:

petals thinner
than their purple
pasque at first light

The Deep End of the Sky is available to pre-order from Turtle Light Press’s store for $12.50 with free shipping in the U.S.

The One That Started It All

I have been writing haiku, senryu and tanka exclusively for nearly thirteen years now (since the fall of 2002). I look back often on the evening I first read the haiku that started it all for me. I was in a creative writing class, sitting in what had become my usual seat. The professor wrote this small, three-line poem on the board. I remember thinking, What the heck is that? I had never seen anything like it. It knocked the wind out of me. I don’t remember exactly what happened after that. What I do remember is leaving class that night I headed straight for the campus library to wipe the shelves clean of any haiku books. While I only had a basic understanding of what a haiku is, I knew that I had found a kind of poetry that fit me better than any other. The way that haiku made me see differently, I knew everything had changed.

a crow
settled on a bare branch
autumn evening

—Basho

(translator unknown)

Recent anthology appearances

Red Moon Press has just released big data: The Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku 2014, the nineteenth volume in this annual best-of series. I am happy to say that I have a haiku included in its pages. The Red Moon Anthology series collects the best haiku and related writing from around the world written in English each calendar year.

BigDataRMA2014

 

 

 

Another one from Red Moon Press, Something Out of Nothing, showcases the sumi-e art of Ion Codrescu, one of the best sumi-e artists in the world. He turned one of my haiku into a haiga painting (the haiku originally appeared in bottle rockets and is collected in my second chapbook Rope Marks):

darkening sky . . .
horses gather
the sound of thunder

A beautiful book to have and show off. Here’s the cover:

Something Out of Nothing

 

 

 

Two more recent anthology appearances include Take-Out Window: Haiku Society of America Members’ Anthology 2014, edited by Gary Hotham; and The Sacred in Contemporary Haiku, edited by Robert Epstein, which reprints five of my haiku. Both of these anthologies are available from Amazon.com.

Take-Out Window

 

 

 

Sacred Haiku