The fly is one of the many new characters from the Old Pond Comics series I was able to developed thanks to a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts.
In this behind-the-scene video, I show how I put my zines together.
The zine will be available soon on the Old Pond Comics online store: http://bit.ly/1CMjddW
Old Pond comic from 2010-11-21. Kaeru loves the book “Haiku mon nounours” written by Gilles Brulet, illustrated by Chiaki Miyamoto (Editions L’iroli, 2010) featuring teddy bear haiku.
A cicada in the cosmos, tankas by Angela Leuck
(Inkling Press, 2010, 99 p. ISBN 978-0-9810725-4-8)
to be bold –
at your door
in front of the church
I daydream of weddings
until the hearse pulls up
in a vase
on the table
as I wait for his call
those pale green roses
to the exotic
From: A cicada in the cosmos: tankas by Angela Leuck
When I opened the little book “Breathmarks: haiku to read in the dark” by Gary Hotham published by Canon Press, I was immediately drawn by the table of contents which was a simple list of the haiku’s “first line” with the corresponding page number. (Readers can browse the table of contents and some pages of the book on Amazon)
These “first lines”, alternating between short and long and short, could be read like a series of haiku. These ready-made haiku were sometimes funny, sometimes moving, and simply beautiful.
soft rain 72
I lean 73
at the bus stop 74
Source: table of contents of “Breathmarks” by Gary Hotham (photo)
This is a haiku made from the three “first lines” of haiku of pages 72, 73 and 74 written by Gary.
Here are more Ready-made haiku taken from the table of contents of “Breathmarks: Haiku to read in the dark”
by Gary Hotham (Canon Press, 1999, Isbn 1-885767-58-7):
night comes 21
more darkness 22
picking up the shells 26
the heat 27
music two centuries old 44
rest stop 45
the wind 46
spring wind 48
distand thunder 49
more coffee made 50
on my birthday 64
up late 65
the library book 66
no place 67
no hurry in the wind 68
outside the door 69
sipping the soup 80
this summer night 81
the sound they make 82
early in the night 95
before the dew is off 96
she comes back 91
one mirror for everyone 92
time to go 93
The table of contents and its “First lines” are only a sense of the beautiful haiku to come. Gary Hotham’s writing is simply wonderfl. Here are the three complete haiku from page 84, 85, 86:
one hand warms
a pile of orange peelings –
the night watchman
away from his desk
around our feet –
water on its way
to more water
Gary Hotham in Breathmarks
And, if you take the first line of each haiku, you get this beautiful and new “ready-made haiku”:
waiting up 84
a pile of orange peelings 85
around our feet 86
(Table of contents of Breathmarks by Gary Hotham)
On how to sing
the frog school and the skylark school
This is a beautiful haiku in itself, although it does gain added point from the fact that its author Shiki had founded what was sometimes called the “Cuckoo school”.
Therefore this poem also refers to the differences between Basho’s school and Shiki’s school.
Reference: An introduction to haiku: an anthology of poems and poets from Basho to Shiki, by Harold G. Henderson
Haiku Guy, by David G. Lanoue.
During a haiku conference in New Orleans, a manuscript disappears. As the author Mr. Kusuban threatens to leave the conference, the organizer known as “Poet” and his pet ferret set on to discover the culprit and recover the manuscript during the conference. The ferret has the ability to slip in the Old Japan in his dreams and there, he gets help from famous haiku masters Buck-Teeth (Issa) and buddha himself.
As the plot evolves, we dive into an existing feud between rejected writers and a dictatorial publisher, and a war between haiku clans in Japan, the traditionalists vs the modern haiku writers, who attend the conference but don’t speak to each other.
* * *
For writers not used to reading modern haiku, the haiku recited by Mr. Kusuban at the conference in the novel can cause quite a shock (or a chuckle) as “tower of cellos…” is used as a modern kigo.
The novel features haiku of the highest quality recited by the narrator Poet and other conference attendees. (The true names of the attendees were changed but members of the tightly-knit haiku community will easily identify the real haiku writers behind each characters despite the pseudonym given to them by the author).
This haiku novel does a great job in capturing the atmosphere and activities of a haiku conference (haiku readings, haiku walk, dinner parties). If you’ve never been to a haiku conference, this will give you a good idea of what they are like, and if you’ve attended one before, you’ll feel nostalgic. I especially enjoyed the chapter taking place during a Haiku Death Match (a kind of haiku slam), as I have never attended one of these before and always wondered about how it works. The novel explains it quite well.
Haiku Wars is a fabulous haiku novel by David G. Lanoue. Also recommended: Haiku Guy, by David G. Lanoue.