field of stars is the second collection from Tasmanian poet Lyn Reeves, the former longtime associate editor of Famous Reporter, and now editor of the online journal of Australian haiku, Echidna Tracks.
Having previously stated that she’s interested in ‘writing about place’, Lyn has put together a collection that is at once personal, loving and quietly observant of the world around her. Some of the poems are, naturally, those of Australia and its unique flora and fauna, but just as many are universal.
in sparse scrub
the honeyeater’s wing
from a single dandelion
field of stars doesn’t have any chapter separations, yet there is a gentle narrative flow that makes turning the pages easy. The poems include a selection from collaborations Lyn has had with two visual artists, Luke Wagner and Megan Walch, although these aren’t separately identified.
I very much like the layout of the book with the haiku getting plenty of room to breathe – alternating pages contain two poems or a single haiku – which also gives the reader space to ponder and let the poems settle in.
on the lawn
four striped deck chairs
taking the sun
paces its cage
This collection contains examples, and adroit ones at that, of haiku mined from both the smallest of ‘indoor’ habits set against what is at times a more ‘masculine’ outdoors.
in the boiling kettle
of distant waves
the bulldozer’s engine
Lyn has a perceptive eye and is to be congratulated for bringing to fruition such a solid set of haiku that will be enjoyed around the world.
Fellow Tasmanian haiku poet Ron C Moss writes on the back cover: “This is a collection to be kept close and cherished for the many celebrations of what it is to be a part of nature.”
field of stars is available from publisher Walleah Press, or via online book outlets. My copy was supplied to me by the author. ISBN 978-1-877010-91-0
moon music is Bill Cooper’s sixth collection of haiku published through Red Moon Press and is a typical example of Red Moon’s smaller-size books. My disclaimer with this book is that I was asked to provide a blurb for the back cover and did so.
Bill has divided his collection into ‘nodding terms’, ‘slow carousel’, ‘trombone smile, ‘entering Bogalusa’ and ‘a looping strand’.His poems are a mixture of haiku and senryu, set out as in the book above, and some of them very sharply observed indeed.
clouds the tug of a mating horseshoe crab
an egret sharpens her beak
on a rock
His sense of humour is never far from the surface, sometimes hearty, sometimes wry.
thinking less and less
a shift in pitch
Bill is an emeritus professor and has published books and articles on cognitive science, international relations and higher education. When it comes to his haiku and senryu he wears his learning lightly and the poems are all the better for it.
comparing thin slices
a mallard circles the rim
of a cooling tower
One of the other contributors to the back cover is Ce Rosenow: “Through … an unflinching commitment to write what is and not what we wish could be, Bill Cooper reminds us of haiku’s emotional power.”