I am very pleased to introduce our September poet: Stuart Quine. We met almost 30 years ago. I hope you love his haiku as much as I do.
In 1998, after a few years of writing haiku in a three-line form, Stuart Quine started to feel that his haiku were becoming a little formulaic and so began to explore the opportunities of a one-line format without breaks or punctuation.. In addition to their aesthetic appeal, one-line haiku echo Japanese haiku which usually, of course, are written in a single, albeit vertical, line. While many one-line haiku contain an implicit caesura given by their syntax, at their best they can be broken in a number of places thereby enabling a multitude of readings. Haiku is a collaborative poetry with writers and readers working together to bring it to completion. Therefore the success of a haiku is not a matter of how well it conveys the writer’s intention to the reader but rather whether readers can enter and occupy it on their own terms.
Many of Stuart’s haiku have been included in anthologies and journals and he is a former associated editor of the journal Presence. He has also had two collections of haiku published by Alba Publishing (available from albapublishing.com ). Sour Pickle (2018) contains 100 one-line haiku and Wild Rhubarb (2019) contains another 80.
A practitioner of Soto Zen Buddhism for over thirty years he regards his haiku writing as a dao and is a member of the Red Thread Haiku Sangha..
hidden and unseen the burgeoning life in buds and bellies
through driving rain the ambulances’ dopplering sirens
round midnight moonlight playing on the piano hammers
a short night shrunk to a dog bark and the clanking of the trams
through the haze the headlights of a hearse
lassitude and languor these days without rain
snagged in machair a gull feather unzipped by the wind
distant thunder the old mouser raises an ear
-not yet, not yet” says the tumbling beck
pagan moon in the shadow of her cleavage a tiny silver cross
winter solstice darkness gathers in the unrung bells
birthcry deep in the night a freight train’s lonesome whistle
like the honed edge of a blade keen is the cold
winter moon a glint of wolf in the mongrel’s eyes
under mistletoe on her lips a tang of tamarind
new year’s day only the rain comes to my gate