An independent small press poetry review

NHI independent review
Haiku Canada
LeRoy Gorman
51 Graham West
ON K7R 2J6
ISBN 0 920752 25 X

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This page last updated: 10th December 2007.

The Haiku Canada Member's Anthology 2004 is a holographic edition of 78 signed poems by 78 poets, limited to 200 copies, assembled in a plastic envelope tied with a cord.

It was a lovely surprise to receive the plastic sachet with its string fastening containing haiku and their accompanying hand-written or printed haiku and handmade images. Each piece is individualistic and thoughtful.

I emptied the contents of the envelope onto my coffee table and spread out the poems to look at each illustration and read every haiku. Here are poems by such luminaries as Marco Fraticelli, Alice Frampton, Gary Hotham, Martin Lucas, LeRoy Gorman, and many others. Some of the haiku are computer generated, others are cut with scissors, burned around the edges, decorated with a hole punch, simply calligraphies on card, on phone message paper the variety of presentation is simply amazing.

Among my favourites are Michael McClintoch's poem, printed simply on a sheet of pale brown paper:

	sketching in pencil
	an old face
	a thousand rivers
Tina Stanton's poem on a rose-covered bookmark:
	autumn chill 
	a small stone
	sits in a hopscotch square
On a blue card sprinkled with raindrops is Jeffrey Winke's
	spring rain
	a small memory
	washes away
and Nancy Prasad sent a simple cut-out circle that illuminates her text
	clouds cover
	and uncover
	the moon
Expression of oneself and one's imagination is at the heart of this anthology. It is what the writers/artists/photographers have striven to achieve and what we as readers/viewers of their fine work respond to. In haiga, what appeals to us is the eloquence of the essentials of poem, painting and calligraphy deftly woven together that opens our eyes to the natural world and to our own day-to-day activities. Thus, Naomi Beth Wakan's nature verse
	the heron
	striking its own reflection
	shallow water
with its uncomplicated words captures the essence of the water bird. Trevor Camp's everyday poem
	Moon lit face
	smiles in sleep 
	bird song starts
gives us a fleeting glimpse of early morning familiar to most of us and Bruce Roxburgh's fine poem
	this morning tidiness
	finding his handwriting
	still alive
catches the moment of discovery that many people may have experienced.

Haiga is enjoying a growing reputation with appearances on many web sites. The art of these seventy-eight poet-artists from Canada, the United States, Australia and elsewhere, display their various talents in styles that range from traditional ink and brush to computer graphics, with subjects as diverse as Buddha, butterflies, cars, honey, screen doors and city roof-tops to paper cranes. The media used include ink, watercolour, collage, photography and computer-generated graphics. The reader will be both amazed and enchanted with these images and poems.

reviewer: Patricia Prime.