The Shortest Distance

Ebba Story and Michael Dylan Welch, editors. Cover photograph by Garry Gay.

Press Here, Foster City, California, 1993, 20 pages, 51 poets (one poem each), ISBN 1-878798-11-1.

This book was the conference anthology for the second Haiku North America conference, in 1993, which again took place at Las Positas College in Livermore, California (near San Francisco). Here’s a quote from the introduction: “We are normally separated by spatial and temporal distance. As we gather to share and celebrate our involvement with haiku, that distance dissolves. We are drawn together over the shortest distance—shorter even than the written forms we cherish. We meet in the moment where hearts and minds open and rejoice. There is no distance here.” See the Press Here page for this book. The following are a dozen sample poems from the book.


outside the hospital

nurses take a drag

Barry Goodmann

Hackensack, New Jersey

half-closed eyes . . .

one lash draws a beam

from the candle

Christopher Herold

Woodside, California

lonely night

the faces painted on the window

of a toy bus

Cor van den Heuvel

New York, New York

Antique map;

an ant travels

the old spice route

Garry Gay

Windsor, California

my face deep

in white lilac

I hear no bees

Geraldine C. Little

Mt. Holly, New Jersey

frost-sharp stars

prick the purple darkness

—pond ice snaps

Hank Dunlap

Prescott, Arizona

a stand of iris

the sudden turn of the koi

raises the bottom

Jerry Ball

Livermore, California

sunset shadows

the curve of the swan’s neck

as she settles

Jean Jorgensen

Edmonton, Alberta

low summer sun—

the shadow of an earring

on your cheek

Michael Dylan Welch

Foster City, California

my son’s toes

dipped in the sea—

his grip tightens

Tom Lynch

Martinez, California

the fence post

hangs upright in the washout—

mid-summer heat

William J. Higginson

Santa Fe, New Mexico

rock garden—

a fallen camellia floats

in the sea of gravel

Yoko Ogino

Kobe, Japan