A Hummingbird’s Dance

First published in Woodnotes #25, Summer 1995, page 42. See also “Beauty Only,” “This Kind of Unknowing,” “Were I a Flower.”

A Hummingbird’s Dance by Ok-Koo Kang Grosjean. Parallax Press, 1994, 60 pages, paperback, 5½ by 8 inches. $10.00 at bookstores or from Parallax Press, P.O. Box 7355, Berkeley, California 94707 [address no longer correct]. Not a book of haiku, but very much in the haiku spirit. This is a collection of pure, direct, and sweet poetry with overtones of haiku and occasionally tanka—with a reference in one poem to “a lonely traveler like Bashō.” A Hummingbird’s Dance is an immediate and inspiring book of nature poetry from an Eastern mindset, with many delightful flower poems, and poems with a local flavour of Berkeley and Northern California. Two fine haiku extracts:

What a stormy way of parting!

Plum blossoms

in the spring rain.

In an abundance of fresh vegetables,

the greengrocer

chews a wilted carrot.