Frogs Singing

First published in Woodnotes #20, Spring 1994, pages 38.

Frogs Singing by Nika [Jim Force]. Duck Island Press, 1993, 20 pages, paperback, 4 by 5½ inches. $4.00 postpaid from Duck Island Press, 1310 Hamilton Street, NW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, T2N 3W6 [address no longer correct]. Printed on rich green recycled papers, Frogs Singing is indeed a rich and “green” haiku experience. The poems exhibit a keen environmental awareness, and Nika is clearly in touch with nature and emotion. He adds surprising touches of native awareness, and also writes about joy, childhood, sex, relationships, cities, and the sharpest details of nature. This small and amazingly varied collection of 27 haiku offers poetic moments that are always true—and nothing can recommend them more than their truthfulness. Two favourites:

ah, the joy

of walking naked

summer rain

autumn leaves—

passing through the sunset

an owl calls her name