Jumping from Kiyomizu: A Haiku Sequence

First published in Woodnotes #30, Autumn 1996, page 47.

Jumping from Kiyomizu: A Haiku Sequence by David Cobb. Illustrated by Charlotte Smith. Iron Press, 1996, 96 pages, paperback, 4¼ by 5¾ inches. £4.99 plus postage (inquire about the price to non-British locations) from Iron Press, 5 Marden Terrace, Cullercoats, North Shields, Tyne & Wear, NE30 4PD, UK [address no longer correct]. Nine drawings of human forms add energy and spirit to this fine cycle of haiku by David Cobb, cofounder of the British Haiku Society. In a short preamble, the poet explains that writing “these small poems is itself a risky business,” wherein one must keep “a firm hold on life and draw up ‘spots of time’ . . . which also seem to have come from some mysteriously deep well of truth.” Here you will find numerous sips from the well of truth, a dance of life from birth to death. Two sips from this satisfying collection:

the sun stretching

over the sandbags

the sentry’s yawn

snow lingers on

in one right-angle

of the wayside cross