Landings Soft

First published in Woodnotes #24, Spring 1995, page 43.

Landings Soft by Elizabeth St Jacques. Amelia Press, 1994, 16 pages, paper- back, 5½ by 4% inches. $5.00 postpaid from Amelia Press, 329 E. Street, Bakersfield, California 93304 [address no longer correct]. A collection of 37 haiku by Canadian poet Elizabeth St Jacques, with poems arranged in tasteful groupings at one to four per page. Many of the poems are pleasant surprises, although three or four remind me of anne mckay and feel as if they borrow from her voice (“. . . and concealing / one small song / the wheatfield” and other poems). Most of the haiku assert Elizabeth’s own voice, however. It is also a pleasure to see a photograph of the poet on the book’s front cover. On the other hand, the copyright page gives a puzzling credit to a poem that won the 1990 HPNC International Haiku Contest—yet the poem does not appear in the book. Most likely this is the publisher’s mistake. Of the poems that do appear in this small yet pleasing chapbook, the following are two favorites:

as adults talk

a bubble swells

from the baby’s lips

tall grass . . .

a slippery sound

takes the mouse