The Music of Tree Limbs

First published in Woodnotes #21, Summer 1994, page 32. See also Mandalas by Edna Kovacs, a companion book.

The Music of Tree Limbs by Marsh Cassady. Amelia Press, 1993, 20 pages, paperback, 5½ by 444 inches. $5.00 postpaid from Amelia, 329 “E” Street, Bakersfield, California 93304 [address no longer correct]. This mini chapbook, from publisher Frederick A. Raborg, Jr., is a winner of the Cicada Chapbook Award (which requires a fee to enter). Marsh Cassady runs Los Hombres Press with his partner, Jim Kitchen, and has published his haiku in various journals. This collection offers six sequences and 23 miscellaneous haiku for a total of 65 poems (including one tanka). In general each page is too crowded (the point size is too small, and too many poems are forced onto the page), thus one wonders if a better book could have resulted from using more pages and more white space. But the poems themselves still succeed. This is worth a look. Two samples:

Front porch—

an empty chair

rocking in the wind

Summer morning

roses climbing

the basketball hoop