Windmill Shadows

First published in Woodnotes #27, Winter 1995, pages 49–50.

Windmill Shadows: A Hunter’s Book of Haiku by John Howard Laugenour. Illustrations by Louise Drislane Laugenour. Fine Arts Press, 1994, hand-sewn paperback, 4 by 7 inches. $10.00 postpaid (checks payable to John H. Laugenour) from the author at 311 Gibson Road, Woodland, California 95695 [address no longer correct]. John Laugenour’s Windmill Shadows is not your ordinary haiku book. What makes it so unusual, in addition to its beauty and fine letterpress production, is the topic-these are poems about hunting! The author concedes, in a fine introduction, that hunting and haiku is “a strange combining,” but then proceeds to make them flourish. There is nothing idle about this book, and in that respect it stands above many other haiku books. The depth of his understanding of and enthusiasm for haiku is abundant in his introduction and in most poems. Here are two examples that should show this book to be of interest to more than just hunters:

Waiting in the blind,

a broken tule

frames the moon.

Making myself breathe

through a racing heart . . .

the crosshairs.