The Shortest Distance

Ebba Story and Michael Dylan Welch, editors. Cover photograph by Garry Gay. Press Here, Foster City, California, 1993, 20 pages, 51 poets (one poem each), ISBN 1-878798-11-1.

 

This book was the conference anthology for the second Haiku North America conference, in 1993, which again took place at Las Positas College in Livermore, California (near San Francisco). Here’s a quote from the introduction: “We are normally separated by spatial and temporal distance. As we gather to share and celebrate our involvement with haiku, that distance dissolves. We are drawn together over the shortest distance—shorter even than the written forms we cherish. We meet in the moment where hearts and minds open and rejoice. There is no distance here.” The following are a dozen sample poems from the book.

 

 

moonrise

outside the hospital

nurses take a drag

 

                Barry Goodmann

                Hackensack, New Jersey

 

 

half-closed eyes . . .

one lash draws a beam

           from the candle

 

                Christopher Herold

                Woodside, California

 

 

lonely night

the faces painted on the window

of a toy bus

 

                Cor van den Heuvel

                New York, New York

 

 

Antique map;

an ant travels

the old spice route

 

                Garry Gay

                Windsor, California

 

 

my face deep

in white lilac

I hear no bees

 

                Geraldine C. Little

                Mt. Holly, New Jersey

 

 

frost-sharp stars

prick the purple darkness

—pond ice snaps

 

                Hank Dunlap

                Prescott, Arizona

 

 

         a stand of iris

the sudden turn of the koi

      raises the bottom

 

                Jerry Ball

                Livermore, California

 

 

sunset shadows

the curve of the swan’s neck

as she settles

 

                Jean Jorgensen

                Edmonton, Alberta

 

 

low summer sun—

the shadow of an earring

on your cheek

 

                Michael Dylan Welch

                Foster City, California

 

 

my son’s toes

dipped in the sea—

his grip tightens

 

                Tom Lynch

                Martinez, California

 

 

the fence post

hangs upright in the washout—

mid-summer heat

 

                William J. Higginson

                Santa Fe, New Mexico

 

 

rock garden—

a fallen camellia floats

in the sea of gravel

 

                Yoko Ogino

                Kobe, Japan