By Margaret Chula
Ink paintings by Rhony Allahel
5.5 x 8.5, 110 pages     $16.95
ISBN 978-0-9638551-9-0

Haiku Society of America’s Book Award, 1994

Twelve years of the poet’s life in Kyoto are distilled in this extraordinary collection of haiku. From deep within these haiku, the mystery of life and death rings like a small chime. It sounds a sad note of quiet joy from the shadows in the fish pond, echoes faintly from the suicide’s night light on the second floor, and trembles into nothingness outside the hermit’s hut on New Year’s Day. Each season is introduced by an original foldout calligraphy brushed in a Japanese hieroglyph.

grinding my ink
a black cat
howls in childbirth

sound of a moth
trapped in a paper lantern
summer rain

sunlight on tatami
the old temple
smells of chrysanthemums

‘She has the uncommonly keen perception and compositional skills of a painter or fine photographer, while at the same time working with the music and implications of language. ‘

Morgan Gibson, Kyoto Journal

‘Ms. Chula’s sensitive poems show a clear understanding of the haiku experience I liked them, and the heart and awareness they reveal.’

James Hackett, Zen Haiku and Other Zen Poems

‘Her haiku have a feel of quiet strength like the sound of an old iron bell.’

Alexis Rotella, Voice of the Mourning Dove

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