SHADOW LINES


By Margaret Chula and Rich Youmans
Illustrations by Michael Hofmann
5.5 X 7.5, 50 pages      $12.00
ISBN 0-9638551-4-X

Haiku Society of America’s Book Award, 2000

A delightful combination of short prose pieces and haiku by two master poets. Youmans and Chula have taken Bashô’s travel journal haibun form a step further as they link and shift to each other’s stories. The sequence creates a timeless sense, a flow of people and events that begins in New England and ends on a mountaintop in the Himalayas.

lazy bay—
around our faces
the dazzle of sun
(RY)

It was the light, that dazzle of sunlight, that brought me up. I don’t know how long I drifted beneath the water. Airless, weightless, my body lingered inside the liquid shell as waves carried me deeper and deeper, to a place of utter peace. I was drowning. Far above, pastel lights flickered across the water’s surface. I felt drawn to them and at the same time completely happy in this vast and timeless ocean. (MC)

*     *     *

with tweezers
she pulls out her own stitches
—sickle moon scar
(MC)

Every Saturday night: a new scar, a new story. “You should have seen it,” she says to the other teenagers gathered around her on the corner. “Three Hill Creek punks chased us around the streets of the project, throwing rocks as big as your face. I thought we were going to die.” (RY)

 


‘Chula and Youmans move together and apart in a kind of poetic dance that leads the reader also into the shadows and light, the lines and circles, that make up life.’

Modern Haiku


‘It’s a multi-layered experience reaching out far beyond what a single writer can achieve.  The linkage inside and between prose and poetry touches dimensions leaving one stunned by the inspirations.’

LYNX Journal


‘There is a keen sense of excitement in this collaboration, the excitement of people discovering themselves and each other.’

Christopher Herold, A Path in the Garden