haiku (8/24/21)

5-7-5 version

under the oak tree
I become the intruder…
ten ants scurry home

9 to 14 brief version

under the oak
I’m the intruder…
ants scurry home


7 August 2021

Official Apex Reviews Interview: David Navarro (Between Life and Language)

Originally published in 2009, reprinted here since Apex Reviews is now defunct.

Apex: Thanks for joining us for this interview, David. We're looking forward to sharing more about your book and other efforts with our readers.

Apex: What inspired you to compile this quite comprehensive poetic collection?

David: Poetry is an incredible art form that doesn’t get the recognition and reception it deserves. I feel if more people understood how to read and enjoy poetry they would discover its great value and become avid fans of it. I was inspired to compile a book of fresh, new poetry by good modern poets from all over the world that was both readable and engaging in order to promote poetry and the writing arts. I want all readers, especially new readers, to discover that poetry is not a dead art, but that it is alive and well the world over.

Apex: What's the significance of the book's title?

David: The title speaks of that unique and wondrous place apart where the poet resides, somewhere between life and language. The poet transforms life into language and lives language as life, laboring to bring to the world each new treasure of word-art, seeking those unique connections between and among words and life and nature and the human experience that actually transcends the individual meanings of the words and imparts the very essence of an experience or matter to the reader.

Apex: Was it difficult for you to assemble the 70+ poets whose works are featured in the collection?

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Haiku Basics (Very Basics)

I run a haiku group on a social media platform and someone came by and said they wanted to post a haiku and could I please explain what a haiku is so they can post one.

After chuckling a bit, I responded this way, which I think is a very appropriate foundational way of handling it. I was dealing with someone who did not even know what haiku was, so I did not want to get too deep.

I did not give any "wrong" information to her about haiku, but I intentionally did not fill in all the details regarding certain things to keep it from getting complicated.

The Very Very Basics of Haiku

I wish I had an easy answer for you, but the history and legacy of haiku is a long one with many offshoots and variations.

The Chinese wrote in a form of poetry that was imported to Japan and over time the Japanese refined it and eventually haiku came out of these forms.

The haiku was originally a Japanese poem of 17 sound units (called "on") divided into 3 linguistic parts according to natural Japanese cadence of 5-7-5. Japanese sound units ARE NOT identical to English syllables, yet, not having any other way to transfer haiku into English, early English haiku pioneers established the American English and English language haiku as 3 lines of 5-7-5 syllables.

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A Time of Mental Refocus

Been on a little bit of a self-imposed hiatus lately. Wanted to refocus on some things that are important and spend time in meditative thought—regenerating, renewing.   

Of course, as always, haiku was a big part of it. Some recent experiences led to these. 

Please comment on any of them you would like to comment on.  I've numbered them for easy reference so you can comment on them by number.  

What thoughts do they inspire in you? What do they mean to you?  

stuck to the ground  
no leaves blow today  
November frost    

fog on the plains  
I imagine mountains  
that were never there    

how does one  
replace the sun at night...  
I stoke my fire    

an encased chrysalis  
awaits daylight