Prairie Interludes: Haiku eChapbook

 Prairie Interludes

Winner of the 2019 Snapshot Press eChapbook Awards

Prairie Interludes - released by Snapshot Press (U.K.), 2020


Prairie Interludes - Review by Pearl Pirie in Haiku Canada Review, Volume 15, Number 2, October 2021:

This tightly constrained chapbook shows us the prairies by glimpses. The whole set of haiku seems an appreciation with an attentive eye to light. It starts with poems of dark rain and overnight owls, setting the scene for light in the pelican's skin, light refracting off a wet beaver until we reach dusk again as a natural arc.

The haiku touch down from subjects in the air to literally ground, such as in this monostich.

washboard road every now and again not

This common experience is well expressed with a touch of humour.

Images are pastoral but not always quiet. There's an implicit danger of injury spotted through the stark beauty of the flatlands.

the humming of wind
in barbed wire

Even objects find their voices in this Strange frame. Where there is barbed wire, there is snagged skin and blood but, not yet. This poem like the wire is held in tension. Human invention is held in contrast to the other species in antelope and in rusted rails.

rusted rails
a meadowlark with the sun
in its throat

From the opening frame of the haiku, old and worn and inert wabi-sabi rails, we cut to embodiment of light and life and then expand with a twist of line 3. Is it the colour of sun at the neck, or the song itself bringing sunshine to the day, or singing what sunlight is in its song?

prairie dusk
the last braid of geese
comes undone

A poetic kind of view, where closure is an opening, a loosening into night. The cyclical nature suits the subject and gives a sense of finality, reinforced by a hook back to owls from near the beginning and a return to the opening point of ground level of a field.

Although the poems are widely published and awarded prizes, publications and honourable mentions, as a set they have a new kind of force by their arrangement together. Over the 36-page eChapbook, poems segue through the rural scenes sweetly.

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