Tasting Vintage Haiku

VOLUME 2, ISSUE 1 – MARCH 2002

Tasting Vintage Haiku

Gabriel Rosenstock

One of the major missions of The World Haiku Club is to “find” and help new talent realise him/herself to his/her full potential. Using a wine jargon, this could be called “En Primeur” in haiku. On the other hand, we also enjoy at WHC, fine wines, especially wines of good vintage and vineyard. Hence, this series, “Tasting Vintage Haiku”, where excellent vintage haiku from well-known vineyards may be sampled.

In this issue, we will taste a rare bottle of vintage Chateau Dublin haiku written by Gabriel Rosenstock (1949 – ). Mr. Rosenstock is one of the foremost poets in Ireland, in both English and Irish languages, known as a Poet, dramatist, translator, haikuist. Former chairman of Poetry Ireland/Éigse Éireann, he is the author and translator of over eighty books including his own, Cold Moon, erotic haiku; his selected poems (from the Irish), Portrait of the Artist as an Abominable Snowman, and the compilation, A Treasury of Irish Love. He has translated into Irish, two volumes of poems by the Chicano poet Franscio X. Alarcón; also the selected poems of  J. W Hackett, Seamus Heaney, Gunter Grass, Peter Huchel, Willem M. Roggeman, Georg Trakl, Georg Heym, Robert Bebek, and many others. World Haiku Review asked Gabriel to present several haiku poems written and chosen by himself from A Handful of Haiku:

Vintage Haiku by Gabriel Rosenstock

outside the Guggenheim
the shape
of real trees

 

lone dandelion stalk
all of its seeds blown away
……..unsure what it is

 

crows going home
caw! they rend the air! caw-caw!
exposing silence

 

sheep-droppings –
……. a baker’s dozen –
each one the same

 

foiche lá fearthainne
a glóirín
múchta
wasp on a wet day
her little voice
smothered

 

unexpected shower:
my ants
all in a stampede

 

knowing its name:
……. the lungwort
……. appearing in every cranny

 

a wasp between two minds –
……. to fly in?
……. soul of autumn

 

horns receding –
a snail
on the satellite dish

 

snag breac
d’ól lán a ghoib
dá íomhá féin
magpie
sipping beakfuls
of its own image

trying to compete
with graffiti –
lichen on a wall

bláthanna i vása –
siúlann cat
trí gharraí lom
flowers in a vase –
a cat prowls
the bare garden

 

waking in the heart of the night –
……. her only make-up
…………… the moon

motionless
in mid-air
a spider enjoying emptiness

 

sop ina ghob
dá nead
féasóga ar an éan!
a beakful of straw
for its nest –
the bird has whiskers!

 

silently
a swan
in greyish mis
t

passing a laundrette –
……. this spinning world
…………….becoming still

 

flicking their tails
out of habit –
cows in the chill of autumn

 

cobwebs in his ears
this November morning –
bust of a composer

 

smólach ar an bhfaiche
……….cigire
……….nóiníní
thrush on the lawn
……..daisy
……..inspector

 

CBS News  –
a deceased actor utters something
and fades

 

alien eyes
saying something –
severed bodies of prawns

 

murky canal –
a waterhen pecking
at a condom

 

empty circus field  –
one lonesome
elephant turd

 

sunshower –
flowers, weeds, stones,
drenched in enlightenment

 

did her eyes watch
that little danse macabre?
……. decapitated hen

 

dockleaves touch her ankles
as she weeds –
robins watch and wait

 

slipping over morning fields  –
…………… sunrays
catching the hare’s urine

 

island post box
the empty thud
of a letter

 

Achill island
oyster catchers
gawping at tourists

 

evening sun
on the tips of  tall grass –
……..the dog drinks loudly

 

garden junk
rusting
with leaves

 

i ngloiní dú’ an daill
dul fé
na gréine
in the blind man’s glasses
the going down
of the sun

 

 

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