Simply Haiku: A Quarterly Journal of Japanese Short Form Poetry
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Summer 2005, vol 3 no 2

Modern Haiga

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[ click on the image to see the larger version with haiku or tanka ]

Editor's Note:Jim’s extraordinary photography and insightful haiku are excellent examples of how powerful
the art of photo-haiku can be in the world of Modern Haiga. I am proud to be able to present
his work in this issue of
Simply Haiku.   ~jd


Jim Swift ~


"Coming to poetry late in life is something of a gift, having the time to appreciate what you have been given and, hopefully, the sense not to rush out of that experience. It was only a decade ago that I had my first real encounter with poetry, at a weekend seminar led by the poet David Whyte. He used poetry to make his points, and in so doing, tried to bypass the intellect, in order to reach a different level. To someone immersed, for most of his life, in the world of mathematics, it was an eye opener that also opened a floodgate.

"It is difficult to live with that intensity for very long - in my case, about a year. But it always hovers in the memory and never goes away entirely. It resurfaced in 2000 when my daughter proposed an exhibition at the Rollin Art Centre in Port Alberni made up of her art work and my poetry.

"After I retired in 2002, we spent a week at a rather special B&B on Gabriola Island, BC. During that week I tried to capture its flavour in a chapbook of photography and poetry. We had met Naomi and Eli Wakan during that week and she offered to help with the fine tuning of the chapbook. Naomi recognised something in my writing and said that she thought that I would really enjoy the world of haiku. I was invited to the 2003 meeting of Haiku BC at her home on Gabriola Island.

"In the weeks that followed I joined the Raku Teapot group (not realizing that it was hardly a group for beginners) and the WHC Beginner Group (led by an’ya, Kirsty Karkow, Sue Mill and Alison Williams), and the WHChmm Forum group for images with haiku. It continues to be a fascinating walk."  —Jim Swift  

Copyright 2005: Simply Haiku