September 20th, 2006

Egrets Reading

The Fastest Acceptance Yet

I'm still blinking.

After being reminded by ravenelectrick that I should submit my medieval warfare haiku to Poetry From the Trenches, samhenderson's speculative poetry chapbook on warfare, I just had the fastest acceptance ever.

I think it was 45 seconds.


Sam originally challenged her blog readers to write a medieval warfare haiku in Middle English, but since I decided to place my haiku in Feudal Japan, it seemed like the wrong language for my poem (not that I even know Middle English, but that's besides the point!).
Egrets Reading

David Priebe 1937-2006

Today I went to a funeral mass for haiku poet, David Priebe (Rengé) in south-central Los Angeles. The church was only a few blocks from the famed intersection of Florence and Normandie where the Reginald Denny beating occurred. Some might think I was crazy to venture to that part of town by myself in the evening, but sometimes we all get caught up too much with the media hype over that one aberrant event.

David belonged to the Southern California Haiku Study Group and was a regular at our monthly meetings. He published a haiku newsletter called Haiku Headlines which he started in 1988. David had a habit of numbering all the haiku he wrote and his last haiku was numbered 14,495. At the end he lost the use of his hands but kept his journal and pen nearby, enlisting nurses, family, and visitors to write haiku in his journal for him. David's daughter has given me permission to post one of his poems. This is the one used at his funeral.

Another skybird
Lights atop the deodar
And one flies away.

- Rengé

Some may wonder why I used end caps and put a period at the end of this haiku. In truth, David and I didn't always see eye-to-eye. He favored capital letters and punctuation and resisted the current sensibilities in modern English language haiku, insisting there was a beauty and symmetry in a 5-7-5 form. Since this is HIS haiku, I'm punctuating it as he wrote it.