Haiku in The Mainichi newspaper, Japan
Andrew and his wife, Susan, were in Japan for five weeks earlier this year (2020). As if in celebration of their arrival, The Mainichi newspaper published one of Andrew’s haiku.
It was a complete surprise, as Andrew has never submitted work to this paper.
Apparently, the haiku editor, Dhugal J. Lindsay, recalled a haiku from Andrew’s 2005 Picaro Press chapbook, Warrior Monk, and felt it had something to say about the bushfires that had been raging for weeks in the eastern states.
Andrew’s haiku and the editor’s comments are included below:
than the twilight, kangaroos
crossing the firebreak
Andrew Lansdown (1954- ). From “Warrior Monk,” Picaro Press (Warners Bay), 2005.
The Australian sun is harsh and strong during the day, colors are vivid and edges and shadows stand out. This makes one notice even more the softer edges and muted colors that appear as dusk approaches and the light fades. There is only enough light left reflecting off the landscape to make out the shadows of the kangaroos bounding across the open space between the grass and scrub on either side — they are recognized as kangaroos perhaps more by their movement than by their shape. Although this haiku was made over 15 years ago, with the current bushfires in Australia, the image brought to my mind by “the firebreak” is a swathe of land recently burned to clear off all the flammable grass and scrub while bushfires inexorably make their way towards the poet’s property. The blackened land causes the kangaroos to fade even further into the twilight.
Selected and commented on by Dhugal J. Lindsay
Read more about Warrior Monk here.