Chapbooks: Grant Savage’s "Finding a Breeze" reviewed

Finding a Breeze

As with any field of endeavor, there are high flyers, egotists and non-assuming types that simply do their own thing. The chapbook in this small review comes from such a non-assuming man. Grant Savage’s Finding a Breeze was launched during the 2009 Haiku North America Conference, held in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Savage is a naturalist by avocation and his haiku show his observations of the natural world.

a gentle breeze
rocks the tulips
the bees within

There is beauty in his haiku and also a deep understanding of the world,

early morning pond
reflected in its stillness
everything

While the chapbook is only 19 pages long, it does give the reader a great insight into Savage’s writing. These haiku are written by a poet who has been deeply in tune with nature for a long time observing and capturing the moment. His moments, his world…

* Finding a Breeze may be ordered from Kings Road Press at kingsroadpress@hotmail.com

…review by Mike Montreuil


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New prose from Shanta Everington

Old Dear
 
Hayley at the checkout looks through you.  Old Dear.
Stodgy brown shirt barely concealing your lumpiness.
Past your sell-by date, a package not worth opening.
Recoils at the age spots on your crinkly hands as you offer
a white loaf, tin of baked beans and a packet of eggs.
 
You'll have a ginger cat waiting on the chintz armchair,
a pot with a knitted red and white cosy on the kitchen table;
sip sweet sherry at Christmas, making everyone smile as
you hitch up your frock and sing old tunes with that far away look.
Corned beef sandwiches without the crusts for tea.  Grannie.
 
You think of Delilah: pert breasts streaked with sticky
purple lipstick.  Free love.  Lean brown legs hanging over
shoulders, wavy hair sticking to lips and eyes, hands fluttering
like birds, your paisley skirt on the floor as the music thuds.
Her face in the morning. Smudged and resplendent.
 
Two pounds thirty seven, please.  She stares impatiently
at your cracked black leather purse, waiting for you to release
the catch and fiddle about for your five pound note. As you bend,
feeling the arthritis in your hips again, your heart-shaped
tattoo peeps out below your collarbone and winks.
 
 
* Shanta Everington is the author of novels – Marilyn and Me (Cinnamon Press) and Give Me a Sign (Flame Books) – short fiction and poetry. www.shantaeverington.co.uk

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Gwilym Williams has seen a thin fox

A Thin Fox
 
a thin fox, hard as nails,
thin, arthritic, rheumatic,
septic eruptions on sore feet,
keen nose and sorry bag of effluvium and entrails
up for the erectile, hard frost, somewhere to go,
 
lakeside path, through snowdrop, primrose,
daffodil, an early bee,
an ermine's fur turning brown,
an effusive gushing of butterflies
gold finches and flycatchers,
 
two seasons exist in equilibrium
the rest is fusion.


 
* Gwilym Williams is a regular IS&T contributor. He adds… “My blog http://poet-in-residence.blogspot.com
goes from strength to strength and recently received a Poetry Kit
Award. Genteel Messages, Gwilym Williams' poetry collection, is still available. Gwilym comments this poem… “My better-half says it's a new form but unfortunately we haven't thought of a name for the form yet: 12 lines, two 'focussed' 5-line verses and a 2 line wrap-up.” (Sonnet Lite ?   …Ed)

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New haiga by Stevie Strang

* Stevie Strang is a native Californian finally doing something with her photography and the million or so words that she has collected on bits of scrap paper ever since she learned how to write …not including grocery lists.

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Sue Ellis is having separate dreams

THE NEIGHBOR

She pedals when
she could coast–
bingo, potluck,
food bank volunteer.
Stopping by our house,
she recites her
itinerary for the day –
cheeks rouged –
had muesli, no doubt,
for breakfast.

We turn the burner
down low –
politely listen –
try to keep
the guilty bacon warm
until she's gone.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

SEPARATE DREAMS

Sleep comes
and separates us
like children
who've
misbehaved.

We communicate
in secret code
with twitching fingers,
waiting for morning
where we merge
again, like
beads of mercury
from a vintage
thermometer.


* Sue Ellis
lives and writes near Spokane, Washington. Her short stories and poetry
have appeared here and there. She knits socks, too, with less limited
appearances.

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Mark Reep is wandering lost roads







Lost Roads

11.3.2009

 

I’m reading about lost Roman roads in a
back issue of Smithsonian when a man and a woman come into the waiting
room.  She’s sixtyish, her hair an
unconvincing auburn; his hair and beard are an honest white, but his face less
lined than hers, and I wonder if he’s her husband, or her son.  She tells the receptionist his name,
takes a clipboard, sits down beside him to fill out forms. When was your last
dental visit? she says.  He thinks
about it, shakes his head slowly. 
Five years? she says.  He
nods, probably, okay.  He’s wearing
clean jeans, a long-sleeved denim workshirt with the wrists buttoned.  He’s not tall, not fat, just thick,
like he’s laid a lot of block, had a few beers most nights for awhile.  Do your gums bleed? she says.  He stares out the window.  Nods.  She looks up from the clipboard.  Honey, I can’t hear you when you shake your head, she
says.  He nods again.  His eyes are empty.  She checks something on the clipboard.  What is your general dental health? she
says.  He’s silent, nearly
motionless, but his thick white hands slowly open, close.  Your dental health, she says again:
Poor?  He nods.  I look away, leaf through the
Smithsonian.  Are you happy, she
says, with your smile?



* Mark Reep's work has appeared in IS&T, Gloom Cupboard, American Art Collector, Endicott Journal, Word Riot. He lives in New York's Fingerlakes region. His website is http://markreep.net


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A haibun for January

Good Morning,
 
rain is on its way. A funny weather pattern has taken shape on this last week of January. Temperatures above zero for a few days. Just like November.   February will bring something else. The fourteen day outlook calls for temperatures below minus ten during the day. By the way, the sun came out yesterday; even if it was only for one day.
 
scratching my head
doesn't provide the answer –
four inches of snow


* Mike Montreuil lives in Ottawa and is a regular IS&T contributor

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