EN340 / IN350 Global Haiku Tradition
Dr. Randy Brooks
Spring 2004
Previous Home Next

Nick Curry

Borrowed Sleep
the haiku of Nick Curry

with a foreword by Bill Pauly

Taking this course on haiku was an attempt to expand my horizons. Imagistic poetry never really meant much to me until I was given the opportunity to immerse myself in it within a carring environment and with a sensitive guide.

Creative endeavors are perhaps the most important part of my life thus far. I have pursued mastery in many forms of art, but the act of creative writing remains foreign to me as little poems bursting with cherry blossoms once were.

This collection is made of only the best of my many attempts at capturing "haiku moments." They are all the product of the Global Haiku Tradition course at Millikin University, with the sensitive guidance of Dr. Randy Brooks. My new haiku buddy, Bill Pauly, visited the class in April, providing much-needed relief for the "end-of-the-semester blues." His honest criticism has inspired me to reconsider haiku about which I had become complacent, and this collection exists only because of his careful reflection and sublime suggestions.

          —Nick Curry


Welcome to a collection of haiku that celebrates life and being fully alive in the world. This seasonal sequence, marked by "the stink of truth" and "the smell of real," offers us candlelight at dusk to lead us through the darkness, a fireplace gathering with friends to warm a winter night, a scattering of spring blossoms to brighten a season, and the amazing, leapy "borrowed sleep" of the title poem to color our dreams. Perhaps the best gift of this small collection is that it invites us to re-attach ourselves to these and other significant moments we may have overlooked, forgotten, or left behind.

The voice of these haiku is plainsong, clear and true, sometimes wry and playful, tinged with irony, and in tune with the connectedness of all things. Persistent revision has sharpened, freshened, enriched, enlivened, empowered and invested the experiences with deeper texture and resonance.

It would be untrue to make of these poems anything more than they are; it would be equally untrue to make of them anything less. And while it may be tempting to overlook the power of the work because of its simplicity, to do so would be to miss something truly , humanly, worthwhile.

I think you will like these poems. As one of our best poets urged us many years ago, "O taste and see." Enter. Enjoy. "Borrowed Sleep" will keep you tasting and seeing, reading and richly awake.

          —Bill Pauly • Dubuque, Iowa • May 8, 2004

early spring chill
only candlelight
at dusk

spring blossoms
I sweep magnolia
from the sidewalk

winter gathering
hot chocolate
and secrets

near the fireplace
wine from a jelly jar
we all sing off-key

my curved path
through the snow

bare toes
warm beneath the blanket
where hers once were

tangled quilt
she borrows
my sleep


©2004 Randy Brooks, Millikin University, Decatur, Illinois || all rights reserved for original authors