IN203 Honors Seminar: Global Haiku Tradition
Dr. Randy Brooks • Spring 2006

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Andrew Barnick

Fallen Firefly

Existential Haiku Project

two sprouts

Andrew Barnick

This collection of haiku lacks form but rather encompasses an ideal. I tired to provide poetry that for the most part holds a sense of sabi or paints a conceptual picture. My title sums up this sense in that two sprouts growing next to each other can't recognize the other, but that the same time share in a certain communion of life giving each other a form of “indirect company”. I did not try to make these haiku follow a pattern as many collections of nature have done, instead they are to be taken in a stand alone nature, with the occasional paring with another haiku to provide another point of view.

Andrew Barnick was born in the south suburbs of Chicago, and took an interest in Japanese culture and arts at the age of eight, styling much of his work off the works of traditional haiku poets and the sabi ideal. Much of Andrew’s work has an element of loss or a sense of incompletion and he cites his interest in existentialism as reason for this.

Reader's Intro

The haiku featured in Andrew Barnick’s chapbook collection form an intriguing blend of the actual and the conceptual. Through his ninjo-naski passion and entwined with crickets and sidewalk cracks. I particularly enjoyed the poem “my thoughts,” the second–line paradox challenges the intellect while the image of the spider among its webby creation satisfies a detailed reality. Many of Andrew’s haiku are constructed similarly, such as “the distance.” Another favorite, ‘hidden treasure,” follows the Zen tradition of encircling the whole world and not just moments of glory or beauty. His lines are composed so as to invoke the image of the shine of dull copper between the concrete planes of the sidewalk. This compilation of haiku is a refreshing addition to those previously published and enjoyed. —Natalie Perfetti

two sprouts
grow together
i watch alone

my thoughts
enslaved by freedom
a spider watching its web

unreachable light
my four legs

the daisy smells back
both now a part
of the other

does the daisy
still smell sweet
when we part?

hidden treasure
the penny
in a sidewalk crack

dusk meadow
boldly colored
by crickets

the distance
reminder of passion
sun between clouds

rule-less world . . .
no time, no limits
sun never rises or sets . . .

© 2006 Randy Brooks, Millikin University, Decatur, Illinois
all rights reserved for original authors