DAVID COBB – WORLD-MAN


David died on the 6th November 2020 Shiki said that in order to write a haiku a good mental discipline to follow was to look down at the violet at your feet and then look up at the distant mountain. David’s version of this might have been to take infinite care of a little enclosed […]

LIVING BY ZEN (R16)


  “What’s that you’re reading now?” said Euphemia.“It’s called Living by Zen by DT Suzuki.”“It’s a bit late for that, isn’t it?” she said.I missed her point till it caught up with me a bit later. She meant that in my 84th year there wasn’t much time left to put whatever advice it might contain […]

PLAGUETIME 9


I write a fairly regular ‘essay’ in a series called RANSACKING THE PAST for display on The British Haiku Society Website. Sometimes I dredge books of my own early haiku for ones I could have done better (most of them) and write a critique, sometimes I look at old articles in Blithe Spirit (the BHS […]

PLAGUETIME 8


ON ‘THE ESSAY’ Why do I call these posts ‘globs’? Because I wish to dissociate myself from the word ‘blogs’ – they are essays – but that’s a word distinctly out of fashion… From September1968, at the beginning of my time of being what’s called a ‘teacher’, I taught briefly (though it seemed like forever) […]

RANSACKING THE PAST 8 (R17)


In Blithe Spirit Volume 10/2 (June 2000), Kai Falkman refers to a persuasive model he created – ‘The Pyramid of Meaning’ – which eventually became the title of the book published by Red Moon Press.He considers how Bashō’s old pond a frog jumps in the sound of water illustrates the model:- …the first line evokes […]

Richard Jefferies & Zen Buddhism (R17)


THE INTRODUCTION TO MY BOOK OF FOUND HAIKU FROM RICHARD JEFFERIES SOMETHING BEYOND THE STARS MORE OR LESS AS IT APPEARED IN 1993 Something Beyond the Stars may be of interest to at least three kinds of people: Richard Jefferies enthusiasts; adherents of Zen Buddhism and haiku fanatics. Assembling it, I found myself wearing all […]

MORE OF HILAIRE BELLOC (R16)


I continue my exploration of the work of Hilaire Belloc in a determined effort to discover why, since many of his beliefs are so inimical to me, he continues to have a very special place in my intellectual life. He would no doubt have defined me as somebody possessed of a ‘…one-legged, knock-kneed, gimcrack, purblind, […]

HAIKU IS A STATE OF MIND (R16)


If It’s true that haiku is a state of mind, as I believe it is, the next question is: What is the right state of mind for writing haiku? But before that you must answer this question: What is mind? And that’s a question which pre-supposes that there is only one mind to bother about; […]