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Cor van den Heuvel: Haiku

Also in this issue: Cor van den Heuvel Interview

hazy heat—  
at the small airfield  
the windsock hangs limp sunset
  a last bit of pink
  on the watermelon rind
a drop of water  
floats by the canoe  
on a curled leaf under the pier
  at low tide
  the evening sunlight
from the beach  
more rocks the spring marsh
  a lost decoy bobs out
  of a side channel
summer breeze  
again the whirligig duck flaps  
toward the sea at the market
  the spot on the melon
  where it lay in the mud
at the intersection  
the lights change only  
for the falling snow  
  silence       the wind in a mirror

Cor van den Heuvel, born and brought up in New England, has been writing haiku since he first discovered the genre in 1958 in San Francisco, where he heard Gary Snyder mention it at a poetry reading in North Beach. Early the following year he was back on the east coast writing haiku in a small cottage in Maine. The fall of that year he moved to Boston where he worked as a house poet in Beat coffee houses reading haiku and other poetry with jazz accompaniment.

By the winter of 1960-61 he was part of the poetry-reading scene at the Tenth Street Coffee House in New York City. In 1971 he joined the Haiku Society of America, becoming its president in 1978. The Society has given him three Merit Book Awards for his haiku. He has published ten chapbooks. The most recent is a book of baseball haiku called Play Ball (Red Moon Press, 1999). He is also the editor of The Haiku Anthology, now in its third edition.

Van den Heuvel was the United State's representative to the 1990 International Haiku Symposium in Matsuyama. At the World Haiku Festival held in London and Oxford in 2000, he received a World Haiku Achievement Award. In 2002, he was awarded The Masaoka Shiki International Haiku Prize in Matsuyama.

[biography source: Haiku International Association]

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