Simply Haiku: A Quarterly Journal of Japanese Short Form Poetry
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Summer 2009, vol 7 no 2


Jim Kacian




There is no conscious common thread amongst these poems other than they are recent (within the last 4 years), and all are fashioned in a single line. Some have had a life outside my database, in one book or another, a contest or a journal; others are making their first appearance. I seem (to myself, at any rate) always to be identified with one theoretical position or another as an advocate of non-traditional content, say, or a skeptic of the value of kigo in English but often these sorts of things appear after the fact, and the truth is that I write the vast majority of my haiku without concern for such matters. I can say that my consistent goal is to elevate haiku and especially clutches of haiku above the level of romantic lyric, with its simple identification of natural image with human emotion, to something more complex. This accounts for my taste for the verges of psychological states, the interstices of relationships, and the open-ended image that may or may not be what it seems.

Jim Kacian

Jim Kacian



telling stories as long as fireflies in the trees

between statues the rest of history

in a tent in the rain i become a climate

situating the church the many gods that have to go

starry night some noise of the Big Bang still left

deep in space the red shift of my mind

super 8 my father nothing but electrons

windy day i think in music

camping alone one star then many

where the smoke from a chimney ends infinity

moon tangled in the fur of her oxters

thunder through an endless slow summer

on a glad morning i am glad spring sun

a last glint of sunlight from each polished headstone

beneath the Milky Way an evening soft with moths

from the top floor several weathers in the big city

the moon glints in a tilted bottle summer night

new moon another chance to make it right

heat lightning the dry burn of whiskey

from the dead bird we all looked into a clear spring sky

in heavy fog light as particle and wave

against a snowy sky raven as a color


Publication Credits (1st publication):

'telling stories,' mariposa 11 (Haiku Poets of Northern California, Autumn/Winter 2004); 'between statures,' First Prize: 2008 Kusamakura Haiku Contest (Kumamoto, Japan); 'in a tent,' NOON 2: Journal of the Short Poem (Tokyo, 2005); 'situating the church' Roadrunner Haiku Journal V:1 (Online: February 2005); 'starry night,' Dead Reckoning (Red Moon Press, 2005); 'deep space,' Dead Reckoning (Ibid, 2005); 'my father,' Long After (Albalibri Editoire, Rosignano Marittimo, Italy, 2008); 'windy day,' (Ibid, 2008); 'camping alone,' Frogpond: The Journal of the Haiku Society of America, 29:2 (Haiku Society of America, Summer 2006); 'where the smoke,' Ginyu 35 (International Haiku Magazine Ginyu, Saitama, Japan, July 2007); 'moon tangled,' (unpublished); 'thunder through,' Wisteria (Tony Thompson, Lufkin, TX, July 2006); 'glad morning,' Frogpond: The Journal of the Haiku Society of America, 29:3 (Ibid, Autumn 2006); 'a last glint ,' White Lotus 3 (Shadow Poetry, Excelsior Springs, MO, Winter 2006); 'beneath the Milky Way,' Presence 36 (Haiku Presence, Preston, UK, 2008); 'from the top,' (unpublished); 'the moon,' Long After (Albalibri Editoire, Ibid, 2008); 'new moon,' (unpublished); 'heat lightning,' Ginyu 35 (Ibid, July 2007); 'from the dead,' 'in heavy fog, 'and 'against a snowy sky,' (unpublished).



Jim Kacian is the founder of The Haiku Foundation, whose mission is to archive the achievement of our first century of English-language haiku as well as to create greater opportunity for our second (; founder and owner of Red Moon Press (; co-founder of the World Haiku Association; erstwhile editor of Frogpond, the international journal of the Haiku Society of America; and the author of 14 award-winning books of haiku. He is also a tennis professional and an avid ocean kayaker.