Friday, 25 April 2014

Martin Lucas

I had the pleasure and privilege of knowing Martin for about 20 years. From the outset of his involvement in the British Haiku Society, Martin was a naturally gifted haiku (and tanka) poet; then essayist, and, from 1996 when he founded Presence, the most generous and gifted of editors. I was - and will remain - in awe of his ability to notice the small things in life, to see beauty in the unlikeliest of places and to see the best in people. His body of work will, I am certain, be fully assessed in time as an achievement that is as rich and varied as any in the Anglophone haiku world.

But Martin always said that 'haiku', as we English-speakers know it, can never replicate the content of Japanese haiku because our cultural context is so different. Nevertheless, Martin's quietly beautiful poems, in which he always made every word count, are, arguably, as close to the spirit of Japanese haiku as anyone among us has managed.

Yet Martin had a profoundly English/British outlook on life: a Northerner by birth, schooled in London, university-educated in Canterbury, Lancaster and Cardiff, a supporter of his unfashionable hometown football club (Middlesbrough), brilliant birder, resident of Preston, with friends throughout England, the rest of the UK as a whole, and way beyond these shores.

What a wonderful, talented man Martin was. Rest in peace.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

sweeping the blossom
from my parents' path...

Saturday, 19 April 2014

I try to describe
the way your shoulders shook
when you laughed...
the white wisteria creeps
across the shaded facade

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

pink moon
the streetsweeper's broom
falls off its handle

i.m. Martin

Sunday, 13 April 2014

their smiles...
song of the splendid sunbird
all round the birdhouse

Saturday, 12 April 2014

a blackbird sings
from the towpath garlic—
single scullers

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Presence 50

In Martin's absence, Ian Storr and I have amended the submission details for Presence 50: subscribers are requested to make their email submissions, until Martin returns, to either Ian or me, but not both. And if you have already had work accepted by Martin, we would be grateful if you could forward Martin’s email reply to either one of us, but, again, not both. Thanks very much.
last magnolia blooms
the tennis coach demonstrates
how to do backhand

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

all over the funfair trucks spring morning light

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

from its midstream stone
the grey wagtail snaps up
even more midges
on the absent aristo's land: a fanfare of cowslips

Sunday, 6 April 2014

slugging up the avenue:
a snail that looks

Saturday, 5 April 2014

at either end
of the twelve-carriage platform:
spring mist

Friday, 4 April 2014

flotsam from the spring tide
dries on Church Lane

Thursday, 3 April 2014

morning reverie—
back and forth
to the bill of its mate,
a coot carries nest matter
over the millstream

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Martin Lucas

Lancashire Police have updated their website with a renewed appeal for help.