Step into Sky: English language haiku by a Missouri poet

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In this book the author has written haiku about woods, clouds, rivers, crows, the moon, rain, and crystals in Missouri where he lives. His poems bring a new and unique feeling to the haiku form. The uniqueness of his haiku is believed to come from the land and the weather. He says, “Missouri is on the edge of several different climate zones, so the weather here is very unpredictable and hence always changing and quite interesting. In the south of Missouri are the Ozark Mountains, which are so very ancient that they are only hills today, and covered with forests.” (This book is edited and produced by Web Press Happa-no-Kofu, non-profit translation project and literary and art publisher since 2000, based in Japan.)

Surface Paint

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“Surface Paint” is a book of poems by the mystic and astrologer John Sandbach. These poems, which are both playful and profound, explore spiritual realities and the realms of fantasy. They are Kabbalistic and alchemical in nature and use poetry as a medium to convey healing energies to the reader . Sandbach’s work is strongly influenced by William Blake, Barbara Guest, Jorge Luis Borges and Italo Calvino, among others.

Many of the themes appearing in these poems link to Sandbach’s two novels “Azoth” and “Zahira” which can also be found on Kindle.

Wrinkled Sea: 120 Haiku

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These haiku do not adhere to the rules of classical haiku. They are not all seventeen syllables long, and they don’t all use a word to denote the season. They are in the style of many modern Japanese freeform haiku.

So what rules do I follow when I write haiku? There are four of them:

1. A haiku must be little on the outside (meaning short),
2. A haiku must be big on the inside (meaning roomy),
3. A haiku must be full of something (energy, matter, space or time will do, and
4. A haiku must be full of nothing (it can contain energy, matter. or time, but it always has to contain space, and preferably lots of it).

In this way, haiku reflect our own being, for as science tells us, what we are is mostly empty space.

You fill find much empty space in this book. Feel free to use it to pencil in critical comments of the poems, draw or paint illustrations for them, invent rewritten versions of them, or make lists of things to do.

A fellow writer has said the following of this book:

“These poems are fascination. I’m sure I would have loved them had they been written during my lifetime.” –Edgar Allan Poe

Ceiling at Night: 200 Haiku

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“Ceiling at Night” is my fifth book of Haiku. In these haiku can be seen a progressive development of my style as I continue to find and refine the tools and techniques of my art. These works are often minimal, surrealistic, metaphysical, spiritual and humorous.

I desire to delight readers as well as bring forth in them new ideas and their own creative impulses. The very act of writing haiku fertilizes my mind and evokes in me a wealth of possibilities and new insights. I hope, more than anything, that you will enjoy reading these works.

The Azoth Oracles

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“The Azoth Oracles” are 360 prose poems which speak of the mysteries of the degrees of the zodiac. Their stories, parables, fantasies and enigmas reveal Kabbalistic truths in ever-varying colors that shimmer through the realms of spirit.

These poems are companion works to the previously published “Omega Oracles” which you can also find on kindle. In all of these poems are to be found delight, healing, and treasures to be savored. or as a healing modality. It contains information concerning the astrological rulership of color, the significance of gems and minerals, techniques for employing color therapy, and much information concerning the psychology of color.

Worms and Stars

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The first century of English-language haiku has created a strong foundation with great variety. Though there have been a number of individualistic bursts of influential experimentation, English-language haiku has, however, come to a point of stagnation-a state of orthodoxy, where molds and the clichés are expected and it seems, desired. Expectations regarding form and content have atrophied, with narrow definitions of nature and reality, emphasizing hyper-literalism and objectivity. In effect, many techniques and topics such as subjectivity and the imagination, as well as many other methodologies, have become marginalized and devalued. The result is English-language haiku that are mostly formulaic and homogenous, more nostalgic than visionary.

Though grounded with great love and affection for both the haiku traditions of Japan and the West, John Sandbach’s haiku represent a clear break and, hopefully, a new, influential, and open beginning in English-language haiku composition that welcomes and values all methodologies, aesthetics and topics, seeing infinite possibilities and equality in every path. Breaking away from what has become the traditional standards in English haiku, Sandbach creates new, fresh and exciting directions and possibilities for composition, expanding the English-language haiku poet’s toolbox. His work plays with a wide range of subject matter: the metaphysical, astrology, fantasy, the surreal and the absurd, the mythological, fairy tales, alchemy, the imagination, the unusual and the strange, the subconscious, dreams, transformation, and the mythopoeic, as well as the natural world (the wild) and seasonal changes. As Ban’ya Natsuishi has noted before about Sandbach’s work (Step Into Sky), his haiku are “spacious and cosmic.” His work is also fearless, unafraid of delving deep within the heart/mind/spirit, or the vast outer reaches of our universe, and therefore ourselves. Once there, he finds connections and moments, images and words, and brings them back to us through the beauty, simplicity and evanescence of haiku poems. He does not simply embrace Western poetry, poetics, art, literature, philosophy and religion, but not unlike Japanese gendai haiku poets of the 20th century attempts to elevate and spiritualize them by fusing the East and the West (as well as the North and South) together like an alchemist. John Sandbach’s haiku challenge, surprise and delight, and exemplify the wisdom of Basho: “Haiku is for freedom.” Scott Metz

a dragonfly and facts

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The first century of English-language haiku has created a strong foundation with great variety. Though there have been a number of individualistic bursts of influential experimentation, English-language haiku has, however, come to a point of stagnation a state of orthodoxy, where molds and the clichés are expected and, it seems, desired. Expectations regarding form and content have atrophied, with narrow definitions of nature and reality, emphasizing hyper-literalism and objectivity. In affect, many techniques and topics such as subjectivity and the imagination, as well as many other methodologies, have become marginalized and devalued. The result is English-language haiku that are mostly formulaic and homogenous, more nostalgic than visionary. Though grounded with great love and affection for both the haiku traditions of Japan and the West, John Sandbach’s haiku represent a clear break and, hopefully, a new, influential, and open beginning in English-language haiku composition that welcomes and values all methodologies, aesthetics and topics, seeing infinite possibilities and equality in every path. Breaking away from what has become the traditional standards in English haiku, Sandbach creates new, fresh and exciting directions and possibilities for composition, expanding the English-language haiku poet’s toolbox. His work plays with a wide range of subject matter: the metaphysical, astrology, fantasy, the surreal and the absurd, the mythological, fairy tales, alchemy, the imagination, the unusual and the strange, the subconscious, dreams, transformation, and the mythopoeic, as well as the natural world (the wild) and seasonal changes. As Ban’ya Natsuishi has noted before about Sanbach’s work (Step Into Sky), his haiku are “spacious and cosmic.” His work is also fearless, unafraid of delving deep within the heart/mind/spirit, or the the vast outer reaches of our universe, and therefore ourselves. Once there, he finds connections and moments, images and words, and brings them back to us through the beauty, simplicity and evanescence of haiku poems. He does not simply embrace Western poetry, poetics, art, literature, philosophy and religion, but not unlike Japanese gendai haiku poets of the 20th century attempts to elevate and spiritualize them by fusing the East and the West (as well as the North and South) together like an alchemist. John Sandbach’s haiku challenge, surprise and delight, and exemplify the wisdom of Bash : “Haiku is for freedom.”

Is It The Moon?

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“Is It The Moon” is my third book of haiku. I have now been writing haiku seriously for 8 years, and I have found that, as in most things, one of the best ways to learn is by doing. Some artists are narrower in their stylistic vocabulary, and others are wider. There is no judgment in this: Michaelangelo was very narrow, but his art is cosmic. Picasso, on the other hand, traveled many roads and sampled many styles. I am of Picasso s clan I m willing to try anything. Ever since I started writing haiku I have attempted to come up with a definition of what, for me, constitutes a haiku. At last I read an article by Casimiro de Brito, a Portugese haiku poet, who said that the only thing a haiku needs to be is poetic and, of course, short. For me, this beautiful, simple statement says it all. There are times I have become so frustrated with writing haiku that I have stopped for months, but I feel now that this frustration has evaporated. I no longer wish for a bigger space in which to say more, for what is left unsaid says just as much as what is said! If you want these haiku explained, then you are not yet on the haiku wavelength. I m not adverse to imaginative interpretations they can enrich the enjoyment of haiku the best of them are usually haiku themselves! Try to enjoy what you don t understand as least as much as what you do understand! One of the great beauties of haiku is that it doesn t provide the writer with the room that would be needed to explain him/herself. I have never asked a tree to explain itself not because I think I wouldn t get an answer, but because I think a tree must be better at being itself than it is at engaging in self-justification. Writing and reading haiku has had a profound on my view of writing: I buy fewer books, for so much literature now strikes me as too wordy. An example of someone who I have grown to appreciate more and more is the Egyptian mystic Edmund Jabes, because even though he doesn t write haiku as such, he is, in spirit, a haiku poet. All good writing is full of haiku. You might think it strange that, given my love of short poems I keep by my bed a copy of Edmund Spenser s 800 page poem The Faerie Queene, but this Elizabethan epic is a land teeming with haiku! More than anything, I hope you enjoy this book. I ve worked long and hard in my alchemical kitchen, using only the freshest and best organic ingredients so that I might serve you these tidbits. May you receive them as both delight and nourishment!

The Omega Oracles

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“The Omega Oracles” are 360 prose poems from John Sandbach’s book “The Circular Temple.” They are short stories, visions, enigmas and magical histories that capture and reflect the light of the zodiac and its mysteries. Each one is a world in itself and all are woven together into a completed tapestry that is shifting, everchanging, and which illuminate the endless wisdom of the astrological signs. You may read them in order or at random, or you may stroll at your leisure through their garden and garner your own unique bouquets from their strange and unique herbs and blossoms. Here is rich food for your imagination and a perfume to envelop your soul.