Mike’s delightful book of haiku grabs a reader right from the start and never lets go. Powerful images are presented immediately, and unfold throughout the book, interspersed with a few black and white images that are very Zen in their juxtaposition.
Some haiku are full of alliteration that makes the mouth sing as you read the rounded syllables. There is a strong presence of nature in these haiku, but also little glimpses into man/woman sliding along the perimeter, pushing his/her way to the forefront. It adds a nice edge to the work, and keeps the poems from becoming predictable. God and everyday life co-exist on the page, speaking to each other. Life in this world and the next are examined, and given voice.
my earthly passage
through mountain laurel my sweet
scented journey on
Jurkovic speaks of a “bouquet of haiku”, and this is what many of the poems are, little poems to savor and drop in your think-vase, where they can stay fresh and continue to wander the reader’s mind. One of my favorites struck me right away with the richness of the imagery.
the Hudson quiet
each shore wakes stretches ripples
meet kiss disappear
Having lived along the Hudson in a past life, it summed up the mornings there perfectly.
One of the things that struck me the most about Jurkovic’s poems was his ability to use the 5-7-5 format without making the poem seemed forced into the form. Lines flowed from one into the next, carrying the reader along. I am a lover of American Sentences, but reading Jurkovic’s work makes me want to play and write haiku again. If you are a haiku lover, you may want to pick this little book up and immerse yourself in a thoughtful experience.