the Eyes of a Mountain:
upon a time there were two people who spent their lives in
Raleigh, North Carolina. Little did they know that they would
discover each other; not through a location, but through Haiku.
This is how I came to learn of my fellow North Carolinian
haiku lover Lenard D. Moore. Moore not only writes and edits
haiku, but currently holds the position of executive chairman
of the North Carolina Haiku Society (NCHS). His awards are
many, but include the Haiku Museum of Tokyo Award and the
Heron's Nest Award. Moore's work has appeared in over 30 anthologies,
and has written the following three books: The Open Eye
(1985), Forever Home (1992), and Desert Storm: A
Brief History (1993). There are many things to be noted
about Moore's haiku. When taking a closer look at his first
book, The Open Eye, one can see how well he uses animals
in his haiku, how some of his haiku get a bit wordy, and how
he uses the moon to paint beautiful imagery.
loves animals and has spent a good deal of time in nature.
His haiku mirror that as he captures moments that most of
us have seen but never taken the time to ponder. Here are
is so nice because it draws us in on a small bullfrog and
then zooms our perspective out to see the frog in relation
the moon. Breath could be the clouds floating by or perhaps
if we haven't looked ahead to 'on moon' we keep our view in
onto the frogs breath. Perhaps it is a chilly night and the
frogs breath is frozen. This haiku also touches on what will
be further discussed later about Moore's attraction with the
are fascinatingly aware of all that is happening around them.
We have all seen a bird busy at work and then completely stop
what they are doing to analyze whether or not something is
dangerous. But I love this haiku because it makes the wind
chimes an object of enjoyment for the robin. The robin is
not concerned about what the wind chimes are doing, he just
stops to listen because they are beautiful to listen to. You
can just picture his little head as he cocks it to one side,
putting hit; good ear forward, and taking a moment out of
his work to appreciate some beauty.
deer the sound of
love this haiku. Everything about it makes sense; especially
the fluidity of it's movement. First we see and hear the silence
of the deer and take a moment with the silence, and then the
sound of a waterfall starts trickling in, ever so gently.
It's like a painting, and slowly all the elements are brought
into focus. Very nice haiku.
one can see, Moore definitely knows how to capture special
moments with animals. Moore devotes about a fourth of his
haiku in this book to animals. This is definitely one of his
strong points and his animal haiku should be read with care.
Moore really finds some great moments to capture in his haiku, but sometimes he gets a bit wordy in describing them and the image become confusing and mottled. They could be looked at as simple enough, but in my opinion some are to forced.
First of all the second line could be made into a three line haiku by itself. Too many adjectives, and then a verb is thrown on at the end of the line. It's like he has this image in his mind and feels that if any part is left out the haiku would not be as powerful. Secondly, it takes the reader a minute to make any correlation between the second and third lines. I know he likes the moon, but the whole 'caught in the crescent moon' is a hard picture to imagine.
revision of this haiku would be:
way you really picture the splintery-ness of the worn down
barn, because splintered is such a nice word. Okay, back to
more of his haiku.
when you take the time to picture what this means, it's very
exciting, but initially the haiku seems very wordy. Words
like 'ancient' and his use of alliteration in the second line
take away from the simplicity of the image. The word I would
use to describe some of Moore's haiku is aggressive. They
are simple images, yet it takes to much effort to reproduce
them. He also is very aggressive in his uses of punctuation
and uses colons, dashes, and periods more than most haiku
authors. When he keeps the haiku simple then the moment resounds
with more magic. As we have already seen, Moore uses the moon
a lot in his haiku. I imagine the moon is probably his favorite
creation as it is evident he thinks the moon has power and
splendor. Here are some more of his wonderful 'moon' haiku
love this haiku because I spent many summer a night fishing
with my cousin in Lake Gaston of North Carolina. I can just
picture him sitting there in the boat, enjoying the night
air, and not really caring if he catches anything or not.
He is framed by the full moon behind him, and the moon cast
a glow on the water where he has cast his rod. Beautiful picture.
the darkness of the night echoes the beauty of her dark skin.
The color palette used in the haiku is so extraordinary. Also
the roundness of the moon echoes the shape of her round breast.
Such a warm yet powerful haiku that touches all senses deep
with in. It is like the moon is watching over her, as she
watches over her child. Lovely.
really has some wonderful ideas, and beautiful haiku. I thoroughly
enjoyed studying him and watching his style. His thoughts
are very creative and perceptive. His haiku is delightful
to read. Here are few more of his haiku that should be noted.
©2003 Randy Brooks, Millikin University, Decatur, Illinois || all rights reserved for original authors