Members’ Publications: Lorin Ford

a wattle seedpod – published by Post Pressed 2008

109 haiku by Lorin Ford, original cover art by Ron Moss
ISBN 978-1921214-34-9, 36pp, AU$10.00 + p&p

Mini-review by Jane Reichhold :

My copy of a wattle seedpod just arrived yesterday and though I will be reviewing it in the October issue of Lynx I wanted you to have my first impressions.

It is a beautifully made little book and is full of marvellous haiku. There is a gentle humor in so many of the poems. Often people cannot figure out what haiku humor means (some use it for meanness or satire about other people) but Lorin has it exactly right. Her gentleness and kindness for all she observes allows her the freedom to show us the humor in the best possible way. A couple that left smiles on my face:

street cafe –
sparrows wait
on the tables

flooded road
a soft drink bottle
turns left

This is an excellent book to have and to use as a gift for showing others what haiku can do and be.

Jane Reichhold
Review by Ferris Gilli

Reading Lorin Ford’s poems, I feel connected to the poet’s native Australia. Her impeccable imagery takes me right smack dab to her side of the world. Brilliantly inviting, a wattle seedpod offers readers close-up looks at small yet crucial events—ordinary events that often go unnoticed until a haiku poet such as Ford comes along.

Easily responding to the sensory pull of these haiku, I see the damp gleam of a calf’s fur “licked into curls” and the visible breaths of children and cows on cold nights. I feel with stiff fingers the rough surface of kindling wood, smell the rain that comes with a magpie’s clear notes, and taste wine from a clay cup. In “snapper run,” showing not the fisherman but “his red cigarette tip / bobbing on the bay,” Ford ensures the poem’s undeniable credibility.

Mindful of the caveat to apply poetic devices cautiously and sparingly in haiku, on occasion Ford instinctively uses figurative language to expand perceptivity: a magpie “singing down rain; “a grey tabby / pours from the shed roof”; “a dry leaf shuffles.”

Ford is adept at using a broad range of focus to draw deserved attention to everyday drama: “sliver moon / the sheath of a cat’s claw . . ..” With style and grace, her haiku reflect the weight of drought, heat, hard winters, death, and birth. Naturalist and poet, she takes me to a place where day-to-day existence can be as harsh and dangerous as it is rewarded with breathtaking beauty. Lorin Ford moves easily between human and natural worlds, most often seamlessly blending the two in an ideal haiku balance. Her poems’ universal appeal will keep readers dipping into this fine collection.

Ferris Gilli

a wattle seedpod is available from Post Pressed or contact Lorin at lorinmford@bigpond.com