Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Martin Lucas 1962 - 2014



Martin Lucas: front row, left. *

The day I met Martin Lucas was one of those rare perfect early summer days. I was one of a group walking along the Norfolk coast. I'd recently discovered the strange, intriguing form of poetry called haiku while browsing online and this walk, from Sheringham to Hunstanton in June 1999, was my first meeting with haiku poets face-to-face. For a while on that day I was walking with Martin Lucas and John Barlow who were discussing haiku. I was fascinated by what I heard and I recall thinking 'this is a conversation I want to be involved in' and I have been involved in it, in one way or another, through all the years since then.

Sometime during that walk I acquired my first copy of the journal Presence and it has been a favourite ever since. On those rare occasions when I gather together my published haiku I go to my Presence collection first because Martin, as editor, had a way of spotting the best and kindly returning the rest, often with a handwritten note of encouragement.

I've lost one of my first haiku mentors and it will be a more lonely path without him.

Martin's poetry showed a deep connection with the natural world and empathy with all kinds of living things, including humanity, often expressed with a touch of gentle humour. I'd like to include a small selection of his haiku and tanka here in appreciation.


the many noises of London
subside
in the smallest hour
all that's left:
voice of the blackbird

Blithe Spirit 8/1 1998


poetry group
deep in thought;
gurgle of plumbing

 .. click.. Hub Editions, 1998


deepening winter
  darkness in the eyes
    of a chained dog

Earthjazz, Ram, 2003


a quiet stretch of river
the gull's little kick
into flight

Frogpond 26/2, 2003


summer river -
when I'm barefoot
it's forever

Presence 39  September 2009
Awarded 'Best of Issue' by popular vote in Presence 40


autumn spider running to the raincloud sky

Presence 47 December 2012

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*  BHS North Norfolk Coast Park walk 1999. I would very much have preferred to get permission from everyone else in the photograph before posting but that was not possible as I do not have current contact details. If anyone has objections to it being included here please let me know and I will take it down immediately. If anyone does not object but would just like to get back in touch - please do! My new email  address can be found in my profile.







2 comments:

Gerald (SK14) said...

Thanks for this memory of Martin - I met him I think at a few meetings of the Yorkshire & Lancashire Group of the BHS but I didn't get to too many of them.

Alan Summers said...

Wonderful tribute. Thank you so much for posting this.

my deepest regards,

Alan