Do the (Irish) haiku and other words of nature

Posted on: 9th March, 2018

Category: Arts & Entertainment

Contributor: West Cork People

David Jackson & Paul Ó Colmáin

Was it the energy, the words, the magic apple tree at the back of DeBarra’s in Clonakilty, or simply the crisp West Cork night air? Whatever the source, Moze M. Jacobs says that poet David Jackson’s strong performance sure put a spell on the audience at Bespoken Word on February 6.

Originally from Ireland’s second city and currently living beyond Bantry (amid ancient trees) David celebrated the birth of his new collection, Good Morning New World, with a mini book tour. It started in The Roundy House (Cork) and ended in Levi’s Bar (Ballydehob), with Clonakilty as the pivot as fans of David Jackson and spoken words came in left, right, and centre.

But it is not about popularity. Jackson is a messenger; the words just pass through naturally. A relaxed attitude that inspired some gifted and charmed poets and singers (Sarah Kelly, Rosie Cargin, Nick Smith, Anton Floyd, Sacha Maire Ni Mhurchu, and Alison Ducker) to step up to the open mic. As well as two young Italians, Alessandro and Carla, who were joined by an impromptu choir of their friends.

The next Bespoken Word session on March 6 is in the capable hands of another force of nature. Paul Ó Colmáin is a musician, printmaker, author, poet, and the driving force behind the Working Artist Studios (WAS) in Skibbereen, together with his wife, artist Marie Cullen. Paul has published a number of CDs and sings in Irish as well as English. His latest offering is a collection of (mainly) Haikus, The Silence Unravelling (published by Eblana Press,).

Haiku is a poetic style that originates in Japan. It piqued Paul’s interest 11 years ago when he wanted to give a small book “as a Christmas present, a haiku for each month. It is a very condensed form; there are strict rules.” Since then he has publish a weekly haiku on his website. As he explains, “The haiku is normally used to write about nature and gives a hint as to what season it is. However, rules – particularly rules for any artistic endeavour, are made to be broken!”

Paul has discovered connections between Irish and Japanese poetry, “and folklore stories, which are almost identical”. On March 6 the session in DeBarra’s (Clonakilty) will start with a one-hour haiku workshop at 8pm (free; donations welcome), followed by a stand-up interview and open mic.


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