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February 2005 Issue V:1

Southwestern Haijin Spotlight

Marian Olson

A non-fiction writer and poet, Marian Olson was born in the month of May on Puget Sound in Washington state.  She grew up along the West Coast beaches and finally settled in the high desert of New Mexico.  Her poetry has appeared in numerous journals, magazines, and anthologies around the world.  In the haiku community, she has garnered top awards.  She has reviewed books for Modern Haiku and Frogpond.  She is the author of four poetry books:  Facing the Wind (Raven Press, 1991), Songs of the Chicken Yard (Honeybrook Press, 1992), a critically acclaimed book of haiku and senryu, and Letting Go (Honeybrook Press, 1993).  Desert hours, her fourth volume, is forthcoming.

Marian states about herself, "I've always been an avid reader, favoring books from fiction to non-fiction about nature, philosophy, and psychology: writers like Knut Hamsun, Kazantzakis, Thoreau, Robinson Jeffers, Annie Dillard, Krisnamurti, Jung, Lao Tzu, Kabir, Rumi, James Wright, Neruda, Yeats, Eliot, D. H. Lawrence, Snyder, Mary Oliver, Lucile Clifton, Stephen Mitchell, Joseph Campbell, and so many others.  I have little interest in language poets and political diatribes of any kind.  Early in the 70's I found haiku and was transfixed by its creative economy and truthfulness.  These days, the poets I turn to again and again are Basho and Socho, Buson, Issa, and Santoka with his lean, powerful poems.  I cannot articulate the reason for my passion for his work, but it moves me at the bedrock of my soul.  No doubt all of these voices have shaped how I think and who I am today, as well as the haunting power of the high desert, which pulled me into its energy field and has held me fast for many years.  All these influences show up in anything I write, from letters to essays to poems."


bite of cool air   roasters spin green chile heat

pinon beetle
this floating place
I call home

my soft bed—
       in the night outside
a wild cry


Christmas Eve
        one by one farolitos
blink out

the incense
of burning logs
snow falling on pinons


alone, the mare
faces the mountain,
one foot tucked

the world having become
what it is
I plant another bulb


just when clouds
blot out the sun
the sun



Copyright © 2004-2006 by Roadrunner Haiku Journal. All rights revert to the authors upon publication.