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  • i first read Jane Reichhold in the mid nineties. I read her haiku, her passion for her haiku, and read her to a Hungarian woman, an ex police officer in Hungary who was my student, and was so passionate about haiku that she moved to Aberdeen, in Scotland after I did, and got a job in the controversial Rudolf Steiner school there for the mentally handicapped. Rudolf Steiner was a strong advocate of nature as a cure, among other more controversial things, and her haiku flowered in the setting she chose.


I discussed haiku with Margo, my Hungarian ex student and ex police officer. And I read Jane Reichhold, discussing haiku techniques with Margo in green parks, on windy mountains, while wading across streams and on bus rides into the Highlands.


And yet it would be years before I attempted to write my own haiku. I studied haiku since those early days, but only really started writing haiku again from prompts at the Carpe Diem Haiku Kai website, run by haiku poet Kristjaan Pannemann.


Yesterday, in the early hours of the morning. I learnt Jane Reichhold had died. I learnt she had probably taken her life due to the unbearable pain caused by an illness she suffered silently with, while maintaining her smile, dignity and composure to the last.


I remember many of her haiku, and will no doubt be referring to a few on these pages shortly. Today I chose the one below because of the sensitivity. loneliness, sensuality and humaneness in her words:



saturday rain

desire by a warm stove

for an affair



I will attempt to emulate this warm, sincere haiku, with a tanka of my own.


soft evening

she remembers his touch

under the maple tree

in pouring rain

-her touch mirrors his