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Paper | $14.95
5 x 8 inches | 108 pages
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Stephen Holton is an Episcopal priest who lives and works in the Hudson Valley region of New York. One day during morning prayer, he found himself arranging words “like puzzle pieces” in the traditional syllabic structure of Japanese haiku. Creating these simple three-line poems turned into a daily ritual—Holton’s way of capturing and exploring momentary emotions, observations of nature and the world, and insights into faith and life.
Friends and followers relish Holton’s haiku as they appear on social media. Now some of the best have been gathered for this book. Here are a few samples:
I wait politely.
Kissing couple blocks the door.
This may take a while.
Snapshot haiku: Tom’s Restaurant, Broadway / August 24, 2016
Words are paper-thin:
weave them into fabric
and they hold reality.
Morning prayer haiku / March 28, 2017
In many cultures,
Jesus comes in many ways;
today, in crumb cake.
Snapshot haiku: Coffee and pastry in the East Village / August 28, 2020
"Holton's emotional openness gives his verse a warmth, wit, and spiritual appeal that a wide audience could enjoy. Readers interested in clever and often moving haiku related to spirituality and everyday life will delight in this observational poetry."--BookLife Reviews
"Delicate, earthy, and elegant, Stephen Holton's collection of haiku poems dance between the physical and metaphysical worlds. Haiku for the Road invites readers to be fully present to what is: the beauty, the simplicity, the pain, and the renewal—the gift, in other words, of this life. If the Divine spoke in verse, I bet it would sound a lot like Stephen's poems."—Heather Ostman, author of The Second Chance Home for Girls
"Who knew that such short poems could offer such an array of delightful illumination? Stephen Holton’s poetry reflects his work as an ally helping to improve the lives of young people in Harlem and beyond. Now his book gives us, his fellow travelers, ample reminders of just how wonderful, inspiring, funny, and worthwhile the journey really is."—Iesha Sekou, CEO & Founder, Street Corner Resources, Inc., Harlem
“In the course of my days, I read many of these haiku “live,” as they appeared online. They engaged my thinking, shone light on my feelings, and renewed my spirit.”—Larry Roadman, banker, entrepreneur, and former Marine officer
“Hide and seek with God
Behind every tree you’ll find
The Divine presence.
“Or, as the Gospel of Thomas put it, ‘Jesus said, break a stick, and there I am.’
Stephen Holton’s collection of haiku recalls that lesser-known gospel, the Sayings of the Desert Dwellers, and the letters of Ignatius of Antioch. These poignant, witty, and deep verbal snapshots constitute in fact a welcome 21st century contribution to the venerable genre of wisdom literature, and speak to the situation of the contemporary person of faith. Father Stephen’s life experience as a Christian minister, priest, and innovator informs that wisdom, and the terse, sharp form of the haiku is the perfect mode for expressing it.”—Clair McPherson, Professor of Ascetical Theology and Church History, General Theological Seminary