1941

  • Childs, Cyril

    Cyril ChildsCyril Childs

    (1941 – 2012)

    I venture to claim that haiku is currently alive and thriving in the Shaky Isles[New Zealand]. To my eyes the future looks rosy - and I’m confident it will be rosy - just as long as the passion for the form and the voluntary efforts evident today are maintained or surpassed in the future.”

    (“Haiku 45 South” by Cyril Childs, delivered at the fourth Haiku Pacific Rim Conference (Terrigal, Australia) in September 2009 and published in Wind over Water, the Conference Proceedings)

    Cyril Childs was a cricketer, scientist, leading haiku poet and editor of national haiku anthologies in New Zealand. He was born in Invercargill in 1941. He became intrigued with haiku while living in Matsuyama, Japan for several months during 1989-90. He was a past-president of the NZ Poetry Society, edited both of the NZ Haiku Anthologies published by the NZPS (1993,1998) and co-edited Listening to the Rain (Small White Teapot Group, Christchurch, 2002) – an anthology of haiku and haibun by Christchurch writers.

    His own book, Beyond the Paper Lanterns: A Journey with Cancer, dedicated to his first wife, was published in 2000. That same year a copy was carried to the summit of Mt Fuji in Japan by American haiku poet Jerry Kilbride in a climb organised by the US Breast Cancer Fund. In a piece published in 2006 Cyril wrote: "Jerry read from the book to the climbers the night before their ascent and he carried it to the summit. After the climb Jerry had everyone write a message in the book and returned it to me. It will remain a precious thing to me and my family."

    Cyril judged three NZPS haiku competitions and was co-judge, with Jerry Kilbride, of the HSA's Henderson Award in 2000. Cyril also wrote in other poetic forms like free verse. His poetry appeared widely in international magazines and anthologies such as contemporary haibun online, Modern Haiku, Frogpond and Wind over Water: an anthology of haiku and tanka and in New Zealand journals, including Poetry NZ, JAAM, Kokako, CommonTatta and Bravado. His book reviews appeared in JAAM, New Zealand Books and on the NZ Poetry Society website. Childs also had a keen interest in sports such as rugby and cricket and in 2010 appeared in the cricket poetry anthology A Tingling Catch: A Century of New Zealand Cricket Poems 1864-2009.

    After a career as a scientist, Cyril retired to Port Chalmers in a home overlooking Otago Harbour and also enjoyed spending time at his beloved bach (crib) in Riverton. A biography of his uncle's wartime exploits absorbed most of his writing energy in later years. The book was under contract for publication at the time of his death.  Childs died on 27 January 2012, only a few months after himself being diagnosed with cancer. He is survived by his son Norris, his daughter Lia and his second wife Christine.

    Some publications:

    • New Zealand Haiku Anthology, edited by Cyril Childs (New Zealand Poetry Society, Wellington, 1993);
    • The Second New Zealand Haiku Anthology, edited by Cyril Childs (New Zealand Poetry Society, Wellington, 1998);
    • Beyond the Paper Lanterns: A Journey with Cancer, by Cyril Childs (Paper Lantern Press, Lower Hutt), 2000 - prose, free verse and haiku;
    • Listening to the Rain, edited by Cyril Childs and Joanna Preston (Small White Teapot Group, Christchurch, 2002). Highly Commended by the Haiku Society of America Merit Book Awards, 2003;
    • A Tingling Catch: A Century of New Zealand Cricket Poems 1864-2009, edited by Mark Pirie (HeadworX Publishers, Wellington, 2010) included haiku by Cyril Childs, Andre Surridge and Tony Beyer;
    • Wind Over Water: an anthology of haiku and tanka by delegates of the Fourth Haiku Pacific Rim Conference, edited by Dawn Bruce and Greg Piko, 2009.

    Selected haiku:

    no name
    for its colour
    tea-table rose

    (Modern Haiku XXV: 1)


    full white moon
    touching . . . not touching
    the top of the hill

    (Frogpond XVI: 2, 1993)


    daylight saving ends —
    an early recall
    to the cancer clinic

    (Beyond the Paper Lanterns, (Paper Lantern Press) 2000)


    amidst mountains
    she pauses to admire
    violets

    (Frogpond XXIII: 1)


    tea break
    a sparrow at point fossicks
    among the seed-heads

    (Poetry NZ 25, 2002; A Tingling Catch, 2010)


    me
    pulling
    the weed
    pulling
    me

    (Kokako 2, 2005)


    better than ever
    in my neighbour's garden
    my old roses

    (Kokako 3 (modified) 2005)

     

    winter morning
    the lame goose lagging a little
    behind its gaggle

    (Presence 27, 2005)


    wind over water
    so easily the cormorant
    one to the other

    (Kokako 10, 2009)


    for tonight enough
    the stars...
    the black sky

    (Kokako 13, 2010)


    backyard cricket
    Dad and I pick up
    the kitchen window

    (Kokako 14, 2011; A Tingling Catch (Mark Pirie ed.) 2010)

     

    bouncing ball
    beating the giggling boy
    down the zig-zag

    (Kokako 14 (modified)

    Cricket song III:

    out-swinger
        nicks a thigh-pad –
        the umpire’s finger

    wobbles

    french cut for 4 –
        the new batsman hastens
        to adjust his pads

    close of play –
        shadows of trees
        seep over the pitch

    (From A Tingling Catch: A Century of New Zealand Cricket Poems 1864-2009, edited by Mark Pirie [Wellington: HeadworX, 2010])

    Sources:

  • Kapoor, Vishnu

    VP Kapoor

    V. P. Kapoor

    Born 1941 in India
    Living in India
    First name Vishnu, a widower at present living in Chennai, India. Interests - Urdu ghazals, philosophy, appreciation of art ( painting ) & literature, and astrology. Composing Haiku since Feb 06 after a chance introduction to this genre of poetry in the Japanese stall at Delhi Book Fair.

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