On David Walker

I was sad to hear today that David Walker, haiku poet and artist, died in September, shortly after his 80th birthday. David one of a trio of Davids, with David Cobb and David Platt, who gave so much to the British Haiku Society (BHS) in its first 15 years or so. He was a fine haiku poet, terrific sculptor and a raconteur, who was fond of telling how, in his RAF National Service days, he witnessed a nuclear warhead being loaded onto a plane at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis and then thankfully being taken off. David left the BHS around the same time as Martin Lucas, John Barlow and me, and for the same reason. The last time I saw David was in 2008, at the Bath launch of Wing Beats, in which John and I included David’s excellent haiku below:

mountain ridge
folded in slate
the raven’s wings

Being a professional artist, it’s unsurprising that David’s haiku often had that strong pictorial sense, as in these five haiku published in Haiku Spirit 20 years ago. David’s haiku were also anthologised in The Iron Book of British Haiku (1998) and The New Haiku (2002). Here’s a lovely haiku by David included in the latter volume, which I especially like for its sense of time having passed very quickly yet simultaneously being very still:

                                                summer again –
                                                poppy seeds pepper
                                                your empty room

One thought on “On David Walker

  1. Coming from your post about John Barlow to this the contrast in their style is clear. John’s poems have so much specific detail, yet David’s are no less concrete and vivid. That last one shows how powerful every word is – all the sounds that repeat and build to something that could almost be a rhyme whispered by a child, or a ghost.

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