Introduce yourself (include any previous writing experience if any)?
Greetings friend. My name is David E Navarro and I am an author, poet-philosopher, essayist, editor, Bible teacher-minister, medical writer, research analyst, and tech editor who founded NavWorks Press to publish poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. I also founded the Pure Land School of haiku. This was for those who want to learn how to write nature haiku. I’ve actually been writing professionally for over 35 years. Many of my articles, essays, poetry, and stories have been published in numerous magazines, journals, and anthologies (print and digital) over the years.
How do you approach writing haiku? (chance to offer some insights into your writing process, whether you include visual and other material)?
There is an “essence” to haiku which a haiku poet learns in their haiku journey. It is a mindful way of thinking and responding to serendipitous observations, recording them using powerful methods of communicating passed on to us in the haiku form by the Japanese.
My approach to writing haiku is learned from Issa, one of the four haiku greats. This involves practising this mindful way of thinking about each present moment of every day and discovering things to share in my haiku. My own haiku is very nature-focused. I also enjoy haibun (haiku with prose) and haiga (haiku with art). Also photoku (haiku with a photo)— and my own invention of haiku with Western-style poetry—similar to haibun, but instead of with prose it’s with poetry.
What do you enjoy about being a member of The Daily Haiku group?
Socially interacting with many fine haiku poets (haijin) all in various stages of their haiku journeys, enjoying the communication of their thoughts in haiku and tanka is something I love. Haiku is intended to be a very social poetry because it is supposed to have “ma” which is the “unsaid space”. It makes room for readers to finish the haiku with the images and experiences of their own minds. Sharing haiku is like a big social literary party and it’s marvelous. The Daily Haiku is awesome because it provides prompts and themes to keep the conversation going.
Do you have any comments on the wellbeing aspect of being part of a creative writing group?
Participating in an international writing group is a healthy and positive experience that gives great exposure to other ways of thinking and diverse cultures. Sharing with each other, supporting each other, enjoying each others’ work, learning together, and helping each other. These are all powerful ways of developing the art and craft of writing in a wholesome environment that supports emotional and creative well-being.
Do pick out two of your favourite haiku that you have written?
I can never pick my own favourites, but a critic and reviewer picked these two:
full moon date walking the river
in a distant wooded copse not with feet but eyes
I sit with trees what mountain power
ould you like to say anything else about yourself?
When I found myself homeless at 19 years old and my aunt took me in (I slept on her dining room floor) it was the discovery of haiku and Zen poetry that changed my life. Furthermore it pointed me in a direction of exploration of life. It was then that I first embarked on my haiku journey. Now 40 years later I’m still a wandering poet-philosopher in love with life and nature. As a younger child I found the fighting, arguing, oppression, and emotional trauma around me to be overwhelming and I would escape by finding refuge in nature.
The joy and peace I found in nature and writing helped me to keep it together until God called me out to learn, live, and teach the Bible to others as an interfaith minister. So now I serve others by teaching and writing about living in the moment, practicing mindfulness, walking spiritually, and enjoying pure land wholeness and the harmony of nature.
Current book publications are:
A Tree Frog’s Eyes: Haiku, 2020
In the Praise of His Glory, 2020
Archway to Beyond (haiku, haibun), 2019,
Early Childhood Learning, 2019
This is the Way, 2017
Dropping Ants into Poems, 2016
Dare to Soar, 2013; and more.