Writer composes in 17 syllables everyday stories

  • By Andy Rathbun Daily Herald Staff Writer for Features Sections
  • Friday, May 16, 2008 8:42pm
  • Life

David Ash started

writing haiku while onboard

a cross-country flight.

By the time the plane

landed, he had 100

of the small poems.

He showed them to friends,

got some laughs, and then put them

aside years ago.

The Mukilteo

resident now publishes

haiku collections.

So far, he’s put out

six books. Each collection has

100 poems.

True to the form, Ash

lets 17 syllables

capture a moment.

Each poem is a

short three lines, with syllables

placed in a pattern.

The first line has five

syllables, the second has

seven, the third, five.

He’s waxed poetic

on coffee, Catholics and

chocolate so far.

Most of his work is

observational and light.

Examples include:

“She likes her boyfriends

the way she likes her java:

Tall, dark and steamy.”

“Rapt parishioners

hang on Father’s every word …

one gasps, then: ‘Bingo!’”

“Because cacao grows

around the planet’s waistline,

it ends up on mine.”

Christmas and office

work will provide fodder for

more new books this year.

Formerly a choir

director, Ash wants writing

to be his sole job.

Ash, 49, put

out his first collection in


He publishes his

work through Basho Press, a new

company he launched.

The private press was

named for Japanese poet

Matsuo Basho.

The press’ odd name

could slip your mind, but Ash knows how to recall it.

“I just tell them to

remember ‘Ash’ surrounded

by B.O.,” he said.

Thoughts? Call 425-


to reach A. Rathbun.

Or write him via

e-mail at arathbun@


Order a book

Visit www.bashopress.com for a full selection of Ash’s “Haiku for Life” series, including “Haiku for Baseball Lovers,” “Haiku for Poker Players,” and his new release, “Haiku for Dog Lovers”

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