When one of my best friends showed an interest in haiku
two years ago, I tried to figure out how to best nurture that
interest. Because she rarely gets online, I needed something
on paper, and the answer seemed clear: lend her my copy
of The Haiku Anthology: Haiku and Senryu in English, 3rd Ed.
With 850 poems by 89 of the finest past and present English-
language haiku poets, and introductory essays on the evolution
of the genre in English, THA was the perfect choice. It’s pre-
decessor, the 2nd edition, was my initial introduction to the
genre and the poets.
I’ve missed having The Haiku Antholgy within arms’ reach,
and have been wanting to ask for it back. Thus, it was a
pleasant surprise when friend Cyndi handed it to me as I
was leaving her home last weekend, while she reassured me
that she now has a good supply of her own haiku volumes
by her bedside.
It took only a few minutes to see why I had missed this
volume. Opening to any page, landed me among old friends
and their “offspring.” For example, the first poems to come
to my attention by our Honored Guest Tom Clausen are there,
farm country back road:
just like them i lift one finger
from the steering wheel
from the bread truck’s roof
kneeling in our tub
– talking to himself
Seeing Tom’s “old” work, made me want to
check out some of his new offerings and share
them with you:
redwing blackbird calls
—the dog tugs for
relatives set to visit
so many cobwebs
full of ice
“farm country” – Modern Haiku XXVI:1 (1994)
“daybreak” – Unraked Leaves (1995)
“the plumber” – Modern Haiku XXIX:1 (1998)
“redwing blackbird calls” – The Heron’s Nest
“redwing blackbird calls” – The Heron’s Nest (Dec. 2005)
“relatives” & “the river” – Upstate Dim Sum (2005/II)
p.s. to Cor: We’d love to see THA IV!
Speaking about encouraging friends, I’ve been
wondering whether anyone else has the same mixed
reaction that I do, when one lawyer automatically con-
gratulates another regarding a litigation victory. It
happens all the time within law firms or agencies, or
any connected group of lawyers. Being a solo and a
retiree, I don’t have to do or witness this custom in person
any more. But, I see it occasionally online — such as at
Crime & Federalism today, when Mike Cernovich had a
short post saying:
“Co-bloggger Norm Pattis just got a not guilty on
all counts for a client charged with three counts
of custodial interference. Great job, Norm!”
Not knowing the facts, procedure, or law of the particular
case, the lawyer-Yabut and the citizen in me want to ask
things like: (1) was justice really served? (2) was it an
easy case to win because the prosecutor did a terrible job?
(3) was the victory “a great job” because it took a very slick
lawyer to create a reasonable doubt, when the facts suggested
the defendant had actually done the acts charged?
Reading these questions, I can see
that I’m showing my doubts about the lawyer’s
role in our very imperfect adversary system.
If a lawyer friend or partner represented landlords and evicted
widows and children frequently, would I congratulate him or
her on a court victory, regardless of the facts? If a nonlawyer
significant-other ran the State’s gas chamber, would I congra-
tulate her on a good execution?
Admittedly, I have always been somewhat sparing with my
compliments. If you get one from me, it is sincere. I hope
Mike Cernovich and other readers will weigh in on this issue.
Is Mike just giving Norm a little free (search-engine-friendly)
publicity that Norm is too modest to post? Does he know
the particular case well and is truly pleased at the outcome
as a seeker of justice and fairness? Or is every lawyer victory
worthy of congratulations from his friends and associates?