f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

August 31, 2006

(sigh) it’s Love Litigating Lawyers Day

Filed under: Haiku or Senryu — David Giacalone @ 12:04 pm

As we discussed rather fully one year ago today, August 31st has been declared to be ”Love Litigating Lawyers Day.”   Even our friends at Overlawyered.com would grudgingly admit that litigating lawyers are often a necessary evil in our society and justice system.  Nonetheless, the f/k/a Gang would much prefer to celebrate Love Mitigating Lawyers Day, along with Love Literary Lawyers Day (such as all those poets).  Until we can, we offer senryu about a lawyer or two.


tagging along
with an ice cream cone
the senior partner

long deposition–
the lawyer’s
“at the risk of repeating myself”

. . . . by Barry George

clear and cold
the snap
of her attorney’s briefcase

. . . by Ed Markowski

custody hearing
seeing his arms cross
i uncross mine

early spring walk
your hand
in my pocket

. . . by Roberta Beary
“custody hearing” –  A New Resonance 2:  & pocket change
“early spring walk” – snow on the water: RMA 1998

litigation bags —
the associate’s
half-closed eyes

snack room —
the litigator takes
one-third of the donuts

dagosan one-third

– merci for the link, Dominic!

August 29, 2006

still allergic to (o)pine

Filed under: Haiku or Senryu,Uncategorized — David Giacalone @ 11:07 am


It’s been almost three months since the f/k/a “Gang” announced “our” Punditry Hiatus.  Despite a tastey temptation yesterday from Carolyn Elefant at My Shingle, Your Editor can’t seem to find the old ethicalEsq gusto for commentary — or even Prof. Yabut’s proclivity toward irony.  We hope that won’t stop you from checking out Carolyn’s post What Makes a Legal Fee Unreasonable?, which focuses on a controversy involving the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund and a one-third contingency fee paid to lawyer Thomas J. Troiano.   Carolyn graciously linked to an f/k/a discussion of the ethics of contingency fees, and we will rouse ourselves enough to opine that it’s a pretty good place to go to learn about the topic (and it suggests a clear answer to the reasonableness of Troiano’s fee).

DandelionClock As summer turns the corner toward autumn, we have no idea whether seasonal or chronic allergies will continue to make new punditry taboo here at f/k/a.  We will confidently predict, however, that haiku will always be in season.   


a child’s magician hat–
dust motes float
in the moonlit attic

      rebecca lilly from The Heron’s Nest Vol IV:8

early sunset . . .
the shapes
of the clouds







early autumn —
reaching for blankets
after midnight






early March
the stream spreads
over pond ice




“early sunset” – Frogpond XXVIII:3 (Museum of Haiku Literature Award)
“early autumn” – Frogpond XXIX: 1 (2006)
“early March” – Frogpond XXIX:2 (2006)



health food store:
a loud sneeze
in the candle aisle


August 28, 2006

ah canada! ah haiku!

Filed under: Haiku or Senryu — David Giacalone @ 9:30 pm


Maybe it’s the too-large flock of expatriate Canadian geese that is again causing trouble here in Schenectady County, New York. (see CapitalNews9, “Geese cause problems at airport”).     Or, maybe it’s my visit over the weekend to Erie County, NY, just across the Niagara River from Ontario, Canada.     Whatever the explanation — and it could simply be that they are such great haijin — I’ve been itching to present haiku from a few of our Canadian Honored Guests.




Shortest day
a sparrow chirps
in the dark


under the dirty,
one-eyed hen      a perfect
white egg




for sale
an old house with creaky stairs
and a cricket






in a corner
of my dark mood
a star emerges




among the yellow roses
the yellow butterfly
grows still

my stomach growls
the old tomcat opens
one yellow eye

. . . by George Swede 
“shortest day” from The Heron’s Nest (March 2006)
all others from Almost Unseen (Brooks Books, 2000) 

a steady breeze
the last child
leaves home
summer heat
the crickets wait
for me to pass



empty cabin
the beached canoe
fills with leaves
. . . by DeVar Dahl from New Resonance 3: Emerging Voices
“a steady breeze” from these silent rooms
“summer heat” – Haiku Canada Newsletter XIV:3
“empty cabin” – Snapshots Calendar 2002



the slap of a beaver tail
at twilight


more snow . . .
the brittleness
of the wishbone



moving day–
warm rain
on cardboard

. . . by Alice Frampton  “mosquitos” – The Heron’s Nest (Sept. 2005); “more snow” – The Heron’s Nest (June 2006); “moving day” – New Resonance 3 & The Heron’s Nest (2002) 


late August —
she switches
my fan to low speed


honking out my window —
frowns for the cabbie
smiles for the geese


. . . by dagosan  DogFan


Postnote:  Poems for his adopted city from David G. Lanoue, for the Hurricane Katrina Anniversary:

the city recovers
by restaurant


blown away by the hurricane
every stripper
I knew




her pen dries up
she blames
hurricane  p.s.  New Orleans’ most famous weblogging attorney, Ernest Svenson, hosts Blawg Review #72 today at his Ernie-the-Attorney weblog.


August 17, 2006

our home team at bat

Filed under: Haiku or Senryu — David Giacalone @ 10:09 pm

Frankly, the ides of August have found haikuEsq and dagosan mired in the sloth of summer — poetry has been as difficult to birth as punditry.  To no one’s surprise, however, our energetic Honored Guest and haijin friend Ed Markowski has returned from a haiku vacation as inspired and productive as ever. 

napperStump   It’s a lot easier to nap-in-peace with guys like Ed on deck or at bat.  Here are some of his recently-penned one-breath gems:

           the black lab’s bark descends
               into a whimper





i lose control
of the jigsaw


               lazy afternoon
                  i even toss the keepers
                    back into the stream


                           summer night
            two moths flutter down a moonbeam
                          to the porchlight


summer sunset
   my grandson’s right hand
        popsicle orange





               the buzz of electricity
                 surging through the power lines





   a fly circles
       & settles elsewhere



Of course, baseball is never far from Ed’s mind in at bat
summer — and, in this year of the miraculous
Tigers — perhaps even well into fall.

little league
   the third baseman
        distracted by his mother




 beer league softball
       a pitch down the middle
              brushes the batter’s stomach


                                   hazy moon
                  a cloud of dust drifts from third base
                            to the pitcher’s mound     


EdMarkowski  . . . . by Ed Markowski  
f/k/a‘s Baseball Haiku Page is always available, if
you need to connect to your inner shortstop.  You’ll
find a couple dozen baseball haiku and senryu by
Ed Markowski, along with a selection from quite a
few members of the f/k/a Haiku Team.  For example:



bases loaded
a full moon clears
the right field fence
the foul ball lands 
in an empty seat
summer’s end


. . . by Tom Painting 
“bases loaded” from the haiku chapbook piano practice     
“the foul balls lands”- Modern Haiku 35:2


empty baseball field
a dandelion seed floats through
the strike zone


score tied
both team jerseys look the same
in the August twilight

                      infielder   . . . by George Swede from Almost Unseen



behind in the count –
“Skip” spits and stares
my nephew’s fastball –
I hand back his glove
and keep the sting  
. . . by Barry George
“my nephew’s fastball” –  bottle rockets #11
 ”behind in the court” – tinywords


of the old man’s
my so-called friends
send in my sister
to pinch-hit for me

 . . . by John Stevenson 
 ”extra innings” – Quiet Enough
“sting” – Upstate Dim Sum (2005/II)


BringThemHomeNow  yard sign punditry


August 10, 2006

a frogpond kind of day

Filed under: Haiku or Senryu — David Giacalone @ 6:09 pm



There’s no better way to spend an August day than browsing the newest issue of Frogpond (Journal of the Haiku Society of America) with a few friends, alongside a real frog-and-lily pond.  I’m going to head for just such a spot, right down the road in Duanesburg, New York.

………………………………………………………………………………  froglegs

Since I can’t take you with me, I’m going to leave you with some of the fine poetry, selected with care by editor John Stevenson, for the Spring/Summer 2006 edition of Frogpond (XXIX: 2), and written by a few of f/k/a‘s Honored Guests.


small town
my accent starts
a conversation



outdoor lecture–
a sparrow
takes my students away

Yu Chang
“small town” – frogpond XXIX: 1 (2006)
“outdoor lecture” – frogpond XXIX: 2 (2006)


camping alone one star then many




a long trip
the final flip
of the map


jim kacian – frogpond XXIX: 2 (2006)


tonight’s hotel room —
the stain on the rug
nothing to worry about



not much to the splash —
the heat
around the pond


gary hothamfrogpond XXIX: 2 (2006)  froglegsF




early morning love
the glow
of the chandelier





spring green
a park bench stranger
returns my grin 


. . . . pamela miller ness – frogpond XXIX: 2 (2006) 





too late
for the autumn colors
home town visit  




circle of pines
God absent
from the wedding vows




winter camelia
she’s surprised to see me
. . . whoever I am


Carolyn Hallfrogpond XXIX: 2 (2006) 
(“circle of pine” – chosen as best poem from frogpond XXIX: 1)


at eye level —
I lift my face





groundbreaking —
a clump of weeds
flung aside


frogpond   peggy willis lylesfrogpond XXIX: 2 (2006) 




morning drizzle
the shifting shape
of the apple sack


late spring walk
flattened grass
where the ewe was sheared


paul m – frogpond XXIX: 2 (2006)  




almost sunset
the weekend dad
drags a sled up the hill





tangerine —
her citrus-scented fingers


David Giacalone, a/k/a dagosan, frogpond XXIX: 2 (2006)   


frogondLogo  Reminder:  The journal Frogpond is an official publication of The Haiku Society of America. Its primary function is to publish the best in contemporary English-language haiku and senryu, linked forms including sequences, renku, rengay and haibun, essays and articles on these forms, and book reviews.   You will receive three issues each year of Frogpond as part of your Haiku Socety of America membership; the annual fee for those in the U.S.A. is $33.  Frogpond is a great value, and if you love haiku and related forms of poetry, receiving it in your mailbox is always a delight. 


p.s.  If you’re looking for something a little drier than a frogpond, roadrunnerAA  we suggest the latest edition (VI: 3) of Roadrunner Haiku Journal, where editors Jason Sanford Brown and Scott Metz have unveiled a new design at a new web location: www.roadrunnerjournal.net  [roadrunner image by aurora antonovich]

Naturally, the ubiquitously luminous Carolyn Hall is one of the featured haijin in roadrunner VI:3.  Here’s one of her three poems:


new yoga stretch
floood waters begin
to recede


August 4, 2006

lily days

Filed under: Haiku or Senryu — David Giacalone @ 11:08 pm

Ana and Cynthia, two of my very favorite friends, love to tend, weed and enjoy their summer flowerbeds — especially, when the lilies are blooming.  As we enter August, most lilies seem to be past peak here in Upstate New York, but their essence can often be recalled through the simple magic of haiku.

daylily Fortunately, a number of my favorite haijin have filled their literary gardens with lilies for our pleasure.

unrelenting heat
her fingertips yellowed
with lily pollen

the space
where the lily was

October sun
a white koi surfaces
among the lilies

Pamela Miller Ness
“unrelenting heat” & “ikebana” – from the sequence “where the lily was,” (2003)
“October sun” –  frogpond XXIX: 2 (2006)

distant jazz
a calla lily
catches rain

through a maze of lilies brushstrokes of the trout

Peggy Lyles – from To Hear the Rain (Brooks Books, 2002)

bills paid
the tiger lily
past its prime

hands stained
with tiger lilies
all day this heat

Roberta Beary
“hands stained”- South by Southeast, (vol. 5 no. 1, 1998)
“bills paid” – Penumbra 1999

tiger lilies, princess lilies
being weighed

quietly the lilies
have bloomed…
a skylark sings

touching the princess lily’s
pure water

kobaysihi issa, translated by David G. Lanoue lilyN

marsh tide
turns around
a lily

John StevensonUpstate Dim Sum (2004/II)

just past sunset —
faded daylilies
more orange than before

summer infatuation –
orange daylilies


Want more? In July 2000, lily was the topic-kigo for the Shiki Monthly Kukai. You can see the results, which include poems by Honored Guests Hilary Tann and DeVar Dahl, here.


Finally, here is some fine summer poetry from our Honored Guest haijin Rebecca Lilly:

Mosquito netting
rises and falls —
the clarity of dusk

Sultry dark —
wild honeysuckle scent
from the junkyard of rusted cars

Distant thunder; faint tick
of the clock’s pendulum
. . . the evening heat

Cooling white wine —
the tinkle of windchimes
in the summer twilight

roses still fresh —
the doctor’s vague answers
to my questions

Rebecca Lilly
– from Shadwell Hills (Brook Press, 2002)
– except, “Mosquito netting” – Mainichi News Haiku Page (No. 686, Aug. 2006); “roses still fresh” – frogpond XXIX: 2 (2006)

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