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

July 21, 2006

denise has us thinking about careers and choices

Filed under: Haiku or Senryu — David Giacalone @ 12:35 pm

 

 

We’re still eschewing punditry and mostly skirting the blogosphere, but we couldn’t help notice that Denise Howell of Bag & Baggage fame — one of the most liked, respected and admired lawyer-webloggers (and high-tech mommies) —  was recently removed from her part-time post at the giant law firm Reed Smith.  [See the reactions, e.g., of Bob and Carolyn, Evan, Dennis, and Ernie].

On July 15, 2006, Denise announced her work status, while proclaiming that being Tyler‘s mom was her “most important job,” and that her “professional roadmap henceforth will involve only things that are washed through a stringent ‘how much do I really love that?’ filter, and can be comfortably accomplished in the limited, catch-as-catch-can hunks of time that fall serendipitously out of the sky during the course of my other ‘duties’.”

. . . Tyler is job #1 . . . tyler swinger

The f/k/a Gang wishes Denise all the best in her personal, parental, and professional (ad)ventures.  Instead of opining further, we’re going to post poems from Kobayashi Issa, one of Japan’s four Master Haiku Poets.  Although he died almost two hundred years ago, we see some familiar themes in Issa’s haiku:  what is work?  do we all have choices?  does gender matter?   who’s the boss?   what are our priorities?

 
surprising the worker
in the field…
out-of-season blooms

 

 

 

 

gate’s cherry tree
all this flit-flit flitting
is work!

 

 

 
a migrating servant
laid off
at age sixty

 

 

 

 

 

looks like boss frog
in the high seat
croaking

 

 

 

 

 

the uproar in the servants’ room
beats the frogs…
drinking party

 

 

 
hey big cat
shake a leg!
the wife calls

 

 

 
the wife sowing wheat–
it’s that
kind of temple

 

 

 

 
the sake gone
time to buckle down
and moon-gaze
 

 

 

 

 

 

harvest moon–
when my heart’s had its fill
it’s dawn

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mister Toad–
the wife may be waiting
your children crying

 

 

 

 

 

my hut’s mosquitoes
go out to make a living…
dusk moon

 

 

 

 

 

the defeated wrestler, too
joins the crowd…
bright moon

 

 

 

 

 

if only she were here
for me to nag…
tonight’s moon!

 

 

 

 

 

naughty child–
instead of his chores
a snow Buddha

 

 

 

 

 

new year’s fog
she washes
all the windows

 

 

 

 

 

fresh straw for the garden–
about ten servants
at work

 

 

 

 

 

 

a laid-off servant at market–
his fifty year-old face
exposed

 

 

 

 
the flute-playing servant
is the village headman!
butterflies dance

 

 

 

 
hands clapping
mother teaches her child
the dance

 

 

 

 
its mouth open
waiting for mother…
baby bird in the autumn rain

 

 

 

 

 

 

children crowded ’round
wear her out…
mother sparrow

 

 

 

 
mother cat
steals for her kittens…
run faster!

 

 

 

 

 

the child snores
the mother pounds straw…
summer moon

 

 

 

 

 

mother monkey
baby on her back points…
fireflies!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

even for washing
four or five radishes…
hired help

 

 

 

 
Mum Festival–
the drunk I hired
gives me sake

 

 

 

 
the dragonfly, too
works late…
night fishing

 

 

 

 

 

 

in the short night
the dew works fast…
blades of grass

 

 

 

 
siesta work
for the stepchild…
picking brother’s fleas

 

 

 

 
the bees with children
are work-a-holics…
making honey

 

 

 

 
the blacksmith basks
in the cool air…
night work

 

 

 

 
growing old–
by the hearth’s light
piecework

 

 

 

 

 

the goblins are gone
so get to work!
cuckoo

 

. . . . . by Issa, translated by Daniel G. Lanoue
BONUS from Honored Guest Poet JOHN STEVENSON
 
butterfly,
I hate
my job

 

 
winter night
firemen coil
smoke-scented rope

 

 

 

 

the tethered dog
watches the guide dog
enter a deli

 

 
late night —
a waitress repeats
the list of pies 

 

 
Monday morning
putting the point
on a pencil

 

. . . by John Stevenson 

“butterfly” – from Upstate Dim Sum (2005/I)
“winter night” and “the tethered dog” – from Quiet Enough
“late night –” – from The Heron’s Nest (March 2006)
“Monday morning” – from Upstate Dim Sum (2003/I)

 

p.s.  A trio from Matt Morden of Morden Haiku:
an old resume
my son colours in
his rainbow

 

 

 

shortlisting . . .
a hint of perfume
on the resume’

 
job interview —
the candidate’s cufflinks
tap on wood

 

“an old resume” – Snapshots #7 (2000); bio page at World Haiku.  “shortlisting . . .” –  the loose thread: rma 2001; tundra 2; “job interview –” – Morden Haiku (April 11, 2006)

 

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