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

September 29, 2006

gooseless friday night

Filed under: Haiku or Senryu — David Giacalone @ 10:23 pm

It’s a home-alone-with-a-bad-cold kind of Friday night.  I even learned too late that September 29 is Michaelmas Day (and Goose Day) in Britain.   Since I can’t go visit them, I thought I’d invite a few haijin friends over for some Neil Young protest music, popcorn, cheap Merlot and a movie (V for Vendetta).


NeilYoungLivingWithWarN  Neil Young, “Living with War” (2006)


First, of course, a haiku appetizer:



Indian summer~
two tortoises stretch
toward shore


new kitten
the size
of her heartbeat



new year’s morning
I fold up
another calendar


. . . by Pamela Miller Ness

“Indian summer–” Nisqually Delta Review (editor’s choice, winter/spring 2006)
“new kitten” – Nisqually Delta Review (editor’s choice, winter/spring 2006)
“new year’s morning” – fish in love (HSA 2006); bottle rockets #15 (2006)




Michaelmas Day
mist takes back the blackberries
nobody picked




september wind
ash leaves follow
a swallow south




winter dawn
a tub of washing
all run blue


. . . by matt morden
“winter dawn” – The Heron’s Nest VIII:3 (Sept. 2006) goose
“Michaelmas Day” – Morden Haiku (Sept. 29, 2006)
“september wind” – Morden Haiku (Sept. 23, 2006)






peace march
the stone buddha’s
weathered face





out of the blue
the window washer
brightens my day




. . . by Tom Painting 
“peace march” – fish in love
“out of the blue” – Modern Haiku 37.2 (Summer 2006)




algebra class
at Columbine —
solving for y






sparkling May–
rowers pull together
on their oars


. . . by Barry George
“algebra class” simply haiku (Autumn 2006, vol. 4 no. 3)
“sparkling May–” – frogpond XXIX: 2 (2006)



on our pond —
the geese you chased
from your pond.
     from dagosan’s haiku diary

September 23, 2006

fish in love

Filed under: Haiku or Senryu — David Giacalone @ 3:08 pm

Frequent visitors may recall that haikuEsq did a little nagging last February — asking fellow haijin to join the Haiku Society of America and members to submit poems for inclusion in this year’s annual members’ anthology (which comes free with membership).    Well, the f/k/a Gang is pleased to announce the publication and arrival of:

FishInLove fish in love: Haiku Society of America Members’ Anthology 2006 (edited by Roberta Beary and Ellen Compton).  Many thanks to Ellen and Roberta for all their editorial efforts.

fish in love didn’t achieve the size we had hope for in February, but it is nonetheless the largest anthology collection of members’ haiku to date — containing 228 poems from 228 members.   You can order a copy for $10 (for shipment in the US) or $12 (international), payable by check or money order to Paul Miller, HSA Treasurer.  Mail it to Paul at 31 Seal Island Road, Bristol, RI 02809-5186

update: As we report on August 2, 2007, the judges of the HSA Merit Books Awards for 2007 gave fish in love the Special Category Honorable Mention Award for Anthology.

Here are a few from some of f/k/a‘s Honored Guests:  HSALogo

a lull in the wind–
the tips of pines
clearer in the fog

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Michael Dylan Welch

stump speech
the red hills of Georgia
coloring a stream

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Peggy Willis Lyles

demolition site
the colors
of closet walls

. . . . . . . John Stevenson

the sway FishInLoveG
of platinum blondes —
cattails in the snow

. . . .by david giacalone

autumn comes

Filed under: Haiku or Senryu — David Giacalone @ 11:13 am


There must be something special about the autumn equinox, with summer’s meteorological end and the coming of fall –they inspire many fine haiku.  


leavesSwirling  The change of seasons seems to suit John Stevenson very well.  Snapshot Press just chose this poem to feature for September in its 2007 Haiku Calendar:



soaking autumn rain
certain thoughts
I can’t shrug off

This one by John garnered Honorable Mention in the same contest:    

sparrows sift through
the shopping carts
autumn dusk



Here’s one he wrote 2003:


end of summer
the warmth
of a borrowed shirt





. . .  by John Stevenson  
“soaking autumn rain” – Upstate Dim Sum; Wiinner 2006 Haiku Calendar Contest 
“sparrows sift through” – Modern Haiku; Honorable Mention, 2006 Haiku Calendar Contest
“end of summer”  – Upstate Dim Sum (2003/II) 



Michael Dylan Welch also celebrates autumn with a fine touch:



a table for one–
leaves rustle
in the inner courtyard









leaves turning —
the toboggan hanging
in the dark garage










first cold night–
smell of hot dust
from the vent
. . . . . . . . . . . . by Michael Dylan Welch        

a table for one” & “first cold night”  Open Window, haiku and photo 
leaves turningThe Heron’s Nest (Sept. 200 



leaf  If you’re interested, we collected some autumn equinox haiku this time last year, and you can find more written this year at Falling Leaves.

September 17, 2006

four strong winds

Filed under: Haiku or Senryu,viewpoint — David Giacalone @ 10:29 pm

Listening to the dvd “Neil Young Heart of Gold“ (directed by Jonathan Demme, 2006), a few nights ago, reminded me yet again that I love a simple, well-crafted song. Neil’s rendition of Ian Tyson’s classic folk song Four Strong Winds was especially moving for me. [see the lyrics of “Four Strong Winds” here] Once again, I wish I had listened to my heart and not gone blindly into law school 33 years ago. [Yes, I learned personally the folly of failing to self-assess before committing to a life in the law.] Instead, I ignored the repeated signals that writing a good lyric was far more important to me than writing a good brief.

NeilYoungHeartOfGold “Four Strong Winds” inspired me to collect about one hundred haiku about wind, by two dozen of f/k/a’s Honored Guest Poets. You can find them here — haiku on the wind.

maple seeds spiraling —

cicada husk holds on

to the old swing rope

funeral procession . . .

snowflakes blowing

into the headlights

the pinwheel stops

grandpa catches

his breath

snowblind on the range:

homesteader feels

the barbwire home

Randy Brooks from School’s Out (Press Here, 1999) blizzard

“funeral procession” – Henderson Haiku Award, HSA 1998

September 13, 2006

lost on the Road to “L”

Filed under: Uncategorized — David Giacalone @ 2:06 pm


Over the past month, many real law professors have been offering advice
to “1Ls” — first year law students — as they begin law school.  There’s a good
Web Roundup by Austin Groothuis for CALI’s Pre-law Blog (via Rob Truman at
Boley Blog); and see Jim Maule at Mauled Again; Michael O’Hear at PrawfsBlawg;
Illya Somin at Volokh Conspiracy; and Brannan Denning at Instapundit.


VC’s Orin Kerr, writing at his own weblog OrinKerr.com, voiced a common
theme when he said to 1Ls “it is normal to feel lost.”   The f/k/a Gang wants
to do our part (without bending our hiatus promise too outrageously), by
pointing out that much of that “lost” feeling never does go away — because
far too many law school applicants, law students and practicing lawyers
never took the time to assess who they really are and what they actually
do want from life and from a career.

With that in mind, we point back to two of Prof. Yabut’s posts from last year, 
with the hope that the all-important assessment process will be high on every
law student’s must-do-now list, despite all those everyday 1L aggravations.  See:

1L of a decision (Aug. 16, 2005) (law student know thyself)

Here are a few quotes from Prof. Yabut’s assessment sermons:  noYabutsN

“Only a silly a$$ doesn’t self-assess.  Frankly, there are enough lost, unhappy souls practicing law as it is, without you — yes, you! — adding to the numbers by blindly careening toward a painful, depressing legal career.

“Listen to your gut and your heart.  Cutting your losses is a lot better than “investing” in a career and lifestyle that will make you (and your loved ones) miserable.” 

“The best way to be on the road toward a legal career that is in sync with your passions, values and rhythms is to know who you are.  Honestly, almost none of us can do that without making a real commitment of time and energy in the process of self-assessment.”

during discussion
on the meaning of life . . . the crunch
of a student’s apple

 . . .  by Prof. George Swede from Almost Unseen

windowless classroom
the blank look
same as last term

. . . by Prof. Yu Chang from Upstate Dim Sum  (2002/1)

return trip to the heron’s nest

Filed under: Haiku or Senryu — David Giacalone @ 10:57 am


Early last week we promised more haiku from the latest heronLogo
edition of The Heron’s Nest (VIII: 3, Sept. 2006).  That’s
a promise we’re happy to keep:



morning fog
the music
between headlines



bright morning —
walking the pain
from my heart


. . . Hilary Tann – see “morning fog” “bright morning —” 




mating robins
the broken yellow
of the centerline

. . . . . . . Alice FramptonTHN (VIII:3)




from birdsong to birdsong
city morning

. . . Barry GeorgeTHN (VIII:3)





winter dawn
a tub of washing
all run blue


. . . Matt MordenTHN (VIII:3)




cold moon —
a stray dog roams
the village street


. . . Billie Wilson  – THN (VIII:3)




almost spring
she tells the whole story
in a single breath


. . . John Stevenson  THN, (VIII:3, Editors’ Choice






evening warmth —
latchkey kids play rummy
in the doorway


. . . Rebecca Lilly  – THN (VIII:3)



deskCalR     Congratulations to four of f/k/a‘s Honored Guest Poets who have been chosen as winners in the Snapshot Press annual Haiku Calendar Contest 2006: Carolyn Hall (March), Tom Painting (June), Tom Clausen (July), John Stevenson (September).  In addition, Runners-Up selections included poems by Roberta Beary (two haiku) and Peggy Willis Lyles, plus additional poems from Carolyn Hall, John Stevenson (two more), and Billie Wilson.  


Tom Clausen’s winner appeared last week in this f/k/a posting.  We had featured Carolyn Hall’s winning poem earlier this summer, when it won First Prize in the 2006 Spiess Memorial Contest at Modern Haiku Journal.

plum blossoms
I make plans
for my ashes


Tom Painting’s winner was featured here in May and was originally published in Modern Haiku (36:3):

the woods 
on the cusp of darkness





All of the winning poems will appear in Shapshot’s unique desktop 2007 Haiku Calendar, which can be ordered now online or by mail.

September 6, 2006

a near-pundit experience

Filed under: Haiku or Senryu — David Giacalone @ 11:28 pm

It’s been over three months since f/k/a started its punditry hiatus.  Some weblogging colleagues have speculated that we’ve actually been busy all summer working on the new shlep website.  The reality, however, is that the f/k/a Gang really needed the rest, and avoided all serious weblog activity for over ten weeks.

sleepLogo Nonetheless, two recent posts by Bob Ambrogi for LegalBlogWatch almost got us to peek our noses out from under our downtime blankies.  We were tempted to opine, but decided to stay the course and stay (relatively) silent and supine.

Bob’s first post explained that “A New Zealand law firm that encourages its professionals to take naps if they are sleepy has won the country’s top work-life balance award.”  If we were into that their kind of law, Meredith Connell sounds like our kind of firm: “offering workers flexible work hours to take account of personal commitments.”  But, a nap can be as contagious as a yawn, and we’ve decided to continue to specialize in bedrest.

The second Ambrogi post at LegalBlogWatch, Feminism v. Blogging in Drag, got our dander up, but our better angels have (mostly) convinced our pudit devils to shush up.  Bob gives an excellent summary of the brou-hah-hah started by the self-proclaimed “feminists” at the Feminist Law Professors weblog.  Led by Ann Bartow, they launched an attack on Daniel Lat for holding an ERISA (pension) lawyer “hottie contest” at AboveTheLaw. That complaint broadened into an attack on males who did their weblogging in drag, by taking on female persona (as Lat had done at his first weblog, Article III Groupie).  As usual, Prof. Ann Althouse seems to take a more balanced perspective.

Hepburn & Tracy in Adam’s Rib Adam'sRib

We are tempted to point out, yet again, our belief, that the neo-feminist penchant for humorless, picky, puritanical censorship does far more harm to their cause than the materials and (atavistic, often purposely and obviously puerile) attitudes they are deriding.  We’re even tempted to link once again to our favorite Callahan feminist cartoon.  But, the Gang has built up a considerable amount of self control around this summer, and will merely suggest a paraphrase to FemLawProf‘s tagline, which is “No person is your friend who demands your silence.”  Perhaps Bartow et al. should at least consider that, for both genders, “No person is your equal who demands your silence.”

p.s. Hiatus or not, we’re almost looking forward to being called a stuffy, WASPy, male Harvard-type who just doesn’t “get it.”

p.p.s. Prof Bartow says “Possibly Lat doesn’t understand that being celebrated for her looks is not known for being a ticket to career success in the legal world for a female attorney.”  This statement is contrary to my personal observation, both in government and private practice.  At the very least, good looks does not appear to be a negative career characteristic.

BearyR Speaking of attractive, successful lawyers, Roberta Beary just won 1st Place in the prestigious Harold Brady Memorial Senryu Contest for 2006, from the Haiku Society of America, with this senryu:

first date–
the small pile
of anchovies

Oh, did you come here for some haiku, too?  Well, while our sister weblog shlep is looking for a librarian or two to be co-editors, we have already found our kind of librarian here at f/k/a — it’s Tom Clausen, of Cornell University’s Mann Library (public/access services section). Let’s let him quietly show us his stuff:


the spider centered
in its web
(Winner, The Haiku Calendar Contest 2006, Snapshot Press;
frogpond, XXIX:1 Winter 2006)

long wait alone
in the parking lot. . .
a dog in the next car

morning fog. . .
a mash of wild apples
on the road

turning off the music
a few miles before
getting there

cabin window–
the plant has gone
everywhere it can

log bridge–
going to the end
then returning

letting her
walk all over me

. . . by Tom Clausen,
from being there (Swamp Press, 2005)

HepburnAsBonner Katherine Hepburn as lawyer Amanda Bonner, in Adam’s Rib (1949).

September 2, 2006

labor day shlep?

Filed under: Haiku or Senryu — David Giacalone @ 7:45 pm

While the rest of us are taking it easy, celebrating the Labor Day weekend, the mellowed ghost of ethicalEsq appeared at a new almost-ready-for-post time weblog yesterday, looking for a few good co-conspirators.  The weblog is shlep: the Self-Help Law ExPress, and it promises to spotlight news and offer views about the Self-Help Law (and pro se litigation) revolution — a topic we’ve been covering at this weblog since our first week online.

 HelpWantedG   f/k/a‘s Editor is looking for co-editors/contributors to make shlep a robust, daily weblog (and to keep his work there part-time).  Of course, a horde of readers stopping by would be very nice, too.  Be the first on your block to check out shlep and see what it is all About.


Did you hit the road for summer’s last fling?  The f/k/a Gang never shleps [nor schleps] very far for Labor Day.  A nice pond with a heron’s nest or two is holiday enough.  The folks at The Heron’s Nest haiku journal obliged us, yesterday, by posting their third edition of the year (Vol. VIII: 3, Sept. 2006).  Among the many fine selected poems, on over a dozen webpages, you will find the following from our own Honored Guest Poets (come back in a few days for a few more):


heronLogoF  All poems from The Heron’s Nest (VIII: 3, Sept. 2006):

home for the weekend
a water lily’s root
trailing out of sight





a wasp nest
out of reach of the hose
autumn begins


. . . by paul m.  “home for the weekend” & “a wasp nest




filigreed moon
the soft edges
of her lingerie






we lower
the blinds


. . . by Yu Chang – “filigreed moon” “sunrise



no rain for days —
a half-eaten apple taken away
from the fruit flies


. . . by Gary Hotham – “no rain for days —”  umbrellaV



leaf buds
the flycatcher
varies his call



cicada song
just enough embers
to rekindle the fire


. . . by Carolyn Hall
leaf buds” & “cicada song


announcerR We are pleased to announce/brag that at least three f/k/a Honored Guest Poets have won prizes in the 17th annual Ito En “Oi Ocha” New Haiku Contest — they are Andrew Riutta, Ed Markowski and Roberta Beary.  Because Ito En keeps the copyright, we can’t share the poems with you, but they will appear on the label of a special series of the company’s green tea products. If other Honored Guests were also Ito En winners, please let haikuEsq know.


SpringBreak  On a completely different topic (I think): Prof. Mark Liberman of Language Log pierces the veil of the linguistic mystery of Kahunas v. CojonesE.g., is substituting one term for the other an eggcorn or a malapropism?   (via Ed at BlawgReview)


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