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

August 15, 2008

one breath and one boomer at a time

Filed under: Haiku or Senryu,q.s. quickies — David Giacalone @ 2:54 pm

Here are some quickies in the continuing spirit of one-breath punditry. Although they all involve Baby Boomers, we refuse to wheeze to show our age.

my father’s grave,
on vacations
and holiday weekends

…. by John Stevenson – Simply Haiku (senryu page) Fall 2008; orig. pub. Upstate Dim Sum

it can’t be helped
my old man
is rotting away

… by Roberta Beary – Simply Haiku (senryu page) Fall 2008;

The new edition of Simply Haiku (vol. 6, no. 3, Fall 2008) went online this morning, and it may leave you breathless. As you probably already know, Simply Haiku is your online “Showcase for Japanese Short Form poetry” — haiku, senryu, tanka, haibun, linked forms, haiga, interviews, book reviews, and much more.

The two poems above appeared in the Senryu Section of SH for Fall 2008, which has some parody versions of well-know haiku, and others dealing with the Dark Side and Death. Senryu editor Al Pizzarelli also included among his selections the following poems by members of f/k/a‘s Honored Guest Poet family:

cedar shadows
her whisper guides me
to the squirrel

… by Laryalee Fraser – orig. pub. Simply Haiku – winter 2007

werewolf movie
at the commercial
letting the dog out

…. by w.f. owen – orig. pub. Frogpond

. . There’s much more below from the new Simply Haiku. . .

day of the obit
inside his wallet
me at eleven

…. by Roberta Beary – orig. pub. Moonset 4:1

funeral procession
the last car
picks up a hitchhiker

… by Ed Markowski – orig. pub. raw nervz X:3,

ExitSignArrow Bravo to Tom Armstrong: As you can read in the AP article “Crusading ex-Pa. lawmaker takes in sex offenders” (Associated Press, Aug. 14, 2008), Tom Armstrong has angered his neighbors in Marietta, PA, by choosing to follow his religious belief in forgiveness and opening his home to three sex offenders. The AP story begins:

“A former tough-on-crime Pennsylvania lawmaker has adopted a new and unpopular cause, taking into his home three sex offenders who couldn’t find a place to live — a stand that has angered neighbors, drawn pickets and touched off a zoning dispute.”

Last week, the town Zoning Board concluded that “Armstrong’s housing the men in his large Victorian home violated a borough ordinance prohibiting more than four unrelated people to live in a common residence in historic residential zones.” See “Marietta ousts sex offenders: Tom Armstrong loses appeal to house men” (Lancaster Online, Aug. 7, 2008). ABCNews interviewed Armstrong, and you can watch the video segment by clicking on that link.

WrongWayN More we shall not say, but links to our many posts on Sex Offender Residency Laws can be found at the foot of this prior posting about Schenectady’s ill-conceived SORR laws.

summer contrails —
the distance
to the rainbow

pressed violets
in grandma’s diary…
winter chill

… by Laryalee FraserSimply Haiku (vol. 6, no. 3, Fall 2008)

More Bad News for Motorcycle Riders: Last April, we mentioned seeing too many articles reporting that “older riders are adding to motorcycle fatalities” and “rusty baby boomers on bikes” are getting into a lot of accidents. Sadly, the trend continues, as is told today in “Motorcyclists Deaths Rise by More Than 6 Percent” (New York Times, Aug. 15, 2008). Indeed,

Although deaths by people in cars and trucks, on bicycles or on foot, declined last year, “death of motorcyclists surged 6.6 percent, to 5,5154,” with 2007 being the 10th straight year of increase for such deaths.

country road
the Nam vet
revs his Harley

…… by Tom Painting Acorn No. 20, Spring 2008

Among the points made in today’s NYT piece:

  • “And, safety officials say, many of the riders are middle-age or older men who rode when they were young, gave it up as they raised children and have recently gone back to the bike. ‘They think they still have the same reflexes,’ said James Port, the safety agency’s deputy administrator.”
    • Yet ridership has probably become more dangerous mile for mile. One reason is a decline in the number of states requiring the use of helmets.

    ” . . . . At the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, which is financed by the manufacturers, Tim Buche, the president, said a person killed on a motorcycle was 2.5 times more likely to be under the influence of alcohol than a person killed in a car and three times more likely not to have a proper license.”

Prof. Yabut points out: If you’ve already produced offspring before engaging in foolishly reckless activities, you’re not technically culling the herd.

Simply Tanka: Two of our f/k/a poets who are much more likely to be found writing verse than doing wheelies are Tom Clausen and Michael Dylan Welch. Each of them has a page of tanka in the Fall 2008 edition of Simply Haiku. Here are two out of ten by Tom, and two more out of eight by Michael:

the house
according to her
has again become a mess,
why oh why can’t we
just accept it

scattering salt
on the icy steps
I step back
with a rare sense of doing
something useful

by Tom ClausenSimply Haiku – tanka (vol. 6. no. 3, Fall 2008)

wobbly bicycle tracks–
melted ice cream
wets the pavement
here and there
along the pier

my kids now inspire
many poems,
to the point of sentimentality–
I long for adult distractions,
for the point of a kiss

… by Michael Dylan WelchSimply Haiku – tanka (vol. 6. no. 3, Fall 2008)

Very, very good to me: Although they rejected my moody-artist mug shot, the folks at Simply Haiku were also very good to the Giacalone family in its new edition. Here are two of the five poems by f/k/a‘s proprietor in Simply Haiku (vol. 6 no. 3, Fall 2008):

windy day
more blossoms at the curb
than on the tree

harvest moon —
our windshield fogging
as we argue

.. by David Giacalone Simply Haiku (vol. 6 no. 3, Fall 2008)

If you like your haiku linked to photographs, head over to the Giacalone Brothers Modern Haiga collection in the Fall 2008 issue of Simply Haiku. Here’s a smaller version of one of the haiga:

the insomniac
waits for dawn

– Modern Haiga from Simply Haiku (Fall 2008)
photo: Arthur Giacalone
poem: David Giacalone


  1. ‘picks up a hitchhiker.’ lovely, creepy haiku. :) thanks for posting it. :)

    Comment by scatterhaiku — August 16, 2008 @ 6:33 am

  2. Prior to 2007 motorcycles sales increased every year for 10 straight years, so I’m not sure why the increase in death rates is suprising over the same time span.

    Comment by ridley — August 25, 2008 @ 1:37 pm

  3. Ridley, thanks for taking the time to add more information. Of course, there are more cars and trucks on the roads every year, and related deaths are decreasing.

    Comment by David Giacalone — August 25, 2008 @ 2:04 pm

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