Autumn 2008

cover image, Autumn 2008 issue
Mountains above Ferndale, Wales, UK
by Hilary Tann

Guest Poet: Billie Wilson

We have reached out to Juneau, Alaska for our guest poet in this issue. I had the pleasure of meeting Billie Wilson and hearing her read her work at this year’s Two Autumns readings in San Francisco. Though images of rain, clouds, and early darkness are plentiful in her poems, they are anything but depressing. Instead, they reflect the nature of a place she has loved and called home for many years. While Billie is well known within the general haiku community, she is particularly well appreciated by readers of The Heron’s Nest, who have selected her poems for special recognition many times in recent years.

We continue to enjoy our monthly meetings at Tai Pan in Halfmoon, with the occasional “road trip.” Due to an unusually busy summer, we had our Maine meeting in June this year, rather than the usual late August. It is somewhat surprising to see no “black fly” poems in this issue. They certainly were plentiful in the early summer of the Maine woods!

Two recent CDs featuring the work of Hilary Tann may be of interest to our readers.  “Songs of the Cotton Grass” ( is Hilary’s first complete CD of chamber music and “New Dawn” ( contains Carson Cooman’s setting for piano and voice of seven of Hilary’s haiku. Other highlights of the spring and summer have included, for me, another opportunity to judge a student haiku contest sponsored by the Japanese Mission to the United Nations and to speak about haiku at the UN awards ceremony, participation in the first international haiku conference sponsored by the State University of New York at Plattsburgh, and participation in the nineteenth annual Two Autumns readings. Cornell University printed an article about Tom’s Mann Library Daily Haiku feature in their alumni magazine. Yu and I have celebrated birthdays that have put zeros at the end of our ages, on August 30 and October 9, respectively. It’s a tremendous relief to have let go of being 39.


Sample Poems

small craft warning
on the radio
Billie Wilson    

I think that may be
where I left my map

evening walk
settling into the rhythm
of my father’s cane

retirement home—
seagulls line up
on the jetty

change in the weather
the last katydid
falls silent