Spring 2008

cover image, Spring 2008 issue
Schenectady, NY by Yu Chang

Guest Poet: James W. Hackett

We have lost a favorite reader in the course of preparing this issue. You are all favorites, of course. But Gail George has been a subscriber since the beginning and was an inspiringly positive presence in our part of the world. In the game of “six degrees of separation,” she was one of those people who significantly shortened the number of steps required – so many people seemed to know her. We will miss her.

choosing a hat
for a friend to wear

ht (Upstate Dim Sum, Spring 2006)

The past six months has been a busy time in our haiku lives. Yu is now working on a first collection of his haiku. We, and many others in the haiku community, think this long anticipated development is most welcome. I completed my final issue as editor of Frogpond, the journal of the Haiku Society of America in time for a February mailing, while simultaneously working on my first issue as managing editor of The Heron’s Nest. Functioning as a member of a team of editors is a big change from my mostly solitary editorial work at Frogpond. The Heron’s Nest editors have made me feel comfortable and very grateful to have landed among them.

Our guest poet has very deep haiku roots. In the 1950s James W. Hackett embarked upon correspondence with author-haiku translator R. H. Blyth. Today he is, as a longtime disciple of Blyth, the most influential Western haijin (haiku poet) advocating the Zen and “present moment” approach to the genre. For his guest appearance in this issue, he has authorized us to select poems from his most recent collection, A Traveller’s Haiku.


Sample Poems

At day’s end
busy as the pub it graces
sweet honeysuckle
James W. Hackett 

hillside cemetery
all gravestones
face the view

checkout line
my dad
could talk to anyone

rundown docks
minnows schooling
around the trawler

watching a rerun
my granddaughter
in my daughter’s arms