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The Heron’s Nest


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Volume X, Number 3: September, 2008.
Copyright © 2008. All rights reserved by the respective authors.

Editors’ Choices • Commentary • Index of Poets • 
Haiku Pages:  1,  2,  3,  4,  5,  6,  7,  8,  9,  10,  11,  12
Celebrating Robert Major - Pages:  1,  2,  3 • 

Robert Gilliland

Alice Frampton

Connie Donleycott

Karma Tenzing Wangchuk

Margaret Chula

Doris Thurston

Winifred Jaeger

Ce Rosenow

Michael Evans

Marilyn Sandall

William Scott Galasso

Christopher Herold


Tributes to Robert Major

I am saddened to learn of Bob’s passing. I’ve long enjoyed his poetry and got to meet him at the Haiku North America conference in Evanston, Illinois in 1999. I still remember that he wrote a haiku back then about how, under fluorescent lights, bald heads all gleam differently. Bob had a wonderful, self-effacing humor, perfect for haiku, and a big, generous heart.

 — Robert Gilliland

The lilacs bloom in great profusion. Robert would have loved the vibrancy of colors and scents that decorate us this year. It was a cold spell that turned our yards, our gardens, our spring into a kaleidoscope of beauty. And it was in this cold spell that we discovered the truth of all life . . . to every thing there is a season.

spring memorial
       the dampness
in a handful of soil

a haiku poet
planting pots of sweet William
breeze off the water

 — Alice Frampton

The following poem was the result of a moment I shared with Bob on the first day I met him. It was written during a ginko at the Bloedel Estate on Bainbridge Island.

woodland path —
a small flower
bends our knees

I loved Bob’s wisdom and quick wit. In an on-the-spot response to one of my poems he wrote:

sitting in the swing
to remember how it was . . .
what to do with my legs

Bob was a dear friend and I will miss him very much.

rows of folding chairs . . .
memories of him circle
within the silence

 — Connie Donleycott

a tall pine
overlooks the grave,
the gathering of Friends

(Written at the graveside memorial — Bob being the tall pine.)

 — Karma Tenzing Wangchuk

the mighty oak falls
a thousand acorns take root
in the rain-soaked earth

 — Margaret Chula

the Peace Rose
it blooms for every year
I’ve known you

 — Doris Thurston

I have fond memories of Bob. He always seemed to have a twinkle in his eye, and he gave good bear hugs. He was especially kind to me at the time of the HNA meeting in Portland, where he functioned as my chauffeur in addition to everything else he was doing for the local group. While I have been thinking about Bob, I remembered how impressed I always was about his attention to and fascination with small happenings and objects.

So large a presence
yet his delight in small things
“a pinch or a smidgen”

 — Winifred Jaeger

cloudy horizon —
the sun disappears
before sunset

 — Ce Rosenow

waves of pink petals
blow across rain-shined asphalt
somehow it is right
that he leaves us in late spring
with the cherry blossoms

 — Michael Evans

memorial service
lilacs at the old schoolhouse
drop their spent blossoms

 — Marilyn Sandall

clouds pass
the subtle twinkling
among stars

 — William Scott Galasso

At my first Haiku Northwest meeting, early in 1999, poets sat in a circle around Francine Porad’s living room reading haiku. When my turn came I read the first line of my offering and paused. Just then Bob, who was sitting beside me, let loose a thunderous sneeze. I jumped and my mind went blank. Francine couldn’t suppress a giggle, which, of course, was contagious. Soon we were all laughing, even Bob. He was both notorious and beloved for such sneezes. Strange, but even that sound plays a part in my missing him.

I especially appreciated the Quaker memorial service arranged for Bob. It took place in an old meeting hall that seemed to be steeped in the shared insights of countless Friends meetings. The appreciative and respectful silence embraced us, significantly intensifying a sense of the space once occupied by our dear friend. Voices blossomed from that silence, clear, heartfelt, and filled with emotion. Bob’s family stood to share their memories, one after another, each of them vivacious and entertaining even in their obvious grief. More than a few folks spoke of or recited haiku. Being there was rather like being transported back in time. I felt adrift in a hallowed place, one in which both the absence and presence of Bob were tangible and in perfect balance.

pendulum motionless
yet the clock in the Friends hall
keeps time

 — Christopher Herold


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