Global Haiku Tradition
Millikin University, Summer 2004

Laura K. Tucker

Haiku Author LeRoy Gorman


Laura Tucker

Laura's Haiku

 

 

LeRoy Gorman was born August 7, 1949 in Smith Falls, Ontario. He grew up on a farm close to Merrickville, Ontario. LeRoy and his wife Shiela have three children. Their names are Lori, Kimberly and Sean. The family lives in Napanee, Ontario. LeRoy is a graduate of Carleton and Queen’s. He teaches for the Ministry of Education, Special Education Branch, South Cottage Regional School in Kingston. In addition to teaching, Gorman is the editor of the Haiku Canada Newsletter (Gorman, 1981). (Haiku Canada, 7/5/04).

LeRoy Gorman has a way of catching the reader’s attention. His haiku will take you by surprise. That is what I like about it. It is somewhat bizarre He gives the reader just enough description to finish the image. The reader makes his or her own interpretation. At times, he uses a different format to aid the reader in visualizing his haiku.

tubal or vasectomy?
we buy the kids
balloons

(Global Haiku, p. 48).

When reading this haiku, I imagine a couple has just had an argument over various forms of birth control methods. One option being condoms. I imagine them with a herd of kids entering Disney World. They have just paid a small fortune for admission. The kids are pulling them at all directions. One of the kids spots the balloons. They all want one. More money is put out for balloons before even getting started.

sleepless nite
the mousetrap
snap

(Global Haiku, p. 50).

I wanted to get my daughter’s perspective on this haiku. She thought this was sad because of the mouse being caught in the trap. I imagined it differently. This man is tossing and turning as he is thinking about this mouse running throughout his house. The mouse is getting into the Godiva chocolates. The mouse has good taste. As this man is lying in bed, he hears the mousetrap snap. He jumps out of bed and runs down the hall tripping over toys in the hallway. He is so excited because he thinks he will find his prize catch as if it were a buck. He could finally brag to all of his friends that he caught the big one. When he arrives at the mousetrap, it is empty. Out of the corner of his eye, he sees the tail of the mouse run around the corner. It is impossible for him to sleep after that. He lies in bed planning his next catch.

during the sermon
I clean the week
from my nails

(Global Haiku, p. 51).

I love this one. It reminds me of the church I belonged to when I lived in Maryville, Tennessee. The church was Piney Grove Baptist Church. It is a Southern Baptist church at the base of the Smokey Mountains. They treat everyone as if they are family. On this particular Sunday, I glanced over, and saw a farmer cleaning out his nails while the sermon was going on. I thought this was very funny. I had to hold back from laughing. It made me think wonder if he was bored with the sermon or were his nails truly dirty. If I was noticing him cleaning his nails, I guess I was not paying too much attention to the sermon either.

my family asleep
I worry about money & count
fireflies in our garden

(Global Haiku, p. 51).

When reading this haiku, I imagine a man with a pile of bills laid out on the desk. He has been working on the bills all evening. His wife went shopping that day and maxed out their Nordstrom’s credit card. His family has gone on to bed. He can not figure out how to make ends meet. He is brain dead. He decides to go out to the garden to take his mind of things - to get a clearer picture. As he is sitting there, he realizes he is counting fireflies instead of money.

her father’s coffin lowered
behind me
a cough

(Global Haiku, p. 48)

This reminds me of when my brother-in-law died. There were people lined up down the street. My sister had been crying so hard for so long. She was numb. When I think back to the day, it seemed like little things stood out. In this haiku, I can imagine that this person was so exhausted and grieving. Focusing on a person coughing was probably what it took to make it through the funeral. They did not have to think about the death.

over the workshop pinup
a spider weaves
my wife still on the phone

(Wind in the Keys)

This haiku is funny. I imagine this obese mechanic with grease all over his clothes and body. There are flies hovering over his foot long sub-sandwich leftover from lunch. Pictures of women with next to nothing on are hung all over the shop. It is almost closing time. His wife has just called to rattle off a list of groceries for him to pick up on his way home. She also has a list of honey do items for him to do when he walks in the door. He can not stand the thought of going to the store - or going home. As he is listening to his wife, he looks up and sees a spider web. The spider has caught one of the flies that were hovering over his sandwich. He can relate to that fly.

down the drain with bathwater
my daughter’s
laughter

(Wind in the Keys)

When my daughter takes a bath, it is never long enough. She would play in the tub all evening if I would let her. When I read this haiku, it reminded me of the times when my daughter has to get out of the tub. She does everything she can to try to make her bath time last longer. Including staying in until all of the water has gone down the drain.

Author’s Books

If I could trust the moon. Killaly Press 1977
Only Shadflies have come. Swamp Press 1979
Whose smile the ripple warps. Underwhich Editions 1980
Cutout moons. High/Coo Press 1980
Wind in the keys. High/Coo Press 1981
Heart’s garden. Guernica Editions 1983
Beautiful chance. SWOP 1984
Bad news. Mockersatz Zrox 1986
The space between (with Eric Amann and George Swede). Wind Chimes Press 1986.
Where sky meets sky. Nietzsxhe’s Brolly 1987.
Parallel journey/voyage parallele (with Andre Duhaime) Editions Asticou 1989
Dandelions & dreams. Moonstone Press 1990.
Glass bell. Kings Road Press 1991.

Awards

Creative Writing Award, Prison Arts Foundation, 1978
Cthulha Calls Science Fiction Poetry Contest, 1979
Cicada Prize, Haiku Society of Canada, 1979
Mya Pasek Award, St. Louis Poetry Center, 2nd prize, 1985
International Tanka Contest, The Poetry Society of Japan, 1990

References

Gorman, L. (1981). Wind in the keys.

Haiku Canada (2004). Retrieved 7/5/04 from
http://pages.infinit.net/haiku/haikucanada.htm

Higginson, W. & Harter, P. (1985). The haiku handbook: how to write, share, and teach haiku.
(pgs. 73, 75, 131).

LeRoy Gorman (2004). Retrieved 7/4/04 from
http://www.writersunion.ca/g/gorman.htm

Millikin University Haiku Writer Profile of LeRoy Gorman (2004). Retrieved 7/6/04 from
http://performance.millikin.edu/haiku/writerprofiles/LeroyGorman.html

Swede, G. & Brooks, R. (2000). Global Haiku: twenty-five poets world-wide. (pgs 48-51, 136).


©2004 Randy Brooks, Millikin University, Decatur, Illinois || all rights reserved for original authors