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April Fool, or Not: The Oregon State Bar is Looking for Lawyer Poets


Calling all Poets (from the OSB Legal Pubs blog)

But if you’re going to write haiku, please, please, please do it right. (Sigh.) Haiku isn’t what you wrote in 5th grade (or even for your first love or your first legal newsletter submission, no matter how much you were patted on the head for your, um, creativity.) Haiku is creative writing, but there are Rules, just like brief writing. (Sorry.)

My favorite for beginners “how to write haiku” book is this one by David Coomler, but there are others (including websites) and don’t forget Senryu, which can be described as Japanese satirical poems. (Senryu can be very, very funny or simply a gurgle of amusement.)

“Hokku : writing traditional haiku in English : the gift to be simple,” by David Coomler

For fun: Baseball Haiku

And, lest you think Haiku is there for the taking (or the re-printing), from our favorite lawyer-poet there is this: Haiku and the Fair Use Doctrine

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3 responses to “April Fool, or Not: The Oregon State Bar is Looking for Lawyer Poets”

  1. It’s no April Fool’s
    We seek legal poetry
    For a juridical book

    Serious, funny
    We’ll accept all shapes and forms
    But take care with your haikus

    A Sedoka, by Linda Kruschke

    • Wendy Squires says:

      Reverse Sabbatical


      The pregnancy at 42 hit hard
      I was litigating, then gestating,
      and delivering a preemie
      all before the trial date.

      In January a tiny girl made a trip to the courthouse
      and waited in a jury room
      to nurse between arguments
      jury verdict: beautiful daughter.

      The children stole me away from the law
      I think I wanted to go
      there is a love so intense
      that surpasses legal judgment.

      Once I was a child lawyer,
      a high school debater with a license
      impertinent, great sleeper
      so young, I forgive her.


      Sister, sister the look on your toddler’s face
      when she is left at daycare screaming
      because you need to make a living
      and by evening she has forgotten you.

      Adrenalin like you missed the statute of limitations
      travel to the court house at 2:00 am
      to read the statute and you can’t find
      your teenage daughter, out all night.


      Now my children are grown
      and like a reserve sabbatical
      I work away from home
      my desk, my chair, the power in me at 61.

      I practiced family law before I had a family,
      a car, a house, a husband
      and in that wreckage life whispered what
      I need, I want, I desire.

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