outside the hospital
the nurses take a drag
moon almost full

—Barry Goodmann

Published, in a slightly different form, in "The Shortest Distance," anthology of haiku from poets attending Haiku North America 1993. (Press Here)

About the author: Barry Goodmann (bgoodmann at aol.com) is a poet, writer and editor who lives in the New York metropolitan area. He has published poetry on several websites and in various literary magazines.

Responses to the haiku for 14 August 2003 by Barry Goodmann

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2003-08-14 16:33:52

    first, a statement

    people fail to realize the remake-comments, especially mine, are not meant for the author to actually reconstruct his/her work.

    people fail to understand, as we read others' thoughts, we are akin to patrons of the arts, whether we are admiring or criticizing someone's efforts. yes, i could be "nicer", but some would consider me even more naive, asinine, credulous, or "whatever" to their choosing.

    imagine our being in an art gallery, mounted on the walls are a myriad of fine arts; the words expressed and/or overheard are not meant for the artist to rip his/her canvas down, and redo the painting.

    we, the commenters, are simply giving way to our thoughts of what the artist's rendition does for us, if anything

    some take criticism as though we, the commenters, are being cruel or vindictive; or perhaps i should say, some think i am being the aforementioned adjectives

    i wonder if "this" is what woody was alluding to

    there's more

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2003-08-14 16:38:02


    i beg to differ.

    i get some pleasure from a bad haiku.

    the good haiku are easy and are accurately akin to the instance they represent.

    the bad haiku give rise for me to think, to ponder, to consider, to weigh, to study, to examine, and yes, to respect what another has written; even to question myself.

    upon seeing my usage of the word "respect", for those who laughed out loud, to some degree, anytime one "takes the time" for whatever, respect is being exhibited.

    i forget who mentioned merriam-webster, insignificant, as a great dictionary, i recommend the oed(oxford english dictionary) or even the american heritage dictionary. once again, "to each his/her own".

    tomorrow, comes barry's turn, again..

    Ellen G. Olinger (ElinGrace at wi dot rr dot com)
    2003-08-15 07:24:04

    This expresses what a complex environment a hospital is.

    About the comments: I know I'm learning how to do this. When I was teaching at the university level, I had to explain every class that my comments on papers were a conversation. Students thought a comment meant criticism.

    If there is a conversation, there is the possibility of growth.

    My favorite places to publish respect the elders in our field and the unpolished new talent equally, and everyone inbetween. I look for the heart, for the spirit. If I was an editor, that would take priority over technique any day; for technique can be taught more easily, in my experience.

    In my hospital experiences, everyone was skilled, but not everyone was kind. We need both. Our schools, too. "First do no harm..."

    As we know, tinywords has over 2300 subscribers now. I look forward to the day when I turn on my computer and there is no room left for me!

    All the best, Ellen

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2003-08-15 08:01:04

    i echo ellen's words:

    "As we know, tinywords has over 2300 subscribers now. I look forward to the day when I turn on my computer and there is no room for me."

    when that day arrives, i'll be busy reading and enjoying the vast wealth of knowledge others possess, rather than the one word responses currently contribute by those who join in.

    this is the irony of the situation, "the haiku demands from it's viewer the ability to expand upon the tiny words presented", for it to be appropriately appreciated.

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2003-08-15 22:00:06

    i trust i didn't keep barry waiting too long.

    "outside the hospital
    the nurses take a drag
    moon almost full"

    quite a vivid picture, albeit, a bit wordy.

    moon, almost full
    nurses take a drag

    i call this "a pecking order, followed by totally"; i am sure, some have remembrance of my using the word "totally" before.

    redundancy seen in "hospital" and "nurses"

    shirley weese (sweese at island dot net)
    2003-08-16 17:31:55

    I do like this one. I can see it immediately and relate. Where I live the health care is such that the nurses would never have time to run outside for a cigarette. they would have to do without. On the other hand, I must say that I really like all the comments made by every one including bob richardson. Especially bob richardson. I have learned more about haiku by reading the comments, and I thank you all for this.

    2003-08-16 20:44:49

    It's an interesting image. First of all, there is the whiteness of the hospital building, the nurses (in their outfits), and the moon. There is also a bit of irony, with the nurses working to heal and save lives and the stress involved, and how they deal with that by smoking, a habit that could harm them and perhaps ultimately take their life. I sense also a vibe in the poem on the struggle for life, and perhaps a yielding to death. Also, moon almost full. This makes me think of the madness and mayhem that occur during a full moon. If it's almost full, maybe the image of nurses (health care professionals) smoking outside the building is almost one of people doing something a little crazy. Alas, I've heard that haiku are an "unfinished poem." And thus maybe I'm projecting on this poem, but I think haiku are open to many interpretations.

    Michael L. Evans (trailermike at charter dot net)
    2003-08-19 02:24:37

    Yoshi: A really nice critique of this haiku!
    Wish you would take the time to do more of them.
    How refreshing to read such commentary.

    This is the type of response to a poem that
    really can teach a reader how to properly
    explore a haiku. It sure gave me a deeper
    appreciation of Barry's poem.

    Mike E.

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2003-08-19 16:57:08

    we are TAUGHT the meanings of many things

    a DEEPER understanding is in and of the individual, become SELF-EXPRESSIVE, and THE WORLD BECOMES OFFENDED

    where is norman, by-the-way

    i steer clear of imprinting my "deeper" thoughts on others

    are we forgetting the haiku and what it symbolizes, from SELF meditation, interpreting, and expression

    a haiku paints, challenged to paint, a mental image in the READER'S mind

    accepting another's words on an issue, especially when it comes as an enlightenment, i tend to wonder

    yoshi sounds indecisive.

    his words imply "maybe/maybe not"

    after all is said and done, concerning the rose, "it remains the rose"

    traveling the well worn path, the same implications are the results


    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2003-08-19 17:03:43

    pressing foward...

    ex. from yoshi's words:

    white hospital bldg
    some are some aren't

    nurses outfits
    some are blue, even green

    ah yes, the moon
    i've seen many shades, but never white

    dft mentioned once, "you must know the rules before you can effectively break the rules"; i'll go one step farther, "i" feel it is not a breaking-point, but simply a new path towards the same ending, possibly resulting in something better; didn't the masters, at one time or another, veer from the beaten path

    "what were barry's deeper thoughts"

    mike e, i have never explored a haiku in this manner, "i" feel it borders on being scientific,
    even autopsical

    yes, we are taught form, but in replication it's exactly that, an echo, a copy, a reproduction

    the more the individual writes, the results should be "more of the individual being expressed"

    when one sees, for one's self, a haiku moment, who is there to explain it...

    2003-09-15 01:33:51

    hospital bed
    the bright lights reflected off the river

    Anyone want to renga?

    john tiong chunghoo (bagiruang at yahoo dot com)
    2004-04-25 10:39:58

    from the hospital window
    granny's feeble cry
    my tears

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2004-07-06 21:07:40

    inside her heart
    he looks, the other way --
    waning moon