You are viewing a read-only archive of the Blogs.Harvard network. Learn more.

f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

March 12, 2008

a man in a schenectady tree makes the news

Filed under: Haiku or Senryu,q.s. quickies — David Giacalone @ 8:30 pm

[larger] The anchorman and weatherguy at Fox23News in Albany [NY] were yukking it up a little after 10 PM last night, about a story out of Schenectady — a man who climbed a tree when confronted by the cops had refused to come down for several hours. It sounded interesting enough for me to seek out the tale this morning at the websites of our region’s two main newspapers, to see how the story ended. See Suicidal man in tree slows I-890 traffic” and “Cops: man out of I-890 tree” (Albany Times Union, March 12, 2008); “Man pulled from tree after 11 hours” (Schenectady Daily Gazette, March 12, 2008; photo of man in tree) As seems to happen more and more lately, the tale wasn’t quite so funny upon closer inspection.

all its leaves fallen
a tree we were
forbidden to climb

. . . . by paul m. – from called home (Red Moon Press 2006)

As the Times Union reported, “Police said they initially received a phoned in complaint about someone urinating in the street. Officers responded but the man ran off and climbed the tree.” It was eleven hours before the man, who originally had two butcher knives and was threatening to harm himself with them, was brought down from the tree. According to the TU:

“After over seven hours of coaxing, officers attempted to grab the man, but were unsuccessful when he stripped off his sweater. Clad only in a tee-shirt, the man grew colder over the next three hours. Officers offered him a blanket around 3:52 a.m., and grabbed him.”

The Gazette adds: “The 29-year-old man, whose identity has not been released, got within reach of rescue workers as he tried to accept an offered blanket. He was pulled into a fire department bucket [by the pants] just before 4 a.m., police said.” Although “the man never threatened anyone but himself,” there was a warrant out for his arrest, “for failure to pay a fine on a marijuana conviction.”

ooh Here are a few more details that seem noteworthy (emphases added):

  • More than a dozen police cars were on the scene, as well as a fire truck with its ladder extended, and an off-duty FBI agent.
  • Traffic was slow-moving as the left and middle lanes of the arterial interstate I-890 were blocked off for a quarter mile.
  • Lt. Brian Kilcullen, the spokesman for the Schenectady Police Department, told the TU that he credited the ordeal’s end to officers who worked to gain the man’s trust and keep him calm. Officers Marlon Ivery and Dwayne Johnson “really developed a rapport with him.”
  • Giving an interesting twist to the verb “coax,” Kilcullen told the TU, `”We made repeated attempts to coax him into the bucket, and at 3:52 a.m., we were able to do it, . . . not willingly.”

a masterly climb
to the top of the peony…

the big nettle tree
as his shield…
croaking frog

on the pine tree’s
moon gazing

……… by Kobayashi Issa, translated by David G. Lanoue

leaves falling I’m glad the man got down safely and hope he will get the help he needs (be it medical or legal). I’m even happy not to know his name. Meanwhile, I sure hate to think how long that young man would have been up in that tree if our police heroes hadn’t been so good at building rapport, and I hope all the real criminals around here didn’t notice how easy it is to distract virtually the entire police department for most of two entire shifts.

winter crescent
the reservoir’s bottom
of tree stumps

… by Paul Miller from Shiki Haikusphere Anthology (2007)

sharp curve-
a weathered cross
nailed to the tree

…. by Tom Clausen – from Roadrunner Haiku Journal (Issue VI:2, May 6, 2006)


looking now
with greedy eyes
bare winter trees

in mountain shade
rest without a care!
nut-less chestnut tree

ISSA, translated by David G. Lanoue HideGoTree

fallen sycamore —
the chess players move
to another tree

…….. yu changThe Heron’s Nest (Dec. 2005)

nude beach –
the crowd around
the dead whale

morning stillness …
first snow
on the tree-bound kite

………………by Michael Dylan Welch, from Shiki Haikusphere 10th Anniversary Anthology (2007)


ooh By the way, the Law Student Division of the American Bar Association has designated March 27, 2008 as Mental Health Day. Click to learn more about the Law Student Mental Health Initiative. (hat tip to Prof. Alan Childress, of the Legal Profession Blog, where you will find a recent post by Mike Frisch about a Maryland bar applicant rejected due to his financial irresponsibility, a topic that got our emeritus editor ethicalEsq into some hot water with a bunch of young lawyers and students back in 2004.)

road crew –
bright orange jackets
circle the old tree
….. by Hilary Tann – Upstate Dim Sum

No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by WordPress