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In Memory of

Frederick A. Raborg, Jr.


Sad to hear of Mr. Raborg's death. I never corresponded with him although I did read his journals from time to time. When a fellow poet passes away, especially one who has contributed significantly, one who's presence is widely felt, I feel the repurcussions in my heart. Again I have no personal poem to offer in his memory. I was not close enough to Mr. Raborg to have to write something intimate and meaningful. I can write only to general feelings that come when someone who shares similar passions must let them go.
cicada shell
someone's whistling echoes
down the canyon

- Christopher Herold

Though we have written some irregular and irreverent renku together, I met Fred only once, back in 1996, when I was floating down the west coast visiting haiku people. I called him and told him I'd be coming
through Bakersfield if he was going to be home. He said sure, come ahead. 

After several hours of driving, I came to the correct exit ramp, followed his good directions, and found him waiting exactly where he said he would be. I parked the car and got out, wondering how this first contact between strangers with a common interest would be: he relieved all that. "Why the hell would anybody come here?" he asked, loud enough for everyone around to hear, and instantly we were outsiders together.

What I retain of him is this ability to include others in his life, and his creative responses to that life which wasn't always found to be valuable by the rest of the world (we are poets, after all) but upon which he insisted, which served him, and all of us, in a deeply serious way. We'll miss him.

- jim kacian


Whatever his skill was with haiku and as a haiku editor, he was certainly an enthusiastic and dedicated poet and publisher. No doubt many people will be saddened to
hear of his passing, as he certainly published a great number of poets in his books and journals.

- Michael Dylan Welch


Learning of Fred Raborg’s death, the line, “just a thought away,” from one of my early poems runs through my mind. Written about my 67-year-young mother’s death, the line gave me comfort, and does so now.

I greatly valued Fred’s warm friendship, marvelous sense of humor, and generosity in publishing my work in Cicada and Amelia. I’ll never forget the thrill and honor of having been awarded the prestigious Cicada Award for my renga four years in a row. Those awards (a beautiful Oriental floral display and Waterford crystals) are among my most prized possessions and are prominently displayed in our livingroom.  Every time I look at them, I think of Fred and give thanks for his many kindnesses over the years. 

I also remember with deep appreciation his having honored my “landings soft” haiku collection with the Cicada Chapbook Award, and shall ever cherish Fred’s exquisite production of it in 1994. 

summer sun
glittering crystal awards
. . . with him in thought

Over the years, Fred and I corresponded frequently and, when I first spoke with him on the telephone, the sound of his quiet warm voice made me feel as if we had been longtime friends. That feeling never dimmed, even when our opinions differed. This kind gentle man will be dearly missed ...

this summer night
how quiet the cicadas
word of his death

- Elizabeth St Jacques

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