Spring 2003

cover image, Spring 2003 issue
Central Park, Schenectady, NY by Yu Chang

Guest Poet: Michael Dylan Welch

With this issue we welcome Tom Clausen as a member of the Route 9 Haiku Group. Really, this is merely the last step in a process. Tom has been meeting with us at Tai Pan during most of the past six months, offering new poems imbued with his remarkable spirit, even when he has been unable to attend in person. We hope you will agree with us that Tom adds something to the mix that’s both different and consistent with what we have been about from the beginning.

Last autumn Tai Pan hired a new chef. This has meant that we have been treated to new dishes and variations on the familiar ones for several months. We may have become somewhat spoiled in the process, looking to see what’s new each time we meet.

It’s spring now and some of the days we’ve spent gathering these poems seem quite remote, like that day in January when we met at the end of a two day nor’easter – one of the top ten storms on record for our region. We had thought of postponing until the following weekend but, with no guarantee of better weather then and an urge to see each other after a longer than usual break over the holidays, three of us manage to come in. That , of course, was one of those occasions when the 360 mile “commute” was out of the question for Tom. We do hope all of that is behind us for a while, though in this part of the Northeast we take nothing about spring for granted.

Once again, we are excited about having enlisted one of the best writers of English-language haiku as our guest poet. Michael Dylan Welch is the President of the Tanka Society of America, one of the originators of the Haiku North America conferences, publisher of Press Here books, former editor of Woodnotes and current editor of Tundra. The list of his accomplishments in haiku and related arts is much too long for the space allotted on this page. Most of all he is a poet whose work has been a pleasure and an inspiration to each of us for many years.

Sample Poems

a few pines
tagged with ribbons
winter stillness
Michael Dylan Welch  

cabin steps
fresh birch seeds
since morning

dinner for one
a view
of the ocean

the new guppy
fans its tail