Autumn 2002

cover image, Autumn 2002 issue
Lake Champlain by Yu Chang

Guest Poet: Christopher Herold

The poems for this issue reached our table at the Tai Pan Restaurant in the months of March through August of this year. Each of them first appeared among us as a set of three index cards, dealt face-down, then turned over and read silently by all, including the author. After a period of response and discussion, which was sometimes very brief and sometimes as long as ten or fifteen minutes, the next poem was dealt. At the end of a three to five hour meal, favorite poems were selected and added to a pool for the next issue. Only about half of the poems in the pool are eventually used. We hope that this process, featuring a series of check points, is producing a good selection of poems. It is certainly producing good friendships and one day each month that we eagerly anticipate.

Our biggest news this autumn is that we have invited Tom Clausen to become a member of the Route 9 Haiku Group. Many of you know Tom’s work already. He was the guest poet in the first issue of Upstate Dim Sum. We are delighted to announce that he has accepted the offer. His poems will appear in the Spring 2003 issue and, we hope, well beyond. This is a big step for all of us. Tom is investing a great deal of effort, including a drive of approximately 180 miles from his home in Ithaca. Although winter weather and the responsibilities of a young family are likely to prevent him from attending every session, we expect that his presence will be felt in our group continuously and we look forward to his poems and his company.

We’ve enjoyed good fortune in attracting some of the best English-language haiku and senryu writers as our guests in previous issues. This continues to be the case. The guest poet for this issue is Christopher Herold, founder and editor of the widely respected American haiku journal, The Heron’s Nest. Parenthetically, we would also like Christopher to become a member of the Route 9 Haiku Group but probably the commute from Port Townsend, Washington will prove prohibitive. Pity. Anyway, we are grateful to have his poems this time around.


Sample Poems

a gust
blows open the zendo door
no one moves
Christopher Herold

waiting for my lunch date
all the drama
in the clouds

the summer sun
under the exit door

window box—
between flowering pansies
my daughter’s face