Autumn 2003

cover image, Autumn 2003 issue
Paul MacNeil’s Haiku Retreat, Lake Onawa, Maine by Yu Chang

Guest Poet: Ion Codrescu

Hilary Tann prefers that we not make much of her and usually we acquiesce in this. But she is away now, since August, on a university term abroad in Japan. Her talents as a composer, conductor and teacher are frequently in demand at remote locations and we are used to timing our dim sum sessions with a view to her demanding schedule. She will be back in December. Meanwhile, we have missed her. You won’t feel the difference, of course, because you will find Hilary’s poems in the usual proportions within this issue. The contemporary miracle of e-mail has allowed us to exchange poems without interruption but it has not supplied us with Hilary’s company and for that we are looking forward to the new year.

Some of us had the recent experience of noticing that a man (a father?) was showing a girl (his daughter?) a copy of Upstate Dim Sum, which is available in the Tai Pan Restaurant. He seemed to be explaining something to her in detail and, as they turned together through the pages, we regretted that we were too far away to catch any of the words. How pleasant to entertain the hope, whether founded or not, that the warmth of a few sparks we have struck among ourselves might catch somewhere else and similarly warm the lives of others.

For our guest poet in this issue, we have reached farther than usual and, in a sense, stayed closer to home. Ion Codrescu lives in Romania on the Black Sea coast. He is an artist and writer who has published books in Romania, France, Great Britain and Slovenia. For ten years he was the editor of Albatross, an international haiku journal published in Romanian and English. He is the founder of the Constantza Haiku Society and the Constantza international Haiku Festival in Romania. Ion is a natural choice as our guest, both because he is one of our favorite writers, and also because he and his wife, Mihaela, were literally our guests at Tai Pan, in 2001 when they were in the United States for the Haiku North America conference.


Sample Poems

snail’s track—
tourists ignoring
the story of the ruins
Ion Codrescu 

Monday morning
between the lines

Botanical Garden
someone knows
more than the tour guide

just arrived—
their dog sniffs
our tires

thickening fog
not a word
since the last exit