Autumn 2018

cover image, Autumn 2018 issue
Chilies, Bristol, England by Helen Tann

This issue features poems by Michael Ketchek, the current editor of the Haiku Society of America’s literary journal, Frogpond. He has been writing and publishing his haiku for over thirty years, longer than any of us. Although some of us have known Michael for many years, our connections have been strengthened in recent years through attendance at “Haiku Circle,” an annual gathering of poets in northern Massachusetts founded by vincent tripi. Michael is only the fourth of our guest poets who was able to be our literal guest, presenting his own poems at Tai Pan. We very much enjoyed his company and the insight and warm sense of humor he brings to the table, wherever he goes.

This summer season was all about travel for most of us. Hilary had a premiere orchestral performance in Wales in May. She had set three poems by former Welsh Poet Laureate, Gwyneth Lewis. Hilary and Yu were able to spend some July days at Onawa Lake in Maine. Since 1999, it has been an annual treat for some or all of us to travel to Maine and spend several days as guests at Paul MacNeil’s cabin, composing renku and enjoying good food, good company and night skies remarkably free of light pollution. During July and August, Tom drove over eight thousand miles, from Ithaca, NY to Seattle and Vancouver, then to Oklahoma, and back to Ithaca. I traveled some thousands of miles, taking my first trip outside of North America for four weeks in the United Kingdom. But I did it with far less effort than Tom, traveling both ways in the luxurious care of the Queen Mary 2. As usual, some of our recent experiences will be detectable in current pages of Upstate Dim Sum.

Sample Poems

walking into the club
a dusting of snow
on her guitar case
Michael Ketchek

down from the highlands a hole in my sock

old diary
rebuilt memories
of who I was

frozen land
not even the grasses

first day of spring
a bamboo brush
loaded with ink