Spring 2014

cover image, Spring 2014 issue
Stockade District, Schenectady, NY
by Yu Chang

Tom Painting is our guest this time. He has been a notable presence in English-language haiku for a couple of decades, appearing in the recent major anthologies Haiku 21 (Modern Haiku Press) and Haiku in English – The First Hundred Years (W. W. Norton). While we have long been impressed with his personal accomplishments as a poet, we are perhaps even more impressed with his ability to foster a haiku consciousness in young people. The work of his students, first at the Rochester, NY School of the Arts and more recently at the Paideia School of Atlanta, GA, has figured prominently in annual student haiku contests sponsored by The Nick Virgilio Haiku Society and the United Nations International School.

Tom Clausen and I have each had recent book publications. His book is titled Smiling to Myself (Free Food Press) and mine is d(ark) (Red Moon Press). Here is a small sample of haiku from Tom’s book and tanka from mine.

Smiling to Myself

long wait alone
in the parking lot . . .
a dog in the next car

lunch alone
without a book
I read my mind

the way
the light bulb rests
in the rest of the trash


the cinema
a line
of people waiting
to be shot

both families
have their pariahs
the visible
and invisible
sides of the aisle

the strange smell
of someone else’s
it smells like
coming home alone

We will continue to remind everyone in each of the coming issues of Upstate Dim Sum that the next Haiku North America conference will be held at Union College in Schenectady. The dates are Wednesday, October 14 to Sunday, October 18, 2015.


 Sample Poems

winter passing
she makes a patch work
of his ties
Tom Painting

white skin healed with a difference

in the place
of old groceries
new groceries

december solstice
the cats curl
into themselves

between 1 & 0
a hermit crab
goes back to sleep