A Celebration of Guest Poets!
It seems that when a humble little haiku journal reaches its twentieth issue and finds itself celebrating a tenth anniversary the very first thing that must be said is thank you. Firstly, to whatever it is that allows each of us to continue looking with wonder upon the tiny miracles of daily life and finding a few words to express our gratitude and joyful amazement. Secondly for generous readers, who have shared these intense moments of mindful living with us and have become our companion witnesses. And thirdly, in the case of UPSTATE DIM SUM, for the distinguished list of poets who have been our guests in these pages, and sometimes at our table at Tai Pan in Halfmoon. This issue is our celebration and, at least figuratively, we have brought them all to the table for this special occasion.
This issue features new poems offered for the occassion by Jim Kacian, Ruth Yarrow, Christopher Herold, Michael Dylan Welch, A. C. Missias, Cor van den Heuvel, Michael McClintock, Fay Aoyagi, vincent tripi, Carolyn Hall, Billie Wilson, paul m., Roberta Beary, and George Swede! Tom Clausen, our very first guest poet and now a long-standing member of the Route 9 Haiku Group, has contributed a poem in his former guest role. And Ion Codrescu, also a former guest poet and now a group member, has provided his guest poem in the form of a haiga, plus one new haiga for each of the other Route 9 members.
We desire the circle to be unbroken. This, regrettably, cannot be accomplished through new work from all of our former guests. In one instance, we were simply unable to renew communications. Wherever he is and whatever he is doing now we hope Jim Hackett is well and that we may hear from him again soon. And remembering Peggy Willis Lyles and William J. Higginson, both of whom have shared many a memorable hour with us, we are stung by the knowledge that their passing will prevent us from enjoying more of their warm and immensely inspirational companionship. Through the generous offices of Bill Higginson’s wife and literary partner, Penny Harter, we are pleased to be able to offer a previously unpublished poem of his. For the guests from whom we were unable to secure new work, we have included one poem from their original selections.
And, even as the celebration is in progress, we look ahead and begin to think about a next issue, and a next. Humbly, with the knowledge that what we are sharing is a gift. js
the spent calyx
of a cherry blossom
lands on my lapel
a pair of goldfish
in the concubine’s room
hermitage path –
in all directions