spring 2009

Blackbird calling

Guest Poet: paul m.

It is a rare pleasure for us to share dim sum and haiku with one of our guest poets. Ion Codrescu (of Constanta, Romania)  and Jim Kacian (of Winchester, Virginia) have joined us at Tai Pan, though not on the occasions when their poems were under consideration. The late, and much missed William J. Higginson was the first of our guests to be present for the session at which his poems were considered. We found this to bean enormous enhancement of something that was already a treat – to have not only the contributions of another poet to stimulate our reading skills but also the opportunity to discuss the new work with its author. On February 14th we extended a welcome to our current guest poet, Paul Miller (paul m. as he is widely known in the haiku community) and were again treated to a special occasion of sharing and inspiration.

Paul m. is perhaps one of the more poetic and subtle practitioners of English-language haiku. We all strive to deliver a sense of something beyond the simple words of which haiku consist but some of us succeed more often than others. Paul’s work is a reassuring example of the depths that these tiny poems can achieve without resorting to obviousdevices and labored effects.

The six months during which the poems for the current issue have been gathered have been a period of very great changes in some of our lives. There has been rekindled love, a death in the family, signs of time advancing on us, and the general shifting of darkness and light over the world that touches us all through the economy and the day’s news. Rather than spell out all of the details, we just mention this as something to consider as you read the poems of this seventeenth installment of Upstate Dim Sum.

js

Sample Poems

small visiting birds . . .
a second church
on this block
                             paul m. 

shakuhachi camp
more wind
in the trees
ht 

extreme cold
we make an effort
to remain friends
js 

getting the newspaper
just enough snow
for footprints
tc

ginko walk
an updraft
of fallen leaves
yc