A Harvest of Haiku

First published in Woodnotes #27, Winter 1995, pages 48–49.

A Harvest of Haiku by the Haiku Poets of Upstate New York. Haiku PUNY, 1995,20 pages, paperback, 5½ by 8½ inches. $5.00 postpaid from Sue Stapleton Tkach, 60 Auramar Drive, Rochester, New York 14606 [address no longer correct]. In the space of just 20 pages, this book offers 80 wide-ranging haiku by ten members of the Haiku Poets of Upstate New York: Pamela A. Babusci, M. L. Bittle-DeLapa, Donatella Cardillo-Young, Richer Castner, Melissa DeLapa, Edwin G. Grey, Ruth Kennedy, Michael Ketchek, Lee Strong, and Sue Stapleton Tkach. The design (by M. L. Bittle-DeLapa) is innovative, yet simple and effective. The poems appear at five per page on the outer edges with the inner space of facing pages reserved for the occasional comment about haiku by most of the poets. Here’s a comment by Lee Strong: “The eternity between exhale and inhale is where haiku wait.” And another by M. L. Bittle-DeLapa: “Haiku has become for me not only a way of writing, but a way of living, a way of being awake/aware. I think writing haiku develops an unflagging sense of gratefulness for the innumerable gifts that surround us every moment of every day, gifts which otherwise might be overlooked or taken for granted.” Do treat yourself to a copy of this book. Here’s a taste of it, a poem by Sue Stapleton Tkach:

Challenging my rules

ten-year-old begins his note:

Dear Mrs. Mother: