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Book of the Week: Autumn Wind in the Cracks


Tom Clausen not only hosts this feature, but has long worked in the genre himself. Some early work can be found here, in a self-published chapbook dating to 1994.

You can read the entire book in the THF Digital Library.

All haiku in the Book of the Week Archive are selected by Tom Clausen, and are used with permission.

empty parking lot some wind collects and swirls leaves into a shape
in early morning rain I return a stranger's solemn nod
with friends I open the fortune cookie without a fortune
in another country from a flatcar the Milky Way
sidewalk sale- wind twists a lifetime guarantee tag
x-ray room they remove her crucifix
morning zazen: marriage counseling ourselves
train receding its wake in the grasses still waving
end to end three Ramblers take part in the overgrown field
cold autumn wind in all the cracks eyes of barncats
autumn moonlight folded in the clothes on the floor
the hypnotist describes her technique sound of the stream
calling for the lost cat... windchimes
mountaintop giving back each breath
the way rain takes the mountain

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Good haiku are ever-fresh and these (although from 1994) ARE sprightly!
    Thanks for the opportunity to read what I may not have had the chance to otherwise.
    Thanks again for this wonderful Book Of The Week feature. It has become my favorite!

  2. Tom always seems to acheive something I struggle with all the time… He finds (or he know?) the words that reveal the “thusness of things.” Simple, unaffected expressions that are beyond words. I am always well rewarded by spending some time with his poetry. So glad he’s made his haiku available to all.

  3. Thank you, Jim, and thank you, Tom, for this post.

    I must have ordered your book, Tom, after reading your poems in Modern Haiku and/or Frogpond. Your warmth and understanding of the caregiving years I was then living with my mother and family were part of my support. There is empathy in your art.

    I just reread your book here at THF and would like to add a few more of your haiku – I won’t try to get the form of the lines exact in a comment:

    alone in the waiting room
    checking the plant
    for reality

    farm auction
    fields filled with asters
    and goldenrod

    wanting my old life
    when I wanted
    my present life

    – Tom Clausen

    And many blessings, Ellen

  4. Clausen-san’s haiku have stayed in my head and heart all these years…the way/rain takes/the mountain/ …echoing again and again. I’m so very grateful.


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