Thursday, March 29, 2018

rosy-fingered Spring

Ed Markowski, my good friend and former Honored Guest Poet at f/k/a, recently created this beautiful digital art, and let me add one of his haiku to make a hearty welcome to Springtime:

first warm day
she plants
the pink flamingo

ed markowski, Modern Haiku (2008)

Many thanks, Ed, for remembering my penchant for plastic flamingos (especially on Valentine's Day) and reminding me of the fun we used to have communing at f/k/a.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

super wishes for the 2017 Holidays

It's been another year of benign neglect of this weblog by its humble proprietor. I hope all our old fans had a fine year and are about to have an even better one.

Follow-up (December 28, 2017): My friend Laura Harrison took the image below as a selfie in a Ballston Spa NY cemetery. (read her accompanying and inspiring text here at Instagram). My inserted haiku is about as new-yearish as I will probably feel this week. Don't forget to love and nurture yourself in the New Year.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Laura teaches and soars


- inspired by my dear friend, yoga therapist and instructor Laura Harrison of; click here for her informative Facebook Page -

  • On October 24, 2009, the blue heron floated on a branch in the Mohawk River, along the Stockade Historic District of Schenectady, NY, past dagosan's backyard, near the Isle of the Cayugas, and then flew off. Photographic serendipity for sure.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


Thursday, March 20, 2014

they say today Spring begins

Excuse me for being a bit skeptical and confused, after this most-strange winter. It might take a bit of imagination and faith to believe it's really Springtime.

first day of Spring
out the window
birds and children chittering
- photo taken February 14, 2014, at Lawrence Circle in the Schenectady NY Stockade District.  Click this link to see more of the “Valentine Flamingos in the Schenectady Stockade" .

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

downhill from here

black ice 
and powdery snow
halting steps on New Year's Day

- photo of bulb on the 2013 Stockade Holiday Tree, Schenectady NY -


Thursday, August 29, 2013

longing for some red bean ice cream

she orders a scoop
of red bean ice cream
i ask for two

* Yu Chang recently told me that red beans symbolized longing in one's heart. (See, "The Red Beans, the Legend of the Love Beans"; also, click here for a presentation about Longing Heart Green Tea.)  Sadly, as an innocent young lad on a first date with a girl who wanted red bean ice cream, Yu wasn't aware of that ancient myth.  He is surely a lot wiser now.  Indeed, as I reported today at Simply Senryu, "Yu Chang is 75 tomorrow" (August 30, 2013).  I hope I'm as wise as Yu before I get to be seventy-five.  I better hurry. [This poem and explanation have been edited, as I had originally thought Yu was talking about green tea ice cream.  I'm glad he reminded me it was a red bean legned.]

Friday, July 26, 2013

a Wandering Dago by any other name

she asks if "dago"
is in the dictionary -
our first Scrabble scrap

Dagosan has been trying to be as Buddha-like and above the fray as possible lately, and I've been taking a long sabbatical from seriously writing haiku.  But, a squabble right here in Schenectady over use of the word "dago" in the name of a business has inspired me to opine rather than recline this afternoon, and to even gin up a new haiku with photo accompaniment (see above). 

Andrea Luguidice and Brandon Snooks are co-owners of the Schenectady-based Wandering Dago Food Truck.  Their diverse menu -- "with options ranging from pulled pork sandwiches, flatbread pizza and made-to-order chopped salads" -- has won many fans and much praise.  Nevertheless, their Food Truck was evicted from the Saratoga Race Track last week, because a handful of people told the track food service management that the word "dago" offended them.  As Steve Barnes of the Times Union wrote in his restaurant weblog Table Hopping:
News of The Wandering Dago food truck being banned from the Saratoga Race Course because of complaints that its name is offensive went viral over the past four days. In addition to Table Hopping, stories were written by the New York Times, the New York Daily News, a widely carried version by the Associated Press and even London’s Daily Mail.
Although Luguidice and Snooks, who are both of Italian descent, are reluctant to change their name, they have put a (very unscientific) poll up at their Facebook page, asking "Should the Wandering Dago change their name?" [update: 61% of the 373 participants told Wandering Dago not to change its name.  The owners said they will take the poll into consideration in making their decision. Click to see poll results.]
Here to Stay
  follow-up (Aug. 5, 2013): Andrea and Brandon wrote me today to say they have no plans at the present time to change the name of the business. For one thing, they estimate the cost of changing the decal artwork on their bus, along with other signage and printed material, to be $9,000.  That's a big expense for a new and truly "small" business.  Having just one truck, they really can't even take advantage of all the free publicity. I wish them luck and hope their detractors will say "And, proud of it", when they hear or see the word "dago".
To support them and follow their wandering and adventures, go to the Wandering Dago Facebook and Twitter pages.
The word "dago" is offensive to more than a few people (see quotes in the NYT) -- mostly older folks of Italian descent, I believe.  Nonetheless, when the word is not used in anger or to demean someone, I think taking offense does little to enhance or protect the Italian culture and people.  It seems to me that the best way to take the power and sting from ethnic slurs is to either ignore them or co-opt them, as Luguidice and Snooks have done, as a point of ethnic pride.   Of course, I have a stake in this fight, too.

  • big-a up-a-date (January 4, 2018): Wandering Dago's owners sued New York State a few years ago, after the Cuomo Administration refused to allow WD's food truck at the Empire State Plaza. See "Wandering Dago prevails in federal court: Food truck was barred from Empire State Plaza by state (Albany Times Union, by Casey Seiler, Jan. 3, 2018). The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit concluded: "It is undisputed that defendants denied WD's applications solely because of its ethnic‐slur branding," and declared the state's action to be unconstitutional "viewpoint discrimination."

The Name "dagosan":

Read more »

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

that's just not cricket

Cricket haiku have been a tradition around here from the start. See here. Today, the tradition continued in my kitchen.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Happy Year of the Snake

Year of the Snake
she tempts me
with more apple pie

- photos taken by David Giacalone; Jumpin' Jack's fireworks, Scotia NY 2009 -

This haiga is part of a trio for Chinese New Year inspired by my fantasy girlfriend. See the entire haiga trilogy at my weblog simply senryu. Happy New Year to all my haiku and haiga friends.

Friday, December 21, 2012

happy post-Mayan solstice

What a relief.  Another 5125 year cycle to worry about.
May the sun shine on you throughout the new year.

- photo taken about noon on 12-12-12, Schenectady NY Stockade - 

winter solstice
we huddle under
the midday sun

Friday, December 23, 2011

still standing - Christmas 2011

leaning into the wind
holiday smiles
bright as ever

- photo taken Dec. 1, 2011, Schenectady NY Stockade Historic District, Lawrence Circle - 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

VII: 005

morning fog
the old dog finds
our way home

- photo: foggy morning along the Mohawk River, Riverside Park, Schenectady, NY (29Sep2011) -

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

VII: 004

 summer solstice!
 my haiku muse
                  calls in sick

- originally posted June 21, 2006, and truer than ever - 
-- photo: Riverside Park along the Mohawk River, Schenectady NY, by d.a. giacalone