Meet Poesy Galore, the 70-Year-Old Writer Crafting X-Rated Haikus

At the age of 70, Poesy Galore (a.k.a. Dee Tung)’s written words are sensual, sharp and descriptively dirty. 

At the age of 70, Poesy Galore (a.k.a. Dee Tung)’s written words are sensual, sharp and descriptively dirty. 

poesy galore

(Photo: Yilma Campbell)

by Pay Chen
June 11, 2024

“My sweet ingenue
Allow me the privilege
To make you naughty”

“Hard liquor is not
A must-have prerequisite
To a hard licker”

These words by Poesy Galore (aka Dee Tung) feel even more provocative and to be honest – more exciting – once you meet her; a poised, soft-spoken woman with a penchant for red lipstick, bright nails and a wild sexual imagination that exceeds a room of horny high-schoolers. At the age of 70, Tung’s written words are sensual, sharp and descriptively dirty. 

Haiskru by Poesy Galore. (Photo: Applied Arts Mag)

Haiskru is a pocket-sized book of pervy poetry Tung self-published in 2022. The two poems above are among the “tamer” choices out of the 110 in the collection.  When asked to share one of her favourites, she chooses:

Lick my Louboutins
Like the naughty boy you are
Rewards forthcoming

Tung’s debut book also took home the coveted Communication Arts award for design in 2022 – an award that people in the visual communications industry strive to achieve, and Tung managed to do it with her first book because that’s what a badass Asian woman does.

(Photo: Pay Chen)

Retired from the advertising industry just before the pandemic, Tung started writing horny haiku (the name of the book is a cheeky nod to the poetry format.) A poem written in a haiku format is composed of 3 lines that contain five, seven and five syllables respectively. There’s no time for extra words, to pussy-foot around the point; a haiku says a lot in few words. Just as a look or an expression can speak volumes, the images conjured up by Haiskru exceeds its seventeen syllables. 

Born in New York, Tung’s mother was second-generation Chinese born in Vancouver, her father from China. “My dad was Chinese mafia,” Tung says half-jokingly with a wry smile. He was the banker or “manager” for the two largest gambling houses in New York; the keeper of money, the knower of secrets, the enforcer of debts. “We had a lot of jewelry that came from that time,” Tung reminisces. Tung’s mother has the notable distinction of being the first Chinese female bartender (or barmaid as they were called back in the day) in the Bowery district where she worked from the late 1940’s to the early 1950’s.

(Photo: Yilma Campbell)

Tung’s life stories could be another book: Tung was sent to Toronto as a toddler and raised by her grandmother while her parents stayed in New York to work. In 1960, Tung’s mother relocated to Toronto. Her father was arrested when she was a teen, their lawyer predicted her father would spend his life in jail so it was advised that he post bail and leave the country. The legal-est of legal advice, probably.  For years Tung didn’t know where her father was or what he was doing as a fugitive but occasional phone calls let her know he was alive. Eventually he made his way back to the United States where Tung reunited with him when she was 30. 

Drawn to storytelling, Tung studied journalism at Centennial College and her early career lead to agricultural publications like Farm & Country newspaper and the popular Hog Market Place Quarterly. Tung managed the farm trade shows they participated in and “I also got to participate in the first ovum transplant in a pig. Fertilized eggs came up from a farmer in the US, the procedure happened in a barn and I got to hold the instrument tray for the doctor. It was a big deal and my editor in chief was covering the story,” Tung recalls of the historic event. 

(Photo: Yilma Campbell)

Frustrated that agriculture publications focused on men, Tung wanted to create something for the people who were the backbone of many farms: the women. She presented the idea of creating content for farm wives but was dismissed, so she launched her own magazine – as one does. Today’s Country Woman debuted in the mid 80’s, published locally in Ontario, then nationally. Despite fierce enthusiasm from modern farm women, and an engaged readership, it was hard to convince advertisers to put money into the magazine and it folded after 18 mighty months of amplifying the voices of women in the agriculture industry. Not long after, multiple publications launched targeting this newly valued demographic. No doubt, Tung’s experimental magazine gave them a confident start.

Issues of Today’s Country Woman. (Photo: Pay Chen)

Dee Tung’s editor’s letter in Today’s Country Woman. (Photo: Pay Chen)

It would be several decades before Tung decided to once again launch something of her own; but this time it was for herself (but maybe farm women would love it too, we didn’t conduct a survey). When asked why she decided post-retirement to try her hand at provocative poetry, Tung says, “In the excerpt of the book it says my eureka moment was: I love to write poetry and I love sex. Hmmm…there’s something I can do here. What about haiku? It’s so disciplined and you have to work with seventeen syllables. I loved that challenge, and the perv in me came out.”

The reaction from friends and family was supportive even if some were surprised by the – ahem – graphic nature of the poems. “My kids were extremely proud, some of their friends were shocked. ‘Your mother wrote this?!’ They’d been coming to the house since they were little kids,” Tung laughs, “they had no idea.” 

(Photo: Yilma Campbell)

Tung rejects the suggestion that being sensual should have an age cap for women. “I think confidence is very sexy, and attitude. You can have saggy boobs and still be sexy. It’s how you carry yourself.”

As for the backhanded compliment that people can’t believe she’s 70-years-old, Tung scoffs, “I fucking hate that. Yes I am. And proud of it.”

Copies of Haiskru can be purchased by contacting Tung through her Poesy Galore Instagram account

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