All posts by Stella Pierides

Stella Pierides is a British poet and writer of Greek descent. She divides her time between Neusaess, Germany, and London, England. Latest books: "Of This World" (Red Moon Press. 2017 - haibun), and "Ekphrasis: Between Image and Word" (Fruit Dove Press, 2017 - with Maria Pierides, paintings and haiku) Stella serves on The Haiku Foundation board of directors. She enjoys reading, felting, gardening, film, music, food, and working long hours. She also likes walking around the Bavarian lakes, along the rivers, through the moors and flatlands of Swabia, the North Norfolk coast, the Welsh countryside, and strolling along the Thames.

#The100DayProject #haikufeltings

on the trail . . .
one hundred ways of saying
I do

#The100DayProject is a global art project encouraging everyone to participate in 100 days of making. It starts on April 2nd, 2019.

“The great surrender is the process; showing up day after day is the goal. For the 100Day Project, it’s not about fetishizing finished products—it’s about the process.”

For details about the project take a look here

Briefly:1—sign up for the newsletter. 2—find and follow the facilitator on Instagram . 3—choose a theme: you commit to be engaging with it every day and posting on Instagram the result. 4—announce your project on Instagram. Tag your announcement with #The100DayProject so that all of your posts will cluster together, and you can find easily the other participants’ posts.

haiga,haiku,feltings,

2019 will be my second year. Last year, for my theme I chose: #100daysnewthings. Each day, I searched for, and found, something new to me. ‘It’ may have been an interesting quotation, a piece of information, a discovery or re-discovery, a haiku or other poem, something I hadn’t noticed before…

It proved to be a challenge but also a blessing. The practice expanded my curiosity, widened my horizons. And not long after the project finished, I discovered felt making! Half of this year’s theme: #haikufeltings. A felting with a haiku every day for 100 days!

It is not going to be easy, and it may take me longer, but I am ready for the challenge. I know it will benefit my creative practice, it will feed my muse . . .

Daily hashtags: #The100DayProject #haikufeltings #poetsofinstagram

‘Solace’ in Open: Journal of Arts and Letters

“Three Vertical Landscapes” by Wiiliam Tillyer

Solace (Triptych)

In a dark wood . . .

Heaving streets, bulging with holiday shoppers. Shop windows in garish colours blink their version of hell. As soon as I get the present I came for, I head for home.

Running for the bus, I bump into someone, or he bumps into me. The double-decker reeks of wet clothes. A young woman, clutching her baby close to her chest, is arguing with the bus driver who refuses to let her on without a ticket.

We stay put for a good thirty minutes, until a passenger, with a shaking hand, taps his debit card on the card reader and pays the fare for her.

the baby babbles . . .
raindrops on
the bus window

and without props

It hasn’t rained for weeks. The two workmen in my back garden, digging the foundations for a cat enclosure, sound industrious. There is a young apple tree standing right in the middle of it, and I have instructed them to shorten its branches so that it can be contained within the structure. I imagine my two cats spending happy hours climbing it, perching on its branches. But when I look outside, I see the tree is missing. I am told it was taking too much space and they decided to remove it for me, at no extra cost.

short shrift
the town crier’s
hoarse voice

against freezing

I own five hot water bottles. As you might have guessed, I feel the cold more than others. When I place these hot, felt-wrapped receptacles on my coldest parts, I experience the bliss others must take for granted.

clang of a spade
I imagine the workmen
striking gold

In Open: Journal of Arts and Letters, 25 Feb 2019 h

and check out the whole journal: a rich and rewarding read!

‘Seriously’ in Open: Journal of Arts and Letters

“Spitalfield” by William Tillyer

The shelves in the beauty aisle are piled high with hand creams. Tubes, jars, bottles, tins of brands I never knew existed. So many! I stand here for a while, wondering whether this abundance could be attributed to the forthcoming Brexit. After all, all sorts of strange events in the last couple of years have been attributed to it. I imagine that both remainers and leavers would need a cream to soothe their hands after clapping for one or the other speaker; after rubbing their eyes in disbelief on reading the daily news or covering their ears for hours in the gesture perfectly captured by Munch’s “The Scream.” Could this be it?

late winter
the street dog’s sad
whimper

In Open: Journal of Arts and Letters, 25 Feb 2019, Mixed forms: Haibun

‘Absences’ in Unbroken Journal

cemetery

The ossuary, a white-washed, rectangular building, is dark and cool. A musty smell envelops me as I enter. I am searching for the metal box containing my mother’s bones.

I’ve been told she is confined to one on the shelves that run the length of the room. I start searching methodically. Each box has a small hand-written label with the deceased’s name on its front. Several labels are blank. One has a dried daisy flower stuck on it with Sellotape; another, a star in cross stitch; yet another, a tiny motorcycle sticker. Photographs of the dead looking youthful are taped to several boxes, or placed next to them, complicating identification of the containers’ occupants.

Disheartened, I leave the grim building to walk in the dappled shade of the graveyard. The hum of the city mixes with birdsong. So many years since I was in Athens. I stop to read the names of the deceased on headstones, marvel at the stone angels, at the oil lamps. Soon my head is swimming. A woman burning sweet-smelling incense over a grave turns to look at me. I quickly look away, but then, returning her gaze, I nod and she smiles.

noon heat
a hairline crack
in the angel’s wing

In Unbroken Journal, issue 20, 2019

Haibun Triptych

Reality Bites

In my teens I spent school holidays in the local library. From opening to closing time, the library was my home. In the sizzling Athenian summers, it was the only cool place to be. The silence in the reading room felt like a blessing. Sitting at my desk I listened. A page turned. Someone shifted in their chair. Someone sighed. Silence again. I revelled in the sounds of human presence in this magic emptiness. A paradise. Except one day, when a cicada started singing. Having found its way in, it perched on Borges’s “The Book of Sand.” Heads turned. There was a commotion. A reader screamed, “Get this thing out of here!” The librarian, arm raised, raced to the shelf to swat the culprit, but the insect was no longer there.

turning the page
I come across the truth …
midsummer darkness

And yet

The road twists and turns for miles ahead. The refugee caravan moves haltingly forward. Mothers carrying their babies; dazed children, old people, the young, all stagger towards a safer future. Crossing the Red Sea, walking through deserts, wading across the Suchiate River, the caravan camps at Calais, rests for a night on Lesvos, repopulates the Sicilian city of Sutera, rows across river Evros. Razor wire carves memories on children’s skin. A voice over the megaphone: “Achtung, Achtung!” Babies are born, grow teeth, learn to speak. It rains, it snows, it shines. New words enter dictionaries. Poems emerge from sleeping bags.

each spring
breaking through the soil . . .
the human heart

We carry on

We turn out the lights, fall asleep and emerge head first into the real world. Belief, disbelief, nuance, knowledge; science, art, even poetry we leave behind. We enter this eternal world without walls, where we have control over nothing, yet we are nothing less than the seed of the cosmos. Here is our true home: fluid, quiet, boundless.

In the morning, once the alarm clock’s trill drags us back into consciousness, we dress in soft flesh, teeth and nails, and catch the bus to work.

oak leaves …
planning to live past
one hundred

boat,

In Blue Fifth Review, The Blue Collection 9: Home

Image: ‘Boat’ by Maria Pierides

Haibun Triptych in Blue Fifth Review: The Blue Collection 9

Grateful thanks to Michelle Elvy and Sam Rasnake for publishing my Haibun Triptych in the special issue “The blue collection 9: Home” of the phenomenal Blue Fifth Review!
Photo magic “Boat” by Maria Pierides accompanies the triptych.
Check it out:
Blue Fifth Review … the blue collection: 9: home (Winter 2018 / 18.10)

Boat,Haibun Triptych "Home"