morning sun …
before the shadows
fall into place
silver threads …
on the trail . . .
one hundred ways of saying
#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 100–Day 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.
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
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 . . .
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.
the town crier’s
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
and check out the whole journal: a rich and rewarding read!
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?
the street dog’s sad
3 of my tanka translated into Italian and published in Lumachine 31, December 2018
A big thank you to Euphemia Griffo and Stefano d’Andrea for including them in this wonderful Journal.
Wet felting is a hands-on craft. With warm water, olive soap, a rolling pin, bubble wrap, and a lot of pressure on the wool fibres, I create fabric.
first day of school
a kid climbs on the teacher’s
For week 5 of the #weeklywatercolourchallenge, where I contribute weekly felted projects, I felted a pair of mittens!
the town crier’s
Image: nuno felted neck warmer
felt flowers —
searching for my
‘Felt flowers’ is wet-felted twice, dimensions: 22 x 27 cm
Thrilled to see that my ‘lifting the veil’ poem was featured on The Haiku Foundation Per Diem: Daily Haiku on the 6th of January 2019!
Many thanks to guest-editor Simon Hanson for including it in his wonderful collection ‘Darkness’!
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.
a hairline crack
in the angel’s wing
In Unbroken Journal, issue 20, 2019
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 …
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.
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
In Blue Fifth Review, The Blue Collection 9: Home
Image: ‘Boat’ by Maria Pierides
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)
the knotted branch
in the shredder
Blithe Spirit, 27:2, 2017
Chinese Translation (Traditional)
Chinese Translation (Simplified)
Chen-ou Liu, 劉鎮歐December 7, 2018
Butterfly Dream: Another Spring Haiku by Stella Pierides
Stella’s shasei (sketch from life) haiku is tightly structured with an emotional undercurrent: “another” in L1 shows the narrator’s attitude to the passing of time while the symbolically rich image of the “knotted branch” in the shredder in Ls 2&3 makes this haiku visually and emotionally effective.
I have received the wonderful news that my tanka below has been awarded an Honorable Mention in the Mt. Fuji Tanka Grand Prix contest in 2018. What an honor!
season’s end …
by the mountain shrine
wild horses graze
wrapped in fog
This contest was created by the Fuji Taisho Committee to celebrate Japan’s most famous and revered mountain in the poetic form of tanka. They say:
As the highest mountain in Japan, Mt. Fuji has been a symbol of this country providing spiritual support to the Japanese people since ancient times. Its graceful appearance is often depicted in art, literature, photography and even in company logos. In 2013, Fujisan was added to the World Heritage List as a cultural site by UNESCO. The Fujisan Taisho prize is awarded for the best work of TANKA. It is an initiative to promote the preservation of this magnificent mountain by describing its beauty and charm through TANKA and sharing them with people all over the world. Our hope is to enhance better understanding towards the nature, tradition and culture of Fujisan through which we believe we can develop a better understanding of Japan. Our ultimate aim is to raise more interest in this country and attract more people worldwide towards our culture as well as industry and economy.
TANKA was invited on / relating to Mt. Fuji: impressions on Mt. Fuji, feelings and emotions experienced while climbing the mountain. It did not have to include the word “Mt. Fuji” as long as the subject was on the mountain or mountains in general.
Grateful thanks to the judges:
Takashi Okai, Judge-in-chief of the Mt. Fuji Tanka Grand Prix 2018
Takayuki Saegusa, Judge of the Mt. Fuji Tanka Grand Prix 2018
Hiroshi Homura, Judge of the Mt. Fuji Tanka Grand Prix 2018
Naoko Higashi, Judge of the Mt. Fuji Tanka Grand Prix 2018
The awards will be presented at the Mt. Fuji Tanka Grand Prix Ceremony on January 26, 2019 at the Nihonbashi Theater in Tokyo. I won’t be able to attend, but I will sure be dreaming about it – and looking forward to the award certificate.
Those familiar with my work will recognize the photo and tanka image as relating to the Brecon Beacons mountain range in Wales.
I tell the story of what
might have been
of its past
Art object: Urban Opulence
No need to be afraid! This is only Emile wearing his Halloween mask!
Written in honour of Halloween, All Hallows’ Eve…
All Hallows’ Eve
the anatomy class
Posted in My Haiku Pond Community’s “Halloween Quickie Haiku Challenge”
Received Hon. mention. Thank you, Michael Smeer!
that age-long allure
I tell him it’s not
This September I took part in the Haiku for Change Event organised by Michael Smeer of the Facebook community My Haiku Pond, in conjunction with 100 Thousand Poets for Change (Global) 2018. Poets were asked to write one haiku (or senryu, haiga, or photo-haiku) on change: climate, environment, earth.
Entries were included in the Haiku for Change Event ebook Anthology, a pdf posted on the 100 Thousand Poets for Change blog, and archived by Stanford University as part of their program to document the 100 Thousand Poets for Change movement and community.
Here is my offering:
a clutch of turtle eggs
in the park sandpit
The pdf is now up and can be downloaded from the 100 Thousand Poets for Change Blog
This is the second year I participated in the Australian Grand Final Kukai, organised and hosted by haiku poet Rob Scott. I enjoyed the event itself, learning about the footy teams, the preparations and festivities leading up to Grand Final Day, and then following the game on internet radio in the early morning hours. Writing poems during the game was not easy, but as they say, strike the iron while it’s hot! And I tried! The best thing? Being part of the group of poets watching the match and responding with poems. I enjoyed their contributions immensely!
What heartbreak though. The Magpies ahead most of the match, the Eagles sweeping ahead in the end to win the final.
and swollen vocal cords…
Grand Final fever
grand final eve —
eagle and magpie fans feast on
magpies and eagles —
the stuff that dreams
are made of
live on air
the stadium roars
on the airwaves
the ebb and flow
half time —
believing in my spirit
after all the hard work
and then we become
Ephemerae, 1, B, 2018, p. 62
Thrilled to have my poem featured on Per Diem: Daily Haiku, The Haiku Foundation site. The poem will be up all day today the 23rd of September 2018 here
Many thanks to editor Rob Scott for selecting it!
This poem was written for the AFL Grand Final Kukai 2017 and included in The Tigers’ Almanac 2017, p. 187 (Malarky Publications)
or not to be. . .
on a day like this
there’s no question
Ephemerae, vol 1B, August 2018, p.28
summer’s end —
watching the last tourist herds
breath of the sea
the tide rising