Category Archives: Poems

Body language


Sixty years ago, she swallowed her grandmother’s most valuable possession: a ring, the only object to have survived the forced expulsion from their ancestral lands. The very ring that her grandmother, every night before bed, kissed and raised to the sky as if God needed the daily reminder that he had let her down.

Since that day of the half-accidental ingestion, and for two years afterward, the child was forced to use a potty, so that her grandmother could search its contents for the ring. To no avail.

In the summer of 2021, however, the ring exited the girl—now a grandmother herself—as if of its own volition. Effortlessly. The symbol of her family’s pain that her muscles had smothered, had been released. She heard the sound and to her astonishment, saw the ring lying at the bottom of the toilet bowl. Feeling nauseous, and while trying to steady herself, she accidentally pulled the chain that flushed away her long-held secret. She caught a glimpse of the ring before it disappeared in the swirling water to join the big, open sea.

letting go—
hunger for Scheherazade’s
stories

*

In Drifting Sands Haibun, issue 14, March 2022

icicle

Happy to have won third prize in The Haiku Foundation February 2022 Kukai

theme: icicle

icicle . . .
how long will he take
to forgive me

     — Stella Pierides (51 points – 4; 3; 2; 5; 3)

kukai haiga

Remarks below are by Dee Evetts, THF Monthly Kukai Commentator. He is an internationally known haiku poet and author of “The Conscious Eye” series on contemporary themes in Frogpond in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

I find that a great deal is implied here. It is winter. There has been a falling out, and apparently a felt culpability on the part of the writer. Possibly the weather (or another circumstance) has forced the couple or pair to be together when they might otherwise have chosen to put some distance between themselves –– at least for part of the day. There is a prevailing silence, and at best, monosyllabic and toneless exchanges when strictly necessary. This is one of those “suit yourself” kind of domestic stand-offs. It is true that I am embroidering –– even weaving my own version of the poem. Another reader will come up with a different story. What counts is that the poet has given us room to speculate, while at the same time giving us the very concrete image of the (how gradually?) thawing icicle.

For What We are About to Receive

Haibuphoria!

“For What We are About to Receive” my haibun on Drifting Sands— A journal of Haibun and Tanka Prose, Issue 13 (edited by Adelaide B. Shaw) is now online in both Web and PDF versions. https://drifting-sands-haibun.org/…/for-what-we-are…

The whole issue of wonderful haibun is available here:Web: https://drifting-sands-haibun.org/ Enjoy!

Introducing Haiku

I am thrilled to be teaching the course Introduction to Haiku (and related forms) for the second time at Parkinsons.Art.

Parkinson’s Art is a non-profit organisation run by artists and writers living with Parkinson’s disease.

Its mission is to:

  • Promote the benefits of art to those affected by Parkinson’s Disease
  • Provide a platform to collaborate and share artwork
  • Showcase Parkinson’s art and raise awareness through exhibitions and events

Trevor Woollard, who set up Parkinsons.Art, noted that a lot of the major charities in the sector focus – rightly so – on exercise. But there are huge numbers of people who are less mobile or not sport-orientated or don’t have that kind of ability. And they’re often forgotten.

Exercise is important – but so is exercising the mind and soul.

The course, starting 12 February 2022 and running for 8 weeks, is free. All are welcome to apply (see Homepage). But hurry! Places are limited!