Category Archives: Haiku

Haiku and abstract art

Interesting connection between haiku and abstract painting!

In this short film, painter Maria Pierides describes how her current “Lipstick Project” came about and makes the connection between haiku and her abstract paintings! The film was created for the VAA International Online Spring Exhibition, the Curator Awards Presentation.

The exhibition site and Curators Awards can be found here

Tulips for Breakfast

Highlighting articles, blog posts, news, poems, films about living with Parkinson’s in honor of Parkinson’s Awareness Month and beyond.

April is Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month, set aside each year for drawing attention to this little understood and still under-researched neurodegenerative disease that affects around 10 million people globally (with numbers growing rapidly). At the center of this observance is World Parkinson’s Day April 11. Patients, families, care workers, support groups use the month, and the day, to heighten awareness of the disease as well as inform of the resources that are needed / available to support those afflicted by it.

April is also National Poetry month in the United States, with April 17 set to celebrate international Haiku Poetry Day. Poets, publishers, teachers of poetry, librarians, poetry lovers come forward to inform about, promote and celebrate poetry the whole month. The Haiku Foundation honors International Haiku Poetry Day (IHPD) with HaikuLife, the yearly Film Festival, and EarthRise Rolling Haiku Collaboration, a poem written by haikuists on the day, from sunrise to sundown around the world.

Since both Poetry and Parkinson’s are of particular relevance to me, I will be posting links to interesting articles, information, and Parkinson’s poetry in this blog.

Here is my favorite poem about Parkinson’s (the first one of four) by Robin Morgan:

A post by Minter Krotzer on her husband Hal Sirowitz’s need to keep the disease secret as long as possible, illustrates a common problem faced by people with Parkinson’s known as staying in the Parkinson’s closet! In her post The hardest Secret, she observes, “It’s interesting to me that people aren’t in the closet about many things anymore but they are about disease.”

And here you will find Michael J. Fox‘s story, one of the most well-known figures in the Parkinson’s world, diagnosed in 1991:

A detailed and brave description of personal experience of the disease and the healing practice of Haiku, titled Haiku and Parkinson’s Disease, by Tim Roberts, can be found in the New Zealand Poetry Society website

I hope that my posts will make a small contribution to addressing the heart-breaking dilemma those afflicted with PD find themselves in: on the one hand, the stigma associated with this disease, which creates and reinforces the need to stay in the closet and so deprive those living with it of the support there is; and, on the other, the paucity of information about the disease, which leads to and feeds misunderstanding and stigmatization.

If you are wondering about the title of this post: A red tulip is the symbol chosen for Parkinson’s Disease.

Collateral Damage in CHO 17.1

Collateral Damage
After four or five years, the miracle pill—the “gold standard” of Parkinson’s treatment—loses its sparkle. The drug wears off several times a day, allowing symptoms to reappear or worsen. Unless you increase the dosage, you’ll be staring into the abyss: muscle stiffness, imbalance, weakness, lethargy… And if you increase it?

dyskinesia. . .
how tall grass
sways

In Contemporary Haibun Online 17.1

Beyond Me in CHO 17.1

Beyond Me
There is a point at which thought unravels, where cosmic dust swims on waves our brains are not equipped to comprehend. This is the reason we learn to speak of concrete things caught by the senses – the fragrance of flowers, light and shadow, bird song, the weight of snow. Holding tight to the literal, we learn to survive.

Betelgeuse. . .
on my third cup
of strong coffee

In Contemporary Haibun Online

Lullaby in MacQueens Quinterly

My heartfelt thanks to editor Clare MacQueen for publishing this haibun
in issue 7 of MacQueen’s Quinterly. It had originally appeared in the
Wales Haiku Journal.

Lullaby

It’s at its loudest in the early morning hours. Before light dissolves darkness, before the neighbour leaves for work, before the birds start singing, his laboured breathing comes over the baby monitor whispering, gurgling, rattling, spluttering….

I lie awake listening to the crack of thunder, the roaring waterfall, the sounds of the sea emitted from his chest. A car starting, the exhaust backfiring, the train leaving station. The boat reversing in the harbour. Light rain. A soft meow. His breathing renders a whole world. In this soundscape, I make out the stories he told me when years ago he put me to bed.

Soon, light dispels the apparitions, and his breath comes over the monitor soft, steady, regular, lulling me to sleep.

music of the spheres
how we became
human

Portrait

painting Maria Pierides

A woman reading a letter in the light pouring through an unseen window. Hair pulled back from the forehead, she is pictured in the style of her favorite painter against an expanse of soft yellows. Areas of blue for the shadows, the armchair and her top allude to hidden layers.

camera obscura

the temptation to see

depth

Her upper body is turned towards the light, held by it, trapped by it. Arrested in the moment, her Parkinson’s is invisible. In a minute or two, she’ll have to change position, align her spine, prevent stiffness from setting in.

Amsterdam to Delft…

in their seats now, the old couple

remove their face masks

This is a good day. In the early hours of the morning, she’d lain listening to the woodpecker hammering time. As the hours rolled in, she made fabric out of wool, squeezed poetry out of the daily grind, mailed her loved ones. Read their letters…

lapis lazuli…

shifting attention

to what matters

Portrait, Maria Pierides

This haibun, a collaboration with artist and daughter Maria Pierides, appeared in the project Love in the Time of Covid

here

Maria Pierides’s art is for sale from Saatchi Art and from her website

JuxtaSix

A Happy New Year 2021 to all my friends! A year filled with Health, Love, Creativity, Happiness, and Peace!

Meanwhile, still in 2020, JuxtaSix: The Journal of Haiku Research and Scholarship, the print issue, is available! I just received my print copy from Amazon. It is a very interesting and well-presented issue. I am happy to say it includes an article on Haiku and the Brain that I co-authored. Many thanks to the editors, and reviewers, and well-done to my fellow authors!

Haiku Connects Us

What a wonderful project! The brainchild of Krzysztof Kokot, the International Picture Postcard Project “Haiku Connects Us” brings together poets and poetry from around the world. Beautiful pictures, coupled with haiku…what a treat! So pleased to see my contribution included here!Thank you, Krzysztof!