Category Archives: Haiku

The course on haiku included in Haiku Bridges

Happy to see my course on haiku for Parkinson’s Art aiming at people living with #Parkinson‘s, their families, and friends, being included in HAIKU BRIDGES, the new feature of The Haiku Foundation!

HAIKU BRIDGES is a new periodic feature from The Haiku Foundation designed to encourage and communicate significant haiku outreach initiatives to new audiences.

Scott Mason, running the feature, invites suggestions of such initiatives for possible inclusion in a future post.

I copy the post below:

Regular readers and writers of haiku recognize that their haiku practice confers personal benefits beyond the literary—it offers the therapeutic values that come with mindful awareness plus a felt connection with their surroundings. The nonprofit organization Parkinson’s Art, through its Parkinson’s Art Academy, will be offering those with Parkinson’s Disease and their families, friends and care partners a free eight-session course on haiku and haiku-related forms starting on September 18th. The online course was designed and will be conducted by Stella Pierides, a Member at Large of The Haiku Foundation board.

The mission of Parkinson’s Art is “to inspire and develop creativity across the Parkinson’s community.” Through its Academy the organization currently offers courses ranging from the visual arts (“Drawing & Painting Portraits”) to the literary arts (“Poetry Without Fear”).

Jan Sargeant, Director of Literature in the Arts at Parkinson’s Arts, states: “We are delighted to provide our audience with the opportunity to experience the power and beauty of this deceptively complex form of poetry. And we’re just thrilled to have someone as accomplished and committed as Stella to teach it.”

For more information, visit Parkinson’s Art.

Trevor Woollard, who set up the organisation 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.

I am looking forward to the course. Haiku, the shortest of poems, packs quite a punch!

Tulips for Breakfast: Haiku Course

haiku for Parkinson's

I am thrilled to be teaching a brand new course on haiku
for people affected by Parkinson’s, their families, and friends, for
the Parkinson’s Art Academy. Starting 18 September 2021 it runs for 8 weeks.

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
Haiku, Parkinson's Art Academy

At the centre of this effort, stands the Parkinson’s Art Academy, offering a variety of free courses on literature and the fine arts. It taps into the wealth of experience existing in the community of people with Parkinson’s.

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