Category Archives: Blog

#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"

‘Boundaries’ in Blithe Spirit

The main course is boiled beef with green beans, mushrooms, and sautee potatoes. A typical dish in this part of the world. What is atypical is the sauce that accompanies it. Unlike the horseradish recipes that make your nostrils flare, this delicate sauce introduces a surprisingly mature interpretation that sings to rather than stings the palate. My neighbour has chosen condiments that balance the flavours to perfection. I can feel the character of the well-tempered sauce on my tongue. No excess. No diversions. Clear limits. Boundaries.

noticing
the rose after the rain starts –
petrichor

In Blithe Spirit 28.3, 2018

‘another spring’ translated into Chinese

another spring
the knotted branch
in the shredder

Blithe Spirit, 27:2, 2017

Stella Pierides

Chinese Translation (Traditional)

另一個春天
將一根打結的樹枝
扔到切碎機中

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

另一个春天
将一根打结的树枝
扔到切碎机中

Chen-ou Liu, 劉鎮歐December 7, 2018 


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.

Butterfly Dream: Another Spring Haiku by Stella Pierides

Honorable Mention in the Mt. Fuji Tanka Grand Prix 2018

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
and silence

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.

Brecon Beacon,

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.

Review of ‘Of This World’ in Frogpond (41.3)

Delighted and honoured to read Vanessa Proctor’s generous and thoughtful review of my book, published in Frogpond 41.3, Fall 2018, p. 139), the journal of the Haiku Society of America! Please read PDF by clicking the link below…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… sp-frogpond-rev ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ……………….Available from Red Moon Press and Amazon
Of This World, Pierides,haibun,

‘Of This World’ HSA Award, Judges’ Comments

So pleased to have received an Honourable Mention in the Haiku Society of America’s Merit Book Awards! I announced the news earlier this year here. The Judges’ comments appeared in the latest issue of Frogpond, the Society’s Journal (41.3, Fall 2018, p. 119). 
This is what they say:

In this fine haibun collection, Pierides addresses a wide variety of subject matter as she moves fluidly between tones—-philosophical, heart-wrenching, ironic, humorous. Some of the prose is conventional and some highly experimental; likewise the haiku (a frog jumps in / intertextuality / for beginners). No matter how short or light-hearted, none of the pieces feel slight, and the variety is delightful.

Many thanks to Judges Melissa Allen and Brad Bennett!

Of This World,haibun,

Available from Red Moon Press and Amazon.

3rd Annual Haiku for Change Event 2018

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:

rising seas
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