Tag Archives: haiku

The Surface of Things

haibun On its 50th anniversary, the Museum received a gift towards establishing a Collection of Lost Words. The three curators entrusted with this project, feeling an overwhelming sense of responsibility and apprehension, set about their work immediately. At their first meeting, the youngest of the three suggested they might place an ad in the national press, or even tweet about it asking for submissions. The oldest suggested they go on a retreat together with hand-picked etymologists, philosophers, and linguists, in other words experts, to brain-storm. The woman on the team suggested they search online catalogues for words no longer in use. Words written on tablets and papyri, words from extinct languages. For weeks they discussed the relationship between words and the worlds they described; words and the worlds they gave rise to. Forbidden words, or overused words that lost their meaning. As a result of intense deliberations, a special linguistic search engine was built capable of scouring for lost words. It didn’t take long for results to start coming in. The first word to be returned was ‘love’.

cracked earth
last year’s seedling
yet to sprout

Frogpond 40:3,  p.63, 2017

‘Squares with Circles’ in Ekphrasis, The BHS Members’ Anthology 2017

squares with circles –
listening to the colours
sing
.
After the painting Color Study. Squares with Concentric Circles, 1913, by Wassily Kandinsky.

Poem appears on p. 51 of Ekphrasis, The British Haiku Society Members’ Anthology 2017.

Ekphrasis, British Haiku Society Members' Anthology 2017 One of Kandinsky’s favourite descriptions of his work had been ‘making the colours sing.’ It is said that Kandinsky’s synesthesia — a condition in which one sense such as vision, triggers another, for instance, hearing — allowed him to hear the colours he worked with and . . . make them sing. In this poem, I admit hearing them!

Photo: copied from FB image posted by Shrikaanth Murthy.

‘End Note’ in Haibun Today

Haibun Today The handwritten letter is long, the paper creased, stained. The stamps on the envelope, though, are glued perfectly straight, indicating help with the posting. It takes me time to decipher the spidery handwriting infested with blank spaces, as if the sender had taken breaks in between. I stumble repeatedly, especially after the first couple of sentences, when the handwriting grows smaller.

What are you trying to say, I want to ask him. Why didn’t you phone me? I reach for the phone, then stop myself. He wanted me to read this letter. I take off my glasses and bring the paper close to my face. I see better now, and I can smell the paper. A sweet fragrance mixed with acetone.

day lilies
at the hospice . . .
wilting

In Twos

Gnarled Oak, Haibun, Her glasses are on the night table. Propped up on two cushions, she is asleep, her mouth half-open, a bubble of saliva shifting on her lip with every breath. The ceiling fan purrs. A quiet room, otherwise. Tiptoeing near her bed I see a tiny fly approach her face. As if sensing it, she raises her arm, brushing against her forehead. I stop breathing. But she continues in her sleep, as if she is on a journey and this moment that just passed was but a momentary stop, a blip, a slight distraction.

no one
in the mirror
night of ghosts

*

In Gnarled Oak 30 November 2017

 

‘Of This World’ and ‘Ekphrasis’

Looking back on 2017 I am very pleased with these two books: ‘Of This World: 48 Haibun’ (Red Moon Press, 2017), and ‘Ekphrasis: Between Image and Word’  in collaboration with Maria Pierides (Fruit Dove Press, 2017).

If you have liked any of the books please think of adding a review or a few stars on Amazon.

If you haven’t read them and you’d like to purchase a copy, please contact me via the contact form here, or Fruit Dove Press for ‘Ekphrasis’.

For copies ‘Of This World’: Amazon UK 

Amazon DE 

USA: Red Moon Press

Of This World, Ekphrasis,

‘Ekphrasis’ the Private View

Thank you all for coming to the private view of ‘Ekphrasis: Between Image and Word,’ an exciting show of new paintings by Maria Pierides, with a response to each of those paintings with haiku by yours truly! We were delighted and grateful for your warm and appreciative presence at the show’s launch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

.

.

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

.
(Photos from the King Street Gallery Facebook post)

The exhibition runs in the Chate Room, King Street Gallery, Carmarthen for your viewing pleasure until 15th Nov – don’t miss it! Copies of the exhibition book, postcards, and of course, paintings, are available for purchase from the Gallery, and from pieridesmaria@me.com

Ekphrasis: Between Image and Word

Great news! Ekphrasis: Between Image and Word, the book accompanying the eponymous forthcoming exhibition at King Street Gallery, Carmarthen, Wales, is now ready, hot off the press, and available to order!

Fruit Dove Press says:

21751955_10154607584357271_6430121091860266218_n

We are pleased to announce the publication of Ekphrasis: Between Image and Word by Maria Pierides and Stella Pierides.

Ekphrasis: Between Image and Word presents 24 new paintings by Maria Pierides – and a response to each of these paintings in haiku, the shortest of poetic forms, by Stella Pierides.

From the back cover:

Stay awhile, travel the paintings, hear the echoes in between, and tell your own story too.

Alan Summers President, United Haiku and Tanka Society, co-founder, Call of the Page 

I highly recommend this book. Take time to look carefully at the paintings whilst letting the words float in your consciousness.

Robert Lamoon, Visual Storyteller and Curator

From Welsh Country Magazine:

Maria Pierides’ work is inspired by her surrounding landscape, cultural identity, history, myth, time – and poetry. Maria’s visual abstractions are the outcome of conversations with the artist’s being in a particular place at a given time, shortcuts of her lived experience in colour, in texture, in paint. The collaboration with Stella Pierides, who responds to the paintings with haiku, adds layers of meaning that expand in ever widening circles and offer new and unexpected inroads to the paintings. Between image and word; between substance, imagination, and reflection; and between the past and the present, a world resonates, inviting us to engage with the whole of our being.

Printed on 30 pages of pearl photo paper

For copies please email pieridesmaria@me.com
or fill out the Contact form on the Fruit Dove Press website: https://fruitdovepress.com/

UK: £18.00, incl. P&P
Europe: €20.00, incl. P&P
USA: $24.00, inl. P&P

*

Ekphrasis

Fruit Dove Press http://www.fruitdovepress.com

ISBN 978-3-944155-06-7

Ekphrasis: Between Image and Word

Over the past few months, I have been collaborating with artist and painter Maria Pierides on an ekphrastic project. The result is  Ekphrasis, the forthcoming exhibition at King Street Gallery, featuring 24 of Maria’s marvellous paintings together with my haiku responses to each of her paintings. A book of the exhibition will be available at the show.

King Street Gallery, Carmarthen, Wales, announced the forthcoming event in Welsh Country Magazine:

M Pierides & S Pierides exhibition of paintings & poetry

A new exhibition which opens on 27th October in the Chate Room, King Street Gallery, showcases a dynamic new collaboration between painter Maria Pierides and poet Stella Pierides.

Delighted! So much looking forward to it! I copy below the full notice:

“Ekphrasis: Between image and word” presents new paintings by Maria Pierides – and a response to each of those paintings by Stella Pierides with haiku, the shortest of poetic forms. Maria Pierides’work is inspired by her surrounding landscape, cultural identity, history, myth, time – and poetry. Maria’s visual abstractions are the outcome of conversations with the artist’s being in a particular place at a given time, shortcuts of her lived experience in colour, in texture, in paint. The collaboration with Stella Pierides, who responds to the paintings with haiku, adds layers of meaning that expand in ever widening circles and offer new and unexpected inroads to the paintings. Between image and word; between substance, imagination, and reflection; and between the past and the present, a world resonates, inviting us to engage with the whole of our being. To coincide with her solo show at King Street Gallery, Maria is working on a book featuring a selection of paintings with the haiku written in response to them. King Street Gallery artist Matt Pearce said:

“Despite having been showing at KSG for less than a year, Maria’s work already has an extraordinary following at the Gallery because of its unique emotional impact.

We are very excited about Maria’s forthcoming exhibition which adds to her paintings a response – in poetry – by Stella Pierides,
which will inspire a new dialogue around the paintings.”

Ekphrasis,painting,haiku,

A private view takes place at King Street Gallery on Friday, the 27th of October from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. Maria and I would be pleased to see you there. The exhibition runs until 16th Nov.

For more information about King Street Gallery please visit: http://www.kingstreetgallery.co.uk

The British Haiku Society Awards 2017

The British Haiku Society has just announced the opening of their annual Haiku, Tanka and Haibun Awards 2017! And with this, the judges for the different categories. I am honoured and excited to be invited to judge the Haibun category.

This year, the award for this category is named the “Ken and Noragh Jones Haibun Award”, honouring the two great poets and long-standing members of the BHS.

The competition is open to both members of the Society and non-members, from all over the world. Please click here for details. Deadline for submissions 31st January 2018.

‘From the Deep’ in Haibun Today

Haibun Today

 

I’d stopped writing haibun for a while. It was that moment thing. Every time I tried to write in the moment I found it difficult—nay, impossible—to stay in it. All sorts of ideas bubbled up: memories, associations, judgments; my need to appear clever. I wrote about the past, about objects, about regrets that sat in the heart like stones. Too much luggage, too much heaviness, too much of this world. Weighed down I stopped. I hoped for a prompt, a muse who would give me the push I needed.

Then one day, in Finsbury Park, sharing a bench with a woman talking to herself, my wish was granted. Dishevelled, wild-eyed, looking at all directions at once, thin as if she never ate, muscle fibers moving all at once, mumbling continuously. She turned and took a quick look at me, fell silent for what must have been a whole minute, and then started again. I tried to make out what she was saying. I realized she was reciting Homer’s Odyssey. In ancient Greek! I tried to follow. I could not make out whole passages, got lost in translation then caught up with her again. The holes in the recitation made by my absences did not matter. I sat with her for a long time. Darkness fell without me realising. A chill crept up from the soil. The sounds of the city surrounding the Park changed to an indeterminate, persistent buzz. Dark figures approached and slank away. Every now and then she wiped her nose, rubbed her forehead, played with her earring. I followed her recital long into the night. Long after the guards locked the Park gates and the full moon bathed us in silver.

deeper than the wine-dark sea urchins
.
Haibun Today, Volume 11, Number 3, September 2017

‘it happens to the best of us’

My monoku from New Resonance 10

New Resonance haiku

 

it happens to the best of us ocean wave

 

 

featured in My Haiku Pond: ‘a peaceful community dedicated to the appreciation of English language haiku, haiku related Poetry and Art.’
My Haiku Pond
Many thanks to My Haiku Pond editors Michael Smeer and Steve Smolak for featuring my work!

A New Resonance: Emerging Voices In English-Language Haiku, edited by Jim Kacian and Dee Evetts, now in its 10th edition

In ‘New Resonance 10’

It’s been a few months since I shared the good news about New Resonance 10. Well, now it is out and I am in it!


Volume 10 of “A New Resonance 10: Emerging Voices in English-Language Haiku,” edited by Jim Kacian and Dee Evetts, a much-awarded series, is out and it includes my poems. along with those of 16 other contemporary poets!

 

 

It is truly an honour to be a part of this wonderful collection!

I received 25 copies of the anthology, and have several available to order.

Price per copy is $17, including shipping, as well as a postcard with a reproduction of a painting by Maria Pierides (www.mariapierides.co.uk). Please email me for your copy: stella (at)stellapierides.com

‘Of This World’ review in Blithe Spirit

Thrilled to discover in the pages of Blithe Spirit, (vol. 27.2, 2017) Journal of the British Haiku Society, a wonderful review of my book!
I quote:
‘overall impression is Brilliant!’; ‘many a gem’; ‘words that weigh you down with the truth in them’; ‘I can confidently say that it has the navarasas (the nine emotions in Indian aesthetics)’.
A big thank you to the editor, Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy.
Of This World
Of This World is available from
Amazon Europe: http://amzn.to/2iT7PJx
Red Moon Press, USA: http://bit.ly/2jebbD7

EarthRise Rolling Collaborative Haiku 2017

The EarthRise Rolling Collaborative Haiku 2017, the world’s longest poem, on the theme of Reconciliation, is now collated and ready to treasure! You can find it in The Haiku Foundation site by clicking here
Many, many wonderful haiku.

I copy below my own contributions to the poem:
melting snow…
a pressing need
to confess
.
and who would hear
the sound of the sea…
reed ears
.
Passion Week—
letting the wild garlic
grow
.
daily grind
a stork pair picking
worms
.
revving up the engine
despite the rain
because of it
.
First appeared in Haibun Today Volume 11, Number 1, March 2017
.
refugee child–
folding and unfolding
his paper boat
.
First prize, Sharpening the Green Pencil, 2017
.
juggling
a pen and a feeding spoon –
the baby’s laughter
.
First appeared in Inner Voices, International Women’s Festival, 2017

.

 

Paintings & Haiku Cards

Good to see my haiku travelling to new and exciting places, accompanying Maria Pierides’s forthcoming exhibitions of her paintings in a number of venues in South Wales.

Maria has printed selected haiku responding to her paintings on cards for all occasions and will be taking them to her exhibitions of her paintings.
Painting and Haiku Cards, Maria Pierides,If you happen to be in Wales, you may wish to visit the marvellous exhibition ‘Art at the Hall’, Temperance Hall, Llangathen, South Wales, from the 14 to 23 of April; or Maria’s excellent forthcoming solo show at King Street Gallery, Carmarthen, 27 October to 16 November 2017.
In addition to these exhibitions, Maria’s cards are available from King Street Gallery in Carmarthen  or you can email her directly at pieridesmaria@me.com

“refugee child” wins prize!

Delighted to learn that my poem “refugee child” received first prize in the Romanian contest “Sharpening the Green Pencil, 2017.”

sharpening the green pencil,contest,Romania,

Thank you to the judges, and especially Cezar Florin Ciobiza for his thoughtful commentary. And congrats to all participants!

refugee child–

folding and unfolding

his paper boat

A print book with all the poems entered is available from the contest organizers..

Please find the poem and commentary included in the (online) book of the contest, p. 13, here

Fight on! (in re:Virals 80)

What does it mean to wake up facing a fist pressing hard against your window?
How does one cope with such a threat, day in, day out?

The morning presses
its hot fist against the window:
the fight starts.

— Bart Mesotten, Haikoe-boek (self-published, 1986; translation by Max Verhart)

Pleased to share that my take on Bart Mesotten’s excellent poem is featured in this week’s re:Virals, The Haiku Foundation’s haiku commentary feature.
Take a look here 

And try your hand at writing a commentary on the poem I chose (as this week’s winner) to be discussed next: LeRoy Gorman’s “the good soldier.”

“Haiku and the Brain” in Juxtapositions

A week ago,  I mentioned in this blog a second paper, addressing the haiku community, Haiku and the Brain: an Exploratory Study, in Juxtapositions: The Journal of Haiku Research and Scholarship. Well, it is now online over at The Haiku Foundation. Do visit and check it out along with the other papers.

I am looking forward to reading the other contributions. And to receiving my own print copy of the Journal! Judging from the previous issues, it is a joy  to hold and leaf through. And a collector’s item. You don’t want to miss it! More information on how to obtain a copy, see  here

Meanwhile, here is the Abstract for this paper.

Juxtapositions
This paper presents the first results of an interdisciplinary project, bringing together haiku poets and neuro-/cognitive scientists, to investigate the reading of English-language haiku (ELH) as a potentially paradigmatic material for studying the reception of poetic texts. Our pilot study was based on the ‘eye-mind assumption’, that where and for how long we gaze at sections of text reflects processes of information harvesting for meaning construction. The results indicate that the interactive process between the poem and the reader gives rise to characteristic patterns of eye movements (saccades and fixations) across the text from which (i) the position of the cut (after line 1 vs. after line 2) and (ii) the type of haiku (context-action vs. juxtaposition) can be discerned. Finding (i) is of special importance: it provides evidence that the effect intended by the poet can indeed be traced in oculomotor behavior and that, thus, the cut is indeed a potent poetic/stylistic device with a specific effect in the reader. Moreover, readers’ recognition memory was found to be associated with more explicit, conscious-recollective experience of having read a particular haiku if the poem was self-rated to be understood. This suggests that the realization of the haiku’s ‘meaning gestalt’ in the reader’s mind, which may be associated with an ‘aha’ experience, is important for memory consolidation and remembering. Albeit tentative, these findings and conclusions open up interesting lines for future, interdisciplinary research.