Collecting Haiku

I have started collecting words.  More specifically haiku.  I am aiming to write a haiku a day.  It’ll be interesting to see how this turns out but I’m hoping it’s a vaguely achievable goal.  I was going to start it as a new years resolution but new year is an arbitrary thing so I’m starting now.  Or rather I started on Friday.


Distill. Condense. Let

The image tell a story

In a breath. Haiku.


Coastal Erosion

Wearing away at

Foundations until nothing

Remains to support


Sketches on skin mark

Your boundary.  Outline your

Existence. Tattoo.


Post it note poems

Collected on scraps. Then lost.

Unexpected breeze.


Midwinter. Nights get

Shorter, days longer. Refresh



Birds sing their morning

Song to a street lamp sun.  Dawn

Is hours away.


Map reading when the

Destination keeps changing.

Human condition.


I am the sea

This may be the last of my creative writing retreat posts.  We were asked to think of ourselves as a place.  We then split into small groups and had to answer questions about our place eg what’s the weather like, what colours are there etc.  My first poem is my response to this.  My immediate thought was the sea, upon exploration with my group it turned out I was the middle of the sea.

The second poem was cobbled together on the train home from Horton in a post writing retreat euphoria.

I am the sea

Ocean bleeds into sky

Grey waves crash

Into clouds



In a boundary-less



I am unreachable


From the bleak desert


My waves crash down

Shatter upon contact

I am breaking myself


Somewhere between murky

Waters and misty skies

I sink heavy and numb


The mystical power of salty air

Was my saviour

But now I’m too far from shore.




A patchwork of beech, ash, elm

Each a unique shade of autumn

Boney fingers curl into tired mist

As two parallel lines gently rock me back to York


A slow transition into the rest of the world

Taking with me a small part of Horton

Crumbing stone buildings become housing estates

Purple grey darkness closes in


The man and woman next to me

Break off a piece of chocolate each.

Are they leaving somewhere too?

Or is their journey just beginning?


Eyes close in denial

As the supermarket approaches

A beacon that home is close

Passengers gather belongings


Step down onto solid York

I am home

With Horton magic

Still visible on my skin

Creative Writing Retreat Part 3

In case you missed them:

We looked at a poem by Lao-Tzu (translated by Timothy Leary) called All Things Pass.  Once we’d read it, we wrote a list of things that pass and then used that to write a poem.  It was a really interesting exercise and it was great how varied everyone’s work was.

All things pass

All things pass

Stars, even

Constellations now ghosts of myths

Rock solid North Star

Guiding sailors for lifetimes

No longer hangs

In the tapestry

Of the sky

All things pass


All things pass


Autumn steals the summer’s warmth

Hibernation tugs at souls

Slowing into desolate months


All things pass


Skelton trees, bleak shadows of former selves

Finally, Orion, Greek hunter, pierces the dark

Pinprick beacons of hope


All things pass


Sunlight revives winter weary bones

Fresh, vibrant shoots burst through soil

A patchwork quilt of colour surrounds


All things pass


At last, sunrise to sunset stretches

Ahead with possibility and energy

Perseid meteors scatter short-lived nights


All things pass

The Finale

It’s the final week of my online writing course.  We’ve been given a list of opening lines and are free to write poetry, prose, whatever we feel like!

I’ve taken a few of these and am going to develop them a bit more but here are my initial thoughts:

Broken ghosts serenade me now

Sweet whispers beckon
On chilled breezes
Skin prickles with memories
Which no one else knows

I am the only one left

When another world has consumed
And engulfed these recollections
Will they have existed at all?

Falling down is easy

Falling is easy
Much harder to reach out and
Ask for help to stand

There are few things in this world that I despise more than a locked door.

Crashing, thumping
Getting closer
Unbearable noise
Blinding lights
Getting closer
Getting closer

I locked the door

Safe inside the emptiness
In the darkness
My sanctuary threatens
To consume me

I locked the door
Then lost the key

I struggled and struggled but here is a children’s poem

It’s rushing round shops

And stressed out mum

Dad’s wandered off

And gran’s looking glum


It’s ‘wrap up warm dear’

And scarfs pulled too tight

But I don’t care

Santa comes tonight!


All year round I’ve been good

Or at least this week

I’ve wished for snow

But the tv’s promising sleet


Tucked up in bed

Curtains ajar to see

Father Christmas arrive

And leave presents by the tree


But wait, oh dear

I’ve made a mistake

Snow indoors doesn’t work

And now it’s too late


Dad wakes me excited

I don’t know why

I won’t get my wish

Then to the window I fly


The whole of the garden

Is covered in white

I dance and hug dad

With all of my might


One of this week’s assignments is to write a haiku.  In a moment, devoid of inspiration, I asked twitter for subject ideas.  There were some interesting ones!

Being kind to each other

Moments of kindness

Can turn a day around, a

Gift that’s free to give

Irn Bru

Brought up on irn bru

Orange fizz from porcelain

I miss my granma

Why adults are always moaning about winter when it’s the best season ever

Adults moan about

Winter, embrace inner child

Grasp Christmas magic


The blue whale, a giant

Relic in our seas, bigger

Than everything else

And a couple I came up with without the help of twitter:

Short and sweet isn’t

Always better, sometimes long-

Er is beautiful


Cherry blossom falls

Confetti scattering down

To Japanese soils

 My next task is to turn these themes into children’s poems…

Online writing course – poems

Taking a break from rhapsodising about the wonderful creative writing weekend, I wanted to mention that this was the first week of poetry in my online writing course.  We were asked to make a mind map around a particular topic and listen to three pieces of music and list words and images that came to us.  For the former exercise, I focused on the sea.  The latter, I struggled with.  I don’t find music tangibly inspiring.  I just don’t.  

We then had to use one of our lists or the mind map to write a poem.  Because I hadn’t come up with much based on the music I combined all of my words and phrases:


A life lived long ago

Amongst jagged storms

And flashing waves.


Black riptides



Now faint memories.


Another world

Slowly ascended

As towers of 

Salty possibility

Fall with invigorating energy

Regenerating freedom


Blue green swirls

Now reflect in her eyes

(Don’t worry, there will be more from the amazing weekend!)