Thursday, December 1, 2016

December Diary: #haikuforhealing


"Zen" by Justice Beitzel


Last Friday, Mary Lee Hahn invited readers to "light the lanterns" and heal creative spirits with a haiku each day in December. She's calling the challenge #haikuforhealing.

Officially, Today's Little Ditty will be on break until February to recharge and tend the home fires. Unofficially, though, I'll be participating in #haikuforhealing. 

I've always wanted to see if I could be successful doing something like this. In the past I've backed away from such challenges because they make me feel pressured and vulnerable. The thought of putting less-than-polished work out there for the world to see is not a comfortable one. Will this time be different? I hope so! While haiku are deceptively difficult to write well, they are short. And I've taken two steps to help encourage my success:
  1. I'm going public for accountability.
  2. I'm not going TOO public.
My haiku diary will be housed right here, on this blog post. Instead of publishing a new post each day, I will be updating this one. That means if you're a TLD subscriber and you're interested in following along, you'll have to remember to stop back from time to time. (You won't receive notifications in your inbox.)

Would you like to join the challenge, yourself? Your company is always welcome! Feel free to share your haiku in the comments.

If you would like to read others' haiku this month, you can visit:

          Mary Lee Hahn at Poetrepository
          Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche
          Heidi Mordhorst at my juicy little universe
          Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise
          Buffy Silverman at Buffy's Blog
          Jone Rush MacCulloch at DeoWriter
          Diane Mayr, posted on Thursdays at Random Noodling
          Julie Johnson at Raising Readers and Writers
          Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core
          Carol Varsalona at Beyond LiteracyLink
          Carol Wilcox at Carol's Corner
          Linda Baie at TeacherDance

(Leave me a note in the comments if you'd like to be added to this list.)


December Diary
#haikuforhealing

All poems © 2016 by Michelle Heidenrich Barnes. All rights reserved.


12.1.16

behind the clouds
a blank blue slate . . .
beginning again


12.2.16

new moon—
finding my way
without directions


12.3.16

staying awake
till the last box is filled
sudoku night 


12.4.16

the morning after—
her memory
one size too small


12.5.16

cars and clouds
on parallel highways
morning commute 


12.6.16 

weaving through traffic . . .
Dylan dreams of Bellatrix
Miranda draws cats 


12.7.16

my daily stroll—
stepping out of the mind
and onto the page 


12.8.16

layers today—
orange leaves on blue sky
gainesville autumn


12.9.16

endless night
listening to the tick-tock-tick
of his heart


12.10.16

sleigh ride—
the blue-maned girl
plays the tuba


12.11.16

chasing the gardener
from spring to autumn . . .
first frost 


12.12.16

the old man
could still use a penny
Christmas is coming


12.13.16

silent night
fog blankets the lawn 
with cotton


12.14.16

the ornament
the cat couldn't reach—
full moon


12.15.16

ghost moon . . .
she's grown accustomed
to the haunting 


12.16.16

piano whispering
the pieces
I've never shared 


12.17.16

winter solstice—
will the glass be half empty
or half full? 


12.18.16

unblinking
their eyes rest on me
peacock feathers


12.19.16

insomnia
by the light of my phone
haiku 


12.20.16

jolly santa
sways but won't be swayed . . .
waits for a sign. 


12.21.16

hearts
full as bellies
homecoming 


12.22.16

sugar cookies—
a dusting of snow
on my plate 


12.23.16

starlight
in my dreams
I hear carols 


12.24.16

hoofprints
in the powdered sugar—
Christmas eve


12.25.16

lights
become comets
Christmas magic


12.26.16

the score:
one hit, one exchange
no returns 


12.27.16

old man
winter sleeps
at the wheel 


12.28.16

year's end—
the rose bush needs pruning
                                                              again

12.29.16

364 days
crossed off the to-do list
running tally


12.30.16

2017 . . .
setting the table 
for uninvited guests


12.31.16

closed door
between me and you
knocking




*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

In other news . . .

I'm honored that Irene Latham is featuring The Best of Today's Little Ditty, 2014-2015 at Live your Poem today with a short interview and a few of her favorite poems. Thank you, Irene!

Thanks also to those who are including this collection on their holiday gift giving lists. Not only is it great reading, but with thirteen different poetry challenges, it's also a useful resource for anyone who enjoys practicing different verse forms. Purchase at Amazon.com or send an email to TodaysLittleDitty (at) gmail (dot) com if you would like a signed copy.


And speaking of poetry challenges, I've never before seen such an incredible last minute showing for a DMC challenge. After Friday's wrap-up post, more than a dozen poems were submitted in the last five days of the month! I do hope you'll take another look at these poems about places of refuge and solace. With thanks, once again, to Ann Rider for the challenge.





Random.org has determined that a copy of BEFORE MORNING by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Beth Krommes (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016) will go to . . .

Jone Rush MacCullochcongratulations, Jone!







Bridget Magee has something special waiting for you at wee words for wee ones. Join her for this week's Poetry Friday roundup.







93 comments:

  1. I love your idea of quietly writing your haiku, and will stop in when I can. Ah, that 'blank blue slate', full of hope! Best wishes for a restful couple of months enjoying all your family and friends.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Michelle, I agree with Linda that your first poem provides the hope we need in this world. I hope to create a few haikus for the challenge, maybe more if time allows but now off to work on the design of my Autumnventure Gallery.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Looking forward to your haiku and especially your Autumn gallery, Carol!

      Delete
  3. I like your plan for being public without being too public, and also for taking a break! Your haiku are great. The second one particularly speaks to me. xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's the only way I could figure out how to put the blog on hiatus without my muse jumping to the conclusion that she was off the hook! ;)

      Delete
  4. I like the picture of your blank blue slate - but I love finding your way without directions. Enjoy your break. I'm hoping to pop back and read more of your not too public haiku, Michelle.

    ReplyDelete
  5. You found the perfect way to join in on your own terms. Very smart (if I might say so myself) to archive your haiku in one post (wink wink). I'll link over from Poetrepository, and that will remind me to check in.

    That first one is a good reminder for every ordinary day, but also for these times.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh! what a good idea.....adding a ME TOO!

      Delete
    2. You've always been a role model, Mary Lee, in so many ways. :)

      Delete
  6. Wonderful blog post.....and a well deserved rest for you to tend home fires. So happy for you and for me that gets to know you through your blog. I've also joined the #haikuforhealing invitation. It will help me keep my writing brain "open" during an overly busy season and my own crazy home fires.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great, Linda! I've added you to the list. And yes, keeping my "writing brain open," is exactly what I had in mind as well. Let's hope it works for both of us!

      Delete
  7. These are beautiful, Michelle. I look forward to reading more! Have a restful, blessed holiday season!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks for sharing your haiku, Michelle. You're such a talented poet! Each word holds just enough weight and I come away with a smile.
    Enjoy your recharge.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm actually rather insecure in my haiku abilities... though less so now, after such a nice compliment. :) Thanks so much, Penny.

      Delete
  9. This is a wonderful project. I love the idea of "housing" the poems on one blog post. We can see the journey, day by day. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought so, too, when I noticed that's what Mary Lee was doing on her Poetrepository site!

      Delete
  10. I love that second haiku in particular - I guess it speaks to what we must do as a nation, too. Find our way out of this darkness.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, Tara. I'm afraid it's going to be a long, dark road ahead.

      Delete
  11. What lovely haiku, Michelle. Wonderful that you're joining the challenge. Enjoy your blog break. Meanwhile, happy holidays!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Super haiku! Thanks for sharing.

    Waking up
    to a new dawn--
    roosters crowing

    Have a happy poetry Friday.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now there's a wake-up call we can all relate to! Love this, Joy.

      Delete
  13. Enjoy your break, and best of luck with the haiku challenge - I have always felt the same way about challenges, they leave me feeling pressured and stressed. But, if you turn your thinking around, they can be a source of direction and inspiration, too! I look forward to following along with your creativity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's true, Jane! Maybe once I get through this one, I'll be less reluctant the next time.

      Delete
  14. Lovely haikus, Michelle--I especially like the new moon one--yes, it does feel like we're wandering around on a moonless night right now. But good for you for trying to find your way! Maybe I should go off and try to write a haiku too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hooray! You did! I've added you to the list, Buffy.

      Delete
  15. Love your approach to this challenge, Michelle. You first two haiku offerings are spot on - I especially love the "blank blue slate". I am always up for beginning again. I'll be checking back to bask in your haiku healing. =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Beginnings can be scary, but they're also invigorating. For me, the hard part is getting myself to take that first step. Thanks again for hosting today, Bridget!

      Delete
  16. I love this idea, and I love your approach to it. Perhaps I will give it a try too. I think I'll wait and see what happens tomorrow. : )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That would be awesome if you did, Liz. You know how much I love your haiku! Will stay tuned, then.

      Delete
  17. Michelle, I am so glad to see you participating. I am going to write as well (although I am already a day late). The haiku will be on my Deowriter site.

    ReplyDelete
  18. And woohoo on winning Before Morning!

    ReplyDelete
  19. You are such a positive force in our community, not only curating our poetry, but participating with such wisdom. "without directions" stood out to me. Isn't that how we are all feeling? What happened to the directions?
    Thanks for featuring my site, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for these kind words, Margaret. I look forward to writing haiku with you this month!

      Delete
  20. It's hard enough to share pieces we have worked on for a long time, let alone created in a single day. I'm excited to see the results of your bravery and hard work. I love these kinds of challenges, and I may join in.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your encouragement, David. Hope you do join in!

      Delete
    2. I don't know you, David, so feel free to ignore what I have to say. Haiku is supposed to capture the essence of a moment, therefore, immediacy is important. Sometimes the spontaneous poem is the one that is most revealing. (Of course, that doesn't mean a haiku can't be improved--but don't improve it to the point where it is a poetic statement rather than an essence.)

      Delete
  21. Enjoy your respite from blogging. I only blog once a week and sometimes even that is hard for me. I like your "blank blue slate." It's a lovely image. I will try to post a haiku now and then and will try to stop by often to enjoy your poems.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Michelle, I like "behind the clouds" because it allows for various interpretations. Well done, my friend!

    I'll be participating, too. I will, however, only post my haiku once a week on Thursdays. I picked that day because December began on a Thursday, and each Thursday you'll get a week's worth. Please add Random Noodling to your list!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Best wishes for a restful break, Michelle! I especially enjoyed reading your December 2nd offering. There are so many connections between the phases of the moon and the phases of our lives.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's true, Kiesha. The moon has always been our close companion. Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  24. Your haiku are lovely, Michelle. The form is perfect for this time of year, when our days and minds are filled with so many demands. Enjoy your well-deserved break!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Catherine. Happy holidays, my friend.

      Delete
    2. Catherine, I just read your haiku over at Reading to the Core (sorry so late to your post). Will you be writing more? I've added you to the list, but I only linked to the one post for the time being.

      Delete
  25. Nice peaceful haiku, Michelle. I feel the same trepidation about your challenges each month. Especially given who is issuing them. Yet, I appreciate participating very much. Our feelings are often mixed, aren't they? I hope you're having a great weekend. I had a very busy Friday, but I'm hoping to catch up tonight. XOXO

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True, Brenda, the feelings are usually mixed. The main problem for me with daily challenges is that I can't let poems sit for a day or two. More often than not, what I'll think is brilliant one day, will make me cringe the next! Hope you get some time to relax tomorrow. :)

      Delete
  26. So much good news in this post! Thank you, Michelle! Your haiku are wonderful! I agree, it is hard to put one's work out there quickly without time to let it sit and ripen, as it were. <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, ripe enough to detect their sweetness without attracting fruit flies. ;)

      Delete
  27. Thank you for adding me to this list. What a welcoming community!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Stopped by to check out your daily #haikusforhealing! Two of them I'm especially fond of
    12.4.16

    the morning after—
    her memory
    one size too small

    12.5.16

    cars and clouds
    on parallel highways
    morning commute

    So much metaphor in both of these, they're rich in layers! "cars and clouds on parallel highways" what a vision!

    I'm actually writing a haiku each day, but too much going on to post.

    I'll stop by again, Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Michelle. Glad to know you're writing too~ I enjoy seeing them in my FB newsfeed! Don't forget to stop and breathe now and then. :)

      Delete
  29. I forgot that you were writing and adding here, Michelle. Oops! I've joined in too. Will you add me to the list please? Linda Baie at TeacherDance: http://www.teacherdance.org I love your words on Dec. 7th, that "stepping out of the mind/and onto the page". Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Before Morning does look gorgeous. Kudos to you, Michelle for going public. I am sure it must take an enormous amount of courage to take that leap too. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Myra, not so bad as I thought, actually. But glad to have the flexibility in case I miss a day or two!

      Delete
  31. I added you to my list. Sorry for the oversight. Love these tiny glimpses into your day. Would love to take a walk with you in the layers of orange and blue.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No worries, Margaret. I'll take a raincheck for that walk!

      Delete
  32. What a great range, Michelle--I enjoyed meeting Dylan and Miranda (my kids are Daisy Miranda and Duncan!), and I especially like 12.4 and 12.9. Hm--it doesn't surprise me that you have a particular way with the ones about people (or perhaps creatures). Looking forward to my anthology, and sorry to leave you off my list--which I copied from YOU!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not a problem about the list, Heidi. I had a feeling that might have been how it happened. :) Besides, you have great taste in names!

      Delete
  33. Oh, I didn't know exactly what the #haikuforhealing challenge was. Thanks, Michelle, for explaining. I'm going to join in now, 1/3 of the way through the month:>) Your Dec 7 (my daily stroll) totally captures how I am dealing with life:>)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's terrific, Laura! So glad you're joining in. :)

      Delete
  34. Just spent some time strolling through your December...and the comments. Exactly the healing I needed after a rough day yesterday--that included political argument. again. still. Haiku is really top shelf medicine.
    xoxoxox

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for checking in, Linda. Sorry for your rough day! I'm starting to think a haiku a day may be in order for the next four years. xo

      Delete
  35. I salute and smile at your Gainesville autumn, blue and orange indeed. (While living in Florida if I ever had to choose I'd choose against FSU, simply because I had upstairs neighbors who were wont to dance around doing the tomahawk chop at 3 a.m.)

    ReplyDelete
  36. I adore that haiku about the old man and the penny, a favorite childhood song!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I remember singing it over and over... an earworm even back then!

      Delete
  37. Michelle, your collection of haikus are lovely. I especially like the ghost moon one. I would like to capture your 12.11.16 haiku for my Autumnventure Gallery because I have been chasing my gardener to sweep away all the leaves. I am so thrilled to receive your book in the mail that I am including it in today's PF post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 12/11 is all yours, Carol! I'll be sure to stop by and check out your PF post too. Thanks. :)

      Delete
  38. Hello, Friend - I share your hesitancy to publicize less than fully cooked poetry; yet that can help us grow sometimes, too (preaching to my control-freak self).
    There are some lovely haiku in this collection; maybe you'll add "submit new poems to journals" to your super-busy to-do list for the new year? ;0) I'm particularly drawn to "endless night." XO

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello, Friend! My control-freak self thanks your control-freak self for the sound and somewhat scary advice and suggestion. :) I think I may well and truly have become addicted to this Haiku-a-day way of life. xo

      Delete
  39. ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, catching up with your haiku after a few days. Wonderful balm for the soul. Whispering piano. I think each of us in the family has sat down and plunked on the keys for some Christmas melody. My boys have a recital tomorrow. Children making music is another balm for my soul. I have to say that the ornament that cat couldn't reach is my favorite though. ha! Well done. And, comments of so many wonderful poets and readers restores me. Have a great week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Linda. Cheers to Christmas piano plunking and good luck to your boys for their recital!

      Delete
  40. Love the moon-kus on 12/14 and 12/15. I love remembering that we see the same moon even though we're thousands of miles away.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a comforting thought, Mary Lee. Thanks for dropping by!

      Delete
  41. Love the "peacock feathers" & that light of the phone. I finally realized it was my phone dinging with a calendar reminder in the middle of the night-turned off!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Persistent little buggers, these phones. Especially yours!

      Delete
  42. Merry Christmas eve, Michelle. Love that 'dusting of snow", then connected to the "hoof prints".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Clearly I've been having such a good time, I forgot to respond to this! Thanks for leaving your own sweet footprints on my blog, Linda.

      Delete
  43. Good Morning. I'm stopping by to catch up and fill up on some beautiful haikuforhealing. You make me giggle with your references to powdered sugar. Oh, the sugar I've consumed in the past week. I know it's going to take powerful work to work it off....but it's been so tasty!
    Old Man Winter asleep at the wheel certainly explains our 66 degree weather here yesterday. I'd like a good hard frost at least....and snow at most. Beautiful words and thoughts here. Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You and me both, Linda. I'm nearly to the point of sugar overload... but not quite. ;) And as for the Old Man, we've been in the low 80's for a week now, when we should be having the temperatures you're getting (upper 60's)! What a wacky winter. Happy (almost) new year!

      Delete
  44. Oh, those last two haiku. They get me. uninvited guests and a closed door. Sigh. It's up to the artists to make things right. See you on the other side.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Congratulations on 31 beautiful poems. There's something about the simplicity of a haiku that makes the reader add in so many of their own thoughts to the work. On one of your last ones, the words, "Setting the table," got me so excited for the coming year. I also wrote a haiku a day, but am not sharing them with anyone :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, David, and congratulations on reaching the haiku finish line! Wishing you an exciting and inspired 2017. :)

      Delete