These Haiku Can(‘t) Speak

This haiku can’t speak

Without your voice. You want my

Death but I, a choice.


This haiku can’t live

Inside your head. If not told

May I please be read?


A.N. Someday I will have the courage and the ability to read these (and my other poems) out loud. But for now, they will have to be content with being read by others. Thank you to all my readers for making me and my haiku happy! They were written in response to the theme of voices. 


Wish You Were Here

Four luminous seats

Set around a table.

I occupy one.


Three chairs stay empty,

Soft, plump – waiting for no one;

I wish you were here.


You wish you were here

But settle for fantasies.

Happy holidays.


A.N. I was on the train back to university, sitting by myself on one of the table-seats, which felt overwhelmingly odd. My family would usually be next to or facing me – not worn-out fabric. It got me thinking about how I would miss not seeing them for a month or two and how they would miss me. The scenario presented in these haiku, however, is not mine, but that of a fictional speaker. Someone who is going on holiday by themselves for the first time, for whatever reason that may be.

Feminine Markings

Rose, chestnut, peach, plum,

Smearing the spongy whiteness

Like paint a fresh page.


A.N. I wasn’t sure if this would be too controversial to post, but I decided that part of its excitement is that the aspect of womanhood that it depicts is one not (certainly by myself) come across too often in literature. I really enjoyed writing it because of this uniqueness and the dynamic perspective that it gave me on quite a mundane event. Haiku are amongst my favourite poetic forms because they have such simple rules, yet these same rules embellish what may be, like ‘Feminine Markings’ , a single sentence.


I, snarled in thick limbs,

Cried myself to sleep last night.

Can you see the salt?


A.N. The story behind this haiku is greatly personal, but I would like to share it on here as both an explanation of the words and a record for myself. I composed it as I fell asleep the day my psychologist had told me that I would have to keep gaining weight to be at a lower risk of relapse despite being a ‘healthy’ weight, albeit at the very bottom of the range. I must have known, deep down, that this would happen, but I held out hope, and even tried to argue against it. That night, hyperaware of the extra fat my body had accumulated, I broke down. That’s what EDs do to you, I realise: make it seem like a couple of numbers on a scale and vital body fat are the end of the world.