Friday, November 25, 2016


An unsolicited email showed up in my inbox. Rather than spam, it seemed like a message from the universe. Here are the big ideas:

5 Insights for Recording Artists, Performers, and Creatives 

1. Make Art for Social Change

2. Channel Your Pain into Art

3. If You See It, Say It, Sing It, or Sculpt It...

4. Be Visible

5. Collaborate

In a seemingly unrelated email, Carol Wilcox asked if I was planning to write a haiku a day in December again this year. 

My creative spirit, who has been sitting out on the porch with her head between her knees for the last couple of weeks, looked up and nodded. Yes, that seems right, she said. A response to the news of the day, shared in the concise metaphorical form of the haiku. 


Perhaps a month of haiku won't heal the world, but it may begin the process of healing my spirit. Join in if you'd like, by using the hashtag on Twitter or FaceBook.

Tanita's haiku are at [fiction, instead of lies]
Michelle's haiku can be found archived in one post at Today's Little Ditty
Linda Mitchell's are at A Word Edgewise
Margaret's are at Reflections on the Teche
Heidi's are at My Juicy Little Universe
Catherine's are at Reading to the Core
Carol Wilcox's are at Carol's Corner

Buffy Silverman's are at Buffy's Blog
Jone Rush MacCulloch's are at DeoWriter
Diane Mayr's, posted on Thursdays, are at Random Noodling
Julie Johnson's are at at Raising Readers and Writers
Carol Varsalona's are at Beyond LiteracyLink
Linda Baie's are at TeacherDance

All haiku on this page are ©Mary Lee Hahn, 2016.

image via Unsplash

waning moon
darker nights ahead
light the lanterns

11/25 Black Friday

autumn leaves
windblown into the corner
some still fly free


mob of cawing crows
one hawk flying sure and low
ducks the raving flock

11/27 #BetsyOurLoss

bushels of apples
vibrant orchards with strong trees
menace of blight

11/28 #commonplacemarvels

chickadees and wrens
nuthatches, cardinals, finches
all share the feeder


after rain
puddles reflect
dark clouds


overcast skies
unexpected kindness
ray of hope


Hello, December
Orion races west
Big Dipper empties


cold wind
oak leaves rattle
long winter ahead

(using Linda Mitchell's last line--modified--as my first)

winter tide: rest, rest 
ignore moon's pull: lull, lull 
wave goodbye: surge, surge

(a meditation on birthdays that are past the half-century mark)

another year
snowflakes gather in drifts
spring melt looms

(in response to a Turkish haiku in #haikuforhealing)

butterfly wings
small movement stirs the air


five birds
huddle on the wire
welcome one more


woodpile expands
winter heat stored in neat stacks
stoke the fires

(after reading articles about Trump's lies about jobs saved at the Carrier plant
and his designated security advisor is perpetuating fake news
and he knows squat about the Constitution)

brave little mouse
this lion can't be trusted
be vigilant


dark horizon
menacing storms build strength
children play tag

(a fun exchange)

from Van Allen (@GRProject43X), in reply to my 12/8 haiku

Your 5-7-5
is short a few beats. Why? Why?
A butterfly weeps.

my response:

my 5-7-5
is not worth tears, butterfly
who's to say what counts?


naked emperor
prepares to bask in the heat
of a dying Earth

Poetry to the rescue.

in emergency
dial nine-one-one for body
eight-one-one for soul

6:00 a.m., The Morning After the Neighborhood Lighting

one luminaria
shines on


prickly day
softened by sticky snow
balm of silence

Hat-tip to Renee LaTulippe for the first line.

poised atop the food chain
not my keystone


fifth grade --
teaching parrots
to think


yammering cuckoo
eagle remains vigilant
beware the talons


rain stops, ice melts
temperatures keep rising
shroud of fog

For Birds...and Friends at Solstice Dinner

even a few seeds
are enough for these birds here --
feed your flock


so much can't be fixed
but when the sink starts to leak
out come the tools


one bird -- one squawk
a mighty din -- the whole flock
add your voice

Winter Solstice

our darkest day
followed one spin later
by more light


honest work, like-minded folk
everyone comes clean

Solstice, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa

light and levity --
we gather all the candles --
blaze away darkness


under snow
at the base of the old oak
trillium sleep

Tyrannical Regimes use Isolation as a Weapon of Oppression

harmony, beauty --
haiku sung acapella --
join the chorus


planet is heating
sixty-eight in December
slow, comfortable death


sunrise looks forward
lights all the dark corners
fades all the stars

There are no big box stores, shopping malls, freeways, or stadiums,
but Eastern Colorado has this:

bolt of night fabric
black velvet stretched tight with stars
Milky Way ribbon


black bowl of night sky
overturned on plate of land
Milky Way flows


moving target
bullseye shrinks


ganderless goose
takes young chicken under wing
comfort for both

in the village
a stranger calls for help
answer comes quickly

fuchsia sunrise
be glad for another day
shadows be gone


mother bird
you raised your chicks to fly
don't be sad

this treacherous road
built by those who came before
fellow travelers

Fox News is Blaring on the Nursing Home TV

giving thanks
for print media's page turns
for website browsing

old oak stands silent
bare branches ache for spring
leaves will return

small town life
so slow, squirrels are safe
no roadkill

Happy New Year?
You've already forgotten?
Fresh hell awaits us.

I Feel Violated, Not Safe

groin alert requires pat down
you could smile, she says

The Return of Civil Disobedience

Hello, 2017.
Civil disobedience
knocks at your door.

incapable of deceit

Unlike this one: Asked if Trump is playing the media with his comments on who was culpable, Woolsey said it was a "possibility," noting that 
Trump is an "expert in weaving around" on issues like this.

west wind
bitter cold barrels in
chimes complain

a different kind of #haikuforhealing

(pass the Kleenex)
hazy fog

As I ponder whether my work with 5th graders
will survive the crazyweird to come...

Will you remember this, kids?
Practice it as adults?

Accepting difference.
Will you remember this, kids?
Do it as adults?

Outrage over hate.
Will you remember this, kids?
Act on it as adults?

Rumors. Fake news. Anything that's not the real issues.

heads turn
wolf advances


please help me believe
in today


sense of urgency
every word and action must
promote harmony


today's mountain
eventually a hill
but oh the rubble


  1. Beautiful, Mary Lee! Love them all. That "menace of blight" -- *shudder*!

  2. Mary Lee, while I too like your array of haikus the autumn leaves' one is especially interesting. As I see autumn passing by, some people like the leaves still want their freedom and continue to dance and twirl. I missed that you were starting your December #haikuforhealing early so I will try my hand at this.

  3. I love the waning moon and the lighting of lanterns. I will be doing the haiku for December. I think it will soothe my soul.

  4. Thanks again for getting us all going. My favorite of these are "bushels of apples" and "Hello December"--strong images!

  5. Holy cow! You have already been writing for a week??? Today's poem makes me shiver with dread :{{{

    My contribution is another tanka.

    Princess drags rhinestoned
    slippers from purple backpack
    adjusts tiara
    and prepares to pirouette
    at most improved reader ball

    (C) Carol Wilcox, 2016

    1. You are such a story teller -- even in micro form!

  6. Yes, butterfly; no, butterfly--who's counting, and what if we neglect to count?

    It's surprising to me how many people actually know the haiku "rules"--more, it would seem, than know the constitutional rules.

  7. Love these. Joining in late. But never too late, right?

    another year
    snowflakes gather in drifts
    spring melt looms

    Beautiful. Time flies. It is precious:>)

  8. 12/10 an interesting phrasing that speaks volumes...Thank you for placing us all on this journey with you, Mary Lee.

  9. I thought you were doing short syllables on purpose. Somewhere this month I thought there was something about Hungarian haiku and I thought maybe it was shorter lines, and that's what you were doing. I actually thought, "Dang, Mary Lee is at it again! Does she ever quit???" I love the exchange back and forth!

  10. Spin by spin, thanks for spreading that light, Mary Lee. Haikuing with you has been a joy this month.

  11. I can't even tell you how much I love the luminaria haiku... and the parrots (!). The injunction to feed my flock has really resonated. I am just loving all of these.

    - Tanita

  12. Warm wishes for the new year, Mary Lee. Thanks bringing 2016 to a close with haiku and community.

  13. Mary Lee, I wish there were a comment box for each and every one of these, and I appreciate your refusal to gloss over the fresh hell and wallow in the "spirit of the season" even as you acknowledge the spirit of the season. Thank you once again for lighting this bright little fire. Wishing all of us the toughness that this New Year will require!

  14. Mary Lee, it's so moving to read them all at once like this--to see the passage of time, the ways your feelings shift, the ways events appear in poetry. Taking time to observe and process through haiku feels so right in these days. Thank you for your writing and for inspiring others (and me) as well.