Gillena Cox

NaHaiWriMo daily writing prompter for July 2013, August 2016, December 2021, and August 2023

1. How did you get started with haiku?

I heard about haiku as a Japanese form of poetry writing while pursuing an evening programme in communications. The notion of this minuscule form interested me. It wasn’t until I bought my first computer that I followed up in researching haiku, which led me to Yahoo groups where writers were practicing this form. Then there were encounters with such online magazine as World Haiku Review, where I interrelated with some good haiku poets. So basically those were my first steps. I have come to really like this form so I keep at it. There is always something to pull out of nature’s hat and write about.

2. Tell us more about yourself.

I started blogging in 2006 at my blog, Lunch Break, where I thought I could provide a daily haiku. It turned out that my first postings were not every day, but my writing practice was frequent and I blogged what I thought at the time were my better efforts and scrapped the rest.     I am a mother and, since 2012, a grandmother. I worked as a library assistant for many years, but I’m now retired. Haiga brought me to dabble with paint programmes online as well, and I am an amateur photographer and painter. I write purely from a hobby standpoint. In 2007 I published Moments, my first book of haiku poems. Then came a poetry sampler called Pink Crush in 2011, and then, in 2015, my first book for children, The Little Seed and His Brother. I am busy writing in my retirement years and really loving it.

3. What does NaHaiWriMo mean to you?

I have come to realize that haiku has an attitude of ordinariness. Some days you look at a sunset and you become absorbed and it just leaves you speechless, however absorbed you might be. So the moment you should have captured, you let go of it. Writing in response to NaHaiWriMo prompts helps you to return to, remember, and recall such times and maybe make you wonder why you had not written about them before. I also enjoy the essays, the tidbits on the pages, and reading other writers’ experiences and expressions of a given theme. This interrelatedness in writing is encouraging.

4. What one piece of advice would you offer to those who are new to writing haiku?

I would say read the works of writers considered masters of the form, such as Bashō, Issa, and Chiyo-ni, and the translations of R. H. Blyth.

5. Please share three of your favourite or best haiku.

first view of morning—

a reservoir of raindrops

on leaves

heat stalks the edges

of rainy days—

wilting caladium

a sun-kissed morning

two bees nibble

ixora florets