Robert Kingston

NaHaiWriMo daily writing prompter for May 2024

1. How did you get started with haiku?

I fell upon haiku whilst providing maintenance services to a high school, back in 2015/16. Pieces of A4 sheets of paper, each containing a written haiku, were plastered along the English department corridor. I enquired what they were to the English head and went home to research further. I’ve written very few of what I call conventional [longer] poems since. As for what keeps me going, it’s a bug; if I try to move on, an image pops up and I race for my phone to write it down.


2. Tell us more about yourself.

Originating from East London, my wife and I moved further east after marrying; we now live in a small village on the outskirts of Chelmsford, Essex, in the United Kingdom. My career has been a mixed bag of construction, railway engineering, and sales. My main interests today focus on various landscape walks, writing haiku-related poems, including haiku, haiga, tanka, and renga, renku, rengay, occasional haibun and making art. I don’t have a blog but can be reached on Facebook under my name, and on Instagram @stitching_time_to_an_old_rock. For those living in Essex; I am the contact point for the Essex Haiku Group, a subgroup of the British Haiku Society. We meet on average once a month. On occasion we hold a Zoom call, where guests from around the world join us.


3. What does NaHaiWriMo mean to you?

An opportunity to obtain a deeper understanding of the haiku genre. Its daily prompts on Facebook provide a space to share, workshop, and observe other poets and their direction of travel.


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

Read, read, read! The best haiku are not always found in the top-shelf journals, but generally such journals are more consistent. Apart from a small handful of journals that I either subscribe to, such as Blithe Spirit, Hedgerow, and Akitsu Quarterly, I tend to read the free sample offers on webpages, such as the Pan Haiku Review, Frogpond, The Heron’s Nest, The Mainichi, content on the Haiku Foundation website, and Poetry Pea podcasts. Triveni India is great for workshopping. As for study, is a great go-to place.


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


afternoon sun

an oarsman breaks

another cloud

             Volume 1, Haiku University, Tokyo, 2017


not yet spring

the neighbour’s ball still

in the garden

             First Place, 2016 British Haiku Society Awards


blue irises

mother replants

half a worm

             The Mainichi, 2020