Exposing my soft little underbelly: poetry & haiku

black and gold unk book

Happy weekend, dear reader! I finally got some of my poetry and haiku up in here!

When I quit my job in 2017 to play at being a writer (as Charles Bukowski would say) I immersed myself in books about the art of storytelling and writing, from Joseph Campbell to Blake Snyder and everyone in between. Somewhere in there, I landed on Natalie Goldberg (who I’ve written about before). I developed an appreciation for poetry and haiku and started writing my own, or more accurately, I allowed poetry and haiku to move through me as a means of mitigating my own mental health issues. I enjoy the succinct nature of haiku, and the challenge of taking big feelings like depression or anxiety and distilling them into the terse verse inherent to the form. In addition to Bukowski and Goldberg, some of my poetic influences are Rumi, Bashō (can you even say you like haiku without name-dropping Bashō?), Emily Dickinson, Naomi Shihab Nye, Rupi Kaur and Paisley Rekdal.

My poetry and haiku collected here are grouped into three categories – relationships with the world around us, relationships with others, and the relationship with Self (the least fun to write about).

Now, as these – usually – move through me in the midst of dealing with anxiety or depression, they’re not exactly what you’d call pleasant, but I’ll never forget one of the comments I got in writers group after sharing: “I don’t know if these were meant to be enjoyed, but I enjoyed them.”

I hope you do, too.

My intention with this collection is that it will be a balm to individuals struggling with their own mental health issues, that seeing my words on their screens might prove that things are never as bleak as they seem, and that sometimes all one needs to do is look at the sky to be reminded of the beauty in the world.

So what are you waiting for, dear reader? Check out my poetry and haiku!

And remember: be kind, be well, be yourself.

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