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Happy Poetry Month!

April is Poetry Month!

A lot of folks are familiar with the Japanese form of poetry called haiku. A lesser known form is the waka. Reiki Master and founder Mikao Usui used waka written by the Meiji Emperor (ruled 1868-1912) to assist students in their studies.

One of my favorites is:

When required

to walk forward

go ahead, otherwise

you will reach after

the others in this world

(found on pg. 296 of The Spirit of Reiki by Lubeck, Petter and Rand)

What does that waka bring to the surface for you? Take a few moments to reflect on the poem. I am holding a safe space for you in which to exercise your imagination. Perhaps write your own poem responding to it in any form you like. Maybe you'd like to write a letter to me about how it settles with you. Maybe poetry bores you. Good! It's all excellent and necessary!

I use haiku, waka and renga in my craft as a poet and as a Reiki practitioner. I find the forms have enough structure to help guide my focus. I tend to queer and crip forms. This practice encourages me to bend the rules of these forms when necessary to reflect my disabled, trans and queer perspectives. This poetry month I challenged myself to a daily poetry effort. On day 8 I set out to write a crip haiku about my recent experience at a local food bank. It ended up being relatively strict to traditional form, much to my surprise (see below). I'm working on a monthlong renga with another disabled poet and we're letting syllables flow instead of counting them or editing them down.

Before I leave you with my set of haiku, I want to thank you for taking the time to read my words and the words of the Meiji Emperor. If you found this post helpful or inspirational in some way, I would love it if you could share my website with one other person this month. I truly believe that the words of poets past are kept alive by writers in the present who can garner support from future readers.

Blessings for a lovely April📿

Your friend Stann

CW: food, gatekeeping

Once a Month, if you're Lucky

"Can I interest you in a

moldy turnover?

It's not bad toasted",

said no one ever.

Pantry gives expired food

and I'm "ungrateful"?

Watch this beggar choose

another day on Earth to

reckon with the harm.

You are most welcome -

witnessing my existing.

Now, shut up: pay me.

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