International Women’s Haiku Festival: Poems by Marietta McGregor

moods of a rose-luminous

Photo: Leslie Main-Johnson/Creative Commons/Flickr

Marietta McGregor’s haiku are full of unfolding roses and spidery script in today’s feature of the International Women’s Haiku Festival.

unfolding rose…
i stroke her hand
around the cannula

The paradox of the unfolding rose is that, as vibrant and beautiful as it is, it is also in the process of dying.  This haiku is full of life and death, of the frailty of the flesh and of the love that sustains us through all trials, connecting us even across the divide.


attic spring-clean…
her spidery script
a brittle scorecard

The spiders that we imagine are uncovered in the “attic spring-clean” and the “spidery script” on old items convey a masterfully subtle relational discomfort.  And all of it packed away in the attic, hidden in the remote recesses of the private realm, suspended in a web of unease.

Marietta McGregor is a Tasmanian botanist and journalist who lives in Canberra.  Her haiku, haibun, and haiga appear in international journals and anthologies, and have been featured on Japanese television.  She has gained poetry awards in Japan, the UK, the US, and Australia.  She belongs to the Australian Haiku Society, the Haiku Society of America, and the British Haiku Society.

International Women’s Haiku Festival: Poems by Stella Pierides

land hermit crab

Photo: Vanessa Pike-Russell/Creative Commons/Flickr

Laughing babies meet hermit crabs in two haiku by Stella Pierides in today’s feature of the International Women’s Haiku Festival.

a pen and a feeding spoon –
the baby’s laughter

This senryu captures a moment of the happy chaos babies bring with them everywhere.  The baby is probably laughing because he or she feels secure and happy in the presence of a familiar care taker.  But what about this whimsical possibility: The baby laughs along with us at the humorous image of the parent “juggling” pen and feeding spoon?  In any event, this laughing baby, like all laughing babies, gets the last laugh – from us.


hermit crab –
while ironing she dreams
of other lives

Confined to its shell, the hermit crab rarely, if ever, leaves its home.  What if the woman in this haiku could leave her shell and leave behind her domestic chores?  Would the “other lives” of which she dreams live up to her fantasies and justify sacrificing the security of her status quo?  Maybe what the woman really wishes for is simply to know she has the freedom to choose a different path and define herself anew.

Stella Pierides was born in Athens, Greece and now divides her time between Neusäss, Germany, and London, England.  She is the author of Of This World (Red Moon Press, 2017); In the Garden of Absence (Fruit Dove Press, 2012), for which she received a Haiku Society of America Merit Book Award; and Feeding the Doves (Fruit Dove Press, 2013), among others.  Stella serves on The Haiku Foundation board of directors and project manages the Per Diem: Daily Haiku feature for the Foundation. She enjoys reading, gardening, film, music, food, and working long hours.

Find more information about the International Women’s Haiku Festival and submit your work at this link.

International Women’s Haiku Festival: Poems by Martha Magenta


Photo: Mo Barger/Creative Commons/Flickr

Martha Magenta turns mammogram shadows upside down and sees dignity in dementia in today’s feature of the International Women’s Haiku Festival.

my shadow
leads the way

Shadows usually follow us, not lead us.  Magenta’s turning that truth on its head is wonderfully playful – or would be, if the shadow in question weren’t the shadow on the mammogram image that every woman dreads.


knitting a shawl
grandmother folds
into the fog

This poem is a rich and dignified picture of generational role reversal.  The verb “folds” so gently unites the knitting work-in-progress with the grandmother who is fading into the fog of sleepiness or dementia – or both.  Was it perhaps the grandmother who taught the poetic speaker to knit?  If so, then those stitches weave the speaker and the grandmother together through the DNA of a beautiful handicraft passed down through generations.

Martha Magenta lives in England, UK. Her poetry has appeared in The Reverie Journal, Cafe Aphra, and Beaux Cooper; her haiku and senryu have been published in Modern Haiku, Presence, and Chrysanthemum, among others; her tanka in The Bamboo Hut, and Ribbons. She is owner of POETS community on G+. She collects her published work on a blog:

Find more information about the International Women’s Haiku Festival and submit your work at this link.