Creative Collaborations

Tina is inviting us to share examples of how we channelled our creative energies these past few months as the pandemic restricted our movements.

The theme that pops up on both my blogs throughout this period is one of creative collaboration and community.

a calm blue sea under a blue sky with blue mountains

Sadly, within the first week of lockdown, fellow poet Stuart Quine lost his life to Covid-19. I love his poems, especially his monoku (a haiku written in one line) and even though I did not know him personally I felt compelled to create a tribute post, pairing three of his poems with images I had taken the previous day: A Tribute to Stuart Quine (1962-2020).

An estranged family member was alerted to my post by a friend and contacted me. She did not know Stuart had passed away and was not aware of his beautiful poetry either. I was able to provide her with links to poetry journals his work is featured in as well as the publisher of his full-length collections.

macro shot of a red tulip with green veins

The Haiku Foundation invited haiku poets from around the world to contribute to a collaborative poem to celebrate and honour The Year of the Nurse. It was a beautiful project to be part of and I created six new poems, later posting three of them on Tranature: EarthRise Rolling Haiku Collaboration 2020 and three on Whippet Wisdom: EarthRise Rolling Haiku Collaboration 2020.

The Tanka Society of America invited poets to create a taiga (a photograph, caligraphy or artwork paired with a tanka poem) in celebration of their 20th anniversary and Zen Meditation was one of twenty-one featured. All contributions were later combined with music into a short video:

We sadly lost Susan Hey (1979-2020), a much-loved local art teacher and member of our community when we were still in part-lockdown and funerals were private with restricted numbers. The small procession travelled through our town and gave the rest of us an opportunity to say goodbye. I wrote and posted Final Journey, a tribute poem to Susan. One of her art students later posted a video of herself singing a beautiful tribute song and others created pieces of rainbow art which they left by the family’s front door. Together we wanted to let the family know that they were not alone and the comments and private messages received in return were truly heart-warming.

picture of a mandala by Mike Booth

Julie Williams, a Highland art student, invited local people to send her photographs of the word hope created out of items found in their homes or on their daily walks for her HOPE Art Project. The idea was that every participant created, through their own artistic expression, a historical record of their hope during the current Covid-19 crisis. You can read more about this project and my contribution in Walking with Hope.

the word Hope written in pebbles on a larger stone

Inspired by a number of collaborative art projects and videos I became curious about producing videos too.

Starting with a story board I gathered images and poems before combining them into haiga (a haiku paired with an image) and taiga (a tanka paired with an image) in Photoshop.

Once the five-mile travel restrictions were lifted, I took the camera to record a number of short video clips that would fit within the story. Then came the search for background music that suited the rhythm of movement in the video clips before weaving everything together in iMovie. The project was completed by reviewing and fine-tuning it with the loving and patient assistance of my husband.

The two videos we made are in the sidebar of the blog and if you haven’t seen them yet, you can view them here too:

Most of our regular readers will be familiar with these projects and it was an interesting exercise to bring them all together and reflect on these special collaborations a little longer.

May you all stay safe and well,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs and videos by Xenia Tran, mandala art by Mike Booth.

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EarthRise Rolling Haiku Collaboration 2020

Year of the Nurse

We are deeply honoured and delighted to be part of EarthRise Rolling Haiku Collaboration 2020, a collaborative poem created by haiku poets from around the world.

The theme for 2020 was The Year of the Nurse and we submitted six previously unpublished haiku for this wonderful project. We are sharing three of them here today, the other three were posted on our sister blog Whippet Wisdom on Monday 20 April 2020.

flowering tulips
retelling the story
how she survived

© Xenia Tran

a black and white old photograph of a woman standing next to pillars with a vase of flowers

great aunt Faye
the bell in her voice
still ringing

© Xenia Tran

rainbow coloured hearts displayed in a cottage window during lockdown

deep gratitude
when nothing is expected
rainbow windows

© Xenia Tran

In the Scottish Highlands people are displaying rainbow colours in their windows in gratitude for all the hard work key workers are doing and as a greeting to anyone passing by on their daily walk or exercise during the lockdown.

The woman in the photograph is my great-aunt Faye Doherty (1914-2006), who was a nurse. Some of the haiku in today’s post and Monday’s post were inspired by her, her kindness and her dedication to the work she loved.

The full set of contributions to EarthRise Rolling Haiku Collaboration 2020 is available as a free download here. A very big thank you to all the contributors and to Jim Kacian and the Haiku Foundation for putting this edition together.

Wishing you all a wonderful Wednesday and may you stay safe and well,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr. The photograph of Faye Doherty was taken by my late grandfather.

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A further selection of recent publications in online and print journals can be found here:

Haiku: A Drop of Bliss

macro shot of rain drops inside young green leaves

water falls
between growing leaves
the pure land

© Xenia Tran

macro shot of rain drops inside young green leaves

Wishing you a very happy Monday and a wonderful new week,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/3.5 – 1/80 s – ISO 200 and f/3.5 – 1/125 s – ISO 200.

We are delighted that the above haiku has been included in the Haiku Foundation’s EarthRise Rolling Haiku Collaboration 2019. Our haiku Celtic Mist and Garden Buddha are also included. A very big thank you to Jim Kacian and all at the Haiku Foundation who helped put this project together.

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Haiku: Garden Buddha

close up shot of the head of a buddha statue

light rain
around the buddha’s feet
a sea of diamonds

© Xenia Tran

macro shot of rain drops around green poppy leaves

With love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/3.5 1/100 s – ISO 100, f/3.5 – 1/80 s – ISO 200 and f/3.5 – 1/50 s – ISO 200.

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We are delighted that the above haiku has been included in the Haiku Foundation’s EarthRise Rolling Haiku Collaboration 2019. Our haiku Celtic Mist and A Drop of Bliss are also included. A very big thank you to Jim Kacian and all at the Haiku Foundation who helped put this project together.

We are deeply honoured and delighted that the above haiku has subsequently been featured as part of the World Haiku Series 2019 organised by the Akita International Haiku Network, together with a Japanese translation by Hidenori Hiruta.

Haiku: Celtic Mist

stones near Bonar Bridge in the morning mist

a pinch of fog
pulling up a seat
by the river

© Xenia Tran

morning mist lifting above the Dornoch Firth, a wooden bench in the foreground
morning mist lifting above the Dornoch Firth, a wooden bench in the foreground

With love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Settings: f/7.1 – 1/1000 s – ISO 200, f/4 – 1/800 – ISO 160 and f/4 – 1/1000 s – ISO 160.

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We are delighted that the above haiku has been included in the Haiku Foundation’s Earth Rise Rolling Haiku Collaboration 2019. Our haiku A Drop of Bliss and Garden Buddha are also included. A very big thank you to Jim Kacian and all at the Haiku Foundation who helped put this project together.

Haiku: Lit up by Dew

close up of tree buds with pearls of morning dew and silk strings from a spider

lit up by dew
the spider’s silk breathes
pearls and rainbows

© Xenia Tran

spider's web in blooming gorse, covered in pearls of dew

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend,
with love, Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

We are delighted that two haiku posted on this blog, Floating Swan and Sweet Starling, appear in EarthRise Rolling Haiku Collaboration 2018 – Year of the Bird. This publication is now available as a free download from the Haiku Foundation and we want to express a big thank you to the editors for putting this beautiful collection together.

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Haiku: Sweet Starling

starling on the ledge of a wooden birdfeeder looking at the camera

sweet starling
how many hearts
fly with you

© Xenia Tran

starling eating peanuts from a birdfeeder

With love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

We are delighted that the above haiku and Floating Swan appear in EarthRise Rolling Haiku Collaboration 2018 – Year of the Bird. This publication is now available as a free download from the Haiku Foundation and we want to express a big thank you to the editors for putting this beautiful collection together.

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Haiku: Floating Swan

swan (cob) floating on the river with dancing lights

awakening
this light of the world
floating swan

© Xenia Tran

swan paddling the river with his left leg and resting his right leg on his back

With love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

We are delighted that the above haiku  and Sweet Starling, appear in EarthRise Rolling Haiku Collaboration 2018 – Year of the Bird. This publication is now available as a free download from the Haiku Foundation and we want to express a big thank you to the editors for putting this beautiful collection together.

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