Haiku: Sunlight on her Wings

an oystercatcher in flight above the water

filled with love
her lasting footprint
in this world

© Xenia Tran

an oystercatcher rising through the sky next to a rainbow

This post is dedicated to our dear haiku friend Kristjaan from Carpe Diem Haiku Kai who lost his mother to Covid-19.

Our thoughts are with him and his family at this difficult time and with all of you who recently lost a loved one.

Wishing you a peaceful Sunday and a blessed week ahead,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Canon Powershot SX60 HS, Settings: f/6.5 – 1/1600 s – ISO 1000, f/5.6 – 1/125 s – ISO 100 and f/5 – 1/800 s – ISO 400.

Carpe Diem Haiku Kai: Memories of a Loved One

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #131: Emotions

Haiku: All Souls’ Night

a snowy winter scene in the Cairngorms

all souls’ night
my great-grandparents
play in the snow

© Xenia Tran

close up of branches and heather covered in heavy snow

These images were taken in November 2017 at the start of a beautiful Winter.

Wishing you all a wonderful Wednesday,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/4 – 1/250 s – ISO 320, f/4 – 1/800 s – ISO 100 and f/4 – 1/320 s – ISO 250.

All Souls’ Night was first published in Autumn Moon Haiku Journal, Volume 4:1, Autumn-Winter 2020-2021. A very big thank you to Bruce Ross for featuring my poem and putting this beautiful edition together.

Sunday Stills: Winter Wonderland

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Leaves and Trees

Your Daily Word Prompt: Optimism

Haiku: Falling Petals

detail from a piece of pastel art featuring a woman

falling petals
he finds his mother
behind the rain

© Xenia Tran

pastel art of a woman appearing through a rain of cherry blossom

Working with pastels has been a hobby for many years and in my younger years my pieces were on display in cafés, art centres and at a local hospital.

My poems are mostly inspired by real-life experiences and sometimes by a dream or meditation. The above haiku was inspired by a dream and I tried to re-create the moment that sparked the poem in this painting.

I am deeply honoured and delighted that this poem was awarded an Honourable Mention in the International Section of the 2020 Haiku Invitational at the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival. A big thank you to judges Agnes Savich, Beth Skala and Gary Hotham for selecting my poem and many congratulations to all the winners.

Wishing you all a wonderful Wednesday,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs and original art (soft pastel on glass paper) by Xenia Tran.

Word of the Day Challenge: Hobby

Haiku: Harvest Moon

zoomed image of Harvest Moon behind side of a pylon

harvest moon
climbing a pylon
in the night sky

© Xenia Tran

harvest moon glowing gold in a dark night sky

Thank you again for all your good wishes before we went on our blogging break and we hope you had a good week too.

These images were taken a couple of nights ago when the moon had a lovely glow.

Wishing you all a wonderful Wednesday and happy moon-gazing when we see the full moon tomorrow,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Frank J Tassone’s Weekly Haikai Challenge #158: Harvest Moon

Word of the Day Challenge: Sustain

Thursday’s Special: Pick A Word 2020-2 (Lunar)

Haiku: Lingering Light

two ducks preening on the pond

spending time
with ducks on the pond
late summer light

© Xenia Tran

close up of a preening duck on the water

Wishing you all a wonderful Wednesday,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Canon Powershot SX60 LS, Settings: f/5.6 – 1/100 s – ISO 200, f/5.6 – 1/160 s – ISO 640 and f/6.5 – 1/200 s- ISO 800.

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #113: Labor of Love

Frank J Tassone’s Weekly Haikai Challenge #155: Remaining Heat

Jez Braithwaites Water Water Everywhere #44

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.

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #110: Creativity in the Time of Covid

Your Daily Word Prompt: Prevail

Haiku: Angel’s Share

a sparrow balancing on a wheat stalk by the sea

spirit of summer
sparrows surf their wheat stalks
by the sea

© Xenia Tran

a sparrow surfing on a wild wheat stalk

Wishing you all a wonderful Wednesday,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Canon Powershot SX60 HS, Settings: f/6.5 – 1/500 s – ISO 100, f/6.3 – 1/1000 s – ISO 160 and f/6.5 – 1/1000 s – ISO 160.

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #104: Summer

Carpe Diem Exploring the Beauty of Haiku #1827: Paradox

Haiku: Summer Meadow

a juvenile warbler among grass and wildflowers

gliding through
white clover and daisies
my love of wild birds

© Xenia Tran

a smiling carrion crow walking through grass

Wishing you all a blessed Sunday and a peaceful week ahead,

With love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Canon Powershot SX60 HS, Settings: f/5.6 – 1/250 s – ISO 100, f/6.5 – 1/640 s – ISO 400 and f/5.6 – 1/320 s – ISO 125.

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #104: Summer

Carpe Diem The Beauty of Haiku #1826: Juxtaposition

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Glide

Haiku: Butterbeans and Lovage

close up shot of chopped tomatoes on a yellow plate

meeting again
butterbeans and lovage
on solstice day

© Xenia Tran

side on view of a plant-based meal simmering in a frying pan

This has been a regular dish for us during the lockdown, once fresh tomatoes and spinach were available. We experimented with many different seasonings and lovage became our favourite.

This haiku was first published in Haiku Dialogue: The Way of the Chef, Troutswirl, The Haiku Foundation Blog, 24 June 2020. A very big thank you to guest editor Craig Kittner and post manager Lori Zajkowski for featuring my poem and putting this beautiful edition together.

Thank you again for all your good wishes before we went on our blogging break and we hope you had a lovely week and Solstice too!

Wishing you all a wonderful Wednesday,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/2.8 – 1/25 s – ISO 100 and f/2.8 – 1/10 s – ISO 800.

Frank J Tassone’s Weekly Haikai Challenge #144: Summer Solstice

Jez Braithwaite’s Fan Of … #73: Taking a Break

Word of the Day Challenge: Celebration

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

Haiku: A Small Fish

a grey heron stalking fish in a tidal lagoon

disappearing
in the heron’s mouth
a small fish

© Xenia Tran

a grey heron with a freshly caught fish in his mouth while wading through a tidal lagoon

It is a treat to see how patient herons are when using these trusted old methods to catch a new meal every day.

At the same I felt for the small fish and said a few prayers for him and his family.

Wishing you all a blessed Sunday and a peaceful week ahead,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/3.2 – 1/2000 s – ISO 100.

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #99: Old and New

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: For Our Good