The whole Twitter poll thing is not exactly working out, with this month’s result being a three-way tie. Ha! Fortunately, the casting of one unofficial vote from someone not on Twitter acted as the decider and this month’s Heart Haiku zine theme is…
Friends & Family!
Feel free to interpret this prompt in any way you like – write a haiku (or two) about just friends, just family, or both. Maybe you would like to write about how friends and/or family impact on your experience of living with a heart condition, or you might like to flip that around and write about how your living with a heart condition impacts on your relationships with friends and/or relations. Do friends help or hinder in a way that family doesn’t, or vice versa? Are you open with friends and family or do you prefer to keep your health issues to yourself? Do you do that to protect them or to protect yourself…or for some other reason altogether? Maybe your nearest and dearest provide emotional support, practical help, distraction techniques, (mis)understanding…? What constitutes “family” (or “friend”) to you? Do you communicate through face-to-face chats, WhatsApp conversations, via online support forums, or not at all? However friends and/or family interact with and impact upon your experience of living with a heart condition, we want to hear about it!
Never written before? Don’t worry! Can’t spell? Don’t worry! You’re a professional poet? Don’t worry! Whether you take a month or a minute to write your haiku, I will be glad to receive it and the insight it gives into your unique experience.
I have quite a lot to say on this topic myself (it strikes me as a very important aspect of living with a long-term illness) but I’ll save my syllables for later and post them in the comments, in an attempt not to sway the sort of things you guys come up with. And, no promises, but I will TRY to do a few blog posts related to the theme of Friends & Family throughout the month of August.
THE FINE PRINT
A haiku has 17 syllables in all: 5 in the first line, 7 in the second, 5 in the third. For our purposes, that’s really all you need to know – just don’t tell the haiku police I said so! Some contributors have said they find identifying the number of syllables in a word tricky. I do not mind if your “haiku” has the “wrong” number of syllables entirely, or even if you make no attempt to adhere to syllable count or three lines or whatever. You’ll notice previous editions of the zine feature contributions that are not haiku. If you respond creatively to the monthly prompt, I will be delighted to read it and consider it for inclusion in the zine, haiku or not. A bit more detail about writing haiku, should you need it, is available in this previous post.
All contributions left as comments on this post will be considered for inclusion in issue 9 of the zine, which will be made available for free download via the Creative Resources page. As ever, please be mindful of protecting your own (and others’) identity in what you write. No slander, please! 😅 In the zine, I’ll attribute the haiku I publish to whatever name you use when you leave your comment. A pseudonym is fine if that’s what you’d prefer.
So looking forward to reading what you all come up with!