Winner of Carpe Diem’s Departure Kukai!

I checked in on the Carpe Diem Haiku Kai website the other day and found a wonderful surprise. The haiku I’d submitted for our last kukai (haiku competition) had been chosen as the winner! I was delighted and humbled by this news. I never thought my haiku would actually win.

The theme of the kukai was “departure” and this was my winning haiku:


on the autumn breeze
one last leaf


My prize is the opportunity to create my own haiku e-book with Chevrefeuille Publications. I have always wanted to do this, so it’s a bit of a dream come true. When the e-book is ready it will be available for free download on the Carpe Diem website.

I’d like to once again thank everyone who voted for my haiku, and congratulate the runner-up Laura Williams.



Haiku: The Peony Lantern



peony flowers
her spirit drifts
from scented petals


“He saw two slender women come out of the dimness hand in hand. One of them carried a lantern with a bunch of peony flowers tied to the handle. It was such a lantern as is used at the time of the Bon in the service of the dead. It swung as the two women walked, casting an uncertain light.” – from the Japanese fairytale The Peony Lantern


(Image credit: Warwick Goble)

Written for Carpe Diem #1356 The Peony Lantern (Japanese fairy-tale)





Cherita: Second Language

words sitting on her tongue

they feel lumplike

it was a beautiful language,
she thought
but only when others spoke it


Note: Cherita (pronounced CHAIR-rita) is a linked poetry form of one-, two-, and three-line stanzas. Cherita is the Malay word for “story” or “tale”.
A cherita consists of a one-line stanza, followed by a two-line stanza, and then finishing with a three-line stanza. It can either be written solo or by up to three partners.




Haiku: The Star Lovers

Star Lovers Woodblock


bright river
her footsteps falling
on midnight wings


On the seventh day of the seventh moon came the magpies from far and near. And they spread their wings for a frail bridge. And the Weaving Maiden went over by the frail bridge. Her eyes were like stars, and her heart like a bird in her bosom.” – from the Japanese fairytale The Star Lovers


(Image credit: Warwick Goble)

Written for Carpe Diem #1353 The Star Lovers (A Japanese Fairytale)