Years have passed
since you emerged,
and still your wings unfold.

A dark world
would make you a victim.
Don’t live in its shadow.

Certain, within yourself,
pride is yours.
Wear it.

This is my response to dVerse Poetics: On Pride. Anmol asks us to write a poem on pride, gender fluidity, sexuality, protest, et al. I have seen how cruel the world can be and the damage it can inflict.

The recent US Supreme Court decision regarding employment discrimination, with the inclusion of LGBTQ, is a step forward. There are many more steps before us. Other poems I have written relative to this matter can be found here.

Image source: screen capture from this YouTube video (Nature in Motion).

Emergence ~ haiku

The following five haiku/senryū were included in my submission to Pure Haiku for the most recent theme, Emergence. The fourth and fifth appeared at Pure Haiku on March 7th and April 16th. My thanks go to Freya Pickard for featuring these.


true spirit revealed
a nature too long hidden
gender acceptance

chrysalis of green
parting as beauty unfolds
regal orange and black

long wait is over
nurtured in a mother’s warmth
a child’s eyes open

after long nights’ sleep
bear wakes in darkness of den
hungry for daylight

neurons fire, thoughts coalesce

Image source: screenshot from this YouTube video

Advocates Lobby ~ haibun

Advocates Lobby

Footsteps echo in state halls, as office doors open. Will lawmakers listen to citizens’ arguments for recognition of something as foreign to some as sexual orientation and gender identity? Echoes mean little if no one will listen, yet silence delivers nothing. And so they speak, hoping their representatives will hear.

hoping to counter
attempted isolation
advocates lobby

On promo Equality Day, February, 19th, concerned citizens standing up for equality and LGBTQ rights walked the halls of the Missouri Capitol during “promo Equality Day” and visited State Representatives to encourage them to support and pass the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act (MONA). MONA would prohibit discrimination based on a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, such as unlawful housing practices, denial of loans or financial assistance, unlawful employment practices, and denial of access to public accommodations. MONA has been proposed every year since 1998, with growing support each year, and is badly needed in a state where no employee is assured protection from being fired for sexual orientation and public restroom access can be denied, based on gender identity. In a nation established on the protection of rights, some rights continue to be withheld, and any voice supporting those rights deserves to be heard.

This haibun is my response to the prompt for dVerse Poetics: On Privilege, which is to write a poem regarding privilege (or, as in this case, the lack thereof).

Image source:

ongoing struggle ~ haibun


ongoing struggle

In a short interview, filmmaker Monika Treut talks of the advances in the Berlin film community, and in real life, regarding the visibility of LGBTQ. She notes similar trends in other countries. However, she also points out that, in countries such as the US, acceptance is just as likely to be restricted in response to political trends, while, in countries such as Poland, art, especially as a medium to further LGBTQ rights, is unacceptable. She further notes that women, in general, face obstacles in being recognized and accepted as filmmakers.

ongoing struggle
for Q in society
life and cinema

acknowledgment sought
sans grudging recognition
for women, as well

This haibun (with haiku couplet) is in response to Haiku Review Challenge by The Secret Keeper.  The short film offered for review is An Interview with Monika Treut, found on Vimeo.


Unrelated news items that pulled me in:

A kiss can be the most intimate of expressions – its true intent known only to those in the exchange, yet interpreted by all who witness it.  Unfortunately, too often the reaction to that exchange, and to the relationship, by others outside of it is not one of acceptance.  Where does this end?

Passion is not limited to relationships.  Sometimes it’s expressed as the pursuit of, and love for, an activity.  Sadly, tragedy can bring an end to that passion in its last moments.


reaction to a simple kiss by
religion of terrorism
to proclaim an ideology

passion for great heights
and the open air
swept away in a moment

following news with shields down
remind self that weight of sadness
greatest for families devastated

Over the years, I’ve learned to reserve my emotions when reading or viewing tragic news.  I don’t turn them off, so I suppose I compartmentalize them.  I didn’t do that today.  First, in following the news about the mass shooting in Orlando; and then, reading about a hot air balloon tender who fell to his death when winds swept the balloon away after the riders disembarked.  Sometimes I have to remind myself that my sadness is incidental.



What is optimistic freedom, if it’s not
the freedom to be optimistic in the face of
insurmountable odds?

And what are those odds?

Is that like someone saying
you can use the restroom
when you pry the key from their cold, dead hands?

What is that, if not odd?

After all, everyone has to come to
their senses sometime, don’t they?
Or do they?

What if they’re asking the same question?

Maybe their optimistic freedom involves everyone else
coming to their senses.
It’s totally senseless to figure them out, if you ask me.

They would be the first to tell you they’ll be the last ones to come to their senses.


Day Fourteen of 2016 NaPoWriMo.
Image source: