Haiku Book

So, I did this thing over the weekend–I published an ebook of the haikus I wrote between January and April for the Haiku Room. The book is more of an experiment than anything else, a way to learn how the big bad world of Amazon ebook publishing works, literally works:  how to design a cover, how to upload and design the pages of a book, how to sign up for royalties, and so on.

The first draft I uploaded looked terrible, and I forgot to put my name on the book cover, forgot to write an introduction, and forgot to preview it before I pressed the Publish button. I unpublished that draft and worked up a new one, added some photos, put my name on the cover, fixed some formatting issues. Alas, there is still one small typo in the final version, but for now I am opting to let that go.

The book cover is from a photo I took of a book I made for a friend. I carved the stamp that I used for the design. It is the symbol for Choku Rei, which means healing and energy and power and is used to clear the space in healing sessions. Given all of the healing energy that I have received as being a member of the Haiku Room and writing and reading haikus, I can’t imagine a more appropriate book cover.

choku rei


If you are interested in purchasing a copy of the book, you can find it here: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=haiku+love+helberg&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Ahaiku+love+helberg

Enjoy and thank you for all of your support!

Haiku’s Slow Return

They are coming, the words, the syllables. Slowly, five-seven-five. Here are a few of the latest:

How hard must I wish,
To conjure your words from air?
Eyes shut. Hands open.

Life Now
Hot flashes, fever
Spontaneous combustion.
Sweep up my ashes.

They knew no better
Trapped as they were by their times.
How will we be judged?

It occurs to me
This is just fantasy. Still.

Haiku Memoir–a reblog from a friend

The following blog is from my Haiku Room friend Jenny Douglas whom I met through AROHO. It is such a powerful series of haikus–and a great example of the healing powers of the Haiku Room:

Let Me Tell You What I Remember, Mr. Gordon:

A Haiku Memoir

by Jenny Douglas

My teacher chose me.

He, thirty-three; me, fourteen.

His beard, my young neck.

Twenty-eight letters

you wrote to me; to protect

you, I destroyed them.

I babysat for

your kids; you drove me home, turned

off the car, waited.

A box, your thumb, words:

“Here’s something I made for you.”

Puka shell choker.

I never wore it.

Classmates would inquire.

You were mystified.

“Best Body,” you wrote

on the blackboard, then my name.

My eighth grade name.

“Let’s meet this weekend,”

you suggested one Friday.

Flattered and panicked.

I spent Saturday

terrified you’d call and my

mother would answer.

Oh, to be needed!

As you—a grown man—seemed to

need me. (So I went.)

Spaghetti boundaries.

Other girls would have said “no.”

But you could push mine.

I did tell someone:

my English teacher, she was

only twenty-four.

“I think you’re being used,”

she said; a foreign language.

So the days went on.

This under your breath:

“You’re stabbing me in the heart.”

Outside study hall.

After school each day

I’d weep alone, then pinch my

cheeks and cry, “Hi, Mom!”

I ripped your letters

up, and threw them out onto the

Shuto Expressway.

My friend remembers,

“Your hair fell out in 8th grade.”

I forgot that part.

Telling you his name

still feels like a betrayal

after all these years.

My child died and I

met my woman years before

her time. I liked her.

Would you judge me if

I told you I loved him? I

Miss the me he saw.

Years later, I asked

my teacher, “Why?” He said it

was for my own good.

This I can now say

(after all these years):

“I am innocent.”

The cave calls to me

airless and dark. Here is where

I will learn to breathe.

Happy Birthday Haikus

I’ll need thicker skin
If I’m going to keep this heart
On my sleeve alive

That’s it. That is the only haiku I’ve written in the past month or so.  After five months of what seemed to be inspired, non-stop poetry, the words have ceased flowing. Nothing makes sense. The metaphors seem forced, the similes thin. My haiku muse has abandoned me.

I supposed I should be grateful to have been smiled upon at all, thankful for the time we had, the syllables she gifted me, but I’m a little bitter. I thought I had a connection, a gift, a deal with the universe. If it would give me the words, I would write the poems.

But nothing in this life is guaranteed and I am grateful to have had the 120 or so haikus I wrote between January and the end of April.

Today is my 51st birthday and I want my gift to be the return of my poetry. Here are a few of my favorites in the hope I will be re-inspired:

A ribbon of words
Unfurls and I have written
The way to my heart

If I exhale words
Will you breathe deeply and find
Tattoos on your heart?

Words spark and ignite
Tender tinder, dry fuel
Strike a careful match

Play me for a fool
Or like a Spanish guitar.
My heartstrings. Your song.

Knead me with language
Release these tightly coiled
Naked emotions

Tired of falling in?
There’s a path without that hole.
Today I’ll walk there.

Starved for language and
Famished, I crave the constant
Conversation. Words.

Look. Hold the moon’s gaze
And feel gravity’s release—
Float away on waves.