Midweek Poetry: 100 days of Haiku for the 100 day project by daintydora

I did it! We did it! So many people did it! Every day from 6th April - 14th July I wrote a haiku poem and posted it on Instagram for accountability using #100daysofhaiku.

It was just a small thing, a few lines, simple arrangements of words; frivolous noticings shot through with emotional outpourings in only 17 syllables each time: 5-7-5.

The 100 day project was dreamed up by Elle Luna and The Great Discontent.

The point was about fostering a habit and committing to yourself and your creativity, being vulnerable and doing it anyway. There's going to be #100day parties around the world!

I'm seriously struggling to pick a favourite but one of them is definitely from the giddy first days of the project, Day 9:


As time spins by in a whirlwind of action and doing and chatter and ideas, it seems particularly to resonate for me just now.

And I'm including yesterday's, handily written into my Mslexia writer's diary, because it was inspired by a true story which I plan to one day include in the novel (trilogy?) of my family 'saga':


What's been really special about the project is being aware of my surroundings each day and consciously thinking about my haiku-habit and what I will write about (other days, super-busy days, it's been a bit of a...last minute thing...)

But it's similar to the mindful writing exercise 'small stones' that my friend Vikki told me about last year. The idea being to always carry a notebook and write down the little things that you notice, the 'small stones' of your day.

As a writer, the small stones can often become big stones that could then become the ideas for a short story or a novel, or perhaps a tiny book. Who knows. But you don't want to lose those little pre-polished nuggets of stone because one day they could be gold.

And that's how I've come to think of my haiku - like panning for gold at the end of the day.

A writer and an alchemist in one. Stones, birds, time, emotions, thoughts, love.

I'll definitely do more haiku poetry. After a breather. And I'm going to put them all together into a handy haiku e-book to give away free. So there we go: a tiny book from a proud creative achievement.

Meanwhile, I didn't win the Synaesthesia Magazine poetry competition. But I was a finalist and that meant a lot. Congrats to the winner and runners up.

I'm not sad. Well I am a bit disappointed.

I'm just going to have to find more 'small stones' to spin into gold.


Friday Diary: 75 days of haiku poems by daintydora

I started my #100daysofhaiku on 6th April - 75 days ago. It's gone slowly and it's gone quickly. (I love that in Japanese/Buddhist philosophy, opposites are always both true.) At times I've written a few in a day, other times I've struggled to come up with anything much at all and ended up with 17 syllables of silly. Other times I've been out and posted minutes - seconds - before midnight. I've written about some of my observations at various junctures/milestones along the way.

What I'm most proud of is that I've not missed a single day.

It feels like an achievement, however small, and something I'm proud of. A good habit. A daily observation of the world around me. Thoughts and feelings and experiences distilled into haiku poems.

And my enthusiasm is as high as ever as I enter the final quarter of this challenging project. I might just continue!

So here's my 75th haiku poem (which is also 'botaiku' because it has a garden/botanical theme):

Haiku poems: Day 75 of #100daysofhaiku

Weeds soar skyward-bound
vying for attention on
allotment fifteen".

Interestingly, when I scroll through my feed of haiku poems on Instagram, there seems to be a recurrence of themes such as: the moon, love, emotions, garden and ethereal, sad things.

I'm not sure what that says about me (apart from that I'm obsessed by the moon, am vivid (cliché?) when it comes to love, experience strong emotions, have recently started growing vegetables and am drawn to ethereal and sad things...)

But the accountability aspect of posting each day to Instagram has made the difference between success and waning motivation. Being accountable in this way - visually - amongst friends that are also taking part in their own 100 day projects - has made it fun to try to capture my words in new and innovative ways. I know that's not the total point, but I'm creative and I love to fully embrace the available options of sharing words on a visual platform.

I've used pen, pencil, post-it notes, my vintage typewriter, watercolours, tiny dots, coloured paper, words over images in magazines, digital images, Photoshop, a napkin, a postcard, and I've left a variety of these in public places.

I had an amazing idea to use my letter stencil quite early on, but so far its location has eluded me. There's still time.

Onwards to the next 25 days of #100daysofhaiku, and beyond.


Midweek Poetry: Distorted Visions in Haiku by daintydora

I don't set out to be melancholy, but sometimes that's what comes out. I love light, bright, vivid, happy, colouful things - of course I do - but I also respect the 'dark days' of monochrome when tear-misted thoughts twist inwards like the black knife of night.

And you need to be creative when every new day demands a haiku poem before lights out. So.

Day 59/100 #100daysofhaiku:

Day 59/100 Distorted Visions Haiku

Distorted visions
play in magnified prisms
blurring tears away."

Follow my progress through The Great Discontent's 100 day project (#the100dayproject) on Instagram.


50 days of Haiku by daintydora

So, a whole 50 days of haiku...

50 days of haiku - figs, quinces, plums, pears

Halfway through. I can't believe it. I'm impressed with myself.

Creating a 5-7-5 haiku poem each day has really become a habit; words twisted into a semblance of order but with no rhyme or reason (though I still throw in some rhyme now and then. I can't help myself.)

Today, Day 50 of my #100daysofhaiku journey (shared every day without fail on Instagram), I've delved deep into the evocations of hot summer in a faraway finca in the hills of Italy or maybe Spain. A delicious remembering of all that nature provides, of the richness of the earth and also of language:

Figs, quinces, plums, pears
seductive fresh finca fayre
intense night flavours."

Taste those succulent pears and feel the juice run down your face and sticky your hands.

Draw your eyes over the lush green swathe of trees and plants and flowers laid out before you, watch day slip into night where a new menu of seductions await, and know, really know: this is living, this is the true essence of life, this is the nitty-gritty pleasure of it all.

I welcome the illusions, allusions, thoughts, ideas, images, simile and metaphor that swarm into my consciousness for the next 50 days.

Thanks so much to The Great Discontent and Elle Luna for devising this amazing challenge.


One + Four = Life: seedlings, sewing, flowers & poetry by daintydora

I've not been blogging as much as I normally do, because I've been enjoying lots of offline time and time spent outside. And I thought I was too late to join in with Pip's One + Four = Life this week (ideally suited to a Sunday afternoon's reflection), but it turns out I'm not, so here goes:

Seeds growing in an old record player!


Shown here are tomato plants and coriander shoots after just 3.5 weeks. Nature astounds me every time. I think the vintage record player box I am using for them must have a lovely mellow beat helping things along!

Last week I also planted: verbena for tea and another tray of spinach and some broad beans in window-sill pots.

Beautiful bunch of flowers


My husband bought me these beautiful flowers as a little midweek treat. I think I might try and draw/paint them. The colours are gorgeous together and really cheer me every time I see them. I love the natural foliage too. Green, green, green with peach and red and lilac and yellow. Spring days. And it was nine years on Friday since we got engaged.

Day 32 of 100 Haiku poem

Haiku poetry:

Today's haiku is still to be done, but my favourite from last week is this one from Day 32/100 that I wrote on a napkin and left in a bar.

The Great Discontent's 100 day project is really working for me and it feels great to say I'm already up to day 36 (today) and haven't missed one yet.

Work in progress: Orange Floral Hairband

Floral Hairband:

I started making another little floral hairband for myself, which I discuss on my creative blog, Dainty Dora's Inspiration Emporium. So much fun to be had with florals!

This week I also built a hammock, myself, and it felt great. I couldn't quite work out how the ropes were supposed to go, but I felt the 'happy' of building something with my hands, quietly, confidently, immersed in the simple process of it. (I also got that sense from building a make-shift raised bed in the garden from old bricks.)

And I made soup with leeks, carrots, sweet potato and parsnips and tons of garlic. And baked my favourite soda bread. I also disinfected the drains but no-one really wants to know about that so I'll stop right there.

It means so much to me to document my life, through the photographs I take on my phone and with my camera, and also through writing - personal journalling, blogging, calendars, notes, cards, postcards, scrapbooking. But it's also great to get out there and live it first.

Here's to another week of creative pursuits and growing and sewing and words channeling through me from everywhere into somewhere and something and One + Four = Life.


Friday Diary: Day 19 #100daysofhaiku by daintydora

It's day 19 of #100daysofhaiku - the challenge I set myself as part of The Great Discontent's #the100daysproject. Each day is an opportunity to record the thoughts of the day in a beautifully pared down and edited form. I think Haiku poetry is my cup of tea.


A diary brings
the secrets of myself from
the darkness inside.

I loved keeping a diary as a young girl and a teenager, and now as an adult, I call it a journal and just write down my thoughts. I can't imagine not having access to pen and paper to do such a simple but wonderful thing, as a regular (if not daily) practice.

For now and for the next 81 days, I'll have my daily Haiku to remind me what I was thinking/doing/seeing/feeling.

And I've tried to experiment with how I share my progress for this project because, well I don't want to say 'it's just words'. But... It is just words, rather than something more arty and visually attractive.

Here's some of my favourite Haiku shares from Instagram:


Midweek Poetry: 100 days of Haiku by daintydora

I signed up to show up, as part of The Great Discontent's 100 days project. And I'm excited.

I picked Haiku (#100daysofhaiku) because:

1. I've never done it before
2. I love poetry and words
3. I thought a simple 5-7-5 syllabic formula was...manageable

It's day 3, inspired by the gig I went to in Glasgow last night: Lone Lady groovin' it out:


Low ceiling red light
beats like dreams dripping from beams
tripping on the night.


Sign up if you haven't already, and just add on the days you missed. Just do it! Show up.