Urban Haiku

high rise concrete, twelve floor box:
glimpses of central window –
stairs lead to the stars

SJ Bradley, 2022

During 2021/22 I’ve been at Cambridge University, taking a PGCert in Teaching Creative Writing, attending with a bursary from First Story charity.
One of our assignments during the Spring term was to create a video introducing the haiku form, to allow students to create their own poetry at home whilst distance learning.
It made me think about many of the students I teach for First Story and for Comma Press. Most of my classes are in Leeds & Bradford; often participants have little or no access to the natural world at all. The haiku is first and foremost a form of nature writing: it uses the seasons, and images from the natural world, in simple language. This got me thinking: how could we get participants who don’t live near a park, or a woodland, to adapt the form to draw upon the resources they do have?
Hence: the urban haiku.
My own attempt at a ‘natural haiku’ is below, and there’s also a link to the video created by my group.

whale-bone branches curve
a cauldron of bright green leaves
sunlight lands: shy, gold

SJ Bradley – 2022

Published by SJ Bradley

Author, short story writer, and arts projects manager from Leeds, UK.

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