haiku feathers



Shortly after my husband died I went to a retreat with Angeles Arien in Arizona and found myself sitting in a big circle being asked to write a haiku. 

I knew what a haiku was ( a seventeen syllable, three line poem, usually structured in an 5/7/5 pattern. The style is traditionally Japanese). However I got into a panic and thought “I am not in the space to think, English is not even my first language, this is not fair!” And then moved from panic to shock when I realised that 59 people would have a haiku in one minute’s time and I would be the only one with nothing.

At that moment a haiku ‘flew’ into my head. 

“heart open, love flies

flower wake to dawn mourning

shared grief melts sharp pain”

I did not think this up. It literally came to me. Since then all the haiku that I have written have come to me like whispers from beyond. 

I experience them as fragrant feathers, sometimes I catch them, sometimes they pass by and I am left only with a fragrance, sometimes they move on without a trace and I can’t capture them in words.


This is how ‘fragrant feathers’ came into existence.

I will share them with you on this page which I will update regularly.


when i am dying

i want to know it was time

having become full

i just remembered

my life is a love story

just to be in love


the moon only shines

because the sun bathes her in

everlasting light

let me remember

here in my body – once more -

who i really am


nothing else will do

i’ve known mountaintop melt

seen water gushing


sometimes other people catch feathers

when I read their words a beautiful fragrance comes to me

this one inspired me recently:

what is it that you were given?

I mean from the loss.

After, what was taken.

That very thing you could never live without.

The person or place,

the secret, or circumstance -

now that it is gone,

or has been found out,

and you can no longer call it foundation

what is it that you were given?

You know, and I know, this:

there is a hollowing out.

Something comes and opens you up





and from that moment on

you are no longer immune to this world.

You wake, you wander.

every familiar, now a foreign.

You walk as through water

until you make it back to your bed

and finally, even there -

your sheets, your own pillow’s scent different,

as if daily someone repaints your room, displaces something,

disturbs a cherished memento.

You see

sometimes we are emptied.

we are emptied


Life wants us to know






 by Em Claire

thank you Em