Twaikus and a Gift
I would like to offer you a gift of poems, you can download below.
Over several years, and through two political campaigns as a candidate for provincial office,
I relied on Twitter. It brought together journalists and political operators, as well as the public.
Twitter is the relied upon forum for feisty commentary on social issues. It is often the earliest
source for the latest controversies, scandals or gossip.
Alas, when I was spending time on Twitter, I felt immersed in the platform’s aggressive
nastiness, sarcasm, self-righteousness and negative energy; it was corrosive to my heart. I
always felt worse after being online. It was clear that I was burning out. It was also the drag
of the constant COVID craziness, conspiracies, confusion and tumult. I began to wonder
about deleting my Twitter account.
But, surprisingly, a redemptive option showed up. I tweeted a poem in early 2021. I
expressed a simple idea: my soul has an immune system. After I posted this poem/tweet, I
felt much better. I valued the response. It also felt somehow defiant and subversive. Maybe
poetry would allow for me to continue on Twitter, in this new way: that felt more life-giving,
positive, generative and soulful.
Dozens of poems followed. Some are pretty decent. Others are a bit embarrasing. I found I
care less with each tweet what anyone thinks about my poems! Often they show up in the
wee hours of the night or driving in the car. I try to remember them when I have the chance
to write. I now realize that I simply need an outlet for expression: to get these out in some
These simple poems are twaikus (my hybrid of Twitter with the poetic structure of haiku).
I have also become very aware that the discipline of a structure has proven to be helpful.
The maximum 280 characters of a tweet (blanks included!) has provided a creative boundary
and a fixed limitation. This has forced me to distill and concentrate what I am trying to say.
My initial wave of writing a poem usually exceeds the character limit. I see the red bar
appear over the last words. A circle at the bottom goes from blue to yellow then red and tells
me “-10”; thus, I am now ten characters over my limit. The challenge is to go back, scan over
the poem, and get to work composting humus: simplify, reduce, trim and tone. Saying more
with less. The practice has slowly evolved into a sparse style of poetic description: a twaiku.
As I have collected these twaikus, I have also started to write brief prose reflections on the
themes in each poem. Some of these are an exploration of some hidden dynamics in the
poem. I also wanted each reading to end with questions. I love being offered questions to
evoke a response: a seed. So I conclude each reading with three that I hope will germinate
in their time. They can be used for journaling, meditation, or small group process.
HUMUS AND SEEDS
Humus and Seeds is a gift for you to download!
It is 14 poems and reflections from a larger collection. It is intended to be used as a contemplative practice over two weeks: one poem for each day starting on a Sunday.
The completed published set has 60 poems: with accompanying reflections and questions. It is suitable for individual or group process.
Contact me if you would like a copy of the full set when this project is complete in the near future.
You can download a free PDF version of Humus and Seeds by clicking the button below.