Guojah, Helene. “The Daily Haiku: The UK.”
Transnational Literature. Vol 13, Oct 2021
Special Edition: Follow the Sun

The Daily Haiku: The UK
Helene Guojah

I grew up by the sea in Cornwall, moving away in my late teens, as many of us did. With my partner, I am now in the slow process of renovating a small, semi-derelict house near Truro. I have worked with victims of homelessness and domestic violence and more recently as an event caterer alongside running a factory canteen. (Sharing your writing with strangers is not unlike laying out your buffet for a crowd – you’re never quite sure how it will go down.)

I had always wanted to write creatively in some form, but had never felt confident enough to share my scribblings, so I was initially quite tentative at being invited to join The Daily Haiku in March. I think I was jolted into writing my first lines by the momentous event of my son finally cutting his yards of hair and since then I think I have posted at least one verse every day, although I still hesitate to call them Haiku.

The Daily Haiku has been a creative companion through the pandemic miseries and the sea change of lockdown. I like the gentle prompt of the daily and weekly themes alongside the freedom to write on any topic. For a new writer, being able to learn, experiment and share in a warm safe environment is like dipping your toes in the summer shallows – invigorating and makes you smile.

Below are my first ever lines which I would probably write differently now but am still happy to let them stand.

Ten years of growing,
grams and grams of human rope.
The boy cut his dreads.

And something more recent – the prompt was ‘weeds’ and this was what I saw on my shamefully unkempt driveway.

Grey concrete cracks
Slowly darned with green
Haphazard stitches.