More Than My Mind - Haiku as Creative Therapy

Wales Haiku Journal editor, Paul Chambers has been working alongside mental health charity, Newport Mind, to deliver a series of haiku and creative writing workshops for service users. The work produced in the workshops is now being published in a commemorative book, entitled More Than My Mind.  

 

2018 marks the 40th anniversary of Newport Mind, and as part of the celebrations, users of the charity took part in a Creative Therapies Project. The project involved writing and photography workshops led by Paul Chambers, and National Geographic photographer, Daniel Alford.

 

Working on the philosophy of ‘writing to reconnect’, the Creative Therapies Project workshops were delivered at Newport Mind, developing an existing creative writing group at the charity. All of the writers were experimenting with the haiku form for the first time.

 

The project fed into other existing groups at Newport Mind, such as the Music Appreciation Group, Men’s Group, and the Women’s Group, and the charity were also able to utilise the project to connect with minority groups in Newport at statistically higher risk of mental health problems. Haiku written by members of all of these groups are being published in More Than My Mind.

 

Here we present a selection of haiku highlights, from a range of new writers that feature in the book…

 

 

summer sky

slight drizzle on the grass

daffodils blooming

 

cloudy summer sky

the sound of traffic

the taste of water

 

falling snow

meditation on the mat

lovely cuppa

 

Norman Tang

 

 

a bee flies

high

across the sky

 

Mark Haines

 

 

the trees are full

the squirrels bounce

sun going down

 

Paddy Sloan

 

 

I look up at the skies

the mushrooms

exploding

 

Karl Hermanis

 

 

low summers sun

columns holding

ivy clad beams

 

golden shafts illuminate

fall’s fallen

leaves

 

chill in summer

dragonfly shimmers

it’s lonely sortie

 

Mark Vrettos

 

 

kids are playing

the clanging of the net

as the ball strikes

 

Giles Hibberd

 

 

autumn evening

I pinch an apple

from the tree

 

Daniel Jones

 

 

Spring grass shines

People candy

Textures

 

Rains winter happiness

Quiet ground

Pain

 

Ball bat breeze

Insects fly

Mouth

 

Patrick Jeremy

 

 

feel

the energy

of the tree

 

Lyne Cooper

 

 

a crow’s call

a child’s cry

a fluttering

 

Karen Watkins

variable

and intermittent movement

of a very heavy cloud

 

poor visibility

wave breaks

and rain falling

 

Cordelia Okwusoga

 

 

lovely summer morning

waking up with the noise

of both babies crying

 

Rakhal Smith

 

 

lots of crops

in the fields

the smell of rain

 

Annastasia Chikat

 

 

The launch of More Than My Mind will take place at The Riverfront Theatre in Newport on Thursday 8 November at 7pm, and Wednesday 14 November at 1pm. There will also be an exhibition of work on display at The Riverfront from 5-16 November.

© 2019 Wales Haiku Journal