Thursday, February 19, 2009


Split This Rock was in full force at the Associated Writing Programs (AWP) Conference in Chicago. One of the highlights for us was our Haiku postcards to President Obama campaign which brought in hundreds of postcards. We wanted to share some favorites. Compare these to the postcards written to He Who Will Not Be Mentioned last year (except in an international court of law!). Same country, different season. Is it spring yet?


We canvassed Gull Street
Snow Cross Way, goodwill turns left
you knock, doors open

-- Julie Sheehan

It's time for poetry
to storm the walls of Congress.
Now we can, Barack.

-- Frances Payne Adler

Don't forget
in Spring to
Split the rock
and drink
what's sweet. I'll
have some too.

-- Rose Berger

After lunch counters,
deafening hoses, snarling dogs,
you, basking in light.

-- Patricia Smith

A new green blue day
and high hatted trees! And sun!
Can you see it? Sir?

-- K. Bonanno

People at school made fun
of me choosing you, to be
the one who sits in the oval office,
but I stood strong.
I think if I hadn't, it
would have been a lost dream.

-- Georgia Lee, age 9

The talking of real hope
makes the continent shift its rocks
towards a mending

-- Maureen Clark

Let's make the spring sing
from Chicago to Boston
spread hope like budding

-- Moriah Purdy

I waited so long
my father would be so proud
of you, all of us

-- Suzanne Bles

Our hero of change
help your gay supporters say
"yes we can" marry

-- Jendi

Listen to the mountains
clear water, high lonesome
hope for the old folks
stones and silence

-- Sara

You can save hearts time
and space. With courage. Pace slow.
Bring peace. Save sleep please

-- Maya

My son is almost
eighteen-- his face should never
be a gun's target.

-- Donna Vonreyer

We know that hope is
not without difficulty--
and still, still, we hope

-- LKA

Do not sell out, guy
Republicans aren't your friends
compromise may kill

-- anon

Barack Obama--
It's about time!
You're our U.S.

-- Pat

For eight bleak black years
the winds of liberty stilled,
then O! Obama!

-- Jackie Kudler

You'll note we weren't sticklers on form (Haiku are three lines, 5-7-5 syllables, with a mention of season); if you'd like to write a Haiku to add to our collection (we'll be hand delivering these to Obama's staff, and will continue to post our favorites in coming days) please email your haiku to and we'll write it on a postcard.

With love, Melissa Tuckey


Anonymous said...

Patricia Smith's haiku sent shivers down my spine.
Thanks for all the great haiku.

-Mary Reilly

Ray's Blog said...

Nice sentiments in these three liners and nice idea to launch hope in the Obama era.
Just a note to say that it's a misconception that haiku are 5-7-5 syllables. That's an old idea from a misunderstanding of Japanese sound units. Almost all contemporary haiku writers write to 17 syllables or less and without a pattern in the three lines. Key is that the haiku can be said in one breath. Look at Wikipedia for more on this.