At first it was just a prickling under her skin,
An itch of scapulae, a lightness in her step
and a longing for blue.

Then she developed an avid interest in
weather forecasts, noting wind speeds,
thermals… and felt the need to sit in high places,
Sleeping on the top floor of hotels –
a trip to the Eiffel Tower.

For a while she was satisfied
but as winter approached
she started sleeping facing south.

One morning when she opened her bedroom window,
It was all too much for her.
A billow of voile
and she was off.


Published in the Cinnamon Press Competition runner up anthology ‘Jericho.’

Published at Poetry Pea

Autumn Journal & Poetry Pea Podcast

side by side
we watch shooting stars burn out...
how many light years between us?

Poetry Pea Podcast S4E22
& Autumn 21 Journal

It’s always lovely to have a poem Published at ‘Poetry Pea’ and to hear it read by Patricia on the Poetry Pea Podcast and You Tube. If you like what you hear do press the ‘follow’ button. If you want to learn more about haiku or senryū or listen to readings this is one of the best places to go. She has some amazing contemporary poets guests.

Climbing… an Ekphrastic Poem.

An Ekphrastic Poem created in response to contemporary artwork…  Pending Tower by Walid Siti at the link below.


by Karen Harvey

How many people
Who yearned to rise the corporate ladder,
to live in the penthouse suite,
find the air rarefied once they get there,
unsettled, never quite settling in?

What they thought of as fashionable,
those clean sharp lines
and the monochrome decor,
turns out to be
cold and comfortless
under artificial light.

Long hours at work,
no time for relationships,
they find themselves alone
and lonely, stranded,
looking down
at the birds flying free.


Amnion… A haibun

I am fairly new to the practice of writing haibun, a blending of poetic prose with haiku or senryū, and I’m very pleased that the quality online haibun journal Drifting Sands has published this short haibun. While you are there do take a look around, there are some beautifully crafted pieces and the photography is very pleasing.


Video haiga… Shrunken World

I am really enjoying my experiments with video for poetry. As I’m an oldie, the most difficult part is dealing with technology. So this video haiga* is only the second video poem I ever submitted, and here it is being read by the lovely Patricia of Poetry Pea.

*Haiga is the bringing together of haiku or senryū with art work. The poem shoudn’t describe the art, and the art mustn’t be a direct interpretation of the poem but there should be a subtle resonance. I hope I achieved that.


After The Storm

He found the remains whilst walking the dog after the storm. The dog, eager to be out now that the weather had improved, pulled him away from the pathway toward the brook. High winds had partially uprooted the old tree causing the bank to crumble, exposing roots, pebbles, and part of a human skull and upper arm clad in the thready remains of the familiar shirt. He stumbled home remembering Grandmother’s grief when Grandfather disappeared all those years ago and wondered why he had to be the one to find him so close to home. 


My first publish story.

From ‘Pod’ a Leaf Books anthology.

Slipping Out For Air

Sometimes I write also write microfiction. This ultra-short story was written in response to the visual prompt below This intriguing photo was posted by Visual Verse, an online Anthology who post a new prompt every month.

Image by Julian Menier


When she said she was just slipping out for air, she had no idea that she would completely slip away from herself.

The first time it happened her family hunted for her for days. When she eventually returned, she was surprised to see posters on lampposts offering a reward for her safe return.

The police were annoyed that she couldn’t or wouldn’t give a lucid account of where she had been. Eventually a psychiatrist was called, who explained it away as some kind of fugue state. When his questions got too much for her she felt herself disappearing again.

It wasn’t long before she realised that she could come and go at will, and that casual statements like ‘Darling, I’m just going to put the cat out,’ could make her husband anxious. What he didn’t know though, was that this time, she was taking the cat with her and that they would not be coming back.

© Karen Harvey

Slipping Out For Air

Between a rock and a hard place…

Ekphrastic poetry is quite simply a poem that is written in response to a painting, photo, or 3D work of art. It is not merely a description of what’s depicted but it’s an idea that is generated by the picture.

This was my response to the photo prompt by Mariette McGregor, an accomplished haiku poet from Australia which was published in Haiku Dialogue at The Haiku Foundation.

from a germ
of an idea …
new growth  

See more… https://thehaikufoundation.org/haiku-dialogue-finding-peace-and-contemplation-photo-three/

In Translation… a haiku

Today I am sharing one of my early contemporary haiku which was translated into Chinese by Chen-ou Liu for his great NeverEnding Story blog in 2016. This poem is a nod to a very well know poem, see Chen-ou’s comment following the poem to learn more.

Chen-ou is an excellent poet, editor and publisher of contemporary haiku and tanka. Do take the time to follow the link and take time to read his and other poets work.

English Original

two roads diverge
so many sitting
on the fence

Sonic Boom, 2, 2015

Karen Harvey

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)



A one line haiku…

If you have ever seen a Japanese brush painting or print with one line of writing down the side, (Japanese is written from the top to the bottom of the page,) then you have almost certainly seen haiku as it was originally written. They are unpunctuated, leaving the reader to place the emphasis where they wish, there may be more than one possibility. This makes the reader an active participant in interpreting the meaning. Here is one of my one line haiku published in our home grown ‘Wales Haiku Journal’ edited by Paul Chambers.

turning earth this heady smell of soil as we spin


Fleeting Poetry

the ebb
and the flow …
bring me back

Poet on the Beach

Temporary art on a seafront I like to visit near home. I wrote the poem in chalk which I found on the beach so it would have washed off after a few high tides.

Perhaps this could be categorised as ‘found poetry’ as well as haiku because I found the chalk on the beach which prompted me to write.

Contemporary Haiku

So it’s July already, the beginning of the second part of the year and I have been procrastinating for long enough. I have had quite a lot of poetry and some microfiction published over the years but I’ve never posted it all in one place, so I plan to start posting here regularly till I catch up.

Here is my haiku as it appeared in the excellent online bilingual journal Cryanthemum.

soaring higher
than her top note

steigt höher
als ihre höchste Note
die Nachtigall


A Collaboration… Rengay.

Something I recently tried for the first time was writing Rengay at Sherry Grant’s Rengay Workshop, at the American Haiku Society’s amazing conference. We into breakout rooms with other participants and later I completed this Rengay with Maxianne Berger.


by Maxianne Berger (Outremont, Quebec, Canada) and Karen Harvey, (Pwllheli, North Wales.)


empty buckets

at the end of the wharf

chatty fishermen


        we build castles made of sand 

        washed away by the next tide



on the island ferry —

honeymoon cruise


yet another

swing around the sun …

golden wedding



        reflections of moon and stars

        on our ebbing memories


all is well

at the end of the day

hot chocolate


Free Verse by Karen Harvey

Water Baby

I saw you first
on the scan
baby swimmer,
two heartbeats,
yours faster than mine.

Mine skipped a beat
at the quickening of you,
when you flipped within me
whilst singing the songs
of the deep.

You came eagerly
running the bow wave.
I helped bring you
to the surface,
glistening, warm blooded,
at last, your skin
against mine.

I watched you
take your first breath,
a gasp, no two,
yours and mine,
brought you to my breast,
love at first sight.

Today we run
into the sea together,
dive in and surface laughing.
You, now fully grown,
our two heartbeats,
in time.

© Karen Harvey

Publication history:

Mothers Milk Books Writing Prize Anthology 2015

https://www.placesofpoetry.org.uk … find Pwllheli

Charlotte Digregario’s Poetry Blog 20th Sept, 2020 https://wp.me/pX5cN-2TV

World Collage Day

Saturday 11th May 2019 is ‘World Collage Day’ and I will be hosting a public event at ‘The Crown Hotel,’ High Street, Pwllheli. To see further details, please go to this link…
I hope you can join us.

I am a haiku poet, poet, flash fiction writer and Writing for Wellbeing Practitioner.

I have lead a creative writing for wellbeing group in Pwllheli called Heli Writers since 2010. When I heard about World Collage Day last year I mentioned it to the group and we decided to have a cut and paste session which we playfully called ‘Sticku,’ just think haiku with glue. The name has stuck.

‘Painting with Words,’ workshop

Festival Poster
An invitation to my  ‘Painting with Words’ creative writing workshop this Wednesday (28th) at the Indoor Market, Cardiff Road, Pwllheli at 2pm. Never written before? No problem, new and experienced writers are welcome to come play with words. £10 – soft drinks included.

Note: We will have the whole place to ourselves. This venue is wheelchair accessible and has a disabled toilet.

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