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Welcome to the Healing Haiku blog, a venue for sharing poetry and other expressions of love and compassion for the people of Japan. On March 11, 2011, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake jolted Japan and generated a tsunami that engulfed seaside towns along the northeast coast. When the tsunami receded, it took with it the lives of tens of thousands of people who lived and worked along the coastline, leaving heartbreak and devastation in its wake. Weeks later, many people are still missing and the survivors are displaced, their lives forever changed.

As the estimation of lives lost grew and nuclear concerns became reality, my heart kept returning to the people. I thought about the Japanese people I’ve known (starting with my first grade teacher), the influence of Japanese art and culture on my life (such as the flowering bonsai in my kitchen that was a birthday gift from a niece), and the products around my home that originated in Japan (like the ceramic coffee mug I’m drinking from and the SUV in the garage). I recalled the Japanese form of poetry, haiku, and marveled at how such brief expressions can convey powerful emotion and insight.

I wondered how I could help the Japanese people in some way. Although the last time I wrote poetry was in school, perhaps I could write haiku poems to acknowledge their situation, express my sorrow, and extend love and hopefulness for the future. I wrote three haiku that morning, including this one:

Gone without good-byes
Water lilies on the sea
Safe within our hearts

Then it occurred to me how wonderful it would be if people around the world wrote haiku for the Japanese people. That idea led to this blog. Through our collective expressions, we can reassure the Japanese people that they are not alone, and that love and healing thoughts are streaming to them every moment of the day. We are all connected in this global community, and together we can share hope for the future.

I invite you to submit haiku poems or other thoughtful expressions on this site. Simply scroll to the bottom of a post and leave a comment.

If you like this site, please share the link with others so they can add a comment and forward the link to people they know. I will seek ways to get your caring expressions to as many Japanese people as possible. (I welcome suggestions for doing this and for translating the submissions to reach even more people.) Check back regularly or sign up to receive email updates of new posts.

With gratitude,

Judy Wolff
Colorado, USA


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