Volume 52.1
Winter - Spring


haiku sequence



In October 2020, forty-five Maine artists and twenty-seven survivors of domestic abuse from the Midcoast Maine community used art to raise awareness of domestic violence, an issue amplified by the pandemic lockdown. Based in Rockland, Maine, the project was an extension of the non-profit organization Finding Our Voices’ longer-term banner campaign, in which the words of survivors were displayed on posters in the storefronts of fifty local businesses.

For the new project, Kristen Lindquist used women’s stories (in some cases, their actual words) to create haiku. She felt compelled to contribute to the effort because she knew several women who had escaped violent relationships. Her haiku were then written in calligraphy by project coordinator Patrisha McLean and displayed in the window of a local bakery. The artwork was later auctioned off to raise money for the charity.

Lindquist found the project initially challenging, because like many haikuists, she usually works from images, not issues. Additionally, she added: “it was very important to me to get it right, to appropriately re- spect and support the woman featured on the banners (and those who haven't yet been able to speak up), several of whom I know personally.”

Readers will note the reoccurrence of the moon in the haiku, which has historically represented the feminine; but in Lindquist’s poems also acts as a distant witness and recipient itself of millennia of batterings. Lindquist notes that the image of the moon is complicated by the cultural conception of the ‘man in the moon.’

The haiku, “her scars,” was included in the November airing of the Poetry Pea podcast (www.poetrypea.com) as well as Issue 2.1 of the Poetry Pea Journal. To learn more about Finding Our Voices, please visit their website: www.findingourvoices.net     


 Finding Our Voices

man in the moon
the silent witnesses
to her shame

harvest moon
she finds the voice
to tell her story

the bruise of sunset
I believe what I see
on her face

her scars
in plain sight
craters of the moon

only a shadow
of her former self
dark side of the moon

forked lightning
it was all a lie

slack tide
she thought she deserved
to be hurt

thunder moon
he was a gentleman
at first

geese in flight
she resolves to love
herself first

Kristen Lindquist

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