KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 3: Spring 2015
Haibun Story: 276 words [R]


by Stella Pierides

I once heard about a bundle of postcard drawings found tucked in a crevice high up in the mountains in Northern Greece. The tourists who found them had handed them to their hostel owner, who, upon realizing that they originated from the civil war, tore them up right away.

This story was enough to get me going. Since I try to keep alive stories from both sides of the civil war, I immediately attempted to understand what happened. It didn’t take me long.

Even now, years after I first heard the story, I can see the young man’s hand caressing his breast pocket where he keeps those postcards written to his wife. In his starved body, I imagine, he feels the warmth of his hand. Poor Eirini. She doesn’t know he is still alive, still fighting.

After years of war, the fertile valleys in the Grammos Mountains have been destroyed. Even the earth has abandoned these men. But he has kept his link to this world. He has been “writing” to his wife, without words, since his unit retreated to the mountaintop. The silence, the isolation, and especially the awareness of approaching defeat rob him of words. Instead, he draws solace from the hills, the scrub, rocks that look as if made by God, scree, tall cypresses, plane trees, the pines he remembers from his village, the birds on Eirini’s headscarf, the flowers on her apron, and recently, the faces of the fighters who died in his arms.

One day, he is certain, his postcards will be found—these drawings will be his last words.

wounded bird—
news from the secret pines
reaches the clearing

—From Feeding the Doves: 31 Short and Very Short Stories (Fruit Dove Press, 2013); republished here by author’s permission

Stella Pierides
Issue 3, Spring 2015

is a writer and poet born in Athens, Greece, who now divides her time between Neusaess, Germany, and London, UK. In her heart, she lives somewhere on the Aegean coast. She is married and has two adult daughters. Stella trained as a psychotherapist and worked for many years in London. Currently, she serves on the Board of Directors of The Haiku Foundation (THF) and manages the THF “Per Diem: Daily Haiku” feature.

Stella’s work has been published in numerous print and online journals and anthologies. She has co-edited and contributed to Even Paranoids Have Enemies: New Perspectives on Paranoia and Persecution (Routledge, 1998) and Beyond Madness (JKP, 2002). Recent books: The Heart and Its Reasons, short stories (Fruit Dove Press, 2014); Feeding the Doves, short stories and haibun (Fruit Dove Press, 2013); and In the Garden of Absence, micro-poetry and haiku (Fruit Dove Press, 2012), for which she received a Haiku Society of America Merit Book Award 2013, for books published in 2012.

Trio of Book Covers at Fruit Dove Press

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Meet the Prompters: Stella Pierides, a tiny interview (414 words) in NaHaiWriMo (October 2014); includes three of her favorite haiku

Poet Details at The Haiku Foundation

Site contains text, proprietary computer code,
and graphic images that are protected by:

⚡   Many thanks for taking time to report broken links to: KYSOWebmaster [at] gmail [dot] com   ⚡