Neusäss, Germany and Glynneath, South Wales, UK, 2021

Haibun: Stella Pierides

Art: Maria Pierides

Shadows casting their blues – Maria Pierides

A woman reading a letter in the light pouring through an unseen window. Hair pulled back from the forehead, she is pictured in the style of her favorite painter against an expanse of soft yellows. Areas of blue for the shadows, the armchair and her top allude to hidden layers.

camera obscura
the temptation to see

Her upper body is turned towards the light, held by it, trapped by it. Arrested in the moment, her Parkinson’s is invisible. In a minute or two, she’ll have to change position, align her spine, prevent stiffness from setting in.

Amsterdam to Delft…
in their seats now, the old couple
remove their face masks

This is a good day. In the early hours of the morning, she’d lain listening to the woodpecker hammering time. As the hours rolled in, she made fabric out of wool, squeezed poetry out of the daily grind, mailed her loved ones. Read their letters.

lapis lazuli
shifting attention
to what matters


Stella Pierides is a British poet and writer of Greek descent. Her work has been published and anthologized widely. Books include: Of This World (2017) and In the Garden of Absence (2012), both Haiku Society of America Merit Book Award winners, Feeding the Doves (2012/13), and Ekphrasis, a collaboration with Maria Pierides. Stella currently serves on the Board of Directors of The Haiku Foundation.

Maria Pierides trained as an artist and art psychotherapist and worked in the NHS for a number of years. She is now devoting herself full time to her art at her studio, at the foothills of the Brecon Beacons, South Wales. Maria explores in paint the texture and temporality of human experience. Her work has been shown internationally, it is held in private collections in UK, USA and Europe, and is featured by and for sale at Saatchi Art (here) and from her website: