Small Words: Haiku, Limericks and Palindromes

Last month, we asked you for your ‘small words’, looking for your best original haiku, palindromes, and limericks based on current news events.

We received lots of excellent and evocative haiku, which perhaps unsurprisingly, was the most popular form. We also receives various palindrome – a very challenging request – but unfortunately, the majority of them were already out there. So below are the best of our small words, thank you to everyone who submitting, enjoy!


winter sun –
an old bough
rots on the leaves

Peter Adair is a 12NOW (New Original Writer) with Lagan Press. His poems have appeared in various journals. In 2015 he won the Translink Poetry Competition; in 2016 he won The Funeral Services NI Poetry Competition. He has read at the Belfast Book Festival and Aspects Festival. He lives in Bangor.

In blue heron’s eye
A Jewel moon climbs the sky-
Still life on a pond.

Arthur Lamar Mitchell has a recently completed novel – ‘A Grotto in the Sea.’ Poems set to music by seven different composers- Ten song, Natural World, concept album, ‘Garden of Eden,’ techno-ambient music. Poetry published July 2017: Remembered Arts Journal; Nature Writing; Winterwolf Press.

at breastcare centre
Letterkenny: waiting for
a dire gnosis

Guy Stephenson lives in Letterkenny. He writes, gardens, husbands and fathers. He used to make pots and now makes poems, some of which can be found in North West Words Newsletter, Contemporary Haibun On Line and In Between Hangovers. He’s a member of Station House Writers and North West Words.

Milk, the first kindness
Some potent promise until
the last kindness, death.

Siobhan Atkins lives in the Sperrins in Northern Ireland with two boys, two goats, two dogs and a scattering of hens. Her passions are poetry and conservation.

a midnight window
the quiet sorting of gifts
by mice for christmas

Alan Summers is co-founder of Call of the Page; President of the United Haiku and Tanka Society; Pushcart Prize nominated poet, and a Japan Times award-winning writer. His Writing Poetry: The Haiku Way is due out in 2018.

in the mist
dreams sail off
as pirate ships

Ann Christine Tabaka lives in Delaware. She is a published poet and artist. She loves gardening and cooking. Chris lives with her husband and two cats. Her most recent credits are The Paragon Journal, The Literary Hatchet, Metaworker, Raven Cage Ezine, RavensPerch, Anapest Journal, Mused, Indiana Voice Journal, Halcyon Days Magazine, and The Society of Classical Poets.

Chrysalis: always
becoming another you
is death defying

Therese Kieran lives in Belfast. She was long-listed for the Heaney New Writing Award 2017 and shortlisted for the 2017 Poems for Patience. In 2016 she co-delivered, Death Box, an exhibition of poetry and prose. In 2015 she was runner up in the Poetry Ireland / Trocaire competition.




E-glib, are we? Notes reverse to new era bilge.

Derek Kannemeyer is a South African-born, London-raised Richmond, Virginian, whose work has appeared in publications from Fiction International to Rolling Stone. You may read poems of his in current issues of Sand, Man In The Street, and The Wild Word.


(inspired by news story ‘Catalan referendum: How FC Barcelona found themselves at centre of issue‘)

There once was a team – Barcelona
Who wanted a free Catalonia.
It’s clear why they did –
No more Real Madrid,
So Barca always Champion-a!

Allen Ashley is a committee member for the British Fantasy Society. He works as a creative writing tutor, with six groups currently active in north London.

A Different Age (inspired by Statement by Harvey Weinstein published by the New York Times)

The date at which we hear
that your average man people fear
should have gained the insight
that rape isn’t right
gets later and later each year.

Siún Carden is from County Down and lives in Shetland, where she is a research fellow at the University of the Highlands and Islands.


  1. Alan Summers

    Appreciated all the other small words!

    Thank you for including this haiku from me:

    a midnight window
    the quiet sorting of gifts
    by mice for christmas

    Alan Summers

    1. Peter Adair

      Liked the other small words: the dark, the light, the witty. Thanks for including my haiku.

  2. Alice Ni

    nice list – like the Barcelona one, catchy!



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