Conversation 19: THE DAILY HAIKU INTERVIEWS: Bridie Breen

I’m Bridie, a semi-retired mental health nurse in Manchester, fianceè, happy mum and grandmother.The Daily Haiku has grown on me like a comfort blanket. It saw me through having Covid in March, it keeps me in touch with other creative minds. I actually love it. Sometimes lately when I have been busy or minus my pizzazz, I read work from others and its’ calming. Certain names are familiar and I have  sense of each as a personality,I like that very much. So in ways it’s like a Haiku family.

The whole idea of the 5/7/5 structure of Haiku appeals to me. As an Irish woman who writes poems, short stories, monologues and delves into Open Mic sessions when routines were normal, my feeling is I’ve always said too much. But, in Haiku it feels like expanding a thought then minimising it to capture a snippet of meaning. Now that’s beautiful and takes a little discipline to learn. I’m still learning.

I am an impromptu writer. The inspiration is usually something seen, heard or felt in real time. Watching the News, seeing human conflict, trauma that evokes emotion, or a story that fills me with joy. The urge is there not to let that moment pass. So I capture some in a poem. On reflection, I think it has more to do with passing of time and how us humans can abuse that gift. This liminal space we inhabit and those we share time with matters greatly to me.  Experiences that shape us as humans along the way, make us who we are. That’s inspiring for me.

I am a visual thinker. How many people hold up a half glass of wine against Christmas tree lights, see shimmer or colours that dance, then pause to write a Haiku? Maybe the tipsy kind but honestly I only had a few sips. I adore simplicity and being a watcher of simple and complex people and things. Pandemic restrictions have cauterised some poetic flow for me, I love nothing better than sitting in a crowded place watching people pass by.  Now, I am so avoidant of other humans, I have to tell myself to have commonsense.

Haiku for me, gives brevity without losing depth. I don’t have a picture for every Haiku creation but the beauty i have seen stays with me, just waiting to form into words. I don’t have to be in a crowd to remember how it feels.It only takes a short stroll to a park or into a woods to soak up nature at its best. That’s where natural phenomena touch soul. I can’t imagine a world devoid of nature’s gifts. Flowers in bud or in full glory, standing under a tree canopy, seeing birds in flight or dragonflies on water’s edge. Yet, I could happily imagine a world without Gaia’s other side,volcanoes, tsunami’s and other disasters.

In Haiku, topics seem softer edged which suits my reality driven mind at times.

Soft, as that awe felt

caressing a newborn’s head

Toes counted, then smelt.

I’ve enjoyed the variety of topics  some light, some pensive and some themes that could merge together. Finding a photo of meaning,adding it to a theme is satisfying.

Last year, we’d visited Scotland and went to Kielder, I know it was bigger than a wood but I became like a scaredy-cat child there, it was so immense, only two humans in a vast area,childish fears took over and I realised I was a townie at heart, despite loving nature. My Haiku with image gave me freedom to express that












I like when I have seen an image that fits the theme. This Irish sculptor’s work drew me right in.


Aspiration shines

if shadows cast steal your light,

cling on and climb high.

(Sculpture ‘Aspiration’ Dublin 1995. By Rowan Gillespie)

My Irishness is me, TDH has touched on Myths  Legends and Celtic deities but what warms my heart is also memory.Haiku allows not just history learned, to enthuse ideas but senses used. The smell of soda bread baking is a favourite,it grounds me and I can immerse in happy times again.


Irish Soda Bread

Kneaded,crossed like a blessing

Hot buttery melt.




I enjoy the creativity of The Daily Haiku contributions, especially Wednesday and Fridays where we become like giddy teenagers  bouncing off each other’s thoughts. The here and now of tapping in newly created haiku’s is fun. It has helped my wellbeing. There is kind acceptance in the TDH group, no nasties. That’s such sweet relief in these times.

Thank you Amanda.


9 Comments on “Conversation 19: THE DAILY HAIKU INTERVIEWS: Bridie Breen”

  1. So good to have this personal , engaging , strong piece by a haiku writer I’ve so far only worked with in renga and recognised by name in posts. Bridie’s urge to catch the moment resonates so much with me. I feel her friendship warming us all in her interview and favourite haiku

  2. I particularly love the baby’s head, and the Irish soda bread. Just seeing Bridie’s name brings a lilting Irish voice to mind. Kindness in twinkling eyes. Thank you.

  3. Oh, what a wonderful interview Bridie! I too recognise your name and look forward to your haiku, sometimes you even treat us to your longer poems. I like the immediacy in your work as though you are recording everything for posterity.

    The haiku are lovely, I love the idea of holding a newborn’s head and counting the toes.

    Your haiku on soda bread has just brought back precious memories of my Dad who came over here as a volunteer in the army during WW11. There was no conscription in Northern Ireland so those that joined were volunteers. He met and married my Mum and the rest is history. Thank you Bridie and Amanda.

  4. It’s people like you, Bridie, who warm this ‘haiku heart’. I’m so glad you are here and I am a part of this haiku family. Thank you for giving us a glimpse into your world. I must confess I fell in love with your name without even knowing your person. Your name makes me smile and your kind soul gives us all a gentle push toward being better people. I don’t really understand why I seldom get to see your haiku, but when I do, I enjoy where they take me. I do see you on the Wed & Fri rengas, but I hadn’t gotten notice of them for a while until last week. Maybe all the influx of members is throwing it off. Anyway, thank you for this interview. Looking forward to more from you!!

  5. Wonderful words – full of sense and sensibility. I’m still reeling from “forested my fears” – that will last me for days and dreams. Thanks Bridie. Hmm soda bread … yes, tomorrow is another day!

  6. Bridie your interview is so wonderful. I love to think of THE DAILY HAIKU as a comfort blanket and that we are a family, but crucially it is members like yourself that have made this happen. I am very glad that it helped you through the terrible experience of having Covid and that when you want to relax after a busy day you find reading the haiku calming.
    The visual element of THE DAILY HAIKU format has always been really important to me as through my creative practitioner work I believe that ‘writing’ is a holistic activity that is different for everybody and should encompass different approaches so that we can invite more people into the family. When we narrow the definition of writing it also narrows the accessibility and engagement, also weakens the experiences and diversity of the work we can share.
    Your haiku have such emotional heart ‘cling on and climb high’ is uplifting and perfectly matches the tone of your haiku and your accompanying image. As Jeanie Armstrong comments ‘forested my fears’ is extremely powerful. You explore the senses with your work which really engages the reader. I especially love your bread haiku which I have read several times now and resonates on many levels, a deeply personal memory, a heritage, a taste, the bread of life ‘crossed like a blessing’ and then that perfect visceral ending, its buttery melting taste.
    The brevity of haiku has also been something I am also enjoying and such a contrast to my free verse writing, short story, childrens, travel and script-writing. The restriction has been liberating but also something I too am enjoying learning about whilst experimenting with and letting go…

  7. What a lovely insight, your conversation is full of inspirational energy and ideas, and Haiku about bread are always top of my list. Thank you x ( also agree with Connie about your name )

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