Conversation 65: THE DAILY HAIKU Interviews: Gemma Johnston


I’m an English teacher, support worker for people with autism and learning disabilities, an artist and of course a writer.  I’ve mostly written short stories and flash fiction in the past, and the occasional poem.  I’ve been published in various literary anthologies and have self published a few pieces also.  I became interested in haiku as a means to honing my writing style.  It forces one to be efficient with words, which is something I personally wanted to improve.

The way I approach Haiku… Hmm, I guess that varies, but there is usually a prompt of some sort.  It could be something in daily life, a song, a piece of art, or a verbal prompt from The Daily Haiku group.  My writing process is pretty simple and intuitive.  I usually begin with too many syllables, then begin paring it down until it becomes a haiku.  I enjoy the challenge of paring it down without losing meaning.
I enjoy being a member of The Daily Haiku group because it’s such a supportive, uplifting and inspirational environment for its members to share their creativity.  I feel that expressing oneself creatively can be beneficial to mental wellbeing, which is especially important nowadays.
My two favourite Haikus that I’ve written are;


A stranger walks by

Carrying a world inside

As I carry mine.



Wild things yonder grow

In cracked walls, against all odds.

Life will find a way

5 Comments on “Conversation 65: THE DAILY HAIKU Interviews: Gemma Johnston”

  1. Your haiku were so right on!! I have so many friends and family who are educators and I’m sure it has been a stressful year for you as well. It’s wonderful to have you in this group. I don’t always see your posts come my way, but when I do, I am never disappointed. Looking forward to many more!!

  2. I love reading your work, Gemma.

    Yes, Sonder was a great choice and proved popular with TDH crew, as I recall.

    I look forward to reading more from you in the coming months and years. 😊

  3. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on haiku Gemma which you sum up so clearly, getting to the nub of the joyful practice of paring words down. Your haiku show an intense emotive connection to the world around you and your own feelings which are deeply relatable. A stranger walks by… haiku is a beautifully captured moment that plays out like a perfect short film. I love the positive power of nature evoked in your second haiku where ‘Life will find a way’.

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