Poems by Diana Webb

A Spot on the Stream
Claude Monet- Monochrome (High Tide at Etretat 1868; The Magpie 1869)

A Spot on the Stream

To Millais, 1851, threatened for trespassing

Here; where vivid underwater weed forms huge spearheads pointing
downstream, as the earth-brown flow around them laps over stones, above
the place lit in brief spells through leaves, the place where a touch of white
willow sways on the current. On the far bank purple loosestrife loops below
twigs. A trunk lies close beside. On the near bank nettles.

You could have painted her here.

hands cupped
above the surface-
fleeting demoiselle

Diana Webb
(first published on Contemporary Haibun Online)

Claude Monet- Monochrome (High Tide at Etretat 1868; The Magpie 1869)

Water lilies wait under the weeping willows. Years before...

He labours through taste and sting of salt on November gales, the roar and
splash, to anchor an instant...

beyond whisked waves
peak of one dark rock-
man holds his hat down

He sets up his easel in the middle of a white winterscape, becomes part of
it. Icicles form on his beard as the moment freezes...

'one for sorrow'
perched on the gate-
shadows on snow

Diana Webb
(first published in Contemporary Haibun Online)


behind the beach hut
my everlasting world
of pebbles
  clear tang
of a newly sharpened pencil -
summer birdsong
your grey dressing gown
let fall across the chair,
its folds and crumples
  all along the hedgerow
sunset caught
in the 'old man's beard'
dust on his paws,
he slips from behind the shelves,
the library cat
  almost breaking
the heron's ring of stillness
we make a detour
reception marquee -
uninvited guests,
  starry night
in the darkened garden
tips of snowdrops
Diana Webb
Published in 'Blithe Spirit', the quarterly journal of the British Haiku Society

Oxfam window -
old dolls
stare out through the rain
  sun breaking through mist -
a man shares a garden bench
with a pumpkin
Diana Webb
Published in the haiku magazine 'Presence'


Waiting for a chow mein-
across the road
the last horse chestnut leaves
flap bedraggled,
a few buds gleam...

Always it seems I'm waiting-
under the horse-chestnut,
a bollard in the bluebells...

'Chinese' coming soon-
leaves turning,
odd ones blown free
flutter down the breeze...

Chow Mein-
in the gutter
uncollected conkers

Diana Webb
(first published in Blithe Spirit)


Teresa of Avila
never knitted a
long scarf of fiery
feathers sweeping
through her fingers
with bronze leaves
that swish behind
her swirled in mist
as sun breaks out
to wink around in
frost suspending
drops from twigs
and sinking in the
pile of purple into
gold on dangling
swathes of catkin

Diana Webb
First published in Magma 42, Autumn


In a dark recess of the local museum, stuffed birds; bittern, heron, in dusty glass cases, reminiscent of exhibits in the museum of my childhood, the big house in Broomfield Park through which Miss B, who once darted from a sum-filled blackboard to point out the first swift, would lead us on our weekly nature walks. A stone's throw from the house where Stevie Smith lived and wrote of it, 'How sweet the birds of Avondale.'

my found feather
a breath

Diana Webb
First published in Haibun Today, 2008. Haiku first published in Heron's Nest 2007.