Helen Yong

helenyong Helen Yong is a Christchurch poet who has been published in journals in New Zealand, Australia, UK, United States and Japan. Her work has appeared in a number of anthologies including the taste of nashi: NZ Haiku and Crest to Crest: Impressions of Canterbury.

Helen began writing haiku in 2002, becoming a member of the Small White Teapot Haiku Group. This group has been extremely helpful to her writing. More recently she has also been writing tanka and in 2010 she won the 3rd Kokako Tanka Competition. Contact Helen.


roadside jonquils
placed in a glass –
how quickly
their fragrance spills
through the bach


a gap between
frequent aftershocks
waxeyes feast
on pink camellias –
my heartbeat slows


drops of cool water
from the old spouting
fall onto the lemon tree –
this spring thirst I have
not as easy to quench


lone pine
on a windswept cliff
leans to the sea –
I am drawn
to your beckoning


disused bridge
mist flows
over the river


driving home –
the rainbow
arrives there before me


changing our sheets –
cherry blossom
drifts to the floor


camping ground –
the cries
of other people’s children


leaving your home –
kowhai flowers
flick off my windscreen


there       not there
the spider’s thread
catches sunlight


Publication notes:

roadside jonquils: First, Kokako Tanka competition 2010; Kokako 14 (NZ) 2011.

a gap between: Highly Commended, Kokako Tanka competition 2010; Kokako 14.

drops of cool water: Eucalypt 6 (Australia) 2009; 25 NZ Tanka Poets, Atlas Poetica.

lone pine: a fine line (NZ Poetry Society magazine), May 2010.

disused bridge: Merit Award, Oi Ocha New Haiku Contest (Japan) 2010.

driving home – : Third Prize, 14th Kusamakura International Haiku Competition (Japan) 2009.

changing our sheets – : Sakura Award, Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku Competition (Canada) 2010.

camping ground  – : Highly Commended, NZ Poetry Society Haiku Competition, 2009; moments in the whirlwind (NZPS anthology) 2009.

leaving your home – : Highly Commended, Katikati Haiku Contest, 2008.

there not there: Kokako 12, 2010.