“Wasp on the Prayer Flag” by Maeve O’Sullivan

Back from its extended summer break, Trasna is please to present the latest publication from poet Maeve O’Sullivan, Wasp on the Prayer Flag. This is Maeve’s fifth collection with Alba Publishing. It chronicles the years from 2018-2021 in haiku and senryu. Rooted in Ireland and its varied landscapes, with some ‘postcards’ from the UK and Europe, this collection celebrates the inspiration and consolation of nature and the durability of human connections. In this volume, O’Sullivan has been praised for her keen eye, lightness of touch, and depth of feeling.

During this past year and a half, the world has be enriched by poetry. Here, is yet another example. With the sale each volume, O’Sullivan is donating a thirty percent of all profits to the charity Asral Mongolia.



Photo by Maeve O’Sullivan, from her poem “Summer Jaunts


Autumn haiku (from Section I of Wasp on the Prayer Flag by Maeve O’Sullivan)


August evening
trains lie idle in the sidings –
dark moon

* * *


first autumn storm
my balcony flags
still releasing prayers

* * *


afternoon walk
yesterday’s rain glinting
on this grassy drumlin


*  *  *


apples ripening

in the convent garden

robins trade evensong


* * *


I sneak a blackberry

with each lap of the path —

walking meditation


* * *


lunch break a wasp strolls across her lifeline


* * *


low tide   the blind dog follows us to the island

* * *




after the deluge
a buzzard flies over
the river floodplain



* * *


stiller today a coppice of silver beeches swaying slowly



* * *


tree pose  autumn colours outside



* * *


cold snap a spider arrives in my sink


* * *


in my friend’s window a trio of frost moons




A Year and a Day, a haiku sequence by Maeve O’Sullivan

(i.m. Jean O’Sullivan, 1954-2017)

bad news:
the family archive-keeper
now part of it

* * *

barista art   the heart slowly disintegrates

* * *
siblings’ reunion   six chairs for five

* * *
my niece gives me
a birthday hug —
funeral lunch

* * *
grief attack   I buy a scoop of her favourite ice-cream

* * *
her first birthday after    a robin alights on the willow

* * *

pulling weeds
off my sister’s grave —
first anniversary

* * *

a year and a day:
the motet’s final chord
settles like a bedsheet


Midland Lakes (a haiku sequence by Maeve O’Sullivan)


early summer light

tricks me into seeing

a lone swan as a pair


* * *


reeds piercing blue & white

on the far shore

a field of rapeseed


* * *


midland lake inlet

raindrops falling lightly —

no, mayflies dancing!


* * *


she wades into the lake

wearing little red wellies

empties them slowly


* * *


its old trunk twisting

away from the bluebells —

horse chestnut tree


* * *

a pot of roses

for her heart companion’s grave –

Lough Arrow


Maeve O’Sullivan’s poetry and haikai have been widely published, anthologised, awarded and translated during the last 25 years. She is the author of five collections from Alba Publishing, the latest of which is Wasp on the Prayer Flag (June 2021).

Maeve is a founder of the Hibernian Poetry Workshop, and a member of the Irish Writers’ Centre and the British Haiku Society. She also leads workshops and mentors individuals in haiku and related forms, and reviews for various journals including Blithe Spirit and the Dublin Review of Books. www.maeveosullivan.com