Haiku for Trancestors

Transponder, our local transgender rights organization, has asked community volunteers to write brief bios and/or haiku to acknowledge each one of the sixty-eight transgender and non-binary people who died violently in the U.S. between Oct. 2021 and the end of September 2022. These bios and haiku will be read aloud for our local Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20th.

This morning I sat down and wrote haiku for twelve people who are no longer with us. The text came from my impressions from photographs and/or what was written and said about them and their lives.


#4. Tayda Lebon

A vibrant, stellar,

Inspirational artist,

No one will forget.

#16. Martina Caldera, age 38

Martina, your smile!

Kindness shines in your brown eyes

A light sadly gone.

#17. Za’niyah Williams, age 21

Beauty, you are rich,

Brimful rich with golden joy.

Your smile lights the room.

#18. Ke’yahonna Stone, age 32

True heart, battle brave,

Strong in peace, protecting life,

Giving hers instead.

#21. Amerey Lej, age 19

Your legacy lives.

Lady Diamond dance bright,

Your name is spoken.

#24. Matthew Angelo Spampinato, age 21

“A breath of fresh air,

Bright, kind, headstrong and selfless.”

He didn’t give up.

#29. Milo Winslow, age 30

“Loved, deeply loving,

Fierce advocate,” supporting,

His community.

#37. Fern Feather, age 29

Sweet, weird, fun-loving,

Life-loving, artist of food,

Adored by all her friends.

#38. Ace Scott, age 15

Your eyes are so full,

You had a lot to tell us.

Dear one, rest now. Love.

#57. Toi Davis, age 34

Toi cared for others:

“Transition has saved my life.”

Her faith lit her path.

#62. Acey D. Morrison, age 30

Two-spirit Acey

Opened her home and her heart.

Laughter medicine.

#66. Serena Brenneman, age 16

“Quirky, kind, stylish,

Beautiful, elegant, soft.”

Bless her memory.


I might write more, if the organization needs more. They are not emotionally easy to do, but the writing does seem to come easily, if that makes sense. Update: I did write fifteen more. See this page, More Haiku for Trancestors.