More Haiku for Trancestors

A few days ago I wrote twelve haiku for twelve people who are no longer with us and who are being remembered and honored for Transgender Day of Remembrance. Last night, I wrote fifteen more. I wrote each haiku through looking at pictures and bios of our remembered dead, and tried to connect to the life-affirming details about each person, in order to emphasize who they were rather than write about the details of their often horrific deaths.

Some references which may seem obscure, like the “Knight and Orchid gent” for Mel Robert Groves, are specific personal references to an interest, organization, or description of the person. In Mel Groves’ case, this is an organization.

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 recorded and read for our local Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20th.

Here are the haiku.


3. Mel Robert Groves, age 25

Look into the eyes

Of Mister Mel Robert Groves

Knight and Orchid gent!

22. Duval Princess, age 24

Sweet Duval Princess,

You sure were kown and beloved.

Your family cries.

23. Matthew Ventriss, age 29. (Formerly known from a reality TV show as Destinee Lashaee. Both names are used on the TDOR site.)

“Surrounded by tears,”

He struggled bravely onward.

Wish him peace and rest.

25. Naomie Skinner, age 25

Naomie Skinner,

“Very outstanding person.”

Cherished, fabulous.

26. Cypress Ramos, 21

Trans Latina star,

“Friend, a sister, a daughter,”

Shines bright, remembered.

28. Brent Wood, 31

This artist lived rough,

On the cold Seattle streets.

Friends speak of his love.

36. Ariyanna Mitchell, 17

Never dull, always smiles,

well-known as “the dance machine,”

Unique, funny, loved.

40. Asher Garcia, 14

Music was his world.

He loved his family, friends.

“Sweet, kind, loving soul.”

41. Ray Muscat, 24

Remembered for smiles,

Kindness, cosplay, anime.

He loved his cat, Steele.

43. Sasha Mason, 45

Sasha a friend to many,

You gave light and you gave joy.

We will say your name.

55. Jasper Aaron Lynch, 26

Critical thinker,

Seeking human connection,

With a writer’s wit.

56. Martasia Richmond, 30

Mystery of life–

We see your smiling eyes here,

But know so little.

59. Hayden Nevah Davis, 28

Dear Hayden Davis,

You had dreams to make beauty

Happen all around.

61. Marisela Castro, 39

Bright and sunny smile,

Marisela liked to sing.

Friends called her happy.

67. Tiffany Banks, 25

Dancing butterfly,

The bright light in a dark day.

Sociable, lovely.


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.