It is said that an image is worth a thousand words. And although I fully agree with that statement, I also fully agree with the fact that there are moments in life where words bubble to the surface and scream to be paired with an image. If done correctly, neither takes away from the other and, in fact, the end product hits the heart and the mind.


Single lane, summer cyan
Topaz lake, purple mountains
Brown polka dots quiet in the green
I am the shotgun waitress
Juice box hero

Last Tuesday was one of those times. My son started kindergarten on Monday. The first day went well, although he was exhausted by the time I picked him up at 3:30pm. By 9am on Tuesday he was begging me, insisting on riding the bus to school. Watching him walk to the stop with a backpack almost as big as him hit my mama heart hard. As he climbed the stairs and disappeared down the aisle to find his seat, I held back tears. When emotions hit hard I turn to outlets like painting, crafting, photography, and writing (#artsaves). The last of these two options happens most often and easily for me. Coincidentally, that afternoon, I found a new app called, Heyku. The words spilled out and when paired with the photo I had taken that morning, I was hooked. If you have been following my IG account long enough you know that I love to pair words with my images — I pull snippets from lyrics, quotes from poets and scholars. But this new app prompts me to write my own words and dig in to my emotions and experiences on a more personal level.2013 08 20_1540I asked around the interwebs to see if anyone else was using this little tool. One of my longest blogging, Flickr-ing and photography friends, Angela (aka lovegreendog) hadn’t seen it yet,  but saw what I was up to and the bug bit. I had a feeling she would be down, as Angela has always had a beautiful way with words. I asked if she would mind sharing a few of her poems and images as well as share a little feedback on the app.


I asked Angela what she thought of heyku: “I like the app and its ease of use. The prompts are great to get started and I love that the photo is optional!” The only thing she finds tricky, and I totally agree, is the app limits the number of words as well as the number of characters you can write per line, even if you are sticking to the traditional haiku format. She didn’t let that stop her when she had more to say, Angela simply defaulted to another app (in this case, A Beautiful Mess) to get her words down. I say, having prompts to get you writing, even if you get too wordy for its parameters, is still a good app! Plus, she wrote two poems for the price of one…


So what do I think? I really like the prompts, even if I have an idea of what I want to write about (and there is the ability to free write without prompts should you want). The questions get my brain moving a little bit more when I am feeling a tad stuck.

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The completed poem and the option to tag, add a photo (you don’t have to), and then share the image (Heyku links to your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts) is quick and easy. The interface is simple and clean and like IG, you can comment, follow and love the work that others post. It looks like the app is iPhone only at this point, which always bums me out a bit for my Android friends. And finally, I would really like to be able to see both the image and the words in one spot. Currently, you have to click on the image to ‘flip’ the page between words and image — I can totally understand why they did it like this though, it’s first and foremost a writing app, and second an image sharing app. My final ‘wish list’ item would be the ability to save the poem straight to the camera roll instead of having to take a screen shot and then cropping.

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Are you on hekyu? Say “hey you!” in the comments and let us know your handle so we can follow along.

Keep clicking (and writing), Vanessa