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Per Diem/Daily Haiku for August 2021: A Year in Lockdown

Per Diem: Daily Haiku for August 2021 features Albert Schepers’  collection on the theme of ‘A Year in Lockdown’. This is what Albert has to say by way of an introduction to this theme:

In the year 1595 Shakespeare is purported to have written A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a year following the devastating pestilence that had spread throughout the land, taking the lives of over 11,000 people in London. To limit the spread, authorities took the following steps: banning large public gatherings, blocking the importation of goods, cancelling large civic events, and closing public theaters. During the Great Plague of 1592 to 1594, theaters experienced their longest closures in history and Shakespeare’s play was a joyous celebration of the release from oppression.

February 2020, or sooner if you count the very first cases of Covid 19 in late 2019, marked the beginning of the current turmoil which afflicts all of us in one way or another. Even for those who have not been directly affected, very few of us—whether simply by listening to the news or in our daily relationships with family, friends, and co-workers—have been untouched. As with other global pandemics over the centuries, there have been a range of government interventions and personal responses, ranging from denial to despondency.

Currently in the depths of summer in August 2021, hopefully we can look back on this past year and a half and be glad to be rid of it and look to the future with hope. For the month of August, I have asked poets to provide their haiku, written over this past year during the pandemic, for publication. These thirty-one haiku capture a range of emotions representing this past year, snapshots of a moment, a day, or week in lockdown, in pursuit of something else. Some directly reference Covid, some the effects of the lockdown or social distancing, and some are just an expression of how the writer felt at that moment. In all cases these haiku were influenced directly or indirectly, by the pandemic and related social restrictions.

Some of the poets you may know and others may be new to you. Selections are based on the diversity of ideas and styles. I hope you enjoy these as much as I had in selecting them for you.

– Albert Schepers

This Post Has 23 Comments

  1. I loved Sharon Hammond’s haiku with the line “the baby screams ragnarok”.
    Some things are so hard you just have to laugh.
    Thank you for including mine too.
    Bonnie.

  2. Congratulations to Albert Schepers for being the August haiku editor, and many thanks for his work towards haiku poetry education.
    I especially congratulate him on his posture as a mentor, a teacher, and a humble haiku writer (as we all should be), forever leading and encouraging us to observe and write.
    In a world where so many would-be poets write about things they never experienced, Albert is the real deal, writing about everyday life and observation along the track.
    I thank him for giving many of his followers a voice on this site, and I only hope at least one of his creations will be shared this month.

  3. Hi Albert, I am looking forward to reading your selection. I can’t remember but did you let me know that you were going to edit this month’s Per Diem? Anyway, congrats on the honor. Fondly, Michael

  4. Dear esteemed poet,
    Greetings.
    “Eleven is an Even Number: Covid Chronicles” Given below, rich variety of images, friendly cat, windows, birthday cards, all with insightful interest,
    quite, unique. Learning process for us haiku lovers.

    1. Dear Radhamani sarma,

      The impact emotionally and romantically, as well as the family get togethers, and the wedding businesses too, that marriage gives to so many small, medium, and large businesses has been devastating.

      Both your haiku are powerful!

      Alan

  5. Back in April 2020 Karen Hoy initiated Writing Through It, the first haikai response to the covid-19 pandemic:
    https://www.callofthepage.org/during-covid-19/writing-through-it/

    Since then, many of us have written individual pieces or collections, and of course several anthologies.

    e.g.

    Pandemica’s Clouds

    light rain & blackbird sing the distance of harm

    breaking cloud cover counting through the strands of pandemic

    the childhoodishness of antiseptic be my friend

    rain clouds a leaf of i.m. books

    the rebus we fish from puzzles washing hands of worship

    undulatus asperatus and hole-punch cloud we remember

    drifting clouds along an asphalt of ice cream summer roads of longing

    Alan Summers
    Publication credit:
    Pandemica’s Clouds sequence
    behind the mask: haiku in the time of Covid-19
    Singing Moon Press Pandemic Anthology ed. Margaret Dornaus (2020)
    ISBN 9780998211220
    https://www.lulu.com/en/us/shop/margaret-dornaus/behind-the-mask-haiku-in-the-time-of-covid-19/paperback/product-g9vpny.html

    1. Eleven is an Even Number: Covid Chronicles

      different windows
      the movement of the sun
      around confinement

      house arrest
      the plague runner
      enters our breath

      friendly cat
      its owners become
      the front line

      street applause
      we recognise our heroes
      are nurses under fire

      birthday cards
      in their protective casing
      the evening shudders

      blinkered sun
      two metres translated
      in wrong numbers

      nightzoning
      streetlights pick out
      the sputum

      Easter Quarantine
      the daylight sparkles across
      yet another nail

      Easter Sunday
      I fill another hollow
      with antiseptic

      Easter Internment
      moonlight carries a warning
      across my backyard

      new day rising—
      I spread the butter
      and talk to my egg

      Alan Summers
      Publication credits:
      Eleven is an Even Number: Covid Chronicles
      weird laburnum journal (Easter Monday 13th April 2020)

      nightzoning
      appeared on twitter journal Horrorku 22nd July 2020

      Anthology credits:

      Corona Social Distancing: Poets for Humanity
      ed. hülya n. yılmaz, Ph.D.
      inner child press international 1st Edition: May 2020
      ISBN-13: 978-1-952081-17-0

      Poetry in the Plague Year
      Poems written during the Coronavirus Outbreak 2020
      (Poetry Kit publishing)

      1. Thank you Alan, I know there are many, if not all, poets who have written or their writing has been influenced by the effects of covid directly or the social restrictions. Too many to try to gather all in one place.

        1. Dear Albert,

          No worries, it’s just traditional for us poets to post on the news post. 🙂

          That sequence wasn’t from Writing Through It (designed by Karen Hoy) but a lot of haiku, haibun etc… would have come from that since its inception.

          I look forward to the examples each day on Per Diem! 🙂

          warm regards,
          Alan

      2. Dear esteemed poet,
        Greetings.
        “Eleven is an Even Number: Covid Chronicles” Given below, rich variety of images, friendly cat, windows, birthday cards, all with insightful interest,
        quite, unique. Learning process for us haiku lovers.

      3. Thank you for posting this fantastic collection Alan, talking to eggs and looking through different windows sums up the year for me . . . and staying safe amid all the craziness and hyper-vigilance that wears on. I just wrote a haiku about watching the moon for yet another month through my skylight . . . .

        1. “…watching the moon for yet another month through my skylight”

          Sounds great! Windows have never been so important for us of us. I tried watching through an attic window but didn’t want to disturb the other wildlife.

          warmest regards,
          Alan

    2. Good to know, Alan! I will check out the book on lulu. Not sure if you were the first though… MHP Academy did a Corona Crisis Quicky in April 2020 with an uplifting intention. Currently, a selection of the best submissions (about 130 poems with some haiga) is in the finishing stages of being edited and prepared to be published as an eBook. After it is freely distributed in the My Haiku Pond Academy group, I will gladly submit it for the THF Digital Library.

      1. Margaret Dornaus did an incredibly fine book, a really beautifully produced anthology.

        I also can’t believe Penny Harter is on the opposite page which was an extra bonus!!! 🙂

        Look forward to your anthology migrating to the Digital Library!

        Alan

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