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Per Diem for February 2020: Sickness

Per Diem: Daily Haiku for February 2020 features Paul Conneally’s collection on the theme of ‘Sickness’. This is a subject that is very personal and ‘close to home’ for Paul, who is currently caring for his ailing mother. It is worth noting that Paul has assembled this collection under great duress and has been unable to provide a summary for it. We are very grateful for his determination to complete the collection under the circumstances. The poems he has chosen are powerful and raw, and have clearly been influenced by his current plight. We hope that the process of putting it together has offered him the opportunity for some positive reflection during a difficult time.

The collection includes some Japanese originals for which Paul has provided his own transliterations.

– Rob Scott

This Post Has 29 Comments

  1. Dear Paul,
    .
    Delighted that Karen Hoy’s haiku appears today, much appreciated.
    .
    .
    difficult day
    the rice lid rocks
    from side to side
    .
    Karen Hoy
    .
    Published:
    Lakeview International Journal of Literature and Arts Vol.1, No.2 August 2013
    .
    Anthology:
    .
    Wishbone Moon
    ed. Ellen Compton, Roberta Beary and Kala Ramesh (Jacar Press, 2018)
    http://jacarpress.com/wishbone-moon/

  2. .
    Wow, thank you for featuring another haiku.
    .
    .
    I remember Hortensia Anderson commenting about liking this haiku, which was an honour indeed.
    .
    .
    ill all day…
    a crime novel
    in both rooms
    .
    Alan Summers
    Blithe Spirit vol. 17 no.1 (2007); Disclaimer, (Bath Spa University 2008); haijinx vol. III issue 1 (2010)
    Anthology: Haiku Friends Vol 2 ed. Masaharu Hirata (Osaka, Japan 2007)

    .

  3. Thanks Paul for selecting this poem for today! 🙂
    .
    .
    Cat moon

    my wife ill
    with posset
    .
    Alan Summers
    Lakeview International Journal of Literature and Arts Vol.1, No.2 (August 2013)
    .
    .
    My wife cracks up whenever she reads this! It was a particular evening in a new restaurant that used to be an old fashioned and run down pub in Bradford on Avon (Wiltshire, UK). They’d obviously done something wrong and Karen did start to get really ill. Thankfully we lived further up the hill and she had to take the day off. We can look back with humour now. 🙂
    .
    .
    Posset: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Posset
    .
    .

  4. .
    it’s another day
    of saying goodbye
    and one more I love you
    that the morphine
    doesn’t take away
    .
    Alan Summers
    .
    Ripples in the Sand
    2016 Tanka Society of America Members’ Anthology
    ed. Susan Constable and Jenny Ward Angyal

    .

  5. A few poems I wrote for my mother, over the many years since she died.

    *

    Taking turns
    Letting each other go
    Only to learn again
    How love grows,
    Mother

    *

    “Taking turns” was published in Bell’s Letters Poet No. 115, Jan. 2006.

    *

    Mother’s Day
    sorrow turns to stars
    and butterflies

    *

    another year
    has passed since
    my mother’s passing
    I sit and quietly read
    a book she would like too

    *

    And I’ll add this poem:

    *

    gardens in winter
    the serene snowfall
    and remembering
    where snowdrops
    will bloom

    *

    Blessings, take good care

  6. .
    last note of the day
    a sound of laughter from us
    over the stairwell
    .
    Alan Summers
    .
    .
    While caring for my mother, including one six month initial stint, 24/7 sometimes more than 20 hours a day, I realised that laughter was vital. That first six months with no help, and my wife was also ill at the same time, took its toll.
    .
    Getting one good social services person, forever grateful to her, meant I could find room for making sure laughter was the last thing at night, and often one of the first things in the morning.
    .
    We can remember laughing over something, even if we can’t remember what the heck it was we are laughing about later that day! 🙂
    .
    .
    cracking up
    with laughter
    moonlight
    .
    Alan Summers

      1. Dear Radhamani sarma,
        .
        I think it might have been Karen who realised that if my mother’s short term got any worse, she would or could still remember laughing at something, and with someone or me! 🙂
        .
        So I made it my mission for my mum to laugh more than once a day, and definitely end on a good laugh whenever I left the house. So we always left each other’s company in laughter.
        .
        When I barely slept an hour a day for six months non-stop it was difficult, as sleep deprivation was effecting. I had started being susceptible to the slightest quiet sounds in case it was my mother who had fallen.
        .
        Alan

    1. Alan –

      Laughter is essential for getting through hard times. Thank you for expressing that so well – it is an important reminder!

    2. I love this poem. Laughter is essential during a lengthy illness, to lighten the mood for carers and cared for.

  7. Dear Paul, I treasure the memories of helping with my mother’s care – many years ago. And I know chronic illness in my own life. Hard years, good years.

    *
    groceries for Mom
    fresh flowers
    always on the list

    *

    peaceful morning
    a prayer from childhood
    still with me

    *

    Blessings, and thank you

      1. I am so sorry!
        .
        My mother waited until a cleaner ushered myself and my sister out, and it was the first time we talked properly in decades. So we must have been chatting for twenty minutes or more, and had no idea our mum had chosen that time.
        .
        Two weeks later my birth mother also died, in another part of the world. My Aussie sister had a warning from the hospital. Her Mining boss threw her his car keys and she literally dived into the car, and drove from Kalgoorlie to Perth in record speed. They had time to talk to each other. It was surprising how parallel the lives were with our mothers in so many ways.
        .
        Difficult relationships but we stuck with our mothers, and they died in the company of people that loved and appreciated them. I had to help the undertakers as they were clumsy and reassure the slightly younger one.
        .
        I had written two haiku poems for my father, and even though we didn’t really get on, he knew I was there for him, all politics set aside from him. What I didn’t realise was that I’d write so many haiku and haibun about my mother.
        .
        My deepest condolences. I will always value how close we became, and how honest, and laughed as much as possible.
        .
        .
        this tie
        or that tie
        I think you’d prefer
        the louder one
        at your funeral
        .
        Alan Summers
        Ripples in the Sand
        .
        2016 Tanka Society of America Members’ Anthology
        ed. Susan Constable and Jenny Ward Angyal
        .
        http://www.tankasocietyofamerica.org/tsa-anthologies
        .
        .
        p.s. I just told Karen and she sending her love.

      2. I’m sorry Paul. It is difficult to bear even when we know that it was better that they slip away. Thinking of you and yours.

    1. hospital doors
      the coming and going
      of a winter’s day
      .
      Robert Kingston
      Jumble Box: Haiku and Senryu from National Haiku Writing Month, published in 2017 by Press Here and edited by Michael Dylan Welch,

      1. Dear Radhamani
        My apologies, I don’t know why this posted here. I thought I’d posted to the box at the bottom of the page.
        Kind regards
        Robert

        1. Dear Robert Kingston,
          Greetings. Sorry for belated reply
          Your take”

          hospital doors
          the coming and going
          of a winter’s day
          A lot into the content and repetitive action of hospital doors and the season . Getting deeper and deeper.

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