Skip to content

Per Diem for February: Worker’s Haiku

For February our guest editor Matthew Paul celebrates the joys and travails of the working(wo)man’s plight. Here’s what he offers by way of introduction:

Like Issa’s celebrated turnip-puller pointing the way with said vegetable, the worker has featured as a solitary figure in many fine haiku/senryu down the years. In these selections that I’ve made, the poets depict a variety of professionals hard at it or not, as the case may be: barber, bookseller, chauffeur, dentist, doctor, gravedigger, mechanic, policeman, postman, waitress and many others – even an estate agent. Some clearly relish their work; whereas others find all kinds of ways to make the daily grind that little bit more bearable than it might otherwise be. Not surprisingly, some appear more competent than others. Some are captured in a quiet, off-guard moment when his or her concentration on the matter in hand has temporarily lapsed, perhaps when the boss isn’t looking. We’ve all been there. Some are beavering away indoors; others are out in all weathers. Whatever the scenario, each of these lovely haiku tells a story, whether comically, poignantly and/or beautifully. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Matthew Paul

We’re all workers in some sense, and the range of experiences, accomplishments, wages and woes offer us a kinship even as we seek to move beyond our daily efforts. Enjoy!

This Post Has 21 Comments

  1. Good one, Lorin.

    This refers to our vineyards at Nashik, near Pune.

    harvesting grapes . . .
    the season slips through
    her fingers

    I remember Peggy Willis choose this for Magnapoets January print edition 2009 ^_^
    _kala

  2. spring sunshine
    the stylist gives her scissors
    a practice snip

    Marilyn Appl Walker
    Acorn #26, 2011

  3. rain on the skybridge–
    the surgeon’s rumpled scrubs
    and bowed head

    Billie Wilson
    South by Southeast 16:3 (2009)

Comments are closed.

Back To Top