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Per Diem for October 2018: Loaded

Per Diem: Daily Haiku for October 2018 features guest-editor Marion Clarke’s collection on the theme “Loaded.”
This is what Marion offers by way of an introduction to her theme:

And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,

And in short, I was afraid.

— T S Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

We are like rabbits in front of a cocked weapon; our time here is loaded with potential disaster. What is most frightening? Nature unleashed, death and the unknown – or ourselves? Perhaps we drown our fear of the future in a bottle, or smother it in material excess in order to distract? Or perhaps the dice have always been loaded and this game is unwinnable? Or is it?

I sought haiku that relate to difficult times – times of personal strife or global problems, such as war. Is mankind really doomed or do we feel so intrinsically linked to this planet that it can somehow comfort us in our hour of need? And are the cracks required to let in the light? So many loaded questions…


Stella Pierides is a writer and poet. Her books include "Of This World" (2017) and "In the Garden of Absence" (2012), both HSA Merit Book Award recipients. Her article “Parkinson’s Toolbox: The Case for Haiku” appeared in Juxtapositions: A Journal of Research and Scholarship in Haiku, issue 8, 2022. She serves on the Board of Directors of The Haiku Foundation, and she conceived and coordinates the Haiku for Parkinson’s feature.

This Post Has 16 Comments

  1. An interesting series, and delighted that today my dark news haiku is featured! :-)
    It’s always amazing when a particular haiku has touched people more strongly than usual. It’s only happened twice before as far as I know, with a tribute haiku to my father where the rain is my friend at his funeral, and clearing my mother’s home room by room.
    So dark news was one that touched a lot of people, and here’s one comment:
    warm regards,

    1. I remember well that feedback you received from a reader, Alan. It’s great to know that poetry can make a difference…in fact, your ‘dark news’ with its ‘comfort of crows’ is what inspired my choice of topic for Per Diem!


    1. You are very welcome, Marta. I found it thought-provoking and one that many readers will relate to.

  2. Great to see one of Brendan Slater’s iconic haiku here!
    a spatter
    of raindrops on the window
    abnormal cells
    Brendan Slater
    “In Bed With Kerouac” (2012)
    Brendan Slater (Author), Michael McClintock (Introduction)
    It was great to spend time with him in Aberdeen, Scotland, and of course Brendan brilliantly edited my Does Fish-God Know collection.
    More from Brendan Slater:

    1. Yes, it is iconic, Alan. I found Brendan’s use of “spatter” particularly effective. It provides both sound and vision – windblown rain as it hits a window pane intermittently, perhaps in a hospice, and a cell sample being scrutinized under a microscope in a medical laboratory.

      I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting the poet but I have admired his work for quite some time. Thank you for posting the links.



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