Skip to content

Per Diem for October: Hands-On

Haiku about Hands

Ruth Yarrow is our Per Diem: Daily Haiku editor for October. Ruth’s
wonderful – and touching – collection is about a somewhat unusual but
intriguing theme, namely “Hands.” This is what she offers by way of an

“We are a species heavily dependent on our eyes, especially for connection
with others and world around us. But our hands also connect, and that
connection often reaches the heart. Right now my beloved mother-in-law,
who doesn’t see well, is dying, and when you approach her, she reaches out
her thin hand to connect. These haiku about hands touch emotion. They
range from humor, as in Randy Brooks’ hand in the cookie jar, to sadness,
as in Cherie Hunter Day feeling the weight and warmth of her dying dog’s
collar. They include fear, as in John Stevenson’s shiver at a warm hand
before diagnosis; intimacy, as in Sari Grandstaff’s total attention to the hand
on her thigh; and even exasperation or anger, as in Kenneth Elba Carrier’s
deaf man grabbing at the other’s hands. I’m grateful to Charlie Trumbull
for sharing his haiku database which held over 4,000 hand haiku on 679
pages, from which I chose these 31 for October. I’m sure many more will
be written on this theme, connecting across even unnameable gulfs, as
captured by Jeffrey Witkin’s wrench on a bridge construction site handed
across the span.”


Stella Pierides

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Dear Stella, Wonderful and touching are words I would also use in describing Ruth Yarrow’s edited collection.

    Today’s poem by Mike Dillon expresses the feelings of many parents and children, I imagine:

    First day of school:
    as we near the bus stop
    his hand lets go

    I remember similar feelings–and then holding hands with my mother once again when she was old. Full circle.

    Thank you, Ellen

Comments are closed.

Back To Top