Welcome to re:Virals, The Haiku Foundation’s weekly poem commentary feature on some of the finest haiku ever written in English. This week’s poem was
pulse monitor the exhausted curve flattens — Ravi Kiran, World Haiku Review (2021)
Lakshmi Iyer ponders all repercussions:
The pulse monitor in line one shows two important readings: the pulse rate, recorded as beats per minute, and the oxygen saturation of hemoglobin in arterial blood.
When the body is overworked, exhausted, stressed, unable to release mental fatigue, the brain sends signals to the heart indicating that all is not well. The pressure varies with the unstable pulse beats and no option is left but medication.
What does the phrase indicate here? — “the exhausted curve/ flattens”
Although the human brain and heart are considered to be part of the best system in the universe, our joint family system in most of society needs to be checked. The person doing a particular job continues doing that throughout his/her life. Yet there is no support in the family. The mental and physical stamina becomes buried deep down as others lecture on “how to live a good and better life.” All the while, just the opposite is happening in the family. I wish there were true rulers in the family who were task masters, who had a voice to order the task to be done as well as give a helping hand. Alas! The person doing the work out of compassion and duty continues to work like a machine. Wish I could have a say in this matter.
The pulse monitor has become a default gadget in every family. It is easy to determine the type of sickness and prescribe the remedy. In the past year of COVID, it has become compulsory to check our pulse rates. There is every chance of deterioration of the lungs, pulse beat and the heart! Wear a mask, sanitize your hands and follow social distancing.
As this week’s winner, Lakshmi gets to choose next week’s poem, which you’ll find below. We invite you to write a commentary to it. It may be as long or short, academic or spontaneous, serious or silly, public or personal as you like. We will select out-takes from the best of these. And the very best will be reproduced in its entirety and take its place as part of the THF Archives. Best of all, the winning commentator gets to choose the next poem for commentary.
Anyone can participate. A new poem will appear each Friday morning. Simply put your commentary in the Contact box by the following Tuesday midnight (Eastern US Time Zone). Please use the subject header “re:Virals” so we know what we’re looking at. We look forward to seeing some of your favorite poems — and finding out why!
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a handful of rice at the end of the day — harvest moon — Geetanjali Rajan, The Mainichi (2017)