Here are a pair of haiku composed in the first two months of the California Shelter in Place order. During that time Kaecey McCormick, who had just completed her term as Poet Laureate of Cupertino, held a series of virtual creativity workshops. In her first workshop – “Pandemic Poetry” (on 3/20/20) she asked us to write two lists describing – 1) before the pandemic and 2) now. As I worked on the lists I realized that while many of the things and emotions that I was experiencing were new, a number of things were very familiar – especially the fear and worry that I had for my (then) 95-year-old father’s health. This inspired the first haiku. The second haiku was inspired by the joy of the workshops and the community who participated. I also wanted to share a poem expressing some of the positives of this whole experience.
I note the date and time that each poem was written. I often compose haiku when I can’t sleep. The advantage of 17 syllables – is that I have a decent chance of remembering them in the morning. I find that capturing my feeling/fears/thoughts in a poem helps me to deal with them.
Worry for his health
In every waking moment
I forget to breathe
(Written 4/9/20 1 AM)
Learning, writing, speaking out
(Written 4/24/20 ~1 AM)
Thank you for this opportunity to share. Be well.
Submitted by Edith Barr, Santa Clara County – Cupertino.