Haiku!: A response to COVID-19…

Yesterday morning, my oldest childhood friend, C, sent an e-mail to me, her husband, her brother, and her two adult daughters:

Hope you’re all well. I will write a haiku for each day of COVID-19 isolation. Aren’t you excited? 😂 Feel free to contribute your own! ♥️

A quiet workday
Ending with an evening walk
Seems the new normal

Thinking of you all –

Genius!, I thought.  My spirits lifted, and I shot off a reply:

Corona used to
Evoke Cinco de Mayo
Now: just sheer panic

Another from C:

The morning birdsong
Trill after interval
Welcomes a bright day

(Followed soon thereafter by a comment: “I tinkered around too much and lost a syllable. Will do better tomorrow!”)

Then me:

Shelves are emptying
Inquiring minds want to know
Where’s all the TP?

At this point, I was so tickled by all of it, I looped in another friend, M, an infectious disease physician at Yale.  Her contribution:

I smell like Purell
The gyms all closed yesterday
Thank god for ice cream

C’s two daughters joined in (the emojis are silent):

Wow! What pick me ups
A fun way to end hump day
Humbled by 👌 poets

You are experts at
Generating lovely poems
I will work on mine 😉

Early this morning, I read a lovely piece in the NY Times by Jennifer Finney Boylan.  She related the story of walking up Amsterdam Avenue in NYC and seeing  a spray-painted image of an upside down heart, along with the phrase “PROTECT YO’ HEART”.  She goes on: ‘Later, I learned it was the work of an artist from Queens named Uncutt Art.  It reminded me of how important it is to care for our spiritual selves during a time of crisis. The Protect Yo’ Heart project, I learned, took its name from Proverbs 4:23: “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”’

And I saw another haiku:

[And] above all else
Guard your heart, for everything
You do flows from it.

C’s contribution this AM:

Coffee and oatmeal
Granted, a meal too plain for some
My perfect breakfast

(Followed soon thereafter by a comment: “Dang, did it again – 5, 8, 5…I need to stop composing before I have coffee…)

And two last ones from me:

I can’t swim my laps
Endorphins are plummeting
Time for a Zoloft

Know nothing POTUS
Thank God for Tony Fauci
Science brings us truth

I’ll close as Boylan did: “Wash your hands. Protect yo’ heart.”


The picture at the top of this post may seem incongruous, but I sought it out on a day in which the total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Italy exceeded that of China, where the pandemic began. This shot, by Vadim Sherbakov, is of Civita di Bagnoregio, in central Italy.


Addendum: Neurons first started firing around the idea of some kind of art-themed rebuttal to COVID-19 when I saw this post  by my loyal blogosphere mate VC, down under in Melbourne. Check him out, not only this post, but anything from his archive of insightful and inspired music commentary.

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