Haiku from Home

Published on May 11, 2020

by Joyce Abrams

While I work at home

On haiku for Japan project,

New York City calls out.

Ambulance sirens

Relentlessly blare—fear, hope

Please save a dear life.

Seven o’clock each night

We clap, ring, and cheer to thank

Those who keep us well.

I hang up my bell

Happy to spot my neighbors,

I try not to cry.

Spring brings a bitter

Parallel. Blossoms fade, fall—

Impermanent, lost

While cooking I ask,

Use these mushrooms today or

Save for tomorrow?

Trader Joe’s nearby

Lucky me! Safe at home—have

Gloves, masks, health … Stay calm!

Make breakfast, start work,

Check emails, bills, speak to friends,

Work, clap, eat, TV

Lots to do, projects

In the house still incomplete

And then, there are bills …

Days run together

Fits and starts—Dress by seven

Still working—Why not?

No Subway steps, race

To work, walking everyday—

Get lost gained five pounds!

Another collage:

Search for apt material

Find colors, photos

TV background noise

I like to see people win.

Price right, Make a deal!

Keep at it, persist

Go until it says “finished.”

Then start another.

Choose paper, color

Cut, paste, write, while dinner bakes

Meals are overcooked.

It sets in, a deep

Sense of urgency, but why—

Is the meaning clear?

Make it right, worthwhile,

Unique: Compel, challenge, care,

Then see form complete

Portrait of this Joyce:

My freedom in quarantine

An artist escapes.