I effectively lost 2 weeks last month due to Covid. Firstly, having to start isolation when Haiku Husband tested positive, and then coming down with it myself a few days later. While HH’s illness was fairly bad, mine was mild. I was relating all this to a haiku friend overseas who answered that I must have written some new haiku. Wrong! The couple I managed over my few days in bed resemble a fever dream so odd are they.
I fall asleep
to steady rain
from Gratitude in the Time of Covid-19
The Haiku Hecameron (2020)
& then you hear
the kitchen clock
from NOON: An Anthology of Short Poems (2019)
on the sickroom wall
the shadow of leaves
from Kokako 5 (2006)
The Covid variant most New Zealanders are experiencing now is highly transmissible so although we were isolating from one another inside the house, Haiku Son eventually tested positive too … and, perhaps because he’s young and strong, was barely ill with it. Fortunately, we’d had time to stock up on tinned soup, eggs, frozen meals, pain relief, etc before we were all ill, and HH’s work dropped off extra RAT kits. When we felt like eating again we didn’t have to do much to make something that could pass for a meal.
starlings in her voice a winter’s worth of worry
from Wishbone Moon anthology (2018)
in our air
from Haiku 21 anthology (2011)
winter of owls
who will I know
in the obits
from THF Daily Haiku, Aug 3 2021
As the older occupants of the house slowly began to recover, we discovered we were both left with low energy levels, which are still impacting us a bit, and a ‘flat’ feeling. Almost a month later I still have a wracking cough, which HH and HS didn’t get.
Haiku poet and editor Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902) lived with the tuberculosis that killed him from about 1888, spending the last 6 years of his life largely bed-ridden. In early May 1902, 4 months before his death, Shiki began writing an essay series, ‘Byosho Rokushaku’ (‘Six-Foot Sickbed’), which was serialised in the newspaper Nippon:
A six-foot sickbed – this is my world. And this sickbed six feet long is too big for me. Sometimes I have only to stretch my arm a bit to touch the tatami, but at other times I can’t even relax by pushing my legs outside the covers. In extreme cases, I am relaxed but am tormented by such terrible pain that I’m unable to move my body so much as an inch or even half an inch. Racked by pain, anguish, shrieks, morphine, I search for a way out, helplessly craving a little peace on a road that leads to death. Read the full article by Ren Ino this piece is excerpted from (Journal of Philosophy and Ethics in Health Care and Medicine, No. 13, 2019).
Again and again
from my sickbed I ask
‘how deep is the snow’?
from The Penguin Book of Japanese Verse (1964)