Better to write a haiku than to curse the pandemic

One last haiku entry. My sister Ceci, an ESL teacher in Chicago, assigned her students the Poem Elf quarantine haiku challenge, and they came through with flying colors. I’m impressed with anyone able to write creatively in a second language! These are wonderful—thanks to Ceci’s students.




Ellen from Taiwan wrote two haikus:


At difficult times

Be kind and help each other

Sunshine will come soon




Making me stay home and cook

Please go away soon




Lucy from China wrote three. (Ceci can relate to the first one—moving her class on line has been challenging and has sidelined her beloved basement-cleanout project.)


In this special time

Transition to e-learning

Keep calm, keep learning!



Generous neighbors

Help the elders and poor people

How friendly they are!



There is a little girl

She wants to play with her friend

Let’s meet in FaceTime!




Galina from Belarus was also wrote three. These ladies were feeling the haiku fever!


When I fall asleep

night fills the room with shadows

my dreams come to me…



Sunbeam on my face

I feel pleasant warmth as if

my Mom kisses me…



The sun is shining

orchids blossom on the table

How long do they bloom?




Luisa from Columbia is from the “better to light a candle” camp:


Play games, use your brain

Enjoy cooking new recipes

Dance or sing with others.




Ellen from Taiwan mirrors the up-and-downs we all feel:


At difficult times

Be kind and help each other

Sunshine will come soon




Making me stay home and cook

Please go away soon




WooYoung of South Korea lives on the bright side of the road:


Birds sing in the sky

We can walk on the green fields

I can feel the spring




Finally, Martha from Mexico speaks for us all:


Empty home, boring life

Better days are coming

Tired of being locked in

Keep your friends close

Take precautions & be safe in these times.



  1. Ceci

    Thanks, Poem Elf, for posting my students’ poems! I’m proud of their efforts too. Let’s all be well together while apart

  2. Marc David Rosen

    My non-haiku:


    Maybe this.
    Or the other thing.
    Or some damn thing, like a hangnail or a stubbed toe.
    Maybe a cold or a stolen car or even getting held up at gunpoint and loosing all my credit cards.
    Could’ve been the house afire or the dog got sick on the rug. Then rolled in it after he shat himself.

    But it wasn’t supposed to be this.

    The thick fog of worry.
    The horizon blurry and moving away from me.
    Where hysteria makes sense and the mad king reigns over chaos.

    It was supposed to have been my grandmother’s soup tureen slipping from my wet hands after a disastrous dinner party where best friends became sworn enemies.
    A tear on the lapel of my one and only bespoke suit, a tear right next to the hole the cigar had made.
    All things equal, it was supposed to be a shadow on the x-ray, an anxious wait for results, a dark relief brough on by benign results.

    Not this.
    Not one long night where the dark hides every menace we know.
    Not the wary looks from those who never noticed us.
    Not the suspicious eye I cast on some stranger I might have otherwise ignored.
    It shouldn’t be the tickle of worry about everything and everyone.
    Nor should it be so damned quiet – motors silenced, no buzz saws or grumpy workmen, no neighbors shaking hands, leaning in, happy to see each other.
    The post-mortem and every encounter a pre-mortem inventory of who’s next.
    The maps, the counts, the graphs, the lies, the firehose I’m drinking from with the four-way streams.
    It shouldn’t be like this, seeing our loved ones, our liked ones, our livelihoods on screens, staring in an ether one foot away and ten states away.
    One should not ache like this to want to touch the doorman’s shoulder to say “thanks guy” or to be ignored by a surly, sneering waitress.

    No, what it should’ve been is losing my favorite money clip, thick with bills and never finding it.
    I really wish it had been two flat tires and 5% battery left and my AAA card stolen by the guy in the fourth line.
    That’s what it really should’ve been, it should’ve been just like that.
    Just like hot coffee on my keyboard and my front door splintering in half for no god damn reason.

    This soup is lukewarm, unpalatable, the broth thin and watery.
    It tastes like worry and helplessness and impotence and rage.
    Bitter, bland and banal.
    Not like the thick, rich stew we served in my grandmother’s antique tureen, with the chunks and morsels so memorable that we’ll never forget how good it tasted to lose the tureen and our friends all in one night.

      1. Marc David Rosen

        Sure! Looking it over, there are few typos, e.g., “loosing” should be “losing” in line 4; “brough” should be “brought” in last line of fourth stanza; “in an ether” should be “into an ether”

Leave a Reply