Ramon Presson

My wife’s uncle, Don Holroyd, was a beloved English professor at York College in Pennsylvania for decades. A lover of haiku and a published poet in the classic Japanese form of 5-7-5 syllables in its three short lines, Don taught me to appreciate the reading and the writing of haiku. I helped him get a collection of his haiku published a few years ago, and in doing so I got a glimpse of how Don observed the world, especially its natural beauty. Classic haiku generally does look to nature for its inspiration.

Don passed away earlier this month at the age of 92. In his honor, I present this collection of coronavirus-themed haiku. In an economy of words, Don Holroyd painted beautiful pictures of the four seasons. I, on the other hand, was aiming for chuckles and groans when I wrote my tiny three-line poems on nearby napkins, receipts, and the back of envelopes — trying to reflect some of the oddities and ironies of the pandemic season we’re in. Here are some of them.

Schools closed, children home

running, screaming, crying loud.

Not them, I meant me. 

The store shelves are bare.

Has bath tissue turned to gold? 

That would be painful. 

Kahlil Gibran urged

"togetherness with spaces"

How 'bout separate floors? 

Sting wrote our anthem:

Don't stand so, don't stand so, don't

stand so close to me

Spring Break trip cancelled —

We went to Shoe Carnival.

The rides really sucked. 

My wife must hate me.

She upped my life insurance,

booked me on a cruise.

Working hard from home.

Crossword puzzles, Sudoku. 

I really should rest. 

Me, harmonica —

I'm playing the COVID blues.

Dogs howl for mercy.

Busy day writing,

coming up with words that

rhyme with quarantine

I told the teller,

I have a gun, give me cash

or I swear I'll sneeze.

Seizing time to read,

I'm catching up on classics

like "Cat in the Hat"

Still working from home —

When's the last time I showered?

Is today Thursday? 

Graduation cancelled.

Now Dad doesn't need to know

that I flunked physics. 

Easter Sunday lunch —

I asked what dish I could bring.

Clorox wipes, she said. 

Whole, Skim, 2%

All the milk has been taken.

Dry Raisin Bran, yumm!

My hair’s like a tree —

its roots gray and branches black.

And my salon’s closed.

Life's full of regrets.

Charmin 12-packs were on sale

back in November.

I just touched my face!

And eyes, nose, and mouth!  Oh wait,

I’m in the shower.

Hi, Dr. Fauci,

May I call you Anthony?

Will you be my Dad?

I cut my own hair —

ends trimmed, top thinned, and sides shaped.

Everyday’s hat day.

My gym is shut down.

For exercise I’m walking

fast to Krispy Kreme.

I bet you ten bucks

no one on this Zoom call knows

I’m not wearing pants.

And then two that aren’t meant to be funny…

AA Groups shut down.

Liquor stores remain open.

Explain "essential."

Spring's high throne and crown 

has been overthrown this year.

Blossoms fall like tears.

Ramon Presson, PhD, is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Franklin (www.ramonpressontherapy.com) and the author of several books. Reach him at [email protected].