(c) all rights reserved · poetry

Haikai Challenge #140 (5/21/20): Memorial Day and dVerse OLN

Memorial Day, Graves, Cemetery, Military, american, national, burial, tombstone, dead, patriotic
image from this website

Breeze sways
spattered poppies
long after the sniper
is gone —
dark falls on a corpse.


Ravaged meat
in a box:
Special Delivery.
Worms finish
what maggots started.


He watches her kneel
in the wet grass
at his grave,
crying for herself
in her long black veil+.


Three nights she dreams
of red sands and blue eyes.
On the fourth day, they come
in uniforms,
hats in their hands.


He’s a ghost father
to a stranger,
the infant he watches;
dying again
when the man dons a uniform.


“Martha” is written and performed by Greg Miller.  The song is on Dutch Henry’s album, “1973.”


In honor of the fallen.

+taken from the song, “The Long Black Veil

Frank J. Tassone is the host of Haikai Challenge.  Frank says:
This week, write the haikai poem of your choice (haiku, senryu, haibun, tanka, haiga, renga, etc.) that alludes to Memorial Day.

Grace is today’s host of dVerse’ Open Link Night.

32 thoughts on “Haikai Challenge #140 (5/21/20): Memorial Day and dVerse OLN

  1. I read this last night but I didn’t dare comment. It’s powerful…and I saw the Long Black Veil…may be why I did it subconsciously.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dark, topical, poignant, this one assaults us, gut punch, uppercuts, jabs. I like the strength and the vision within it, and I like the creative way you expanded on traditional haiku, senryu, tanka parameters.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A poignant tanka sequence, Lisa, with some surprisingly stark imagery. These lines made me sit up:
    ‘Ravaged meat
    in a box:
    Special Delivery.
    Worms finish
    what maggots started’.
    The central incongruous ‘Special Delivery’ packs a punch.
    How tragic that the ‘ghost father’ can’t stop his little stranger son from repeating history.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love that song – ever since I heard it as a little girl and memorized the words.- Of course I sang along. I think even before I knew the words it epitomized irony and poignancy for me. You always make me think- it’s a good Memorial Day poem beats skin-to-skin partying among the virus carriers! I was just contemplating the way we shove the reality of death aside (rarely having to witness it in person) and so mistakenly consider it something other than life – one process, one whole.

    Our dead are dying alone now – un-witnessed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Christine, thank you and glad you connected with the poems and the music. It is a terrible thing we do, as you say, shove death aside. Every other creature takes it as part of the whole, why not us. Dying alone, un-witnessed, is maybe the worst part of it all 😦


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.