Hello and welcome back to the haiku pea podcast, this time S3 E22 a podcast about social Social Issues. My name is Patricia and this time I thought it would be interesting to find out what’s going on around the world, what’s bothering us and if there are any similarities. Of course when I created the topic list for this year Covid was not on my radar. Not surprisingly that was a global theme but there were others, I’ll not spoil the surprise but globally we have more in common than we do differences.

Thank you to everyone who bought me a coffee since last time, I’ve not been out and about anywhere interesting this month. Switzerland is currently one of the sick countries of Europe so I’m doing as little mixing as possible. Instead of coffee I’m going to treat myself to a book. It’s “On Writing” by Stephen King. I got it from the library the other day and I love it so much I want my own copy so I can scribble in the text. I’d recommend it as a writing manual but also it’s just a good read and that’s from someone who is not been able to read his books since I saw Carrie many moons ago.

Also a terrifically big thank you to James Young who guest edited this podcast. We’ve done our best to keep politics out of it but we are both British so maybe we missed something that’s obvious to someone else.

A big thank you to all of you who submitted, whether your work was chosen or not, it was lovely to hear from you and I hope we’ll hear from you again.

Remember that the topics for next year kick-off with spring and autumn Kigo. I’m taking submissions from the 1st to the 20th of December for that but at the moment Robert Horrobin is reading your submissions for the No verbs topic, deadline first of December. Emails only please.  I know it’s a challenge, it was meant to be! More challenges to come in 2021. Please come along on the 7th of December and listen to the podcast as there’ll be news.

So without further ado, your submissions on the social issues theme. I’ll read the verse first and the author afterwards.

by the radio
waiting for four aways
my dad with his fag

James Young

Firstly, when we Brits use the word fag, it’s usually, as here, a colloquialism for cigarette. Now, when I and obviously James, were young, there was something called the pools. It was something like a lottery in which you had to predict the results of football matches and if you scored enough points you would win money. The sort of money that could make a real difference to your life. That’s what James is referring to.

Back to his verse. Although the trip back to my childhood appealed to me, the point I wanted to make was that Jim has used a moment from his past but he’s written it in the present tense. A haiku expresses the moment, whether it’s in the past or what’s happening in front of you right now and it should be expressed in the present tense.

Let’s hear it again.

by the radio
waiting for four aways
my dad with his fag

Continuing on:


senseless events

slow learners

Wayne Kingston

Saraswati goddess
with a hole in her sock
fragile spring

Damir Damir

castoffs –
rummaging through old clothes
at the shelter

Elaine Wilburt

blackboard lessons –
eyes stare through gap in roof
as dark clouds gather

Neera Kashyap

winter wind –
only bread and milk
in her bag

Daniela Misso

homeless girl
in her sleeping bag –
dead to the world

Peter Draper

hungry and tired
walking the streets daily
feeling lost

Katherine E Winnick

bitter winds
cardboard flapping
alone at home

Linda L Ludwig

address unknown
a drifter finds solace
in a cardboard box

Paul Callus

streets now cleared
of homelessness that some
may walk untroubled

Ian Speed

between him and the others
double social distance

Samo Kreutz

harvest moon –
a beggar and the hope
in his dog’s eyes

m shane pruett

without a roof
the biting wind
of winter

W R Bongcaron

I’d just like to say a few words about Willie’s verse. Listen to the repetition of W in all three lines. Can you hear how that makes the verse stronger?


tent dwellers
food pickers

**E L Blizzard

so hard to learn to speak
in future tense

Maya Daneva

washed up on a beach
lost dignity

Kim Russell

sunless town
the rain burns
a refugee’s eyes

Srinivas S

a scatter of refugees
looking for a life

John Hawkhead

rumbling louder
than the evening storm
a refugee’s belly

Hifsa Ashraf

his favorite
boyhood racial slur:

**M Kelly Peach

the lingering taste
of black-eyed peas


filthy little hands
selling tissue boxes
during school day

Riham El Ashry

red light –
small hands sell balloons
faded blossoms

Neena Singh

happy women’s day
he wishes wife
securing her veil just so…

Anjali Warhadpande

The next two verses speak of my awkward teenage years – I bet there are some of you listening who could say the same…

construction site
cacophony of wolf whistles
I flip the bird

Doris Lynch

shy dog walker
how much she must see her feet
she shuns my ‘morning’

Mark Morris

magdalen laundry
mammy’s skinned knuckles scrubbing
daddy’s sins away

Mike Gallagher

I think Mike’s verse is powerful even if you don’t understand the history behind it.  The Magdalen laundries  were run by religious convents Ireland. Young, unmarried, pregnant women were often sent to work in them and then the babies taken for adoption. The girls often had no choice. Anyway to return to the verse, the second and third lines are quite haunting, don’t you think? As you know if you listen to the podcast I’m not a great lover of adjectives, if you’re going to use them they really, really need to prove their worth. I think Mike’s use of skinned when describing mammy’s knuckles is masterful. To me anyway these two lines reflect the prevailing thought of the time that there was something dirty about these young girls, their pregnancy et cetera and that these sins had to be paid for.

smashed beer bottles
the broken typewriter
by the river

**Oliver Leon Porter

to Cetus I pray:
grant me the gene memories
of Earth’s singing whales

Karla Linn Merrifield

may day!
more birders than birds
among apple blossoms

Janice Doppler

reflections missing
from the lake

Ronald K Craig

on the canyon wall
a weeping red hand
oil tankers rumble

Joan Barrett

dark shadow
over the rainforest
lung cancer

Hannah Hulbert

dark days, darker nights
can’t see the woods for the trees
which are now burning

**Christopher Peys

wind in the jungle
orange haze oversweeps
souls in jeopardy

Richard Bailly

uprooted –
silent spring

Dorothy Burrows

the death of a sea bird…
plastic rings

Pat Geyer

plastic bottle –
bobbing in the ocean
joins a rubbish island

Rob McKinnon

the small erasure
of recycled glass

Lorraine A Padden

Earth Day
the dog won’t drop
its fetch ball

**Brad Bennett

apocalypse sky
they choose to look
the other way

Christina Chin

my old school
has more classrooms now
but no trees

S Narayanan

global warming
by events

Mark Gilbert

another day
in lockdown –
fingerprints on the window

Laura Driscoll

visited only
by memories
care home

**Debbi Antebi

without a thought
for grandmother

BA France

social distancing
scrub jays gather
in the jacaranda

Deborah P Kolodji

sore heart
caress on the face
nurse’s hand

Eva Drobná

a whole drawer full
of homemade masks
rain puddles the garden

Carrie Ann Thunell

never-ending nightfall
death in solitude
covid’s autumn

Robert Quezada

COVID continues
today you will not hug Gran
perhaps tomorrow

Lekha Desai Morrison

locked border
our state gets to know

Giddy Nielsen Sweep

All Hallows’ Day
the child busy sketching
on the mask

Pravat Kumar Padhy

yellow tape
around the empty playground
pandemic summer

Angela Terry

nursery class rainbows outside the lines

Marilyn Ward

virtual school
galleries of students
banned from chatting

**Doug Lanzo

flattening the curve
a forsythia branch
bends to the wind

Jay Friedenberg

social distance
mallow leaves
cup the rain


forced bloom –
the corner diner

**Barbara Sabol

solved social issues
a hermit wearing
pjs 24/7

wendy c bialek

I like that Wendy can see a little bit of humour in such trying times. One of the topics for next year will be to write haiku and senryu with humour. In fact next month in the podcast on the 7th of December, Roger Watson is coming along to talk to us about humour in haiku. I hope you’ll join us, because some of them are just laugh out loud funny.

neighbor’s deck party
political quarrelling
thunder clouds rising

Michael Feil

his throaty jalopy that wakes
the neighborhood

Adjei Agyei Baah

social networks
liking her posts
in succession

Bakhtiyar Amini

am i
what i am
on social media

**Jitendra Menghani

Don’t you think Jitendra’s play on words in line one and two are effective?

in the fermata
between the tweets
truth lies

Robert Horrobin

with algorithms –
social dilemma

Zahra Mughis

hundreds of virtual strikes
real pain

Cyrille Soliman


her scars
in plain sight
craters of the moon

Kristen Lindquist

touching her bruises
she disappears
out the door

Roberta Beach Jacobson

her pandemic battle
not a viral one –
she masks the bruises

Tracy Davidson

bruises on her neck

still her fault she says

Richard Hargreaves

am I
the only one
who cries

Jeff Brake

rented view
on the neighbour’s wall
sun shining

Jane Berg

cathedral windows
the only stories
she can read

Pat Davis

new faces move in;
more kids dropped off at ballet.
cycle shops appear.

fewer sirens blaze;
car stereos are softer,
teens in parks fade out

Avi (a two verse haiku)

something being said
on abandoned brick walls
here I…

**Jack Galmitz

Jack, your half finished sentence in line 3 certainly creates a sense of a person whose feels they’re too small to matter. I can’t help but think this is how many of us feel just at the moment, certainly I have moments when I feel like that, but then I think small steps, small steps can lead to giant strides. Remember Neil Armstrong’s misquoted quote: “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

So that’s it for today.

Your deadline for the No verbs topic is coming up fast, the 1st of December, if you haven’t got your submission in, you still have time. There’s lots of news coming up soon about happenings the poetry pea so if you haven’t signed up for the mailing list, please sign up or you might miss out on some exciting opportunities to grow your haiku experience.

If you are one of the wonderful poets who submitted to this podcast, I thank you from the bottom of my heart because without your work how would this edition have been possible.

Thanks very much for coming along and joining me, I very much appreciate your company. I hope we’ll be together again for the next podcast in a couple of days and so until then, keep writing…

If there’s something missing or wrong in the show let’s just send me over an email and let me know so I can put it right. Ciao

** poets new to the podcast

Series 3 Episode 22: Social Issues

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