Dispatches: LA – Homebound Haiku by Amy Uyematsu

Homebound Haiku

Unstoppable spring -

            burst of green on bare branches

                        virus without bounds

Photo by Amy Uyematsu.



Which is scarier -

            bullets, viral pandemics,

                        a mob ruled by fear




No time to prepare -

            a self-absorbed president's

                        lies and excuses




Pandemic or not -

            the White House sees dollar signs

                        downplays human life




Still taking our walks

            we are struck by the orange

                        of this spring's poppies




Now that you stay home

            I am cooking up a storm -

                        our waistlines thicken




Is it only me -

            the clouds are more beautiful

                        a stranger's smile too




What deadly choices -

            not enough ventilators

                        who's more deserving?


Cherry Blossoms from the book “Wise Trees.” Photo courtesy of Amy Uyematsu.

The streets so quiet

            no children at the playground

                        but the bluest skies




How to stay healthy -

            Netflix, old books, new poems

                        sustain that deep breath




No more zumba class -

            so last night I shut my door

                        cha-cha'ed my heart out




A two-month lockdown?

            Grandpa confined at Gila

                        three relentless years




I used to teach math

            but it took a pandemic

                        for graphs to take hold




Exponential curves -

            once incomprehensible,

                        now daily fixtures




These are the hard facts -

            I'm older than 65

                        may not make the cut




Left in plastic bags

            on the streets of Ecuador -

                        unthinkable end




Find a way to smile

            look at something beautiful

                        all the while grieving




The cruelest spring -

            we watch the rising death toll,

                        cherry blossoms too



Japanese maple leaves. Photo by Amy Uyematsu.

Amy Uyematsu

18 haiku, excerpts

from 3/20/20-4/3/20

Poet’s Bio:

Amy Uyematsu is a Sansei poet and teacher from Los Angeles.  She currently teaches a writing workshop at the Far East Lounge in Little Tokyo.

Cover Photo:

Downtown LA Skyline from LA City Market, 11th & S. San Pedro St. 2018. Photo by Eddie Wong.

Leave a Comment