The Fringe Myrtles is a new haiku group in Melbourne which had its most recent meeting online due to the social distancing regulations associated with the Coronavirus. The theme of the meeting was to write haiku about the impact of Covid-19. And seeing as it was the first Zoom meeting for so many of us, it went as well as could be expected!
Group member Myron Lysenko commented, “It was wonderful to hear and see everybody read out their haiku. So many of our haiku had a focus on what is missing now.” All of the haiku shared with the group touched on this sense of loss – of what life was like before the virus. One member, Robbie Cairns, submitted a haibun which captured the mood of the current circumstances.
‘Hands’ by Robbie Cairns
The 1970’s jingle I can’t get out of my head anymore. ‘Wash your hands Geoffrey – With the Solvol Geoffrey’. I wash and scrub and wash and scrub and wash. I find a bottle of hand sanitiser in the campervan. It’s like winning the lottery. We have to live in a sanitised world now – or else. I think of my friends with OCD when I look at my hands, how theirs must almost be bleeding by now.
I remind my family of the new drill. Every time we leave and return, the sound of the tap, twenty seconds or more. My husband’s tradie callouses soften. I rub my eyes and face constantly but only after I wash my hands. This is a habit hard to break. I start to forget what I was doing before the virus. Coronoavirus is not yet inside me but invades my mind. With a map of mad thoughts greedily feeding on my anxiety.
The Fringe Myrtles are planning another online meeting to celebrate this year’s International Haiku Poetry Day on Friday 17th April.