Daily Haiku: May 29, 2020

mother’s sepsis . . .
I help the undertakers
wrap her away
by Alan Summers (UK)
Human/Kind Journal of Topical & Contemporary Japanese Short-forms
& Art, Issue 1.1, January 2019

About Charlotte Digregorio

I publish books. I have marketed and/or published 55 titles. These books are sold in 46 countries to bookstores, libraries, universities, professional organizations, government agencies, and book clubs. In 2018, I was honored by the Governor of Illinois for my thirty-eight years of accomplishments in the literary arts, and my work to promote and advance the field by educating adults and students alike. I am the author of seven books including: Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All; Everything You Need to Know About Nursing Homes; You Can Be A Columnist; Beginners' Guide to Writing & Selling Quality Features; Your Original Personal Ad; and my latest, Ripples of Air: Poems of Healing. The first four books have been adopted as supplemental texts at universities throughout the U.S., Canada, India, Pakistan, and Catalonia. They are sold in 43 countries, and are displayed in major metropolitan cultural centers. These books have been reviewed, recommended, and praised by hundreds of critics, librarians, and professors worldwide. I am also the author of a poetry collection: "Shadows of Seasons: Selected Haiku and Senryu by Charlotte Digregorio." Two of my books have been Featured Selections of Writer's Digest Book Club. I am regularly interviewed by major print, radio, and television organizations throughout the U.S. I regularly sign books at libraries, chain bookstores, and university bookstores, and do poetry readings at art centers, cafes, tea houses, and galleries. I was recently nominated for two Pushcart Prizes in poetry. I have won fifty-nine poetry awards, writing fourteen poetic forms. My poetry has been translated into eight languages. I do illustrated solo poetry exhibits 365 days a year in libraries, galleries, corporate buildings, hospitals, convention centers, and other venues. My individual poems have been displayed at supermarkets, apparel and wine shops, banks, botanic gardens, restaurants, and on public transit. I have been nominated and listed in "The International Authors and Writers Who's Who" in Cambridge, England and in the "Who's Who In Writers, Editors & Poets U.S./Canada." I hosted my own radio program, "Poetry Beat," on public broadcasting. My poetry has been featured on several library web sites including those of Shreve Memorial Library in Louisiana and Cornell University's Mann Library. My background includes positions as a feature editor and columnist at daily newspapers and as a magazine editor. I have been a public relations director for a non-profit organization. I am self-employed as a public relations/marketing consultant, having served a total of 118 clients in 23 states for the past several decades . In other professional areas, I have been on university faculties, teaching French, Italian, and Writing. I regularly give lectures and workshops on publishing, journalism, publicity, poetry, and creativity to business and professional groups, and at writer's conferences, universities, literary festivals, non-profit organizations, and libraries. I have been a writer-in-residence at universities. There have been about 400 articles written about me in the media. I have served on the Boards of writers and publishers organizations. My positions have included Board Secretary of the Northwest Association of Book Publishers. I served for five years as Midwest Regional Coordinator of The Haiku Society of America, and for two years as its Second Vice President.
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26 Responses to Daily Haiku: May 29, 2020

  1. Trzrs says:

    Whoa – poignant!

  2. MaryJo says:

    That had to be incredibly hard to write, Alan. And to lose a mother to sepsis…Thank you for sharing such an intimate moment.

    • haikutec says:

      Thanks MaryJo,

      When I decided to go for a Masters Degree in Creative Writing we were all challenged to write incredibly personal work. We could all trust each other, so although it was against my nature, I wrote pieces, and we were all determined to be better poets for that.

      The whole haibun is personal, and still haunts me. My mom lived to be 92 years old, and after my dad’s sudden death, from an unknown congenital heart issue, I strived to make her last years as full and fun as possible.

      mother’s sepsis…
      I help the undertakers
      wrap her away

      Alan Summers
      From “The Green Lady” ekphrastic haibun

      We had a remarkable carer when she broke her hips, and that woman got my mother onto useful meds by being firm by doctors. It meant her very high blood pressure was very much reduced, and my mother had a lot of extra quality years because of that.

      The two undertakers were made up one older experienced man, and one inexperienced younger man. To be frank, neither were impressive, and I had to moreorless take over for a moment. I think the combination of being the son, and my backgrounds in both hospitality and security, both areas have their emergencies, meant I could do that.

      And as my mother was a Batwoman (that’s another haibun) where she was a kind of valet to airforce officers during WWII, it was reversal of roles, to tuck her properly in before they took her out of her nursing home room.

      Thank you again,

  3. Paul Beech says:

    Your pain comes over, Alan. A profoundly affecting haiku.

    Take care,


  4. haikutec says:

    Reblogged this on Haikutec’s Weblog and commented:
    Death is an arc, which comes in many ways, but ultimately only one way.


  5. Maureen Weldon says:

    Yes Alan, Death is our one certainly! And this haiku of yours has a huge impact.

    Best wishes,

  6. What a devastatingly real haiku, Alan. Thank you for sharing this, and to Charlotte for featuring it.


    • haikutec says:

      It does feel like a very tough subject but my mom was always incredibly brave and strong despite being 5 foot and 1 and a half inches tall as an adult shrinking an inch or two in her last years but tough enough just to have the first stage of morphine, so she was fully conscious and yet died peacefully despite the gangrene that killed her at 92 years old.

      There was a lot of laughter in her later years which were absent before, so despite the circumstances, and the bumbling of two men (one experienced one not so much) I have good memories.


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