Capturing the Pandemic Experience in Haiku Poetry – Duke Today

The COVID-19 pandemic and the events since March 2020 left us with indelible experiences. From quirks of remote work to powerful emotions stemming from the way the pandemic intersects with our lives, poetry can be a healthy and fun way to process moments and feelings.

To celebrate International Haiku Poetry Day on April 17, Working@Duke asked staff and faculty to use the Japanese poetry form of haiku poems of three lines with five, seven and five syllables to share their unique expressions.

Enjoy the responses that were submitted by 5 p.m. on April 5:

Scrubs on, then scrubs off. Put others before ourselves. Eat, sleep, and repeat.

- Jamie Jill Maness, Clinical Nurse, DOCR

Were on the frontline. Were knocked down but we rise up. We are all Duke Strong.

- Jamie Eddy, LPN, Durham Pediatrics

Holds up the i-Pad. Family says goodbye from screen. Prayers. Last breaths taken.

- Ashley Acken, Senior Clinical Administrative Chaplain, Duke University Hospital

Mask over mouth, nose, Goggles fog with every breath. Protected, maybe?

- Katie Sanford, Physical Therapist, Duke Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation

Masked heroes working. Saving lives every day. New day dawning soon.

- Dawn Jones Marshall, Medical Laboratory Scientist, Stem Cell Laboratory

Another long shift How do I avoid Covid? Scrubs in the washer

- Matt Mathias, Consulting Associate, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health

A novel virus, Invades our world quite quickly, Healthcare heroes win.

- Nathan Wise, Financial Analyst, Duke Raleigh Hospital

we fight the good fight over and over again all are heroes here

- Robin L. A. Clinedinst, Ophthalmic Technician, Duke Eye Center of South Durham

Death among many Heart break beyond repairing Good-by left unsaid

- Laurie Edgerton, Patient Service Associate, Duke Urgent Care South

As I close my eyes I am free no mask for me I know they'll miss me

- Odette Benschikovski, Clinical Nurse, Duke University Hospital

Bless the health workers Who put their own lives at risk So that all can live

- Megan Bell, Financial Services Specialist, Duke Credit Union

The pandemic world Little things have become big We need hugs again.

- Margaret (Peggy) Eren, Nurse Practitioner, Division of Cellular Therapy and Hematologic Malignancy

Get your vaccine To keep everyone healthy and protect the sick.

- Emily Escano, Administrative Assistant, Center for Advanced Practice

Cautionary tale. Science is manifested. The death toll rises.

- Robyn Miller, Departmental Director for Human Resources, School of Medicine, Orthopaedic Surgery

Masks on for safety. Let's get rid of this virus. Show our smiles again!

- Candace Martindale, Nursing Program Coordinator, Duke Home Care & Hospice

Swab in my nostril. Place the swab in the test tube. Safe campus for all.

- Elizabeth Cross, Surveillance Testing

Missing open arms Grandchildren question distance Love in both our eyes

- Valery Nelson, Laboratory Manager Bachelder Lab, School of Medicine

Ebb the tide today. Wash hands. Wear mask. Wait six feet. Protect those you love.

- Patricia H. Davis, Clinical Services Nurse, Adult Bone Marrow Transplant Clinic

My mask is on now But I can still enjoy life You are all precious

- Sally Hessnice, Clinical Nurse, Duke North OR

Daily fogged glasses Free stuff for healthcare workers Vaccinated, yay!

- Chelsea Walsh, Clinical Nurse, Duke Children's Health Center

Me, alone - Try to feel normal. Failing because it is not.

- Leah M. Kerr, Technical Services Processing Archivist, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library

A friend cuts my hair. Oops she says and starts to laugh. It will grow back soon.

- Blair Chesnut, Senior Analyst Programmer, Molecular Physiology

Diet and exercising... Why have thee forsaken me Cake, get in my mouth.

- Alpha Esser, Technical Trainer, Duke Clinical Research Institute

isolation under a cul-de-sac of stars

- Crystal Simone Smith, Humanities Unbounded Fellow, Duke University

Eyes convey all now With mask in place hiding lips Eyes above mask smile

- Melissa Reese, Lab Research Analyst, Stem Cell Laboratory

A new grandbaby Cannot meet; cannot hold yet Hopeful, so hopeful

- Lesley Stanford, Clinical Dietitian, Nutrition Services

My Heart has listened. To all the grief that is here. And transmutes to love.

- Sherry Short, Nurse Clinician, Center of Excellence

Last year is hindsight Feels like vision incomplete New year, please be clear!

- Danielle Wiggins, Assistant Director for PhD Programs, Nicholas School of the Environment

Glooming summertime A personal, small friend rolls Whilst watching COVID

- Adrianne N. Burton, Patient Service Associate, Duke Otolaryngology South Durham

Introverted me Now completely misses hugs And those who gave them

- Melissa Graham, Program Coordinator, Office of Curricular Affairs

A horrible dream. I wake up fearful at night. Believe and trust. Sleep.

- Valerie Riddick, Administrative Manager, Duke Health Development & Alumni Affairs

a knee on his neck okay til he cried mama now my mask is gone

- Alonzo Felder, IT Analyst, University Office of Information Technology

Big milestone events Lost in swirls of pandemic Not to be retrieved

- LeAnn Fulton, Clinical Research Associate, DCRI

You smile on the Zoom But I know you are weary Like the rest of us

- Marty Jarrell, Communications Director, Family Connects International

Zoom meetings the norm Duke has me working from home Love working at Duke

- Tara Parker, Staff Assistant, Duke Cancer Institute

Close my laptop lid... Get up from my office chair... Hi Honey, I'm home!"

- John H. Campbell, Information Security Analyst, Duke Health Technology Solutions

No commute today. I can read a book or sew. Makes me so happy.

- Lisa Powell, Financial Analyst II, Department of Ophthalmology

More time with my kid. Grateful for technology. The glass is half full.

- Allison Jardine, Administrative Assistant, DUHS Clinical Labs Human Resources

If I don't get out Of this work-from-home stupor I may scream real loud

- Kristin LoBiondo Pfeiffer, Communications Specialist, Student Affairs

Work with kids and zoom Can't wait for normal life to Resume very soon

- Saimia Baluch, Project Leader, DCRI

Grooming has gone bad But saving on lunch, gas, shirts Pandemic shut-in

- Karl Leif Bates, Director of Research Communications, Duke University

Reveling, home works Front porch, back porch, TV, books Pandemic be gone, Free me

- Valerie Fernandez, Manager, Coding Integrity Department

One dog in my lap. Another at my side, I like remote work best.

- Allison W. Spell, Senior Clinical Research Coordinator, Neurosurgery

COVID Communication Zoom safe space personal space When does it all in

- Pauline D. Stroud, Geriatric Resource Nurse, Duke Rehabilitation Institute

Kids are still at home. Driving me mad as a cow. Please help me. Bring wine.

- Cheryl Beth Munsell, Development Assistant, University Development

From my screen I watch A flower blooms, spring is here Four-thirty awaits

- Candice Sanford, DukeWELL Care Specialist, Duke Population Health Management Office

Zoom meetings aren't bad. Virtual backgrounds are fun... Wait... am I muted?

- Ryan Chung, IT Analyst, Enterprise and Devices Support

Day in and day out Together ALL of the time Cherish family

- Shellene Walker, Senior Project Manager, Office of Information Technology

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Capturing the Pandemic Experience in Haiku Poetry - Duke Today

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