#Haikai Challenge #92 (6/29/19) Independence #haiku #senryu #haibun #tanka #haiga #renga

Cedar Attanasio/Associated Press

Enough Midsummer rain for you? I know I’ve had my fill! Congratulations to last week’s contributors:

Haikai Challenge Participants
1. Tessa
2. Ken Gierke / rivrvlogr
3. the real cie
4. Jane Dougherty
5. Jules
6. Reena Saxena
7. The Dark Netizen
8. Xenia Tran
9. Linda Lee Lyberg
10. Janice
11. Revived Writer

Powered by… Mister Linky’s Magical Widgets.


The United States celebrates Independence Day this Thursday, July 4th. This year, the celebration of the birth of the US happens in the disquieting shadow of the chaos occuring at the country’s southern border:

A chaotic scene of sickness and filth is unfolding in an overcrowded border station in Clint, Tex., where hundreds of young people who have recently crossed the border are being held, according to lawyers who visited the facility this week. Some of the children have been there for nearly a month.

Children as young as 7 and 8, many of them wearing clothes caked with snot and tears, are caring for infants they’ve just met, the lawyers said. Toddlers without diapers are relieving themselves in their pants. Teenage mothers are wearing clothes stained with breast milk.

Most of the young detainees have not been able to shower or wash their clothes since they arrived at the facility, those who visited said. They have no access to toothbrushes, toothpaste or soap.

[Hundreds of migrant children have now been transferred out of the facility.]

“There is a stench,” said Elora Mukherjee, director of the Immigrants’ Rights Clinic at Columbia Law School, one of the lawyers who visited the facility. “The overwhelming majority of children have not bathed since they crossed the border.”

Every Friday, get an exclusive look at how one of the week’s biggest news stories on “The Daily” podcast came together.

By Caitlin Dickerson , “‘There Is a Stench’: Soiled Clothes and No Baths for Migrant Children at a Texas Center”, New York Times, June 21, 2019

The malicious policies toward immigrants seeking asylum in the United States scandalizes those that truly celebrate the dream. How can we Americans bear to be a party to the separation and systematic abuse of children?

We that honor our conscience cannot. Resistance to these heinous policies and their inhumane consequences arise from all quarters. Humanitarian organizations descend on the ICE “detention centers”. Workers at Wayfair staged their own walk-off rather than fulfill the company’s furniture contact with ICE.

People with a conscience have declared their independence from the actions of the government that tortures children in their name. That is the same choice the founding ancestors of the United States made when they believed Great Britain oppressed them. That is the decision any of us can make when we face our oppressor, regardless of what form it takes.

This week, write the haikai poem of your choice (haiku, senryu, haibun, tanka, haiga, renga) that alludes to independence. You do not have to address the political, although you’re welcome to. Consider the idea of independence itself, and how we manifest it–and toward what end.

As always:

Here’s how the challenge works:

1. write the haikai poem of your choice.
2. post the link of your post to Mister Linky.
3. pingback by posting the link to the challenge on your site.
4. read and comment on other contributors’ posts.

Happy Independence day, for all you American haijin out there celebrating it!

22 replies »

  1. Frank, I didn’t even know you offered a challenge. Can you share your experience with Mr. Linky? I’m looking for something to use on my challenge and Merril suggested Mr. Linky. I’ve signed up but can’t get the widget to work. Do you use the new editor? Thanks in advance for any help you can give me. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Colleen! Yes, I’ve run my weekly #haikai challenge for over a year now. I usually publish it on Saturdays. I’ve used Mister Linky successfully, and I highly recommend it!

      As to how I use them, keep in mind I have a premium membership, so I can’t use widgets. Mister Linky does have the button linky, which a free or premium site can use. When I used the old editor, I had to switch the view from visual to html, copy and paste the code for the Mister Linky buttom where I wanted it, and then switch back to visual editor.

      With the new editor, I use a “custom html box” and then paste the Mister Linky code for the button there.

      WordPress help has articles on how to use Mister linky with WP blogs. I would search for it using “Mister Linky” or “blenza” as the search term. The Mister Linky site also has WP help.

      If you have a business membership, you can use more advanced Mister Linky widgets. Those are beyond my experience, so you would need to consult WP and Blenza’s documents, or contact someone with a business membership that uses Mister Linky.

      I hope this helps. Contact me if you have any other questions.

      Liked by 1 person

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