Saying more with less

newspaper and man U

The last few months we have been the victims of a pandemic that not only stole lives but crippled economies worldwide. I would have thought that the world had suffered enough to rethink our values and our behaviours in the past, and certainly this new threat has given us reasons to pause and think on a scientific and medical level. But what about the on-going threats we seem to push aside until a horror film is released and we are reminded that despite our cleverness, all our technology and advances we still have not absorbed the true meaning of equality and justice, and what is worse that we still don’t understand the words need to be applicable to all circumstances.

I came across this beautiful piece of work recently and thought I would share it. It’s no secret I am madly in love with Japanese poetry, most particularly with the haiku, a simple, and yet strategic use of the right words in three lines.

Gavin Austin’s words, simple and eloquent get straight to the point. They are echoing in my head, refusing to vacate the space where they have taken residence. I want to refute every image the poem conjures. I can’t because the words are a statement of fact and that statement is a call to arms and no, I don’t mean weapons. We are one world, and in the scheme of things our planet is just a speck of dust, but it is ours to protect and so are its people. Silence is a complacent evil. Words are generals ready to battle.

I don’t know how and what I can do that will help make changes but I do know I would like to be a better person and that person will find ways even if it is sharing a small perfectly formed poem to start off the process. I want to live in a world where breakfast is palatable because of the mixed company sharing it at the table. I think we would all enjoy this.

breakfast news

a fresh serving

of atrocities

Gavin Austin,


First published – April 2020 cattails: The Official Journal of the United Haiku and Tanka Society April 2020 Issue Copyright © 2020 all authors and artists Photographs Copyright © 2020 Sandra Simpson


gavin book
Gavin is also the author of two beautiful poetry books, Shadow Play, and Changing Light, containing a collection of haiku, and tanka and short prose. They are a delight to read and can be purchased through the publisher Alba Publishing, UK.(, or through Gavin himself. Let me know if you want his details.


Till next time,




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