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WHITE MASKS: A COLLECTION OF COVID-19-TIME HAIKU (a mini-echap of 14 haiku/senryu)

White Masks arrives in pristine, stark truth. Considering the 2019-2020 COVID-19 global pandemic, Ian Mullins, a devoted National Health Service professional, begins to take mental notes of the newly discovered virus, first, at a slower pace, then with a quickening as it brings devastating changes to our everyday lifestyles.

Indisputably, society’s regular routines are no longer predictable. Without hesitation, Mullins takes on the task of creating haiku and senryu that successfully lift the veil on these new challenges. He reveals to his readers the myriad unsettling issues and emotions we face daily. He watches, listens, and cries out to us to set aside doubt of COVID-19‘s dire consequences and to imagine ourselves or loved ones in irreversible danger.

Wearing a mask is a selfless act of pure love and a mature responsibility to mankind, seen here as second nature to Mullins. His kindred spirit seems to gently tap our consciences, touches our hearts as a quick reminder, to wear the mask. Just as he charts ways of how vulnerable we are in his beautifully expressed poetry, we can effectively participate in saving many more lives than we have lost thus far. If only we all can be compliant.

—Lovette Carter, Published Japanese Short-form Poet, Licensed Practical Nurse, and Volunteer

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