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Colleen Chesebro’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge – Poet’s Choice – #Haibun -Numbing the Numbers

It’s Poet’s Choice for this week’s challenge at Colleen Chesebro’s Word Craft Poetry ‘Tanka Tuesday Challenge’. I’ve written a Haibun with a Senyru.


Colleen's Weekly Poetry Challenge






It’s the first of the month and you know what that means! Poets, choose your own syllabic poetry form, theme, words, images, etc. It’s up to you!





Numbing the Numbers



Fifty, one hundred and fifty, one thousand, ten thousand, one hundred thousand – give or take, and tens of thousands more.

Easy to discard emotions when we speak in numbers and not in humans.

When numbers grow exponentially we  tend to lose perspective, and shock value of the severity of escalating numbers.

How long does it take to count to 100,000? Not just random numbers, each digit representing a human life.

Just how many ‘ones’ would it take to count into the hundred thousands?

If we were to know every one of the thousands who’ve perished because of a pandemic, our hearts couldn’t survive the grief. So, it’s easier to speak in numbers than to imagine thousands of ghostly faces.

But it’s not.

Don’t become immune to numbers.


Keep your face covered

Have respect for fellow man

Stay safely distanced.




Visit Colleen’s blog for original post and to hop on the challenge!


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D.G. Kaye is a nonfiction/memoir writer, who writes from her own life experiences and self-medicates with a daily dose of humor.


    • dgkaye

      My bad, yes, I wrote the wrong term will fix, my bad. Thank you. I write what sits at the forefront of my mind. I truly can’t be the only one thinking about this, but I will continue to write about. <3

  • John Maberry

    Numbers are easier on the emotions, that’s for sure. Much easier than watching the videos of people in hospitals or burials. You are so fortunate to be in a country that’s safely and sensibly dealing with the pandemic. It’s out of control in the US. Not surprising given the out of control leader.

    • dgkaye

      Exactly my point John – numbers are much easier to dismiss. I am aghast and disheartened for my American friends – the American people. I follow very closely – probably too close, but hey, I live just over an hour away from a New York border. I made it my business to pay attention. Appalling is my one-word summation. Stay safe and masked my friend. 🙂

  • Diana Peach

    A sad haibun/senyru, Debbie. Also full of heart and a call for kindness in the shape of a mask. There’s a collective grief that is hard to bear these days as those numbers rise. And we can each save lives with minimal effort.

    • dgkaye

      So true Diana. It is a collective grief felt around the world. Some choose not to talk about it. I prefer to keep the reality in the forefront, hoping people will catch on about the reality and the mask <3

  • Vashti Q

    A poignant haibun but oh, so true. You’re right, it becomes a question of having consideration and respect for a human life. Why is it that some people refuse to do the right thing until the situation hits home? Great post, my friend! <3

  • Norah Colvin

    I thought I had commented on this, Debby. I must have been distracted.
    The numbers are horrifying. Your poem gives the message clarity. There’s no missing that. I wish everyone would heed it.

  • Roberta Eaton Cheadle

    I moving haibun, Debby. I read Annika Perry’s post this week which shared a poem by a woman who had lost her sister to C-19 and who reflected on this exact thing, the loss of individuality and humanity which results when we focus on statistics and not people.

  • Olga Núñez Miret

    So true, Debby. And we’re not talking about everyday folks either, but even more worryingly, the people in charge. It’s terrifying, and here the numbers are going up again. They’ve made it compulsory here to wear a mask even outdoors. Let’s hope… Take care and keep safe.

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