The art of haiku poetry originated in Japan, with roots stretching back to the ninth-century or earlier. According to the US Census of 2000, people of pure Japanese descent make up 16.7% of the population of Hawaii. Residents of Hawaii annually consume nearly seven million cans of SPAM, or about six cans per capita.

If you do the math, it leads you inevitably to the work of Keola Beamer, the Hawaiian slack-key guitar player and leading advocate of SPAM haiku, who graciously contributed the following, deeply moving verses:

Silent, former pig
One communal awareness
Myriad pink bricks   

Twist, pull the sharp lid
Jerks and cuts me deeply but
Spam, aaah, my poultice

In mud you frolicked
Till they cut, cleaned and canned you
How now, ground sow?   

“Slow down,” she whispered
now guiding my trembling hands
“Turn the key slowly.”

Pinky beef temptress
I can no longer remain

I put my shoes on
But remember far too late
My secret Spam stash.

* With contributions of friends and fans of
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