Monday, February 25, 2013

Poetry Help Us


I was helping in my son’s classroom on the day they learned haiku.  I aspire to admire poetry, but usually I prefer a good novel.

Explaining poetry to kids who on a daily basis are chastised into writing complete sentences was a joy.


“Where does the period go? You don’t need punctuation?!”  You can imagine the delight.
It occurs to me that the conversation about oil and gas development could benefit from some communication via haiku.
              
                Five syllables stop
                Shrieking less listening more
                Space for empathy

You don’t have to be a genius to write lines with 5-7-5 syllables.  But you do have to stop shouting and boil down your thoughts into sentiments.
              
                Can you imagine
                Shouting loudly in haiku
                Would you laugh or cry

And isn’t it funny how you must count the 5-7-5 syllables on your fingers?  Perhaps hoping to catch the author in error.  Or joining physically in the joy of simple phrasing.

                Let us simplify
                Energy conversation
                Soft thoughtful haiku 

Friday, February 8, 2013

The Hermit Crab and the Antique Film


“Mom!  A huge one! Moooommmm! The biggest one yet!”

We gathered around with our head lamps and flashlights to see a hermit crab no less than three times the size of all of the others. Each spotlight of light from our head lamps was seething with little hermit crabs and, if you stood still more than a few moments, one would crawl on your feet.

“What is that?!”

Hermit crabs grab other creatures’ shells to live in. As they grow, they discard their cramped quarters for new, larger upgrades. On this night walk, we’d seen hundreds of quarter-size crabs in a rainbow of shells. This giant-among-crabs had found a black, cylindrical film canister. You know, the kind we had dozens of before digital pictures.

Film canisters are an ancient relic of the olden days to my boys, so its presence heightened the mystery of the giant crab. “Maybe they were shooting an old-fashioned film out at sea and accidentally dropped the canister!” the oldest suggested hopefully, enhanced surely with visions of sea dragons and Scooby doo ghosts.