Wednesday, August 31, 2016

More Domestic Haikus for Your Enjoyment

   I had so much fun writing my vacuum cleaner haiku I decided to write a few more.  In case you forgot high school English, a haiku is loosely defined as a three line descriptive poem invented by the Japanese which is in the following format: the first line has 5 syllables, the second line has 7, and the last line has 5.  It doesn't have to rhyme (thank goodness.)  A true Japanese haiku contains the juxtaposition of two opposing ideas, separated by a "cutting" word at the end of the second line.  C'mon!  Two ideas in 3 lines?  Leave it to the Japanese to try and fit so much in such a small space.  I'm lucky to have squeezed one idea into mine.  My samples below are gleaned from everyday domestic life.  (You write what you know, correct?)  Read each paragraph below as a separate haiku.  (This is not a multi-stanza poem.)  See if you can identify with any of these:

Colors dart and hide.
Dirty water out!  Glug, glug!
New in!  Shine, fish, shine!

Dark, white, and colors.
Load in.  Load out.  Fold, fold, fold.
Fresh duds for Sunday!

Shiny tile dazzles
After an ammonia scrub.
No spots left behind.

Detritus of lives
scattered over counter tops.
Put it in a drawer!

It looks like chaos -
A teenager's bedroom floor.
Please do not disturb.

They watch "Walking Dead"
While she plays the violin
for a separate peace.

Up, sleepy breakfasts,
Separate cars go separate ways.
Regroup for supper.

   Questions? Comments? Complaints?  I'm listening.....


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Domestic Haiku at 3 a.m

  It's funny how the human brain works. I wrote a haiku type poem at 3 a.m. this morning. I had awakened from sleep as I often do around 3 a.m. and realized my husband was snoring. This is a ritual I'm sure many readers are familiar with.   As I have done many nights before, I grabbed my alarm clock and headed upstairs to finish my night's sleep in the guest bedroom. On the way up I passed my upright vacuum cleaner that I had taken upstairs a few weeks ago and never brought back down. I tell you this knowing full well that I'm revealing how infrequently I vacuum.  Anyway, as I passed the vacuum standing there in the dark, these words came into my head:

The vacuum cleaner
Stands sentry at the top of the stairs.
Will I ever run it?

    Okay, to you purists I know this is not a great artistic work and it violates true haiku form of 5-7-5 syllables, but for not even trying at 3 a.m., it was pretty close!  It makes me wonder what weird machinations of the human brain cause one to write verses about vacuum cleaners in the middle of the night. Have you ever had a similar experience? Do you think the human mind is more creative when half asleep? If you have any evidence of this from your own life, please share. I'd love to hear it!

UPDATE: Now that I've had some time to think about this, I have updated my poem to true haiku form -

The vacuum cleaner
Stands sentry in the darkness.
Dust sleeps unawares.

Wow, I never thought I'd get so creative over a vacuum cleaner. I feel a surge of more domestic haikus coming on....

Saturday, August 13, 2016

An Early Arrival - In Heaven

This post is written in memory of my cousin who committed suicide on August 3, 2016.  It's a fictionalized version of what might happen when a suicide victim meets his family in Heaven.  It is not meant to be scripturally accurate.  Names were changed to protect the privacy of his family.

Joe: “Dad!  I’m here!  I’m  so happy to see you!!
Dad: “Joe!  I'm happy to see you too, but I'm surprised.  You're early."
Joe: “How did you know I'm early?"

Dad: "Look behind you. You brought your unfinished work with you.  

Joe: "Unfinished work???"

Dad: "Yes.  Look behind you."

Joe turns around and sees several baskets stacked high with flowers, more beautiful than any he'd ever seen on earth.  He also sees bags of large rocks.

Dad: "See those baskets of flowers?  Those are the joys you could have spread to others on earth in your remaining years, but now you won't be able to.  And see those bags of heavy rocks?  Those are the burdens you would have helped carry for others.  Those baskets and bags will have to go to the reassignment committee for redistribution.  Someone else will spread those joys and carry those burdens.   But tell me, what brought you here so soon?"

Joe: "Things were getting rough down there.  I just couldn't take it any more. I had to get out of there, Dad.  And I missed you and Grandpa so much."

Dad: "You mean you committed suicide???"

Joe: "It's okay, Dad. I met Jesus on the way in and he forgives me."

Dad: “Of course he forgives you.  He forgives everyone who asks, otherwise you wouldn't be here.  But what about Linda
and the kids, and your mom?"
Joe: “Oh, they’ll be fine.  They weren’t so happy with me anyway.  I think they’ll do better without me.”

Dad: “I'm not so sure, Joe.  You can look through that porthole over there and see how they’re doing.   They look pretty sad right now."

Joe: "Is there anything I can do to help them?"

Dad: "I'm sure Jesus is already working on it.  He'll assign special guardian angels and comforters to your family, and the reassignment committee will be sending people to pick up the extra workload you left behind.   
   But by coming here early, you have given up the chance for many blessing and rewards, Joe, like the blessing of seeing your grandchildren, and the reward reserved for dads who raise faithful children to adulthood.   But there's nothing you can do about that now.  You're here and there's no going back.  Let's go find your mansion."
Joe: "Mansion???"
ad: "Sure. 'In my Father's house are many mansions.'  Let's go find yours!!"
(They arrive upon an attractive split level much like the one Joe lived at on earth, but much more heavenly.)
Joe: "It looks pretty nice, Dad."
Dad: "You did some good work on earth, Joe.  You were kind and patient with others and you loved lots of people who needed it.  This is your reward.  See those other houses up there?"
(Joe sees hundreds, maybe thousands of big and small houses hovering around, above, and below them, as far as the eye can see. The higher ones are more magnificent, and the lower ones are attractive but more plain.)
Dad: "Mother Teresa lives in a solid gold one close to the top, next to St. Paul.  You can visit her if you want.  Joe DiMaggio lives in that one over there.  We can visit him too."
Joe: "Wow!  This is awesome Dad!  What can we do next?"
Dad: "Let's go meet the rest of the family......your Grandma will be so happy to see you!  Welcome to Heaven, Joe.  You're going to like it here."