Sunday, December 13, 2015

Go Forth and Make the World a Better Place

rank on rank they stand
formed, but not yet hardened
battalion of love

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2015


  1. I'm coming to the end of 33 hours of listening to all 5 books of The Once and Future King. I listened while I made the last batches of candy this morning.

    I'm on The Book of Merlin now, and poor dear Arthur is being made to consider the question, "What is war?" I propose we make war with love. And chocolate!

    1. Maybe everyone should join Arthur in his quest to answer that question? Too many are not opening a space for it.

      What a fun way to provide an answer to Arthur's question, though, Mary Lee, by using that military metaphor with such lusciousness. (By the way, I loved the "pun" on hardened. Not ready for "battle"...yet...'though heavy losses are expected.)

      And 33 hours! I echo, Carol W.'s response! Judging by the photo above, you sure can multi-task!

    2. Mary Lee, since I am both a chocaholic and a baker I found this haiku a delicious treat. The treats are your own personal battalion soon to be hardened by your gentle touch. War with chocolate may make the military a sweetened brigade.

  2. 33 hours of listening? Holy cow!!!!! Chocolate always makes my world a better place! Yum! I love your last line!

  3. I wrote two today. Started with free verse, then really wanted to make it haiku. It bothers me the days I don't stick to the form. By the way, I think haiku is way harder than free verse because it's hard to be so precise in word choice. Not necessarily a bad thing, just hard for me.

    "twenty degrees and snowing"

    despite cold snow icy roads
    he does not want help
    he will ride his bike
    i imagine him
    knocked unconscious
    laying broken
    next to an unseeing car
    and i send mother prayers
    that his world
    will soon be
    a little warmer
    a little kinder
    and a little less bumpy

    (c) Carol Wilcox, 2015

    "mother prayer"
    through dark, cold, and ice,
    my man child rides his bike,
    dear world, please be kind.
    (C) Carol Wilcox, 2015

    1. I agree with what you say about free-verse and haiku, Carol.

      I love both of these, though for different reasons. For instance, the free verse allowed me to get those last few lines, which I so love: that his world/will soon be/a little warmer/a little kinder/and a little less bumpy. I loved the way they tied back to the snow and cold. But the line "please be kind" rings so long in my mind in the haiku. Differently lovely.

    2. Here's my tanka for today. (I really have become captivated by the form...)

      The scene: At dusk dog walk, the fog was thick and the darkness and silence were almost complete. From the hill above the valley, a lone car crept. I waited and watched and I got a feeling like when I listen to one of those Zen bells, that moment where I shift from hearing a sound ring in the silence to hearing the silence wrap up the sound.

      headlights lead a car
      through the valley --
      darkness swallows
      the crunch
      of gravel

    3. It is with love that you created these two pieces, Carol. I understand your agony over the weather conditions. I have a man child too that needs gentle reminders and much love.

    4. Steve, I saw this tanka on line and got swallowed into the darkness of the country road-so graphic a description you laid out for us that I thank you.

    5. Tanka -- on the to-do list. For now, I'll watch and learn. That hinge thingie seems quite tricky!

  4. Steve- Glad for this backstory. I wondered, when I was reading it the first time, whether you were in the car, or ????

    1. Interesting! As I watched, I was struck by how the experience of watching this journey from atop the hill was so different than the experience of the driver of the car. For the driver, as I know from driving those roads, the world was full of possible dangers, and it unfolds in the brightness that is always ahead. For me on the hill watching, the journey was momentary; after a brief moment, it gets absorbed by once again by the silence. Which got me thinking about whether I'd be able to capture in a poem that feeling of what a journey looks like from the outside, especially in a poem that is so short I can't really explicitly establish a point of view. Not sure it worked, but maybe that's okay, too! Your thoughts help me think about how I might show vantage point in short poems, or even if that's the point!

  5. P.S. I have been messing around with tanka, since reading yours and reading the website you cited a few days ago. I don't have the hang of the hinge line. I understand what it's supposed to do, I just can't do it yet.

    1. I can't get that hinge thingy! But maybe using punctuation for the pivot is okay? I just think it's cool to place two images together, or find one image from inside the other. That's what I'm grooving on now.

  6. After redos, I share my work with all of you.

  7. Yum! We just finished making 13+ dozen truffle balls. :)