haiga, haiku, humor, photography, science

Foaming at the Mask

~ Thought I was on a roll after I revised a copy of a previous post for a new challenge.  Then I relearned a valuable old lesson.  The hard way?  Of course.  ~

Though I know no Noh, I think I see serene contemplation in this face:

The face is a mask that nobody is wearing.  With nothing there, who could be contemplating?  Hmmm.

Quantum Foam
|Modern physics finds
|tumult in vacuum behind
|contemplative mask.

I expected my submission for Writers’ Co-op Show Case #2 to look much like what U have just read when displayed in the Show Case.  Thought I was on a roll after I revised a copy of what I had posted in response to challenges in 2017, but later relearned a valuable old lesson.  Will put the lesson at the end of this post, to cap the solution of a little mystery with clues in the next paragraph.  No, the solution is not a matter of technical detail.  It’s a matter of wisdom.

Show Case submissions are in DOCX (or PDF) file formats, but the curator integrates them into the HTML of a WordPress post.  Hmmm.  I persuaded Microsoft Word to display my haiku (with title) the way I really like from a DOCX file, but I remembered that persuading the WordPress editor to accept my HTML for this display had been tricky.  Mindful of Murphy’s Law, I wondered if my way to display poetry would be mangled when file formats changed.  I told Word to store my DOCX file as HTML and was sad to see the mangled result.  My second choice for displaying this poetry used a cascade of indentation and was not mangled by Word’s conversion from DOCX to HTML, so I went with the cascade and put a little heads-up for the curator in the e-mail with my submission.


While the cascade is indeed displayed in Writers’ Co-op Show Case #2, all of my text after the Noh mask image is displayed in a smaller font that is unreadable on some platforms.  Readers who coped with the small font would still be annoyed and/or puzzled by the unmotivated font change after the image.  Why did my attempt at a fail-safe file conversion go wrong?  Scroll down to see the answer.

My implicit assumption was that Word’s conversion from DOCX to HTML could serve as a model for whatever the Show Case curator does to integrate DOCX submissions into the HTML underlying a WordPress post.  This assumption was questionable, to put it mildly.  Unaware that I was making an assumption at all, I was unaware of the need to question that assumption.  The most dangerous assumptions are those we don’t explicitly know we are making.

– Gray button (upper left corner) reveals widgets, –
– above post (on phone) or beside it (on desktop). –

3 thoughts on “Foaming at the Mask

      1. One of your best. It’s actually inspired a haiku I’ve entitled “Void.” I’ll post it next week and will link to yours. Mine is not as complex and brilliant, but it’ll suffice.

        Liked by 2 people

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