growing old, haiku, humor, miracle, photography

Mundane Miracle – Pond

For me at least, a major consolation for the decreased mobility that comes with age is an increased appreciation of mundane miracles close to home.  One example is considered here; I hope to post a few more in coming months.

Long ago, I drove/flew/drove to a motel in the town on the western edge of Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado.  Soon afterwards, I hiked into the park, admired an alpine lake, ate a trail lunch, and hiked out in a thunderstorm that mocked my “waterproof” boots.  Nothing epic, but well beyond me now.  That’s OK.  I did it once (which was more than enough for the thunderstorm part).

Some people consider it a miracle when the government does something right.  Over the years since that trip to Colorado, the EPA adopted (and enforced!) vehicle emissions standards.  I can walk the roads near my house w/o being assaulted by trucks and school buses belching black diesel crud.  Their exhaust is still smelly and unhealthy, but not bad enough to ruin a walk on a breezy day.  So I can often walk about 1.5 miles to the far end of an artificial pond beside the road.  An artificial pond ringed by hilly pasture land is not the same as a natural lake ringed by mountains, but water is water and blue sky is blue sky.

sparkle-geese

kiyawana-sky

After a few rainy days, excess water in the pond rushes thru a culvert under the road and into the little brook that was dammed to create the pond. I can admire the exuberant splashing on the rocks in the brook w/o dwelling on the artificiality of the scene.

outflowoutflow-closeup

Sound of Sunlight

Rushing waters bring
joy to those who hear them sing
and see them sparkle.

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haiku, history

Motion in Haiku: 2 Surprises

Typing just [Enter] key into the Search box makes it easy to browse WordPress blogs.  Here, the [Menu] button (atop the vertical black bar) reveals widgets like the Search box.

Some fine haiku were among the few good things to come out of World War I.  My experiment with one of them provides a response to Carpe Diem Perpetuum Mobile #2 rainbows sparkle (or movement in haiku).  While refining my nuanced stance on the 5-7-5 Rule ( Helpful guideline? Yes! Firm requirement? No! ), I tried tweaking a few classic haiku that broke the rule.  Could something that was already good be improved by revisions to comply with 5-7-5?  In particular, I considered a World War I image by Maurice Betz.  Neither the French original nor the straightforward translation on page 50 of The Haiku Handbook (2013 edition) obeys 5-7-5.  This post ends by quoting the translated Betz haiku (which is utterly static) and my [5-7-5]-compliant version (which has both fast and slow motion).  I was surprised twice.Duck-Rabbit_illusion_439x242

  1. The history of the shell hole can be narrated succinctly within the confines of 5-7-5.
  2. I do not have a stable preference for either version.  Like someone viewing the classic ambiguous picture that can be seen as a duck facing one way or as a rabbit facing the other, I flip-flop between the still photo by Betz and the movie by me.

© Maurice Betz

A shell hole
In its water
Held the whole sky.

Redemptive Trickle

A shell exploded!
Water slowly filled the hole
and held the whole sky.

Image Source

  • Jastrow, J. (1899). The mind’s eye. Popular Science Monthly, 54, 299-312.
  • The soft copy used here has been downloaded and cropped.