This bartender doesn’t like me. I used to enjoy reading great literature and could recite poetry…“what happens to a dream deferred?” – might still help me make enough of an impression that someone sitting at the bar won’t mind making up the coins I lack to pay for my beer.
This structure’s eye accepts light but not wind. Within the rectangle I cannot see my breath’s product. The floor resembles cork; our senses fill gaps in perception. Does one read emptiness with disdain or horror? The sun recedes. I fear ice in the trees, weight on my chest.
heaven’s clowns release their tears
sink! or swim time’s tide
silver trails depreciate,
mollusca’s retreat for one
Tanka inspired by Robert Okaji’s prose. Robert is a poet extraordinaire who blogs at O at the Edges. He is a beer connoisseur, foodie, sharp knife aficionado, and doesn’t take himself too seriously. Thanks so much for collaborating Bob! It was through reading this post on Bob’s blog a while back that I came across the haibun, beginning my love affair with the form.
Half a Haibun is an ongoing (and occasional) feature here at 10000hoursleft. A collaborative project with bloggers I admire- they write the prose that I then use as inspiration for a tanka or haiku. The intention being that together, we’ll create a whole; 2 halves converging to add a richness and complexity to one another, in the form of a haibun. Others in the series:
That’s me, leo AND dragon. A fierce combination, right? Although I don’t live my life guided by astrology, I do identify with a lot of the traits assigned to my signs. On the topic of life path’s and traits being foretold, check out Dan Millman’s Life Purpose Calculatorif that kind of thing interests you. The link gives a bit of info, but if you want to read more, plug the number and ‘life purpose’ into your search engine- be prepared to go ‘wow!’ I have the book and I was blown away by the eerily spot on descriptions of not only myself, but countless friends and family members.
The opening line of the tanka was inspired by the most amazing thing I’ve learnt in recent days: at the moment of human conception, following the fireworks of the horizontal dance (one of a number of ways to conceive), the event is marked by tiny sparks flying in celebration of the successful creation of a zygote (years before ‘it’ becomes a tantrum throwing 23 month old). The light emitted is caused by the surge of calcium when sperm enters egg, triggering the release of some of the egg’s reserve of zinc. The released zinc then binds to small *molecules and together, they emit a fluorescence which was detected by Scientists at Chicago’s Northwestern University in the past week, using fluorescence microscopy. The phenomena had previously been observed in mice. The light of life! It has huge implications for IVF and leaves open (in my mind) endless questions about creation, life and the connectedness and meaning of it all.
*My reading has not yet shed light on what those small molecules are, so any readers who may enlighten us, please do so in the comments.
Inspiration for this tanka from RononvanWrites’ Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge #94 ‘diamonds’ and ‘pearls’. The memento mori is Damian Hirst’s sculpture ‘For the Love of God’, produced in 2007, photograph courtesy of Aaron Weber. The skull was cast in platinum from an 18th century skull, encrusted in non-conflict diamonds and set off with real pearly whites, to the tune of £14M. Hirst alleges that he sold it for £50M to an anonymous consortium. So many points to discuss, but I would say vulgarity and greed are the first things that come to mind. At least they were non-conflict.
Postscript: It was after posting this that out of curiosity, I read about the scent of violets (it is late here, so I couldn’t go seeking violets to have a whiff). I learnt that after stimulating your olfactory receptors, the aromatic compound that gives violets their scent (ionone) temporarily shuts off the receptors, taking away your ability to smell the flower. How fitting and serendipitous that violets are known for their ephemeral scent! There is nothing more I’d like to do right now than smell a violet for a little while.