e a m harris

Roaming the byways of literature

Life: the only game there is

The Three Fates

On the Carpe Diem site we have been set an interesting challenge – to write a haiku or tanka on the theme of ‘life is a game’.

This isn’t exactly a new theme for poetry, many poets in different countries, writing in different languages, have done the same, but it seems to me a bit unusual for haiku. However, us haiku writers can rise to any challenge, and I suspect that, in the ‘old days’ when Basho and his friends were holding (drunken) haiku parties, many way-out subjects were used.

Chèvrefeuille himself has given us a beautiful haiku as a model, tying the game to the seasons:

life is but a game
nature rolls the dices
seasons change

I haven’t managed to use the seasons, but I found the theme fits the haiku form well:

life is an endgame
only the Fates are certain
when the game will end.

 

Picture of The Three Fates from wikimedia.
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Still brightening my garden

Calendula

I went away for a few days this month. November setting in – cold, wind, rain – the usual.

But on my return I found this calendula still flowering, making a tiny pocket of orange sunshine in its corner of the garden.

Flowers often look fragile, but they can be tough.

Autumn birds

Carpe Diem has given us an interesting prompt of music entitled The Last of His Name by BrunuhVille.

Using music made me think of birds; the time of year is about migrating birds.

Lone swallow

The last of his name
“Swallow” will follow the flock
but not just yet.

Photo from Photopin.

Modern sculpture and haiku

Carpe Diem has had a series of posts linking haiku with sculpture. This may be something of a departure for writers, like myself, who have looked to the natural world for inspiration, but it has given rise to many really interesting poems.

I found it quite a challenge but it opened up new ideas and ways of seeing.

cool lawn; bronze sculpture;
graceful struts entwine upwards;
metallic tango.

(Pic from Carpe Diem post)

Cardoons – built for power and poetry

Cardoons

I can’t remember where I took this photo, but I love the mass of large, spiky, in-yer-face leaves.

I checked around to see if I could find any poems about cardoons. The internet is not exactly thick with them but I did find one, about a baboon but including cardoon.

Artichokes have more poets interested in them, and since they don’t seem to be much different to cardoons, I thought it fair to include a link.

Flowers in a bed tend to give me the impression that they are posing, not for a photo, but for a haiku. I couldn’t find any ready written so here is my haiku on these magnificent plants.

Summer afternoon.
Round cardoon heads stand above
rosettes of huge leaves.

The dream of the homeland

rural England

Recently I’ve been re-reading Poem for the Day One edited by Nicholas Albery. Today’s poem is a section of Rupert Brooke‘s ‘The Old Vicarage: Grantchester‘ written in 1912 while he was on a long journey in Germany. . It starts:-

Ah God! to see the branches stir
Across the moon at Grantchester.

In this expression of homesickness he describes the beauties of rural England in detail. It sounds idyllic.

Reading it I began to wonder how much of the idealisation of homeland/motherland/fatherland is created not by those in it but by those away. I suspect that most countries have a body of nostalgic literature, often poetry, written by the exiled, the war bound or the long-time traveller.

Such idylls are very pervasive. Do they still affect the way people vote or even fight?

Medieval Murder and 17th Century Romance – Two free workshops in Devon

Two workshops that sound really interesting. And free, too, what could be better?
Thanks to Short Stops, a blog for the short story, for posting.

ShortStops

‘Cullopmton’s Wool Trade, Coldharbour Mill and the Walronds –

 A Historical Fiction Romance and Adventure Creative Short Story Workshop’.

Thursday the 14th of September – Free Morning Workshop

(9.45am registration and a 10am start. Finish at 12 o’clock.)

To book contact:  cullompton.library@librariesunlimited.org.uk

Your Workshop Facilitator will be Myfanwy (Vanni) Cook, who is currently the ‘New Voices’ Feature Editor for ‘The Historical Novel Society Review Magazine’ and an Associate Fellow at two Universities. She is the author of ‘Historical Fiction Writing – A practical guide and tool-kit’ and is passionate about bringing local history alive.

www.historicalnovelsociety.org  

https://twitter.com/MyfanwyCook

Thursday the 14th of September – Free Afternoon Workshop

The “Golgotha” and St. Andrew’s Church –A Historical Crime Fiction Creative Short Story Workshop

for those who enjoy the writing of Ellis Peters and Umberto Eco

(1.45pm Registration and a 2pm start. Finish at 4pm.)

To book contact:  cullompton.library@librariesunlimited.org.uk

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The benefit of rain

bricks and path

The path after days
of rain – a geometry
of mossy neatness.

What’s in a name

I google ‘sea-slug’;
my screen fills with images;
all are beautiful.

sea slug

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos from Photo Pin.
Credits:
Sylke Rohrlach <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/87895263@N06/8599051974″>Blue dragon-glaucus atlanticus</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;
Christian Gloor (mostly) underwater photographer <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/76738608@N08/28390675456″>Inner light.</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

June reading

Thanks to The Little Red Reviewer for interesting and insightful reviews. I haven’t read any of these books, but might be tempted – if I ever get the time.

the Little Red Reviewer

June, where did you go? Last I checked it was June 2nd, how is it already July??   I didn’t post many reviews in June, but I did get a lot of reading done.  Some of these I’ll write reviews for, some of them will get a capsule review in this post.  Here’s what I was up to this month:

I finished this fun little gem:

Spock Must Die is the famous novel where thanks to a transporter malfunction, the Enterprise now has two Spocks. Which one is the “real” one? What will they do with the other one? When war breaks out at the Klingon border, the importance of solving the mystery ratchets up. Even when Kirk is sure which Spock is the true, original Spock, he insists on calling his friend “Spock Two”. When questioned why, Kirk responds that by saying “two” every time he says his friend’s name…

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