Thursday, April 23, 2009

For a change

'New haiku on the header' alert.

These past few weeks, I had one by JW Hackett:

Sometimes the oddest thing,
like this orange pip,
begs not to be thrown away.

This one struck a chord at once. It is quite true: odd things end up wanting to be kept. Go on a daylong hike, pick up a pretty pebble or cut yourself a wedge of walking stick — by the end of the day, it's quite a job to wean yourself away, pat it on the head and tell it quite firmly that it can't come home with you.

But I have a new one:

spouting philosophy —

a giant salamander
has been watching us
~ Brent Partridge

It makes me laugh, this vivid haiku. A phlegmatic salamander with unblinking eyes and ugly snub face — watching us as we expound on weighty matters. Not only is the shift in perception and perspective sudden, it alters the context: the 'aha' that haiku writers crave.
Intellect—and intertwined with it, language—are quite the most overrated of our gifts. They entertain us certainly but we value them more perhaps than we should. The salamander... knows the things the salamander knows.


Shweta said...

The salamander... knows the things the salamander knows.

You know, over the past few days I have found this on my mind like a mantra.

Sharada said...

Fire Salamadner
Sapphire Salamander
Sally the Salamander
Sally the Salamanana.