Haiku Archives: Ant Mill

When I was a kid, I saw a large number of ants moving in an endless circle. At the time, I didn’t know anything about the phenomenon. Years later, my biology teacher told me army ants are blind, so they navigate by following the scent of a pheromone trail. If they lose the scent, they begin following one another in a circle. Eventually, they will die of exhaustion.

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ants march mindlessly

in never ending circles

to oblivion

 

From the Archives: An Exercise in Dadaism

Dada, or Dadaism, was an anti-art movement initiated by artists back in 1916.  If that sounds counter intuitive – good – it’s supposed to.  It was a reaction to the carnage of World War I, a rejection of the dogma that lead vast numbers of people to their deaths in the hellish trenches that scarred Europe’s landscape. It was also a slap in the face to the elitists who controlled the art community – smelling salts intended to wake them from their complacent catnap.  The Dada artists took the idiocy and brashness that had contaminated the world and used them to express their own outrage.  Bizarre sculptures, gibberish poetry, and noise symphonies were some of the forms they employed to provoke people into assessing their own moral values.

The state of global politics today is terrifying to me.  Sometimes my tendency is to insulate myself with layers and layers of apathy.  Of course, that is the absolute worst thing we can do as informed citizens of the world.  To remind myself (and others) that it’s not O.K. to bury my head in the sand, I have made my own Dada poem according to the instructions of one of Dada’s pioneers, Tristan Tzara.  It’s simple really: Take a newspaper article, cut out each word, and place the individual words in a bag.  Shake vigorously.  Reach into the bag and blindly pick out a word.  Write that word down.   Continue the process until there are no more words left in the bag.  There’s your poem.

I printed out an article from apnews dot com.  It was titled, “UN Condemns North Korea’s ‘Highly Provocative’ Missile Test.”  I didn’t have the time or patience to cut out every single word, so I only used words from the first three paragraphs.  I also limited the poem to 50 words.  Even though this was an abridged effort, I still think the point came across splendidly.  The poem is the degeneration of a highly ordered state into one of disorder.  I read it out loud, and it sounds absolutely horrible.  The author’s original intent is lost entirely, and there was no cadence, besides the cadence I might use when reading through a grocery list.  Let this be a lesson: If the citizens of the world allow their governments to lead them down a destructive path, society will devolve into chaos, and poetry will utterly suck.  If I had to title this monstrosity, I would call it, Entropy Scissors.

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mainland from Friday longest immediately northern condemned ocean the on the when in missile highly North Korea’s Pacific advance technological to landed it U.S. early and deep denuclearlizing hurtling peninsula actions test Pyongyang the over test security Korean of After Japan demonstrate council perfected provocative and ballistic commitment outrageous Friday

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Be good people, keep writing, and keep revising.

-Hawkelson

Haiku Archives: Williwaw

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I was in the Aleutian Islands when I learned, first hand, what a williwaw is. It was like a column of cold air just fell out of the sky with crushing force. The suddenness and violence of the meteorological event caught me entirely off guard.

Later, when I was in a warm pub having a pint, I asked my buddy if the wind always blows like that here. He said the phenomenon is specific to a few places in the world, and the Aleutians are one of them. It has something to do with how warmer air rises off the sea and then suddenly cools once it gets to the mountain peaks. The cold air then rushes down the mountainsides and makes all kinds of problems. He said I should watch out for that.

“Huh,” I said, not exactly sure how one can watch out for an invisible force that falls out of the sky without warning. “I’ll keep an eye out,” I said.

 

drowning in the sound,

a thundering williwaw

spills off the mountain

Photo Archives: Fog on the Waterfront

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Foreground: A signalman watching over the cargo hold of a freighter ship communicates with an onshore crane operator through a series of hand gestures.

Background: On another vessel moored in the adjacent slip, longshoremen marry two ship’s cranes together by rigging the same beam to each of their hoisting blocks. This procedure is necessary whenever the cargo’s weight exceeds the lifting capacity of a single crane. In this instance, the cargo was a 105 metric tonne machine piece.