05 June 2009

Haiku 156

Just sit there! Don't move!
Your movement affects the globe!
Now you have bedsores.


Empty street, late night
And as I pass by, something
In a tree, squeaking


An uncrowded train,
A quiet moment, a glimpse:
Take what you can get


Libby Fife said...

That first one?

The second one makes me think of killer squirrels.

The third one reminds me of BART on the way home from SL prior to arriving in Oakland to transfer. Just a few short moments of peace...

Shushu said...

These are like the three ages of man.

Patrick J. Vaz said...

Shushu, That's an interesting view; which one is which age? I wrote them in different order from the way I posted them so I wonder what unconscious order was guiding me.

I usually avoid going into what inspires these since that makes them too literal, but:

The first one is kind of about the butterfly in California flapping its wings and changing the weather in Beijing. . . I was reading an article in the New Yorker (possibly even a current one) about mass extinctions, and how we're apparently in the middle of one which is being caused by rapid changes in the environment due to our species, and I was thinking about the danger of activity, and how it's followed by the danger of inactivity. You just can't win.

The second one -- I think the sqeaking was from a bat; I have seen them around here. Maybe it was a baby possum or rat, since I've also seen them. I didn't really want to investigate.

The third one -- I have to tell this because it's so hilariously pathetic. I was on the BART train this morning, and it was much less crowded than usual for some reason (I think "casual Friday" is giving way to "work from home Friday" and I wish I could join in). So I'm on a seat with no one next to me, and after Fruitvale, it starts to dawn on me that maybe no one will sit by me the whole trip! What's more, no one around me is blasting irritating music or talking loudly on a cellphone! Of course, by the time I realize I'm going to get the seat to myself, the trip is more than half over, and there's less than 15 minutes left, but I'm thinking THIS IS THE GREATEST DAY OF MY LIFE! and I realize how utterly pathetic it is that having a seat to myself for a less-than-30-minute train ride is giving me such satisfaction, but I'm still thinking THIS IS THE GREATEST DAY OF MY LIFE!

vicmarcam said...

So funny about the last of the three. The remarkable thing is that you realized halfway through that you were having a great moment. (I won't speak to the pathetic greatest day of your life). Except that makes me wonder if it really is better to have realization during our great moments. Doesn't that just make us fear they'll end?

I didn't know if you meant the first one to be about global warming, but that's most definitely what it meant to me. I just finished teaching a unit on it, and found that I HAD to teach the kids about how to take action because they were leaving the class really depressed and scared. And, interestingly, an 8th grader actually said, "But when we stop using resources and buying things, we hurt the economy more." If a 13 year old can have a thought that deep and abstract, then maybe there's some hope.

Patrick J. Vaz said...

I always fear/know the great moments will end. My realization is not that remarkable under the circumstances: at that hour, the trains are almost always SRO by the time they reach Fruitvale. So for me to be heading towards Lake Merritt with no one by me is unusual enough for me to notice. I felt like Faust: Stay, O Moment, for you are so beautiful! Plus no headphone noise!

As for the 13-year-old . . . well, he probably just read that in the NY Times.

Action can be deceptive, though, as with our recent water-saving due to drought: I can turn off the automatic watering system and save a few gallons, but industrial farms cause most of the waste, and that's where the change needs to happen.