Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Haiku - Write the Book and Puke on It

The other night during dinner I tried to get my daughter to try her hand at poetry.  I think she's ready.  She detests writing.  I think it is good they make them practice writing in school each day.  I would have loved it.  She must have inherited this trait from her father.  He detests writing of all sorts.

I told her about writing limericks, and iambic pentameter.  I tried to get her to do a few "roses are red..." about the beach trip with me to no avail.  But her eyes danced and she asked me to tell her more about my childhood.

I told her she could write a Haiku about the Currituck Lighthouse.  No dice. 

So, I told her about sailing on Dad's hobie cat at Sweetwater in Bear Lake and told her I had written a Haiku about it.

Dad was a news reporter.  His plane crashed in the lake once.  Mother was up all night.  Praying and worrying all night.  The phone rang earlier.  It was the news station telling her the plane was lost and they would call when they found him.  Mother told us nothing.  But I knew she was devastated, and worried.  The energy in the house was all wrong.  I couldn't sleep.  Dad had been gone before, but we could sleep.  Dad would travel on stories.  He would go away for the Navy.  But this was different.

Dad's piper cub went down somewhere over Bear Lake.  The pilot couldn't swim.  He toted that guy all night.  I imagine like all guys who realize they are drowning he fought at first, and then surrendered to his swimming, floating, fighting savior, and just let Dad drag him through the water.  And poor Dad dragged him in the black, swimming all night long toward what he must have thought was the shore.  I know he reached it sometime just before dawn.  Exhausted, cold, and defeated.  He would struggle with the aftermath of the crash for some time afterwards.  I remember hearing him complain as he replaced the contents of his wallet, now at the bottom of the deep blue lake.  No drivers license.  Lost photos and mementos.  All gone.

So it was surprising to me in 1980 to find myself and my brothers and sisters on the mat of a hobie cat, Dad so willing to drop us in that same lake.  Confident we would swim back to the boat and he would fish us out, over and again.

I loved connecting with the wind and the sky, the mountains and the deep blue of the lake.  So I dug up the haiku about it:

Silver sky warm winds
I smile at mother pink and white
Dad spills us in blue

Mountains hulk in black
Sun setting red and orange
Mother finds her top

We race the darkness
Sad to leave the deep Bear Lake
Home again to sleep

And since we were talking about mother stripping off her bikini top in front of all of us, my daughter made a lot of gagging noises over her taco, and said, "You saw Nanny's boobs!  That's just sick."  And the whole time I was thinking, "Like my kid isn't still bathing with me..."

The spousal unit, said, "Just write the book."

And my daughter piped up and said, "Yeah, I'll read it, and then puke on it."

Well, at least she waxes poetic. 

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