A Dream of Summer
Driving through land of big sky,
watching nothing gliding by —
grass, wheat, and rye in varied lengths
from freshly mown to navel-high.
We’re on our way and headed West,
adventure badges pinned on-chest —
Seattle, Portland, Oceanside;
for fun, perhaps a little rest.
Then breaking up monotony,
a miracle of trinity —
ramshackle shack, a tree and cloud;
some renegade geometry!
One facet to the sky, my jewel;
one level high the ground unspools;
sight and sound and smells alike —
these little things now make me drool.
For crusted, sandy, shell-strewn edge!
For riding on a jade-foam ledge —
the miles, hotels, tourist traps
all serve to help fulfill my pledge.
As ever turns to salty turf,
my mind looks forward to my birth;
that berth, the earth I find it worth —
still days to go before I surf.
In case you haven’t noticed, I have been tagging my haiku all month long with #NaPoWriMo; this is because April is National Poetry Writing Month, started in 2003 by a poet and publisher named Maureen Thorson, and coincides with National Poetry Month in the U.S. and Canada.
When I found this out early in the month I registered Rob’s Surf Report with napowrimo.net for inclusion in its page of participating sites. Of course, being busy and generally cloudy in the brain, I neglected to go back to that site until yesterday. I found that they post an optional challenge each day, and so I took this one up.
Today’s challenge is to write a ruba’i, which is a Persian form — but remarkably pedestrian in construction; just a quatrain (a four-line stanza for you non-poetic types) with a rhyme scheme of AABA. Stringing multiple ruba’i together (where AABA can commingle with AAAA) makes a ruba’iyat (plural ruba’i,) which is exemplified in Robert Frost’s Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. It’s child’s play, right?
Wrong. Poets take their craft seriously. Even Dr. Seuss did — you don’t just hack a chunk off a log and sell it as a chair; there’s no value there. You craft it, piece by piece, turning and sanding and fitting the joints with care and precision. You want it to look delicate and intricate while at the same time you desire strength and durability in its function. Importantly, you want each person to see it as fit for whatever purpose springs to mind when they lay eyes on it. You want them to make it theirs and you delight in that purpose previously unconsidered. That’s a work of art.
So this is my ruba’i, and maybe there will be more in the future. I can not see it, for it is formless and void; but with each moment another fraction of it springs into view, and I can only guess at what the next bit will bring.
That’s the adventure.