Haiku. Gesundheit.
As printed in Proteus, the Journal of the Delaware Valley Mensa  (Dec 2010)


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            Let us take a moment to celebrate the haiku. Its limitations are unforgiving; line by line, either the syllables add up to 5/7/5 or they do not. The road to success is strewn with beautiful words and phrases. They sit confused, unable to accept that they were so easily cast aside, for so superficial a reason. The following conversation was overheard between two fabulous-yet-discarded phrases spotted leaning back-to-back on the median.

            (FYDP #1) ―I can‘t believe I didn‘t get picked because I don‘t add up to seven! What is so motherloving fabulous about seven? Can we be more arbitrary, please? No! We cannot!

            (FYDP #2) ―Tell me about it. I gave that audition everything I had. (Sniff.) I thought we were past such blatant size-ism in this industry, but now I know that I was wrong. So, so wrong!

            (Together, shaking fists to the sky) ―Damn you, Haiku. DAAAAAAMN YOOOOOUUU!

            Despite the occasional dirty looks I get from scribbled out lines and crumpled pieces of paper along the way, it is always worthwhile to reach the point where syllable count and intended meaning no longer battle, but join hands and sing. Either my senses deceive me, or success actually leaves a peaceful, pleasant taste in the mouth. Then again, I get dirty looks from paper, so perhaps I am not to be trusted on matters sensory.

            I issued myself a haiku-writing challenge and invited friends to send me any topic at all for inspiration. I did not so much regret this decision as learn which of my friends hate me. No matter. It was worth the challenge of forcing their concepts and my own – shown below in bold – into the prison of 17 syllables. Try it: pick a topic at random, and transform it into a haiku of your own. You just might find it delicious. Meanwhile, here are some of mine.   

Vote
Many fought and died
so our voices could be heard.
No excuses. Vote.
Karate
Focus, inner calm,
fascination - there's your arm
blocking on its own
Ergonomics
Got carpal tunnel?
Ergonomic keyboards rock!
Ergo, problem solved.
J Alfred Prufrock
J Alfred Prufrock
might have made a great ad man.
Nike: Just Dare It.
Roller Skates
"Blades are just a trend!"
lonely, dusty roller skates
patiently insist
Roller Derby
whatever you think
of the costumes or the sport
these girls are badass
Halloween
Trade ya. Want my Nerds?
What? You want my Reese's cups?
Sorry, kid. No deal.
My digital camera
Olympus Stylus:
how I love you, waterproof,
shockproof camera!
Annie‘s Pancreas
pancreatic woes
shall not dull dear Annie‘s wit,
pen, or facebook page
Coffee
for three bucks a day
you, too can have chalky breath
and an addiction
Great Highland Bagpipes
"Great highland, Batman!"
Robin cried, searching the trees.
"What‘s that awful sound?"
Stevie Wonder
grateful worldwide fans
feel your music from our feet
to our fingertips