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Jan 13, 2007

Haikus, bluebirds, books

I don't want to die
I just want to end this life
The vacuum awaits
Haikus, by definition, are like snowflakes. No two are alike. They are supposed to be crystal-clear and succinct, the distillation of a thought to one inimitable meaning, and using 17 syllables. The one above wrote itself on my computer. I was pecking away at the keyword, trying to write my own haiku, looked up, and there it was. It was close to what I was trying to say, but appeared on its own. Is it about unhappiness, housecleaning, afterlife? I'm not sure, and yet it seems undiscardable. Yes, yes, I know. There is no such word as undiscardable, but this is about making up verse, so why not make up words. Words are, like life itself, sometimes perverse. Hence the challenge of the haiku. The one above appeared on my computer screen, so I have to take some ownership of it. In fact, one can write many similar haikus about the same thing, but in the end all but one must be withdrawn. So this is the one that remains. I feel a little cheated because I'm not sure where it came from. Oops! I just ended a sentence with a preposition.
Friends Pieter, Ron, Dennis and I spent the morning, yesterday, putting up nine Peterson birdboxes on posts, at Cold Creek Forest and Wildlife Centre, on the 11th of King. We also posted eight 'No Hunting' signs around the property. We have had hunters poaching deer with bows and arrows, while hikers and birdwatchers are in the same woods. Apparently hunting is allowed in some conservation areas - go figure. We are now up to 45 birdboxes at Cold Creek. Last year, every box was occupied, mostly by Tree Swallows and House Wrens, along with a few Eastern Bluebirds. The birdbox program seems to be a success. Last spring, I opened a bluebird box during nesting time and lifted a small child up close to see the tiny blue eggs. It was hard to say who was more thrilled, the young lad or his parents.
I am not generally a reader of fiction. Every once in a while I will pick up a book that has been recommended by someone who is an avid reader. More often than not, the book is excellent and I kick myself for not reading more fiction. Last week, my roomate, Linda, told me Mark Haddon's 'A Spot Of Bother', which she had just finished, was a good read. I'd noticed it was on The Globe & Mail's list of best books for 2006. I picked it up, started to read it and couldn't put it down. It rattled me to the core and I'm still upset. Linda thought it was sad, but funny. I thought the opposite: funny, but sad. It knocked me 'arse over tea kettle', as my Grandpa Thomas used to say. I guess that's what the really good books are supposed to do.
I think I'll go outside and get some sunshine. That always cheers me up. Oops, ended with another preposition.
Please comment if you wish. BtheB

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