People are always asking me “How do you come up with a column every week for the paper?” And I just smile and try to look wise–but darn it, sometimes it is hard. The column I wrote for the paper I work for this week proves it. Please provide me with a little feedback (positive if you can stomach it) to quash my fears–I am not exactly asking you to lie–just be creative. As you can see, I used yesterday’s haikuish to open this somewhat dubious column:
My September Haikuish*
Branches bowing with leaves
One last summer fling before
Green turns to red-gold
Warning: This week’s column is going to be a bit cheesy. Okay I just checked with the thesaurus that inexplicably lives in my laptop (I am so computer savvy) and I guess this column is not going to be cheesy as its synonyms are: tacky, cheap, tasteless, vulgar, tawdry and the opposite of everything tasteful. Okeydokey then, I am switching to that dynamic trio–sappy, nostalgic and sentimental, all words I thought meant cheesy, but apparently not. Good to have that cleared up.
Now for the not so cheesy but the promised sappy-sentimental-nostalgic part–these words are from the illustrious Edwina Fallis:
“A road like brown ribbon, a sky that is blue
A forest of green, with the sky peeping through
Asters, deep purple, a grasshopper’s call,
Today it is summer, tomorrow is fall.”
You just can’t make this stuff up. Well, that is not true, Ms. Fallis did—and in her own sappy but charming way she captured the transition that the month of September represents. Sometimes I love stuff like this—it is not cool like my haiku(ish) above, but it really does stir memories of the days when all poetry seemed to rhyme (something I for the life of me cannot do and make it make sense). Today most roads are not brown ribbons, but sort of cement grey, and the only grasshoppers I hear calling are in my basement (or are those crickets?), but the proper sentiment is there.
My haikuish, which I hesitate to call a haiku, because there are so many who are expert in this type of expression that I only pretend to follow the rules of 5 , 7, 5 syllables in a line (and then I get confused: branches is just one syllable right?). I have found that following the rules is a good thing for the newbie. Those versed in haiku can do whatever they want, but for those like me, who are fairly new to this way of expression—stray not. And do not add an s to haiku—apparently there is no such thing as haikus—I was set straight in no uncertain terms by an authority on my blog.
I seem to be meandering a bit today, which hopefully you will forgive—as September itself seems to be a bit of a meandering month. It meanders from summer to fall, from green to colourful, from hot and humid to warm and dryer and to finally cool sweater weather.
Once when I was fussing about a column which would not write itself well, my husband told me: “Well, you can’t hit a home run every time”. Though I did not find this particularly comforting, I am thinking this week’s column may fall into that category.
In an effort to make it worth your while – I am going to provide you with some advice from my favourite cookbook, Taste of Autumn, by JoAnn and Vicki of Gooseberry Patch. It is down home and just warms the cockles of your heart (whatever that means). They suggest this as a fall outing you:
“Plan a trip to a local apple orchard for a fall outing….swirling leaves and the sweet smell of apples make it the ideal picnic spot! Take a couple of sawhorses and a length of plywood in the back of a truck for a fast picnic table and borrow a few straw bales for seating.”
Does that not sound delightful? Now being married to a contractor, we have plywood and sawhorses and a truck, but it is the straw bales that have me stymied. Have you seen the size of the bales now—a lot of them are almost as big as a house.
As I said before, no home run today. (Had my husband read this to find out if it would irritate my readers and he said no—so it is his fault if you are irritated by my meanderings. Should I be diagnosed in the future with brain burps—I do not want people to look back at this column and say that this was when they noticed the beginning of my problems.)
*Haikuish – an alternative to the creative art of (the) haiku, a Japanese poetic form