Thursday, March 15, 2007

Jack in the Pulpit?

I remember when my daughter Kelly was getting married, her husband to be, Brian, wasn't all that thrilled about going with her to pick out china patterns and such. But he was emphatic about her not going alone because he was afraid he would wake up the day after the honeymoon sleeping on ruffled sheets and eating off of flowered plates. Not that uncommon of a male stance on household decor. In fact, how couples pass the picking out the china phase of marriage might be a reasonable predictor of broken plates to come.

Which was why I read with some wide-eyed surprise in the Chicago Trib. this morning about a glass urinal intended for home installation in the shape of jack-in-the-pulpit flower. I can't imagine any man picking this apparatus out for himself thinking that is the recepticle he wants to address upon returning home from the garage, freeway, or rugby match. Not just an oh-my-gosh moment in a restaurant or sports bar, but installed at home. And that was before I saw the $10,000 price tag.

I am not a man nor an expert on uninals, but I do know what a jack-in-the-pulpit is and I'll never look at one the same way again. They are an endangered flower in my area, but I'm not sure screwing flushable glass scultures of them to the wall is the best route to saving them from extiction.

This accessory was nestled in the silk pillows of an article about some Chicago residents who had just installed a 6,000 foot recreation wing on their house.

Maybe it was the movie we rented last weekend, Turtles Can Fly, about Iraqi children before the start of the war who made a meager living disarming and reselling land mines. Or maybe it was images from Darfur. Or was it the last Oprah show I watched? But something in me shouted that the world is out of whack.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Southeast Primary Intermediate School

First of all -- I LOVE when teachers have kids think of questions for the author in advance. Of course we NEVER stick to the questions on the index cards, but it gets kids to thinking beyond what kind of car do I drive and did it hurt to get my ears pierced. Pre-thinking makes at least some of our discussion time afterthoughts, which tend to make a better learning experience than random thoughts. Although, some of those are fun, too.

Since more than one of the questions had to do with form poems, I have to guess that was a topic of discussion in Mrs. Macejko's class. I love Clint's question and immediately envisioned a haiku sitting atop a limerick at an odd angle, like a jaunty hat. I asked Michael and he said that mixing the two would be like eating corned beef with chop sticks.

My afterthought is this:

The Japanese poem called Haiku
to the Limerick said, "how do you do?"
Each kept its design
then flashed a peace sign.
Both declined to blend in a stew.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Rucker Middle School Lancaster, SC

Ever go looking for one image and find another? I've had that happen countless times with poetry -- I start out writing about one subject and it twists and turns and backflips into something totally different. Photography is supposed to be more straight forward. Point and shoot. Right?

Not when there's a joker in the front row who sneaks his peace sign in front of the delicate heart necklace which was what I thought I was pointing and shooting at. And when I came home and found the necklace missing behind the hand, I said, "shoot!"

But then I got to playing with the photo and though this image isn't what I thought I wanted, it turned out pretty cool. So a grudging (okay, happy) thank you to the joker in the front row at Rucker.

And thanks to the Leigh and the rest of the library staff for the wonderful day. And I made another new acquaintance -- the inn and innkeeper at the Kilburnie Inn at Craig Farm (see link). A splendid, restful restored inn. Southern hospitality at its very best.