Mr. Standfast

"Nothing taken for granted; everything received with gratitude; everything passed on with grace." G. K. Chesterton

May 07, 2005

Gravikords, Wayfarers, and a Few Haiku

My son Tim, he who stretcheth the boundaries, brought home a book called Gravikords, Whirlies, & Pyrophones. It's a little book about very strange musical instruments, and comes with its own CD. You can hear the music not only of gravikords, whirlies, and pyrophones, but also the photonic clarinet, the daxophone, and (my favorite) the flowerpotophone, among many others. You can listen to a sampling of these at this website. Oh, and if you listen to the daxophone, be prepared to laugh really, really hard. It's a very amusing instrument. Sounds like a bunch of aliens with severe indigestion!

Meanwhile, my son Nate, the nimble and brave, is just back from Merlefest. If you don't like bluegrass music, get outa town, man. Especially if the town is Wilkesboro, North Carolina, in the springtime. Nate came home with a Merlefest t-shirt (of course) and a new band to be way-enthused about: The Wayfaring Strangers. Bluegrass/Gospel/Jazz fusion. Or something like that.

Oh, and getting back to Tim, he also gave me a book this week (such a good boy). It's a collection of haiku by Jack Kerouac. If you don't really "get" haiku, that's fine. Just click onward, friend! But Kerouac happens to have written some very good ones. I'm not into Beat generation poets in general, but he definitely had a way with the haiku form. I have grown to love the haiku over the years, and would really like to write more of them. Here are a few of my own from the dim past.

Blossoming bittersweet--
the old birch, entangled,
slowly surrenders.

***

September locust--
you keep repeating yourself
under a blue bowl.

***

Season of mushrooms--
pushing up through the pine straw,
dense brown flesh.

***

Rainy night, owl-hoot
in the shrowded pinetop--
I stumble blindly.

BTW, I'm not the only Christian blogger with an inexplicable hankering for haiku. The clearly brilliant Peter J. Leithart is another. So, hey, I'm in good company.

2 Comments:

Blogger Kim said...

Being one who is poetry challenged, I enjoy haiku because it is the only kind I was ever able to write myself!

8:04 PM  
Blogger J. A. Gillmartin said...

Bob -

Did I get you right? You like to roll in the bluegrass?

9:02 PM  

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