I couldn’t help thinking of my students when I read today’s dVerse prompt, “Poetics: build a bridge”. I tell them truss analysis is just like Sudoku but more fun – just lay out your equations, fill in the gaps, and truss me, that’s all there is to it! Until the build and test, that is.
Every member – tension or compression?
Every joint – apply Newton’s second.
Have you considered load distribution?
What external forces make a contribution?
~put theory into practice~
Embody your equations in concrete and steel,
Now do the forces balance, for real?
Have you proved yourself a truss design master?
Or will your bridge feature on Engineering Disasters?
This is for d’Verse’s Haibun Monday: The present moment. I got into the office, opened my email, my calendar, my magic pudding TO DO list, and then… though I knew I oughtn’t… checked the Monday dVerse prompt.
H_ opens the gate at the top of the driveway, swinging on it the last 45 degrees, though I always tell her not to. She gets back in and we barrel on down the hill. A flock of cockatoos, white against a blue sky, swoops across the road in front of me to land in a paddock among the ‘roos. “Got a ‘roo loose in the top paddock” I say, but H_ doesn’t get the joke, yet.
We lurch and bounce over potholes and gullies, until dirt gives way to gravel, gives way to bitumen and we admire the autumn colours as we trundle into the village – claret ash, golden ash, scarlet pin oak, Chinese pistachio and liquidambar… even the names speak of flames, of flaring vivid transience, of an excitability beyond tulips.
A quick hug, an “I love you, have a good day” and H_ is running for the school gate and I am heading for the highway, the parkway, past the airport where a jet roars overhead, white as a cockatoo in the sun, packed with pollies heading for Sydney. Traffic lights, merging lanes, security gate, carpark, swipe card entry so my presence is known, my whereabouts tracked. Down corridors where crimsons have been safely ritalined into placid rose, all verdant greens safely, sagely, Valium-dulled (although I think the ceiling is giving me separation anxiety).
Don’t swing on the gate,
it could come unhinged – we don’t
want ‘roos loose in here.
On the hill above the city,
on an afternoon all green and blue:
Picnics are spread, a tea-party laid out.
A small boy joyfully kicks
a large plush toy down the hill,
as a wedding party poses by the pavilion.
Happily discordant strains
of “happy birthday to you”
drift from a nearby teenage group,
set apart from the many little ones
who are running,
beneath a bright flock of kites.
I took my daughter and a couple of her friends for a picnic and kite flying at the Arboretum yesterday. It was one of those perfect Canberra autumn afternoons – mild and sunny, and almost unbearably blue. The sort you want to keep preserved in glass, for later revisiting.
At least it was perfect until I decided to have a go at rolling down the hill. The kids were having a great time doing it, and who cares what other people think, right? Turns out all those other adults were smarter than me. Barely a quarter of the way down I had to stop, head spinning and almost throwing up. Sigh. Next time I will stick to flying kites.
The string slides through my fingers
as the kite leaps up,
impatient to join the bright flock.
Riding the wind,
string humming in my hand,
it tugs like a fish with each gust –
a dot-dash transmission:
let me go
This is for the dVerse prompt “hopscotch with anapestic tetrameter” and is another collaborative effort with my daughter, although it reflects my school days more than hers – she wanted to know why a teacher would use chalk instead of a screen… 🙄
back to school.
No more fun,
that’s the rule.
“All be quiet!
No more talk, Continue reading
We covered our arses with paperwork
but we got a bit carried away,
what with HR, Disclosure and Ethics
there’re new forms to fill in each day! Continue reading
For the bothersome dVerse Monday quadrille #126 prompt, and with thanks to H_ for scribing for me on the school run this morning:
What a bothersome great fuss,
another morning weekday rush
just to get to school on time
on a day so sweetly fine.
Look, the sky’s so brilliant blue,
Mum, can’t I stay home with you?
Absolutely not my dear,
get your butt outta here!
A quadrille is exactly 44 words, no restrictions otherwise, and must contain the prompt word or a variation, in this case ‘bother’.
Thanks to the Mouse for the title to this one. And to no specific student or colleague for the rest.
I’m righting the writing,
un-verbing the nouns,
untangling the syntax
so meaning is found. Continue reading
Never forget this:
everything is a test –
every word, every look,
each recorded, each graded
against a secret rubric.
Never forget this,
so that when judgement is made
you will not be surprised
you will not be dismayed
to be found wanting.
For the dVerse Monday prosery prompt “meet me where the sidewalk ends“, with the requirements: 144 words or fewer, NOT a poem, and using the line from Shel Silverstein “if you are a dreamer, come in” with any punctuation:
The kids were on the couch in front of the TV when I got home, as usual, each plugged into their phone – networking, gaming, blogging. But not picking up their dirty dishes or getting dinner ready, of course.
The little one in her thirties now, and the twins almost forty! Where did the time go…?
I used to think they’d finish school, then college, get jobs… but we’ve made ourselves redundant. There’s nothing a human can do that a machine can’t do better. Even designing new machines.
The blaring TV got even louder as it went to a commercial – a gold-toothed shouty-droid proclaiming “So if YOU are a dreamer, come in today! We pay top prices!” as dollar signs flashed in his eyes.
Well now, maybe there was still one thing machines couldn’t do.
“Alexa, call ‘Androids don’t dream of electric sheep’”.