Five Seven Five

Small things often come in very structured packages.

Take the haiku for example. It is a simple three line Japanese poem with a total of 17 syllables broken down into a 5-7-5 format. For those that have forgotten, this entails five syllables in the first line, seven in the second, and five in the third.

Most have some familiarity with the haiku as it was but one form of poetry introduced to us in junior high school and in some cases, as early as middle school.  We wrote limericks and haiku and studied rhythm, rhyme, and  iambic pentameter. Some of us went on to study poetry in college. I was one of those people, failing almost miserably, yet managing to scrape by with a C-. I still blame it on the 8 am roll call. It was a challenging class regardless of the time and my advisor had discouraged me from taking it as a freshman. But I didn’t listen. I do, however, still have a fond place in my heart for The Red Wheelbarrow [William Carlos Williams] which I attribute to that class. It is not a haiku but is certainly structured.

so much depends

a red wheel

glazed with rain

beside the white

But back to small packages – that is, the haiku.  During the development of Be Radish we all agreed that we would seek content contributions. It was never just about ‘the radish’ it was about ‘being radish’.  It is indeed a lifestyle choice. But alas that is for another day.

We started asking friends to consider sharing or creating favorite radish stories, dishes, experiences, images, or poems. My friend Barry claims he has a haiku website. I’ve yet to find it but he says it exists. So, last night while waiting for the sunset I pressed him, “Barry, when are you going to write that radish haiku?”

“Well, I really haven’t been writing haikus lately,” he said, “I’ve been focusing on the sonnet.”

“That’s quite fine,” I replied, “Why don’t we start small with a simple haiku and if you’d like, you can work on a larger sonnet project. Content can come in many forms and you are not limited.”  He chortled at my glaring goad.


Ten minutes later, as the sky began to transform into delicious hues of purple ninjas, red and pink rads, and as the curtain began to fall on Summer Solstice he turned to me and said:

Kale is so last year.

Vegetable cognoscenti

are digging radish.


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