Friday, April 29, 2011

Poetry Friday: Recess Duty Haiku

I was supposed to post my angel poem today, but I didn't get it written this week. I'll postpone that, and meanwhile if any of you would like to send me one, you have some more time. Here's that post.

I had lunch duty this week. It's my least favorite duty at school, because it involves a whole hour of supervision of screaming middle schoolers, through lunchtime (which, thankfully, we eat outside at picnic tables - this helps a lot with the crowd control) and then during a break outside in the beating sun in the dust. They find throwing stones a great idea. They like to pour their water bottles over each other. They want to keep going in the building, with a hundred reasons why they really have to, now now now. OK, I know, this is not a big deal. But lately it has been inspiring some haiku. (Technically, senryu.)

Haiku, or senryu (the term for a haiku-like poem without the traditional elements of haiku, which include a nature subject) is fun to write, and the space limits focus the attention wonderfully. As my friend Matsu puts it, "Making a haiku is like poetry meets limerick meets Buddhist monk." Perfect description.

Here's what I wrote the last time I was on lunch duty:

Supervising kids
Time stretches eternally
Endless lunch duty.

This week, I got a little more creative.

Sun, dust, yelling kids
Eternity at the swings
Dante's lunch duty

And then, later, when it finally was time to blow the whistle and usher the kids back into the building:

Kids go back to class
Eternity ends! Perhaps
I exaggerate.

Yesterday's effort:

Beans and rice eaten
I patrol the hot playground
I am lunch police

And then later, after I had a student ask me a question, I incorporated that into another one. I have harped on count and non-count nouns, giving many examples, but I still hear "How much minutes" on a regular basis.

"How much more minutes?"
Seventh grader wants to know
I know how he feels

Today, Poetry Friday, is the last day of my lunch duty, and this is the last time I'm on the calendar for this particular job this school year. Hooray!

Here's today's Poetry Friday roundup.


Tabatha said...

Hi Ruth! I enjoyed your clever haiku. You can express a lot in a short space. Have you read Dave's blues bummers?

Mary Lee said...

Glad to know that there is someone else in the world who loathes recess duty as much as I do. For me, the worst are second graders, who are at the height of tattle-dom.

And what's up with kids unable to get much and many straight?!?!? Glad to know I'm not the only one who nags on that...