I was surprised to read a story in The Guardian this morning about legislation that has been passed in France, making it illegal for supermarkets to dispose of, or purposely spoil, surplus or out of date food. The forced act of goodwill will see supermarkets signing contracts with charities to distribute the otherwise wasted food. I think this is a great idea but a sad indictment of human nature and corporations that it has to be passed as law. The story reminded me of a poem I wrote inspired by Jean-François Millet’s The Gleaners, as well as my experiences while working at a Franprix (supermarket chain) in Paris some years ago (maybe another blog post with that story). Finishing my night shift at the supermarket, it wasn’t unusual to see people who didn’t fit the stereotype of needy or homeless rummaging through bins which overflowed with dairy produce that had passed a day or two over their best before warning, bread that had gone crusty, tomatoes that were ripe to the point of almost bursting and bananas that save for the dark brown patches, would have otherwise been edible. Well, I guess even the dark brown patches are edible when you are hungry. Anyway, I was glad to see the story and thought I’d also mention a great documentary I watched some years back on the very topic – The Gleaners and I by Agnes Varda (first four minutes below). I loved the interesting characters Varda revealed and the de-stigmatisation of surviving on what most of society deems as trash, while also highlighting the glut of food produced and wasted while so many people go hungry.
The distinctive hips of swagger Hair like Slash, moves like Jagger Surely there is more to me Than sex and drugs and what you see A second thought, a need for pause A giving to a needy cause Revealed within the spotlight’s beam I’m just as shallow as I seem.
cosmic zeitgeist pulse
launch of a fragile ego
orbit Trappist-1 soar high, ultra-cool dwarf star!
detractors light years away…
This bartender doesn’t like me. I used to enjoy reading great literature and could recite poetry…“what happens to a dream deferred?” – might still help me make enough of an impression that someone sitting at the bar won’t mind making up the coins I lack to pay for my beer.
This structure’s eye accepts light but not wind. Within the rectangle I cannot see my breath’s product. The floor resembles cork; our senses fill gaps in perception. Does one read emptiness with disdain or horror? The sun recedes. I fear ice in the trees, weight on my chest.
heaven’s clowns release their tears
sink! or swim time’s tide
silver trails depreciate,
mollusca’s retreat for one
Tanka inspired by Robert Okaji’s prose. Robert is a poet extraordinaire who blogs at O at the Edges. He is a beer connoisseur, foodie, sharp knife aficionado, and doesn’t take himself too seriously. Thanks so much for collaborating Bob! It was through reading this post on Bob’s blog a while back that I came across the haibun, beginning my love affair with the form.
Half a Haibun is an ongoing (and occasional) feature here at 10000hoursleft. A collaborative project with bloggers I admire- they write the prose that I then use as inspiration for a tanka or haiku. The intention being that together, we’ll create a whole; 2 halves converging to add a richness and complexity to one another, in the form of a haibun. Others in the series:
The two bedroom apartment and the job I had were because of Thom. We built a life together: eating breakfast, driving to work, eating lunch, returning home, eating dinner. His reliable presence smothered me.
But the alternative was to return home.
“Now, will you marry me?”
Why not, I thought.
love’s blind artisan
stokes furnace, raising ashes
thirst’s empty vessel
brimming in complicity
Madame Pele’s dormant wrath
Tanka inspired by an extract from The Unhappy Wife, by Dr K E Garland. The book is a fictionalised account of the real lives of 12 women who are/were in unhappy marriages, and includes an afterword by relationship coach Anita Charlot. The extract is from Chapter 4, capturing the world of one of the ‘voiceless’ wives. I am currently reading my paperback copy and loving the insight into the characters and unique circumstances that have caused the dysfunction in each relationship. Kathy has done a great job distilling the essence of her wives (as she calls them) and painting their unique shades of unhappiness in an engaging read. If you’d like to order yourself a copy, head to kegarland.com.
This is the first of an ongoing (and occasional) feature, called Half a Haibun. I look forward to getting stuck into this collaborative project, with bloggers I admire submitting prose that I will use as inspiration for a tanka or haiku. The intention being that together, we’ll create a whole; 2 halves converging to add a richness and complexity to one another, in the form of a haibun. Look out for more from December 2016 onward, as my November is all about THIS.