Food for Thought

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that has been passed in France, making it illegal for supermarkets to dispose of, or purposely spoil, surplus or out of date food.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-Fran√ßois 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.

 

First published 23 May 2015.

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Half a Haibun 5

half a haibun 5 on the verge collaboration haibun with Kerfe Roig

We send shadows through the air.

We look to the sky for the whispers of birds.

Are we on the verge of remembering feathers?

a flight of fancy

serendipity’s green light

d n a in dance

fibonacci hearts beat one…

one, two- counting yellow bricks

Collage from junk mail and poetic prose by Kerfe Roig
On the Verge. Junk mail art by Kerfe Roig

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Half a Haibun 4

half a haibun 4 quest for depth collaboration haibun with marissa bergenThe 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…

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Half a Haibun 3

This bartender doesn‚Äôt like me.¬† I used to enjoy reading great literature and could recite poetry‚Ķ‚Äúwhat happens to a dream deferred?‚ÄĚ – might still help me make enough of an impression that someone sitting at the bar won‚Äôt mind making up the coins I lack to pay for my beer.

sweet brown lacquered tones

shoulders elbows, eavesdroppers

ring marks – hops on grains

hops on trains, buses, and brains

fingerprints, the smell of coins.

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Half a Haibun 2

Half a haibun a collaborative project between bloggers. Shack: Robert Okaji prose 10000hoursleft tankaThis 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.

thoughts evaporate…

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:

Half a Haibun 1: The Unhappy Wife (with K E Garland)

Half a Haibun 1

Half a haibun a collaborative project between 10000hoursleft.wordpress.com and other bloggers part 1 - the unhappy wife with K E  Garland

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.

‚ÄúNow, will you marry me?‚ÄĚ

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.