Poets vs. Architects – Part 2

Poets vs Architects 2

If, like me, you are tired of the graphic images on the nightly news endlessly sensationalizing the skirmishes between architects and poets, then read on. Here is part 2 of my plan to bring both sides together and bridge an unbridgeable rift. How? By extending the olive branch of friendship (or if that doesn’t work, by covering up the whole darn thing with a figleaf).

We can do this by combining the two – by writing architectural poetry, in my case, haiku (sans any mention of bridges, because that would be engineering. We don’t want to pick a fight with them, too. They’re even tougher than poets.).

Why haiku?

  • Haiku has a very rigid structure, a framework you must work within. This focuses your thinking right from the start. With less options to explore, you get moving quicker.
  • Haikus are short and sweet. Brevity is the soul of wit, afterall. It is much more difficult to write succinctly than to ramble, making it an interesting challenge.
  • It’s fun, like solving a little puzzle – not only to paint a picture, tell a story, raise a chuckle or eyebrow in very few words, but to find just the right words in keeping with the rule of 17 syllables.
  • You don’t have to rhyme.
  • They do not require much time to read or write (unless you labor over every word as I sometimes do. But, what else are you going to do in the shower if you have forsworn soap).

Lost… Old cobbled streets,
Gas lanterns, trembling shadows,
My horse, for Google!

Warm, cozy fireplace,
Small hole near the rocking chair,
Roaches need homes, too.

Castle lies broken,
Ancient wonder crumbling down,
All the King’s horses…

We build towers tall,
Strong, yet limber in the wind,
I fear when they fall.

Poetry in words,
There is poetry in form,
Or is that motion?

A bygone era,
Neighbors waving from porches,
Today… garages.

Lofty cathedral,
Soaring spaces feed the soul,
And starve the ego.

Pretty pink houses,
Grand Victorian ladies,
Where are all the men?

Shoebox hotel room,
Kitschy paintings on the walls,
Could be anywhere.

Read Poets vs. Architects – Part One, here.

In Honor of National Poetry Month… Help Me End the Feud.

Poets vs ArchitectsYes, apparently there is a National Poetry month. Who knew? Architecture only has a week – April 12th through the 18th (six days, actually. Not even a whole week). Yep. I know, I know, it’s an outrage. I’m sure National Architecture week is marked on your calendars in bold red ink, circled, with little hearts drawn around it. I bet National Poetry month isn’t even marked in pencil. It’s April, if you are wondering.

Despite my seething anger and resentment, I am willing to step up to the plate, take the high road, be the bigger person and set aloft the dove of peace to build a bridge between these mortal enemies, the despicable poets and the architects (by despicable, I mean kind, generous and caring, obviously. Sort of like when ‘bad’ means ‘good’, or bastard means… well, nevermind). Who will stand with me?

For this week only, the two events coincide. I propose we take this week and write poetry about architecture. Alternatively, you may write a song if you prefer (but that would be playing right into the hands of those pesky songwriters. They probably have a whole year). Nah. Let’s just write poetry that in some way embraces architecture, interior spaces, buildings, ruins, monuments, cities, towns, your house, or whatever flips your (light) switch. If there’s enough interest I’ll post your poems on this blog as a peace offering to the angry (I mean loving) poets. If not, then poets and architects are doomed to feud til time stands still. It’s on your shoulders.

So, get out your frilly little poet’s pen or your solid, dependable, built-to-last, stainless steel architect’s mechanical pencil and start poeting.

I’ll start things off with some haiku, because I don’t have the foggiest idea how to write any other poetry. It’s perfect for those of us with short attention spans. Haiku is the Twitter of poetry (3 lines totaling 17 syllables: 5 syllables on the first and third lines, 7 on the second line). For any other form of poetry, feel free to ramble on for pages if your muse commands.

An old house of stone,
I am covered in ivy,
Ooh, those mice tickle!

Grand Sistine ceiling,
Four years lying on my back,
Next time, you paint it!

Pharaohs long since dead,
Red sun broils the pyramids,
Ahhh…… It’s cool beneath.

Angry wind howling,
Why is everything spinning?
There’s no place like home.

Driving the freeway,
House after house after house,
They are all the same.

Sprouting from the ground,
A cage of lumber nailed,
Someday I’ll live here.

Up, up, up the stairs,
My heart… about… to… explode.
Yay! Stairs go down, too.

No windows for me,
I sit in a cubicle,
Yearning for the light.

Like children for mom,
Shiny, glass and steel buildings,
They reach for the sky.

Big picture window,
Sparkling clean target in sight,
I like to eat worms.

Read part two here.

Just can’t get enough Haiku? Check out my Star Wars Haiku.

May the Haiku be with You

Last night we took Beck to see Star Wars I, or IV (or was it VII?). It was the latest one, anyway, where they blow up the big planet-destroying, star of death. I think it was titled, “New Hope for a Big Explosion.” Or, “Search for the Phantom Jedi Tribbles.” Or, “Darth’s Revenge, This Time it’s Personal.” Something like that.

Grade School Drawings - Droid - Tim Bjella
To set the stage for this post, I wanted to include an image of something Star Warsy. But due to copyright laws and the hundreds of George Lucas attorneys no doubt watching every post I write, sadly I could not. So, instead, here is a droid I designed a long, long time ago, in a grade-school far, far away (thanks for keeping it, mom!). Any resemblance to a Star Wars character is entirely coincidental.

Bjella FamilyAfter the movie, like most of you, I naturally thought to commemorate the occasion by writing some haiku (Japanese poetry). So, while I’m waiting to read yours, here are a few of mine.

Please note, I have never written any poetry before, much less haiku. My formal training is limited to extensive inspections of toilet stalls. However, I understand it follows very strict rules (nothing at all like the limericks of which we are all so fond).

  1. It must be exactly three lines (don’t ask me why).
  2. The first and third line must contain five syllables, no more, no less (there’s probably a good reason).
  3. The second line must contain seven syllables (obviously).

So, here goes. Yes, this is what keeps me up at night. This, and world peace. And chocolate:

Lonely Skywalker,
Always looking to the sky,
Do. There is no try.

Love this new movie,
Go ahead, Luke, make my day,

Death Star exploded,
This time it’s even bigger,
Oops. Try, try again.

White plastic armor,
Fashionable uniform,
Can’t stop a damn thing.

Rebels are winning,
Except when they are losing,
Three films should do it.

If you strike me down,
I become more powerful,
Oh hell, I just died.

Black mask covering,
Black cape hanging to the floor,
Must be in Gotham.

Light sabres flashing,
I do not feel like dying,
Should have brought a gun.

Smuggled some cargo,
Kessel run in 12 parsecs,
‘course, I’ll pay you back.

Sweet princess Leia,
Love what you did with your hair,
Is that your Wookie?

The films keep coming,
How many more will there be?
It started with three.

And a few more drawings from the late seventies. Sorry, I digress…

Grade School Drawings - Another Droid Rip-off - Tim Bjella

Grade School Drawings - Life Before the Death Star - Tim Bjella
Before there was the Death Star, there was the Intergalactic Planet Peeler. Eat your heart out, Darth Vader (never mind. No heart).