Tuesday, February 26, 2008

sherku: worked up

For a crazy head-spinning
day, cooking dinner is
the recipe for calm


What is sherku?


Monday, February 25, 2008

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Friday, February 22, 2008

sherku: break through week

sun light before the train
leaves for Boston, sun light
still coming home to Franklin



What is sherku?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

sherku: Amaryllis Wednesday


Amaryllis Wednesday
Originally uploaded by shersteve
Look my friends, two shoots,
Three flowers, plenty of
Amaryllis to go around




Check out the Amaryllis Series to see the growth day to day.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

sherku: diet logic

Sliced banana makes the
Ice cream healthier
In lunar eclipse darkness



What is sherku?

sherku: Amaryllis Tuesday


Amaryllis - Tuesday
Originally uploaded by shersteve

Amaryllis Tuesday
Extension more pronounced
Three bulbs continue to bloom



Check out the Amaryllis Series to see the growth day to day.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

sherku: whirlwind weekend countdown

Two to college, one to Vegas
Leaving me alone with

Nothing to write, right!



What is a sherku?


for Dolores, Allison, Carolyn

Monday, February 18, 2008

sherku: Amaryllis Sunday


Amaryllis - Sunday
Originally uploaded by shersteve
Amaryllis grows rapidly
visible flowers, web
links may be hidden


What is a sherku?



Check out the Amaryllis Series to see the growth day to day.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sherku: Robert Fulghum after breakfast

The curved simplicity
Of an old spoon sitting
In an empty bowl


Note: the words are Robert Fulghum's. He may not have realized when he wrote them in the closing of his essay on True Love that he was composing a sherku.

The origin of sherku

The concept/idea for sherku came to fruition during the 2006 Dodge Poetry Festival at Waterloo Village. There were multiple threads that managed to weave themselves together during those four eventful days.

I knew Patti Digh had done book reviews in haiku. One of my favorite writers, she is a great writing inspiration. She was unable to attend the Festival but was on my mind as I looked for an opportunity to obtain an autograph from Billy Collins for her. Fortunately, I did manage to do that and she was most pleased.

Billy Collins told the story of his creation of a new type of poem, the paradelle. It was done in fun as a parody of the villanelle and when published referenced a note giving it "some historical authenticity". Billy was surprised when some time later, he got a call from someone looking to put together an anthology of paradelles.

As a blogger, one of the early lessons I had picked up along the way was to find a term that defined you, that you could own. This term could help drive the search engines your way. I have struggled with this effort to define the singular me. What would that word be? Steve's 2 Cents reflected 'the value add' I attempt to apply. What could I do with that?

During the Festival, I met and had a wonderful talk with the wandering poet, Edmund Charles Baranowski. He had challenged me during the discussion to recite a poem that I knew by heart. I did manage to recall one of my originals (Orange numbers). When I met up with him the next day I surprised him with a sherku that I had written for him.

Yes, sometime during that day, after the talk with Edmund, it all came together. The festival music had something to do with it.

Then I tried explaining what a sherku was. I started with:

What is sherku?
A new variation on haiku.

Why a new variation?
Hey, why not. I just took the classical form of haiku and made it my own.

What do you mean to accomplish?
Writing on difficult things by focusing, by boiling down to the essence of the fewest words.

What is so different from haiku?
There are conventions that haiku follow, I will deviate as necessary.

So what will you write about?
Well, sherku will be the catchall. My running will be ruku. My work related will be busku. My educational will be edku. My hitchhiking will be hitchku. And there may be other variations on this but I think you get the idea.

I think you are crazy.
You are entitled to your opinion.

Do you have any written yet?
Yes. One, two, three.

While the extensions (booku, ruku, edku, etc.) sounded like fun... I did not proceed that way. The singularity of sherku was going to be what I needed.

I expanded the explanation to:

I introduced sherku earlier and need to respond to an inquiring mind. Instead of burying my response in a comment (which I did) I also decided that there might be value to put it out in the open as well.

The question was:
Well, I'm not good at poetry. Not to mention haiku. But, really, will you write more in-depth about this sherku of yours -- and how it related with haiku -- for a very novice kinda guy? I'd like to learn about it.

The initial answer is:
Well, it is somewhat "tongue in cheek" but very much like haiku. It differs in that is my spin on creation. I add my "2 cents worth" to it. I follow the standard form and convention somewhat and deviate as necessary.

For example, while convention calls for 17 syllables, I prefer to recommend 19.
Why 19?
Well, 17 is confining, 19 provides more (recall 2 cents). 19 is also a number from a card game called "Cribbage" where 19 is an impossible score to achieve.

Trying to condense a feeling, an image to some number (19 in this case) is an impossible task (recall Cribbage score) to try but try we must.

Or as Yoda says: "Do, or not do, there is no 'try'".


I then created some instructions:

Sherku Instructions

It is easy enough to start
You are out somewhere
Wherever something catches your eye
You take a picture
Frame it in your mind’s eye
Then begin the
Linguistic gymnastics
You have trained for since birth
Take your pen
Dip it into the dictionary
Find the word
Just that shade
Just that luster
Just that sound
So that when they open the book
Turn to this page
Read these words aloud
They step into the frame
Feel the breeze on their arm
In the shade of the hemlock grove
Hear the hissing along the trail
And stop
To see the snapping turtle


I defined sherku in sherku format:

seventeen is not enough but
two more makes nineteen
still an impossible goal

and then most recently:

focus your writing, say it
all concentrated in just
nineteen syllables

and further updated on 6/9/09


focus your message, say it
all concentrated in just
nineteen syllables



Updated 2/23/10 - found on the page for Bingo in wikipedia
"The most chips one can place on a Bingo board without having a Bingo is 19, not counting the free space. In order for this to happen, only one empty cell can reside in each row and each column, and at least one empty cell must be in each diagonal, for instance:"

Saturday, February 16, 2008

sherku: Sisterly Love 2

Their first thought was to
Go to Buffalo for the
Concert in February


What is a sherku?

For Allison and Carolyn

sherku: Sisterly Love

Two sisters drive to
Atlantic City for a
Concert one just had to see


What is a sherku?

For Allison and Carolyn

Running tragedy: Race day

What is training for months
Only to have THE race day
Spoiled by bad weather?


What is a sherku?

Originally posted at Passionate Runner

Running tragedy: Qualify time

What is running a PR
That finishes one

Second shy to qualify?



What is a sherku?

Originally posted at Passionate Runner

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Monday, February 11, 2008

Saturday, February 09, 2008

sherku: wall papering is easy

measure twice, cut once
dip it in, slap it up, smooth it out
step back, wow it's done



What is a sherku?

Friday, February 08, 2008

Thursday, February 07, 2008

sherku: salting the parking lot

Plow edge came so close
to the parked car, driver made
his way spreading sand and salt



What is a sherku?

Monday, February 04, 2008

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Saturday, February 02, 2008

sherku: defined

focus your writing, say it
all concentrated in just
nineteen syllables



What is a sherku?

Friday, February 01, 2008