Haiku By Way of Explanation

The season turns and I'm called back to work. I've started scheduling meetings and shaking hands. The phone increasingly intrudes upon the daytime hours. After many afternoons of sorting, my files are now in order. Among the stacks of lesson plans, student work, and handouts, I ran across a rumpled sheet of copy paper with a few mediocre haiku dated 4/13/2006. 
Footpaths for people
converge at a driftwood sign,
pointing towards stables.
I remember this day well. My camp name was Pine, and I had led a handful of 6th graders into the scrubby woods that competed with the coastal dunes along the Pacific Ocean outside of Lincoln City, Oregon. None of these students came from my class. They were public school students enjoying a week of outdoor education. I was charged with teaching poetry in the wilds. Haiku made sense: simple syllabic structure, short length, an obvious connection with the natural world. But in other ways, haiku did not make sense. How does one teach subtlety to a twelve-year-old? How do you explain time and it's passing in seventeen syllables. I can demonstrate the form, but I can't impart the art.
Many paths crossing,
but few footprints step away
toward the gray mountain.
Reading over these haiku now I realize that many aspects of my life will mimic the structure of this poetic style. The structure of my days will seem simple, but there must be an underlying subtlety if they are to be successful. I must be obsessively cognizant of the present moment. There will have to be a distillation of personal experience.

I suppose this is all a round-about way of saying that you'll be hearing from me less frequently now. As a chill creeps into the mornings I will be afforded less time to sit and reflect. In no way does this mean I'm abandoning my posts; it simply means that their frequency must fall victim to a greater good. I must attempt to inspire more 6th graders now, and that task can occasionally take all the subtlety I can muster.

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