Haibun: poetry

What use is poetry? You can’t drive a nail with it. You can’t heat your house, shoe a horse, build a dam, or pave a street. It’s no good for sewing, sawing, swinging, or finding your keys in the dark. If you’re a baker, soldier, mechanic, farmer, gravedigger, or physician, poetry doesn’t get the job done. Does poetry clean, cut, weld, braise, fry, or distill? Design a plane, accumulate capital, build a stadium? Fat chance. About the only thing I can think of that poetry is good for is changing everything.

“Words,” said Sensei,
“Cannot burn your tongue,”
Spitting ashes.

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