17 April, 2013

Between Tutes


between tutes
the lawnmower mows
the playing field

1 comment:

Hobbes said...

"Tutes" are those tutorials peculiar to our university, which typically consist of one or two students vs. an academic for an hour. A "set" of tutes runs for three or so hours, on a common theme: Fourier analysis, vector algebra, etc.

It is only in the space between the tutes that the lawnmower buzzed up and down the cricket pitch outside my teaching rooms. Did the lawnmower even exist during each tute? It seemed not, and yet there he was, magically summoned in the gaps between the tutes.

There is a deliberate echo of one of my favourite verses of the Daodejing in this haiku:

"The thirty spokes unite in the one nave; but it is on the empty space (for the axle), that the use of the wheel depends. Clay is fashioned into vessels; but it is on their empty hollowness, that their use depends. The door and windows are cut out (from the walls) to form an apartment; but it is on the empty space (within), that its use depends."

(Tr. Legge)

The image that forms the haiga compares the notion of our college cricket pitch with the calm gentility of our little garden at home. There, the lawnmower only works at similar specific times: in this case, when I push it around the garden myself.

Speaking of which, the grass is already looking a little long...