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Haikus

These Haiku’s were written by staff and residents at Webb House, Crewe.


Contents

The Community Meeting

Waiting in silence

The staff, arranging chairs

Arrive without warning


Haiku's are an ancient Japanese Poetry Form. They have a particular structure, although this is not always followed. Most people are taught in school that they are a 17 syllable poem, in the form: 5,7,5. The central idea is that they express an observation about something, locate it and comment on it. The convention of 17 syllables comes from the number of syllables we can speak with one breath. Haiku lends itself to condensing experience and the syllable discipline stops any waffle.

The Haiku here refers to the community meeting and the experience of staff coming into the meeting. It was never clear how many staff would be in the meeting. On particular days there were loads of staff and not enough chairs. There would then be a rather comical hunt for chairs from all over the place. The bottom of the pile was an Art room wooden stool. These were self-assembly stools and not very comfortable to sit on for over an hour!

The poem is also a comment on the needs of the staff to be looked after, or kept in mind and that this was difficult for the community to do.

Therapy

Reduced to tears

She abandons the shopping bags

Crying over spilt milk


The last community tea

Tuesdays before leaving

Standing on the edge

Of goodbye


Dog food for old dogs

Buy more

Buy this

Buy

Spend.

Advertising

Does not prevent death.


This Haiku arose after watching some adverts on the Television. The adverts were a 'special mix' of Dog food for old dogs. The unspoken implication is that if you buy the dog food your dog will live forever!! It's a comment on the attempted gratification of our wishes by advertisers. Nobody wants their dog to die!

Culture

One year like a hundred

Two years

The limits of memory

Ancestors.


My favourite chair

This is my seat

It has my name on it.

You move it,

You move me.


Dodging feedback

I’m fine

I’m not Angry

I’ll talk in my groups

Every day

Don’t run

Don’t run off

I don’t understand

But

Will stay with the feelings

Inside Out

Logic and feelings

Confusion surrounding all

That is and isn’t


This is….

….and this too shall pass

who shall it pass by?

Why would it choose to?


Sphere on a string

Drowning in chaos

Self-destruction imminent

Giving up on now


Self

Autonomy?…….No

Objectivity no good?

What works anymore


Saturday Morning

Weekend runaways

Life on the outside beckons

Back to safety soon


The gathering

Round the table

Community Tea

Smile and Fun

Not me.


This Haiku relates to 'Community Tea' which were events that happened on Tuesday and Friday afternoons. These were an informal meeting of staff and residents. Tuesdays were a traditional arrival and discharge day. If people did their full year they would leave on the same Tuesday, 52 weeks later! Community Tea had a number of functions, to welcome new staff and residents, say goodbye to leavers and also acted as a barometer of staff/resident feelings. They were particularly difficult times if there was any tension around. Which was more often than not. It was also a time when the 'distance' between staff and residents was lessened. It was one of the few times when the 9 to 5 staff would spend unstructured time with residents.




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