This is a form that I can only call a Chagall, as the only person I know who’s done it is Carlos Chagall at Alphabet City. I stumbled across it with his poem Lithographs. It involves stanzas made up of two haiku, but instead of 5-7-5//5-7-5 it follows a 5//7-5//5-7//5 pattern. But there’s one stanza with an errant syllable that signifies the turning point in the poem:
A puff in the air?
A breath exhaled and then smoke writing in cursive
A Happy Birthday wish without a second thought;
Eyes wide, cut the cake.
Or a wise word shared
With a few friends gathered round the table to eat
Dinner together, a murmur of approval,
Or a nervous shriek
Yelled out in desperation though no one can hear
Besides the screamer, a self-reassuring cry
To steel the senses.
A measure of time?
6:30–spread the mat out, repeat after me
11:00–time to spread the mat again,
Repeat after me.
With God, Maker of heaven and earth and all men,
A time to reflect on His many attributes
In absolute awe
To His word and obeying not out of duty,
Rather out of love for Creator and creature,
Savior and sinners.
Expressing pain and anger and frustrations, too—
But knowing through all that Jesus is light and life;
He can be trusted.
No puff in the air,
Not a careless wish whispered and then forgotten,
Not just some words shared before mealtimes that disrupt
What was being said.
Not a silent scream,
Or loud scream on selfish ears meant for no one else,
Not a metronome or a compass pointing east—
Dialogue forms prayer.
P.S. See Chagall’s comment below to see how I butchered his form (which he’s titled Chagallian Loku)–he gives a wonderful description of what it should actually look like. Next time, perhaps, I’ll get it right!