Well, I knew I’d never make it into the Financial Times for my business acumen, but I’m happy enough to have had one of my haiku published in the London broadsheet. 🙂
It was selected as runner up in the FT weekly haiku competition based on the workplace. That particular week’s theme was ‘promotion’ and I drew upon my experience of working in a Surrey-based Research and Technology Organisation for inspiration and, of all things, marine life. I wanted to highlight how such a lot of importance was placed on the size of one’s office.
Haiku often uses the technique of juxtaposition, where you place two seemingly unrelated items together to suggest a relationship between them. In this case, I combined my office environment experience with my knowledge of marine life gleaned during a childhood spent pottering in rock pools.
If you know anything about hermit crabs, you will be aware that they live in a shell that belonged another aquatic creature – usually a sea snail. When they outgrow this, they have to seek a larger one. Some hermit crab species take part in what is called a ‘vacancy chain’ (such a cool concept!) when a bigger shell becomes available. Several crabs will gather around the empty shell and form a kind of queue from largest to smallest. When the largest crab moves into the new shell, the second-biggest moves into its newly-vacated shell, thereby making its previous shell available to the third crab, and so on. I thought it was a bit like people shifting to a larger office when promoted. 🙂
Even better was the fact that my haiku was selected by one of the world’s most respected haiku poets and founder of The Haiku Foundation, Jim Kacian. The link to the haiku is here with a comment from him. It is between David Dayson’s ‘little snail’ contemplation and Alan Summer’s amusing ‘wage bonus’ haiku.