Beans About It

S. David

Senryu: Contemplations

How does a poem mean?
How do we take it into our very being?
Thoughts, that prevented and then disturbed my sleep, the night/morning of July 19/20, appeared in the form of a Senryu, that then began to change its ordering.

Always 17 syllables, as are Haiku, but not always in the traditional 5-7-5 order, then came a dizzying array of modifying conditions that permutated into 25,920 ways of meditating on the same words... Which permutations will hold meaning for, or perhaps reflect or mirror, you? Will not your own conditionals multiply these ways further?

I introduce the original Senryu with a Cinquain, then ask some moderating questions that create the multiplicity of choice, and close with another Cinquain:

Hearing, thinking,
Center cautiously choose
Your meditation senryu

(Meditate) Thrust Deep
Summer, autumn, winter, spring,
Woman (Completion).

While the words, 'meditate' and 'completion,' remain in place, 'thrust deep,' 'woman,' and the middle line may reorder (resulting in 6 permutations)
A limited reordering of the first and lastıs words (x3=18 permutations)
The ordering of the seasons changes meaning (x4=72 permutations)
On which level shall you meditate: fantasy, memory, reality? (x3=216 permutations)
Which is your concern: words (mind), body, or both? (x3=648 permutations)
Are these to be considerations: Lust Pain Love Children (x4=2,592 permutations)
Does not your sex and proclivity intervene (x5=12,960 permutations)
And which end do you center on: Self, Oblivion (x2=25,920 permutations)
(There is more. You choose your own moderators.)

Shall you
your own heart change
And mind's desire in time
Contemplate, reflect, muse, amuse,
Life's goal.

Notes: A Senryu is "An inquiry into the nature of Man."
A Haiku is "An inquiry into the nature of the Universe."
A Cinquain is an American syllabic or accentual-syllabic form.