July 26, 2013

Poetry Friday--"The Last Laugh"

In May I went to a writers' retreat weekend about an hour west of here in Greenfield, New Hampshire. On the drive there, along a lightly traveled back road, I passed an odd assortment of devices on grounds that are definitely not being used for farmland. I made a mental note to stop on the way home to investigate further.

On the return trip, I took a few photos.

There were no signs along the road to indicate ownership or purpose. I was also afraid of trespassing, so I didn't venture too far in! Once home, a quick internet search led me to the Yankee Siege, which was an annual fall pumpkin chucking event that no longer seems to be held. It doesn't say, however, what the humungous rusting mace is/was used for!

One of my photos is a close-up of the base of the catapult/trebuchet. I cropped and manipulated it for this poem:

Click on the image to enlarge it for easier reading. Photos and poem © Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

I meant the poem to be a subtle comment on the absurdity of war and how nature always has the last laugh--I hope it comes through! I think this haiku by Basho (translation by Sam Hamill), does it better!
Summer grasses:
all that remains of great soldiers’
imperial dreams
Now go visit Sherry at Semicolon for this week's Round-Up. Have a great weekend!


  1. a remarkable haiga; have a good weekend

    much love...

  2. Fascinating, Diane! Thanks for sharing the pictures and your poetic response. A perfect pairing with Basho's famous haiku.

    1. Thanks, Robyn! I'm glad you like the pairing, too!

  3. A little disturbed by the gargantuan instrument of medieval torture... but that aside, what an interesting roadside find! While your poetic message comes through loud and clear, the Basho haiku does complement it well.

  4. The mace really was huge, especially if you stood by it!

  5. Thanks, Mary Lee. We humans are too cocksure for our own good. ;-)

  6. Hmm...sometimes real life is weirder than fiction!

    "The Last Laugh" reminds me of "Ozymandias" ("Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!")

  7. Oh, I forgot about that one, Tabatha!