Monday, May 9, 2011

Cheaper than therapy

Long before hip hop and rap slams originated in Chicago in the 70s and Eminem famously disgorged the contents of his stomach on screen (woops there goes gravity) people were using spoken word and poetry to give voice to the things that moved their souls and angered their social consciousness

In fact, the Japanese have the form beat by some 500 years with Haiku slams.  Haiku is an efficient form of poetry having three lines of five, seven and five syllables, originally invoking nature.  But modern folks have expanded the form to include all kinds of expression usually related to the nature of our experiences in this world.  There is even Gangsta Haiku and Funny Haiku

So, we decided to write impromptu Haiku at our mentoring session Friday at Shout Factory and see what kind of expression would emerge.  Our mentors and young people never cease to impress and amaze with the soulful wisdom that they express in the moment. We turned it into a slam, with judging based on content and delivery.  It escalated into a two team Haiku smack down with people standing in groups and calling out the other side.  Here are the two winning poems along with a mentor's expression that I feel relates to the therapeutic process of mentoring in general:

The world turns around me
My breath is taken away
I am now awake
Mario (mentee)

My life is a stage
I guess I have to dance it
Dancer hits the beat
Tony (mentee)

Writing this haiku
All the years of therapy
This was much cheaper
Dana (mentor)

with much appreciation,
Tony LoRe
CEO/Founder, Youth Mentoring Connection

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