Holnap és hónap Hé7

Holnap és hónap Hé7

With the shades drawn and his shades on, Mr. Shadow looked even shadier in the shadowy room. Suddenly the shadows of The Shades danced along the shades as the shades, whom I had called, arrived full beams glaring, trying to penetrate the shades to find the shady Mr. Shadow who was now trying to find within the shadows of this shadowy room a place to hide himself from The Shades therein approaching.

 

Whether or not the fate of Mr. Shadow concerns you, it is the very differences in the meaning of the word Shade which I’ve been focusing on this week. Well, when I say this week, I mean this morning. A question put to me, an answer given. In the end I kept my explanation to a minimum and I sure as hell didn’t include all the alternatives I have here. Imagine inviting that tropical thunder into your day.

As it stands, and as I sit here writing this, my students left still a little in the dark, perhaps I should say in the shade, but that itself may depend on how dark it was within their English weary minds, life rolls ever onwards, mysteries at every turn on this long, dark, windy, shady road.

 

Share or Shadow

Some explanations of shade/Shadow as used in the italicised text:

Curtains
sunglasses
More suspicious
Room full of Shadows
The Police: slang. Capitalised for the sake of the specific group who had arrived
The police: uncapitalised for the general call for help

© The Hairy Teacher, May, 2018

Most, But not the most

Most, But not the most

A habit building is the habit to check the menu before ordering anything. With a 10% service charge added, there’s no need for a borravaló, And so there won’t be.

Sometimes I’d consider adding a little extra but not this time. The service is satisfactory but the attitude is less appealing. A slow pint, it seems, is not acceptable. A light lunch is also questioned though that could be forgiveable seeing as with a Menu of the Day on offer, most people would jump at the opportunity. Me too if only it wasn’t all a little confusing, the menu itself that is. Set in a trendy newspaper style it fails to deliver. Too many pokey points.
However, it’s when I’m approached for the third time and asked if I’d like another beer, still a sizeable slug remaining, that I feel a bit put off. The place is nearly empty, except for me, and friends of the staff, or the owners themselves. Who knows.
The prices are also above acceptable especially for what you get. Over one thousand forints for a soup requires something more than nachos sprinkled on what could only be described as Nacho dip.
And then the beer at 890ft. Most, itt vagyok, Most-ban, and this is more than the most I’d like to pay for a snack. My other haunts torment me now, forlorn spectres adrift on the plateau of lost opportunities.

© The Hairy Teacher, May, 2018

They can’t have it

They can’t have it

They shall not have what we had
They can’t.
“Aw but I remember my first time seeing an elephant”
Yeah, I’m sure you do.
That sideways dance, head nodding, tongue lolling?
I’m sure you do.
They cannot have what we had
They never will.
“But it’s unfair to deprive them of that wonder”
The one that makes up your childhood memories?
Try living for them for a change,
Not through them.
Their lives will be eventful, of that you can be certain.
They mustn’t have what we had,
They can’t.
“ Surely it’s up to them to decide”
Fine by me, but what do you allow a one year old? A razor blade for tea?
Might as well if you keep excusing the present because of a past.
Seems odd to me.
They won’t have what we had
They never can.
“But…”
But what? It’s fucked, all of it.
Clean air, what a joke
Free to travel, that old lie
A future, perhaps
But not on our terms – no more.

Storms Prolonged

Storms Prolonged

The round faced woman with the tight Jewish curls
Let’s the sunshine sheen her face to milk chocolate brown
Red-faced I pass by complacent after storm
The mind’s eye reset one more time.
The depth of the darkness and the thick thorny thoughts
Once more a surprise here at hindsight.
In the throes of the horror all ships had set sail for the shores of respite elsewhere hidden.
The fleet, an Armada, bedevilled being broken
Sunk e’erfore a sanctuary succeeding.
And now in the aftermath I salvage from wreckage the hope to once more move on forward
Yet a scar that runs deep now further extended
A reminder of a forest and bone frailty

Holnap és hónap the fifth

Holnap és hónap the fifth

Today I’m only concerned about English (perhaps more immediately about my swipe text functioning) and the awkwardness therein. Explaining the nuanced differences between awkward, inconvenient, and uncomfortable when they all can be found translated as Kényelmetlen presented a significant difficulty this week. My rendering of an explanation could fall into Awkward as I realised I had taken the differences for granted, Inconvenient because I could see my Lesson Plan Timing slipping away, and even Uncomfortable as I witnessed the contortions to confusion on my students’ faces. Even now I’m pressed to feel confident about these and not possible alternative usages. Use or usage? Don’t get me started: it always takes that sample of phrases to get me back on track. I rarely use use so its use is rare, but the usage of usage demands confidence from the user, especially the teacher, in case its usage is incorrect. Phew! And well then there’s “its” which the swipe text just can’t handle. It’s easy but… Why? Or why not? “Dan’s dog lifts its leg”. In as much as I know it’s not “Dan is Dog…” I’m sure I could figure out that it wouldn’t be “ … it is leg.” if it happened to be written “… it’s leg.” Ah well. And have I mentioned that I don’t like to distinguish or fall into cyclical explanation when it comes to how words are used specially especially in given contexts. Am I back to the beginning? Honestly I don’t even know if I’ve begun yet. Afterall, this was to be nothing about what it has become to be about. All I wanted to ponder on is why days of the week are capitalised, e.g. Monday , months of the year, e.g. January, but not the seasons, except when personified!?!?! Watafuh?!? Anyway, in my role as sole protector of decency in English I will commit to the opinion that the non-capitalisation of the seasons is complete bollocks and I shall forever more remain a staunch supporter of said capitalisation. If you happen to be a student of mine, it might be worth noting my preferred usage, especially on those less optimistic Winters’ Days.

 

© The Hairy Teacher, April, 2018

Trudell’s* Therapy

In the dappled moment deranged
The orange glow growing
Cancer chosen again.
The despair spelled out in Circus
The cold brought in from the spy
Douma denounced, despaired over, denied.
Sabre rattling no more
Giants braving the brawl
Borders inundated, shattered –
No divisions in blood.
A child’s nightmare comforted
While one’s own sleep deprived
Fists pummelling the shadows, haunted again,
The dark days returned.
And the people despair
Or delight or don’t care
And the people morphed out again:
No men in no man’s land.

John Trudell

This is not that poem

This is not that poem

You can pronoun the shit out of the situation but you can still be wrong,

and you’ll be made to understand that you have been so wrong.

You can apologise and yet be classed as ignorant, no room for manoeuvre.

You can be anything but right. You’re white, therefore you’re wrong.

You can protest but that’s violence: there’s a lawsuit on the way.

You have hip friends, young and interesting,

They depart with each word you say.

You studied feminism yet you’re sexist

Cos you dare challenge the new convention.

Even though the old one needed toppling

You expressed doubt that it needed upgrading.

Rather, you screamed, it needed changing

A new direction, post-instituition.

But it got lost in all and sundry:

the dreaded irony?

You die the one that wanted dialogue.

 

© The Hairy Teacher, March, 2018

Freyed

Freyed

In a vision of the moment cast aside,

and yet – with each intake of breath –

There would seem to be a harmony,

what’s more – a dreaded repetition.

 

Why does the cycle present its terror

Except in the knowledge of what was before.

Therefore, no man feels stable, secure,

Nor draws comfort from that

which has become oh so predictable:

And in the tortured will to survive

Man surrenders life to existence.

 

© The Hairy Teacher, March, 2018

Holnap és hónap squared

Holnap és hónap squared

Holnap és hónap squaredl
We could all ascribe word play to any nuance of the language we so wished but in so doing we may risk being misunderstood, or worse being arrogant enough to think we should have been understood. For learners of a foreign language, the vaguely familiar becomes something of a beacon and so it is understandable that we begin to see a logic, a connection, where in reality there isn’t. For example, tomorrow isn’t a toast to Morrow and yet poetic and archaic, morrow still means tomorrow, therefore at least there is an idea to it having meaning, ie making sense. But there are no divisive women in Mérnök, even If to an outsider it’s all just a matter of time: time in this case being the length of time given to the vowel sound Ö , not Ő. Same thing isn’t it. It’s just another funny looking O. Blah, blah, blah. It is, get over it! (Oh, don’t you just hate it when foreigners try to tell you what’s what concerning your own language, well, the language you learnt to speak first, your mother tongue, even if you were snatched from your mother’s arms at birth and raised solely by your father. Many cans of worms could be opened up here, but really, who in their right mind would even want to bother!)
When I think of csizma, rather when I hear it, I’m immediately drawn to the notion of a request for cheese as directed at one’s mother. Then when I playfully rehash it as sajtanya, I get queer looks or prolonged groans. It really isn’t funny, they’re saying, but maybe I don’t want it to be funny. Maybe I was trying to be creative with the language in a way a native never thinks to do. Of course, a Hungarian who knows no English is very much entitled to tilt the head from side to side in incomprehension, but one would at least like the more proficient speakers to accept the foreigners’ input. “We would never say that” Who’s that WE? I have a Hungarian poet friend who probably would, and probably has. Maybe WE is restricted to terribly unimaginative people, or maybe that’s just my way of getting people to come over to my side. Insulting people for their beliefs in the hope of changing their minds, or at least silencing them, is all the rage these days. “Deplorables, I tell ya. Deplorables!”

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