Hi there, Friend.
Welcome to shishiodoshi, my poetry and teaching blog.
My name is Brent Hagen and I am a poet and English teacher. I love language more than anything else and one of my favorite things is sharing my love of language with others.
You might be wondering why I have named my blog shishiodoshi.
I have lived and taught in Japan for the past thirteen years. Living in Japan has influenced me in many positive ways and I am very grateful for the wonderful experiences I have had in this country.
I love zen gardens. An oasis for the heart and mind, a zen garden can help us attain dynamic inner peace. I find shishiodoshi have a singular ability to help me achieve a tranquil state of mind.
Nowadays, shishiodoshi are an important part of zen gardens. The direct English translation of shishiodoshi is “deer scarer”. Long ago Japanese farmers used them to protect their gardens from deer and wild boar.
I like the fact that shishiodoshi began as a useful tool and now shape the tranquility of zen gardens. From one purpose to another. A shift of meaning, like the rising and falling of a bamboo arm with water and without.
This rising and falling is the very real endless cycle of the universe.
Similarly, the work I share here will serve related but different purposes, from the enjoyment of poetry to language lessons for English language learners.