Month: March 2015

Ronovan’s Challenge #38- Ill & Rest

Despite being very under the weather and in the hospital, Ronovan has kept up his work not only on his blog but also his challenge prompts. This week’s words – ill and rest – are pretty obvious as to their inspiration. But they proved to be a good challenge no matter their source, though I’m sure he would’ve been happy to have not had the inspiration for them! Thanks always go out to you, Ron, for your time and effort but this week extra prayers, too, for a speedy recovery. 

Morally ill but
We are so blind we don’t see
We’re just like the rest

I will leave the haiku here, without further commentary, so you may ponder upon it a bit yourself. Feel free to leave comments and/or interpretations in the section below. 

Sleep: Haiku Horizons Challenge

This week’s challenge word – sleep – from Haiku Horizons gave me quite a workout. I must have changed subjects three times and styles/wording a dozen before I got a poem I liked well enough to use.

New life abounds now
Even as time forward creeps
We dodge the big sleep

Thanks again to Haiku Horizons for another fun and challenging prompt this week!

Fireflies: a haiku 

Working with the challenge offered up today by Carpe Diem Haiku Kai I submit this haiku. 

Fireflies flicker
Lights dancing about my yard
Fireflies flicker

The inspiration was from the challenge poem and the subject, fireflies in the backyard, is a favorite of mine. I have many fond memories from my childhood of chasing and catching them as well as with my kids and grandson. 

Unfortunately I don’t have a photo of my own accessible today and, since we are out and about, don’t have the time to search for one, though this would be a good subject for a haiga. 

Morkie: Tanka Tribute

It’s hard to believe
Five years since you had to leave
You’re missed every day
Thankful for the time we had
And for the memories glad

I was so upset the day I had to take my little buddy Morkie to be put to sleep I couldn’t recall the exact date; it was on March19, 2010 (I looked up the post I’d made when we lost him to know for sure). But I vividly remember the day he came into our lives – September 5, 2000. 

He had been sent to the shelter some months earlier; his owners were old folks and when one died the other went into a “home” and Morkie and his sister went to the pound. His sister was adopted but Mork wasn’t. A few days before his “time was up” one of the workers called a rescue group about an hour away and they saved him. 

At that time I was doing some volunteer website work for the rescue. During a batch of updates I came across Mork’s photo and bio and left him off the update list, opting instead to show him to my wife. His bio said he was older, seven at least, and hated men and could be a little snappy. But we liked him. 

I called the lady that ran the rescue, Theresa, and she tried to talk me out of coming to see him: he hates men, especially balding ones (should I have been hurt by that comment? LOL) and had already been adopted and returned – twice! I said we’d be there to see him in person the next day. 

It was a solid hour drive to get to the rescue and we were all excited to meet Morkie: me, my wife and two kids. Theresa met us at the door and warned us again about how he was and how she was concerned it just wasn’t going to work; I simply told her he hadn’t met the right family yet – he hadn’t met us!

We went inside and saw him cowering in a far corner; Theresa has a dozen or more cats waiting to be adopted and he looked like they’d take a swipe or three at him. I sat down about six feet from him, gently laid my cane aside – another concern she had – and reached my hand toward him. It took about two minutes before he came to me, gave me a good sniff-over, and sat right at my feet. I petted him gently, all while Theresa stood with her mouth agape in astonishment. He came home to his forever home that day. 

Morkie had a good 10 years with us, doing whatever he pleased, whenever he pleased, which wasn’t much. But he sure enjoyed plopping himself in one of our laps and being petted so that was his primary activity. 

Mork had what we think was a stroke one night around 10:00; he was a pitiful sight that long, dreadful night. I stayed up with him all night, holding, petting and talking to him. And crying because I knew it would be our last. 

In the morning I took him to the vet. There was nothing to do but let him go peacefully; he had suffered enough and wouldn’t last much longer as it was. The vet asked if I wanted to be with him when he “did it”; I didn’t even pause to think before I told him, “Of course I do, he deserves that”. Holding him, saying we would be going home soon seemed to comfort Morkie; he knew what it meant when we were out and I told him it was “time to go home”. And soon he was home again, for the last time. But not before a long, tear filled time spent in “the room” after he was gone. 

All this came rushing to my mind as I read about the newest Carpe Diem challenge “experience” last night. From seeing Morkie’s photo and bio to wrapping him for burial, he gave me quite a few experiences, running the gambit from funny to very sad. This is one of the last photos I took of Morkie; he always “chased the sun” moving about to nap in the sunshine, as he was doing here.  


Butterflies: Tan Renga Challenge 

Today I found a new and very different, for me, challenge in my inbox from Carpe Diem Haiku: a Tan Renga challenge. Now, I’ll be completely candid here – I had no idea how this challenge was really supposed to work. After reading a few articles I found through searching the term “tan renga” I came to the conclusion it was a collaborative poem of two authors, one writing the first three lines – haiku – and the other adding two more lines of seven syllables each, effectively making a tag-team-tanka, at least that’s how I understood it. The challenge page gives the idea and the haiku to start with and what I have here is the completed poem (the last two lines being mine):


at the wagon’s approach,
out from the grass
flies the butterfly
fluttering colorful wings
takes her onto the next bloom

(Though I looked, I couldn’t find a photo of my own to use here so I got this image here and edited it a bit to my taste.)

I found this exercise quite enjoyable and, once again, learned something new. I hope you enjoy the poem as much as I did working it up and learning about this style.  

Chess Game: A Reflection on Life

As soon as I opened today’s email from Carpe Diem Haiku Kai I knew I wanted to play. And yes, since the challenge/prompt words are “chess game” I am doing a little word play in my opening paragraph, too!   

 (Photo credit)

Life itself is but
A chess game with endless moves
We can only loose

No matter what we think about or accomplish during  our time on Earth there’s one thing we are all assured: our time, life, will end at some point. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t play the game to the very best we can.

I’m not a big chess player or fan but I think that games are catalogued in some form and place for others to study and learn from. How we live our lives is our legacy we leave behind in the form of memories and “things” (like journals, handmade items, etcetera) our loved ones and friends, even folks we don’t know, can “study” and learn from. I believe it’s important to think about how we have played the game and what our record reflects. 

Checkup Time

So, today is checkup day; I had my blood drawn Monday morning and will get my three month test results today. I’m anxious, a bit, since it’s been a long, tough winter for me; I know my weight hasn’t dropped and hope my A1C hasn’t risen much with the poor choices I’ve made the last few months. We shall see very soon I reckon. 

In the meantime, while waiting to see the nurse and my primary care giver, I wrote a little haiku. There’s a “new” policy here: if you’re more than 10 minutes late you won’t be seen. I expressed my thoughts on this last time I was here and I understand the policy now, from their point of view. But it should flow both ways, this policy, in my not-so-humble opinion: if I wait longer than 10 minutes my visit should be free – I’m not holding my breath in that though. 


(Photo credit)

Be on time or else
The doctor’s new policy
Doesn’t self-apply

Witch Hazel

This evening as I browsed some of the blogs I’ve taken to reading I came across another challenge I couldn’t pass up. Carpe Diem Haiku Kai has had some interesting challenges since I started following them, some of which I’ve missed, others I’ve entered, and a few I just didn’t have time to get to. But the topic for this challenge/prompt was right up my alley: I figure, once again, to be a little different in my take than most folks will. The challenge words are “witch hazel” and here is my Haiga. 


Stirring her cauldron 
Witch Hazel cackles aloud
Waif Waffles for lunch

I’m sure some of you won’t be familiar with the cartoon character Witch Hazel or her recipes so here’s a link to her “bio”; it is also where the photo came from I used for the Haiga. 

I hope you have as much fun with this as I did, though I suspect I might have enjoyed more! 

Haiku Challenge: Foul & Sweet

I mentioned in an earlier post about how much I enjoy not only reading and interacting on other blogs but also how much I enjoy learning so many diverse things. Recently, as I’ve started writing haiku again, I’ve learned there is a lot more to them than just the 5-7-5 meter if one wants to attempt to write one “right”. For instance, in reading a post from Ronovan Writes today, I learned how the first and second lines should form a sentence and the second and third lines should also, along with a few other guidelines; you can read them all yourself by clicking on the link at the beginning of this sentence. (If you’re interested, you can also read the brief exchange Ronovan and I had in the comments section of his post about the “rules”.)

With my newfound knowledge in “brain”, I decided to take a swing at his challenge this week (using the words “foul” and “sweet”) implementing said knowledge with the attempt of producing a more “correct” haiku but one I still liked. This is the fruit of my labor:

Tender and sweet is
The scent of a newborn child
Turns foul with a grunt

I just had to have a little fun with this one!

While I probably won’t stay with using all the proper structures in all my future pieces, I did find it fun to incorporate them today. The extra guidelines made the simple poem a bit more challenging to write, which I enjoyed. And doing it the “way it was intended” to be done was kind of fulfilling in itself, being true to the art and science, if you will, of the poem. 

Willow Tree: a haiku 

This week’s prompt from Haiku Horizons is “weep”, a challenge-word that one could work in a lot of ways. In fact, last night I went through several drafts on a totally different topic with this word, which I might share later.  What I ended up with was my tree. 

Long flowing branches
Teeming with serenity 
Weeping willow tree

I’ve always loved the peaceful look of a weeping willow tree. When we were house hunting several years ago the last house we looked at, and bought, had a huge weeping willow in the back yard: I was in love. I always joke to folks that I bought the tree and the house came with it! :0)