Month: April 2015

Full Circle #1: Sunshine

This week Carpe Diem Haiku started a new exercise called Full Circle. The idea is to take twelve prompt words and use them in clockwise order, one word per stanza, to create four new haiku. Although it sounded like a real challenge it also sounded like a lot of fun. Here are the dozen prompt words:

1. sunflower
2. rain storm
3. puddles
4. beach
5. waves
6. making love
7. seagulls
8. rain storm
9. lightning
10. mountain
11. peony
12. nightingale

And these are my full circle haiku:
The sunflower droops
After the rain storm ceases
Puddles form below

Warm sand on the beach
Waves lapping at the couple
Their eyes making love

Seagulls circle now
As a rain storm glides inland
Lightning flashes near

Tall rugged mountain
Sweet peony scent abounds
Near nightingales nest

What a fun exercise this turned out to be! And it wasn’t quite

One Family Race. My #BeWoW post.

So eloquently said, you really need to read this!


There has been a lot of violence lately in the US based on racial problems. There are even now reports of gangs, very prominent gangs, stating they are now going to be targeting the police. Apparent members of those gangs have since stated that is false.

I’m not one to describe races. I see skin tones and some physical differences but that’s not a different race. There is no such thing. I am greatly disturbed at the lack of response to curb the behavior of what’s happening. On one side, if you are an government employee you become a neutral party. There should be no need for anything said, but there is a

Some police officers, all the way up and down the chain are stupid. You can take that to the political arena if you like. Then you have the citizens. For some reason there is an environment…

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BeWoT: a #BeWoW on Thursday 

BeWoW is a blogging movement, no, phenomenon started by Ronovan the Great (yeah, that’s my moniker, not his, and it’s sincere not a “jab”). Here’s a blurb from his idea:

BeWoW stands for Be Wonderful on Wednesday. But really you don’t have to wait for Wednesdays. The idea is to post something about Wonderful on Wednesdays, though. It could be a  wonderful experience you had last week, a wonderful memory that came to you, something inspirational or motivational, maybe something encouraging, or just something that brings a feeling of wonderful to you that you want to share.

You can read more on his post explaining all about it. 

Now, onto my BeWoT or belated BeWoW!

I suffer from a lot of chronic ailments; in fact I began blogging and writing haiku again to have something to do while I’m sidelined from my regular hobbies. The last few days have been pretty rough so I’m late with my post … but that’s not wonderful nor inspirational so we shall leave it there. 

I am never ceased to be amazed by the genuine love, concern, and compassion I witness, and sometimes take part in, through the virtual communities I belong to, which range from other bloggers to professional-master-level leather crafters, and lots of folks in between. 

From the encouragement I receive on my writing, the wealth of shared knowledge in my leather guild (, the fellowship and camaraderie between pipe men/women around the globe, the generosity does overwhelm me and touch my heart. Let me give you a couple of examples, from my Facebook pipe group the ACPA, I wanted to share: one from last week, my original thought, and one surprise from today. 

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting a fellow West Virginian, now transplanted to Minnesota, for the first time in person. He was in the area, an hour or so away, and we met for a few hours of pipe smoking, talking and just getting to know each other better, followed by lunch at the world famous Hillbilly Hotdogs. It was a truly pleasurable day for us both, as our smiles give away!

Then, today I spoke via messenger with a gentleman, in every sense of the word, about a project he’s been working on. Well, I shall not go on about it all but he surprised me with an offer to trade goods/services at my convenience for a project already on its way to me! Humbled I was to say the least at his generosity and trust in me. 

The world is a big, scary place out there. And the World Wide Web has only made it smaller and, potentially, more dangerous. But take heart my friend! It has also allowed us to reach out and meet folks we would want to know, with values and interests like our own that we might otherwise only wish we could encounter. 

These guys and countless other unmentioned folks give me hope that the world hasn’t really degenerated to the cesspool it so often seems to be.   


One of my favorite entries for this prompt.

thoughts and entanglements


Carpe Diem Tokubetsudesu #45, The Beatitudes

The challenge was to write a haiku inspired by the Beatitudes.


blessings bestowed

paves the path to redemption

ongoing journey




“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they who mourn,
for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek,
for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they shall be satisfied.

Blessed are the merciful,
for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure of heart,
for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called children of God.

Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Gospel of St. Matthew 5:3-10

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The Night Terrors 

I suffer from peripheral neuropathy (PN), a condition similar to but different than that from diabetic neuropathy. Although a lot isn’t known about PN, there are some general symptoms that are often shared by those afflicted by it, including but not limited to: it generally starts and worsens at night (nocturnal progression), it can be caused by a wide variety of things, some of which are “unknown”, it is generally managed with medications to some degree (better in some patients and not so well with others), can strike without warning even when one is doing as they should to manage the disorder, and varies widely in its intensity and the location effected. 

Unlike many afflicted with PN, I don’t have too much trouble with the common symptoms of feeling numbness and “pins and needles”, similar to when ones hand/foot “falls asleep” but to a greater degree of discomfort and longer duration. My symptoms are mostly managed by proper diet and being well hydrated along with my medication. However, I sometimes experience a phenomena called “break through pain” where the pain overwhelms the medicine and my body and puts me in a miserable condition. 

My flesh, which is normally, for me, desensitized (I feel no sence of touch and almost no pain/feeling at all in the affected areas) becomes hypersensitive, to the point that even a sheet or blanket can’t touch it. The pains are best described as someone taking an ice pick, dipping it in acid, and then stabbing me over and over, in different spots and in untimed succession (they may be seconds – or less – apart or minutes of reprieve may be experienced. These “stabs” then cause muscles, which normally don’t work at all, to spasm, a different and unpleasant feeling altogether. 

I mention this today because I am coming off of a night of pain-filled sleeplessness due to a visit from, as I have not so endearingly dubbed then, “the night terrors”.  

At one point in my life I would go days, weeks even, with little to no rest due to these relentless demons attacking me frequently and regularly. One day I mentioned the misery I was experiencing to my neurosurgeon and he explained this side effect from the nerve damage that Cauda Equina Syndrome had caused. (If you are interested in more on CES, see my other pages or see these links:

Within weeks of starting on a new medication I felt relief for the first time in years. And, other than the now rare “break through” incidents I have, I feel and rest much better much more of the time. 

While the medicines do have their potential side effects, which God has mercifully spared me front, in my case at least the risk outweighed the benefits by a large margin.

If you are unlucky enough to suffer from PN I would highly encourage you to talk to your doctor, PCP, medical team, etcetera about your symptoms. While no cure is available at his time, relief is readily available. And I think you will be very pleasantly surprised by just how much relief you can obtain in a relatively short time frame. 

In the Beginning: a tanka

For me, knowing God, knowing He is who He says He is, knowing I’m one of His children is both easy and complex. I can show you the Scriptures, written over a period of several thousand years, that say what I know. I can tell you how long before any “religion” existed He was and how before “religions” that claim to be the oldest in existence are merely models of the Law God gave (first only one, to Adam, then more to Moses). I call tell you all of this but I can’t truly express what I know and feel inside of me. I can’t fully explain how it feels to know the Holy Spirit has touched you, that the Creator of everything that was, is, and will be answers my pleas to Him, the joy and peace inside me I have knowing I have been made new, born again of water and the Spirit. No, if you haven’t experienced it, I can’t fully express it to you. But I know and feel it deeply, passionately, intimately.


In the beginning
God created everything
We see, feel, hear, know

Now I’m reconciled to God
Through His only begotten

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.”
John 1:1-3

“Jesus answered, “Verily, verily I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
John 3:5

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”

Ephesians 2:4-7

Linked to Carpe Diem Haiku challenge #714 universal self.