Category Archives: Uncategorized

Maguey: FOTD, Sept 17, 2020

Click on photo to enlarge.

This Maguey has serrated leaves that I have found by experience can be dangerous, but they are so beautiful, that I keep them around anyway. And no, I never remember to wear gloves and sleeves when I work around them., and have the scars to prove it. They do flower, but not at the moment.

For Cee’s FOTD

Verbalizing English

I love Christine Goodnough’s story concerning the coinage of absurd verbs. Hope you do, too.

Christine's Collection

As often happens, an article on another blog has fired my mental cylinders and — coupled together with some peeves I’ve already petted — has generated enough sparks to inspire a story.

The culpritical article in this case, is Merriam-Webster’s Great Big List of List of Words You Love to Hate.All your favorite pet peeves in one location.

This has touched a nerve. My past musings, after seeing the word HEROIZE in an article, were about how some writers have such a love of making nouns into verbs, and/or mangling both. Heroize is actually an old word that’s never caught on well, but M-W’s article has given me a few new words to grind my teeth on: CONVERSATE,COMMENTATE, and INCENTIVIZE. Shriek!

Biff has done another Whatnot Wednesday prompt post again; since this post definitely fits in the “Whatnot” class, I’ll give him a nod for that…

View original post 364 more words

Home (A Nonet for dVerse Poets)

                                                                              Home

Broken shadows across the cracked ground
flow together when skies darken.
As night birds start to call,
we start our long walk
to that place where
light returns 
when we
do.

The opening line of this Nonet is a line from the poem “To the Light of September” by  W.S. Merwin. According to the nonet rules, each line had one less syllable, descending from nine to one.

For the dVerse Poets prompt

Alfresco

Click on photos to enlarge.


Alfresco

This gentle little zephyr does not make a din.
We hardly know that it’s a breezy day that we are in!
We step so lightly over the smooth and green terrain
that we barely notice that it’s begun to rain.

Our bedroom’s warm and cozy. I suppose we should go home,
but nature’s made a softer bed in grass spread over loam.
You once called me nature’s child, and today it’s true.
The whole world is a comfy nest when I am with you.

The grass provides a mattress, the trees spread overhead
form a perfect canopy for our alfresco bed.
It is a perfect ending to our day of roaming
to wait here for the evening star, together in the gloaming.

Word prompts for today are din, zephyr, terrain, suppose, and bedroom.

Stay of Execution


Pardon by Way of a Higher Power

There was  a stay of execution, and the prisoner was relieved.
The executioner, in a turmoil, was sorely aggrieved.
If he couldn’t fire incessantly, it put him off his game.
And yet he couldn’t argue with the one who was to blame.
Sometimes it was the law that won, and sometimes the sinner.
He cut his prisoner free and then shuffled off to dinner.
“Does Jimmy want to stay to eat?” his mom was heard to say,
“I can call his mom to ask her, if he wants to stay.”
But the sheriff told his mom that since he wasn’t ichthyophagous,
a tuna sandwich wouldn’t make it past his friend’s esophagus!

Prompt words today are stay, incessant, ichthyophagous, turmoil and game. What travesties of plot these prompts sometimes force upon us!!!

I Pledge Allegiance…

Another great short talk by Beau thanks to Forgottenman.

serial monography: forgottenman's ruminations

Carey Wedler, a cohort of Beau of the Fifth Column, shows us what the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance looks like when you remove the chaff:
Beau, as you might expect (if you recall my past postings of his rants) has a wonderful follow-up critique:

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Do-It-Yourself!

Executing

Do-It-Yourself!

He’d written the definitive how-to-do-it guide,
but needed a good editor, so I had applied.

He was a woodsy sort of bloke, self-confident and curious,
but once I got to know him, I found him to be spurious.

Though he seemed independent, when I asked him to replace
a light bulb in its socket, he did a turn-of-face.

He balked and had a certain emergency of bladder
when asked if he would simply climb up on a ladder!

It seems the very sort of jobs he taught us to be doing,
due to his acrophobia, were ones he was eschewing!

When it came to home improvement, he was words upon a shelf,
giving literal meaning to the term “do-it-yourself!”

Prompt words today are woodsy, replace, independent, editor and spurious.

My Day So Far, Sept 12, 2020

I awoke this morning on my own, some time before 8, having had 8 full hours of sleep–a rarity for me. I awoke without assistance from the cat or the dogs or both–another rarity. Stepped on the scales and then went into the bathroom to try on “the” pants–the ones hung up a month or so ago as a reminder that I needed to get serious about losing some of the weight I’ve gained during this isolation period–not to mention the weight I’d gained before. I’d hung them up as a goal. When I could actually zip them up, I would have passed the first milestone.  And guess what? They zipped up, albeit with some heavy inhaling to execute the zipper and button. 

A few days ago, my sister mentioned going on a fast diet. Very simple. You could eat anything you wanted to, but only within a 5 hour period each 24 hours. She had chosen 3 to 8 PM. She encouraged me to try it (even not having seen those khakis hanging like a flag of shame on my bathroom towel rack.) I remembered that my friend Blue had lost 34 pounds in the past six months on such a diet and later my friend Brad reminded me he’d lost 20 lbs. on it. Or was it 40?

And so, four days ago, I started on it myself, choosing the dining hours of 4-9 PM initially, then after doing more research that said that any shorter eating period than 6 hours didn’t really improve rate of loss, I gave myself a one-hour cushion. If I am hungry at 3, I can start then, or if I’ve started at 4, occasionally extend beyond the 9 PM mark. My problem is that I decided I would eat one meal at 4 (or 3) and then have my usual morning smoothie that night before my curfew. But, I get busy and two nights in a row noticed that it was 8:45–or 8:57–and I still hadn’t had it. Fast action the first night meant I got the smoothie made and drunk before the 9 PM cutoff. The other time I was 3 minutes over. 

At any rate, adhering strictly to these rules and having no others makes it a perfect diet for me after a lifetime of counting calories, carbohydrates or points. Somehow, it helps not to have to worry about food. I can eat half of that small pizza in the freezer–but now I choose yellow peppers and green olives to top it  rather than pepperoni. I can have yogurt and fruit, but skip the ice cream. Bread is not a no-no. I just limit the hours of its consumption. At yesterday’s weigh-in, I’d lost 3 pounds. Today it is down to 2. Not gonna worry about it. My friend visited yesterday with a Caesar salad and forced me to drink two gin and tonics. Life is to be lived. At least I drank them within my 6 hour period. 

7.2 pounds down (I’d lost a bit before beginning the fast) and I’m not telling how far to go. Gotta go now and find a new pair of pants as a goal.

Long Weekend (A Remodeled Poem for dVerse Poets)

Long Weekend

Her shoes on the floor next to the pot-bellied stove
do not have holes in them, as her father said,
but rather triangles and rectangles
and everyone is wearing them
laced up to below the ankle.
Her friend Marjorie, who has lots of shoes
but no boots, has pink ones
and Sheryl has a white pair
and even my new stepdaughter’s real mother has shoes like this.

Her used Band-Aid lies in fetal position
on the new white sofa cushion,
her hair twister on the kitchen counter
along with a handful of pens grabbed from my desk
and then abandoned,
her clothes like crumbs of her
scattered down the hall.

She is asleep in the loft of my study,
in the nest she has chosen
for a place to stash herself, along
with those collected objects of my past
that have captured her fancy as she helped
with our unpacking of boxes.
With them, she has created a little world within our world:
a painted blown egg from the Tucson street fair,
assorted brushes and antique hair rollers,

hair combs I bought in Peking, African baskets to put them in,
a beach chair, a sheepskin rug, and her stuffed dog.

Stealing into my study to find paper and my one remaining pen,
I hear her gentle pre-teen snores from the high space
at the top of the ladder on the wall behind my desk.
My new daughter––with us for our first weekend
as we open boxes in our new house.

The bouquet of wildflowers on the bookcase––
California poppies, creeping Jenny, sprays of honeysuckle.
She has learned all their names, along with moss roses, aloe vera and lobelia,
collecting them in her sorties out to the deck to scare away the jays
and feed their peanuts to the squirrels.

She loves this house and wanted to unpack one more box
before bedtime—my bathroom box that held handy hair rubbers
and the tiny Chinese combs ––both of them speedily added to her purloined collection.

She calls me Mom, her knee sticking through her Christmas tights.
She is a girl I can’t keep together—
already a hole in the turquoise top we bought together yesterday—
four tops, four pairs of tights
and a pink jacket.
Socks, next visit.

When she leaves to go back home, I plant Dahlias and purple Salvia.
I find the hidden box of toothbrush, toothpaste, and acne medicine
she has secreted in her loft above as though staking her claim.
I find cups to put them in,
put them on the counter in the bathroom next to ours.

 

For dVerse Poets. Here is the challenge:

  1. Pick a poem you’ve already written — a favourite, one that needs a second look, one that never reached its full potential (maybe a shorter one for tonight’s exercise). This is the ‘before poem’.
  2. Make a copy and give it the “Bök test” – highlight all the nouns – could they be more concrete, more specific? now do the same with the verbs — can they be more active? Now do the same with the adjectives & adverbs…
  3. Look for the uncanny – can you find a ‘rainforest of chandeliers’, ‘a sky as blue as a car accident,’ ‘a speech as hard as a machine gun’?
  4. Publish both poems – the ‘before’ and ‘after’ – on your blog.
  5. Did anything surprise you? Did the poem lurch off in an unexpected direction, like a body laid out in a mortuary suddenly sitting up and asking for a cheese sandwich?

And here is the original poem, written in June of 1987:

Long Weekend

Her shoes on the floor next to the pot-bellied stove
do not have holes in them, as her father said,
But rather triangles and rectangles
And everyone is wearing them
Laced up to below the ankle.
Marjorie, who has lots of shoes
but no boots, has pink ones
and Sheryl has a white pair
and even her real mother has shoes like this.

Her used Bandaid curled on the white sofa cushion,
Her hair twister on the kitchen counter
Along with a handful of borrowed pens,
Her clothes like crumbs of her
Scattered in the hall.

She is asleep in the loft
in the nest where she has collected my lost belongings,
captured from their packing boxes–
the painted blown egg from the Tucson street fair–
the hair combs from Peking––baskets to put them in––
a beach chair, sheepskin, her stuffed dog.

Stealing into my study to find paper and a pen that works,
I hear her gentle pre-teen snores
from the high space
at the top of the ladder above my desk.
Our new house, my new daughter –with us for our first weekend
as we open boxes.

The bouquet of wildflowers on the table__
California poppies, creeping jenny, sprays of honeysuckle.
She collects them in between the squirrels
and saving peanuts from the jays,
learning all the names of moss roses, aloe vera and lobelia.

She loves this house and wants to unpack one more box
Before bedtime—a bathroom box that might hold hair rubbers
and the tiny Chinese comb missing from her purloined collection.
She calls me Mom, her knee sticking through her Christmas tights.
She is a girl I can’t keep together—

Already a hole in the turquoise top we bought together
Yesterday—four tops, four pairs of tights
And a pink jacket.
Socks, next time.

When she leaves, I plant Dahlias and purple Salvia.
I find a better basket for her hair curlers and brushes,
I find the hidden box of childrens’  toothbrushes, find cups,
Put them under the sink in the guest bathroom.