flowers, haiku, humor, love, philosophy, photography

Gift of Silence

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Words ~ Pic and a Word Challenge

As Susie left home to start a new life with Dale, her mother watched and wondered.  Would the mixed marriage work?

Aware that sharing her worries would be unwelcome and unheeded, Mama let her words of warning remain unspoken and unheard.

susie-dale-mama_840x598

Wisely,  Mama kept silent despite having words to say.  Unwisely, some people run afoul of Wittgenstein’s Laws by breaking silence despite not having any sensible words to say.

Memo to Mystics
|Unless you can grab
|bubbles, you cannot put your
|wisdom into words.

soap-bubbles

haiku, humor, photography

Are U Lookin’ At Me?

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Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Farm Animals

are-u-looking-at-me_840x537

No, this cow did not lose an argument with a bucket of white paint.  Belted Galway cattle are bright white in the middle, with either brown or black fore and aft.  The white is usually in a neat band, much like the rust-colored band on a woolly bear caterpillar.  Maybe this cow’s sloppy band comes from too much time in a certain pub.

What the World Needs
|More silliness from
|those who know they are silly;
|less from the others.

flowers, music, photography

Visual Rondo

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Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Close Up or Macro

In music, a rondo is a piece with successive segments that go A-B-A-C-A-D…-A, where contrasting segments B, C, D, … are bracketed by repetitions of A that may vary slightly.  Let’s arrange some colorful closeups like a rondo that goes

A-B1-A-C-A-D-A-E-A-B2-A.

curtain-simple_840x102

spider-frm-above_840x630

curtain-simple_840x102
red-bug_840x897
curtain-simple_840x102

frizzy_840x536

curtain-simple_840x102

fungus_840x915

curtain-simple_840x102

spider-frm-side_840x531

curtain-simple_840x102

growing old, haiku, humor, philosophy

Old Age is a Mixed Bag

Yet again, classical literature says something complex and important, while leaving much for later generations to discover and say.  For now, I will shut up after 2 haiku.
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Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation #61
a new feature for the weekend … introduction

calls for Japanese-style poetry inspired by an excerpt from Plato.  (An excerpt from the excerpt appears below.)  Yet again, classical literature says something complex and important, while leaving much for later generations to discover and say.  For now, I will shut up after 2 haiku.

Plato-CDHK

“… the pleasures of youth and love are fled away: there was a good time once, but now that is gone, and life is no longer life.”

“… when the passions relax their hold, then, as Sophocles says, we are freed from the grasp not of one mad master only, but of many.”

“… for he who is of a calm and happy nature will hardly feel the pressure of age, but to him who is of an opposite disposition youth and age are equally a burden.”

“… I rather suspect that people … think that old age sits lightly upon you, not because of your happy disposition, but because you are rich, and wealth is well known to be a great comforter.”

Fond Memories
|Nostalgia for
|what never was (nor could have been):
|old man dreams of sex.
|
Still Standing
|Mellow curmudgeon
|shrugs off fate and stands proudly
|paradoxical.
haiku

What Waves Wash Ashore

I finished this haiku trilogy after Patrick Jennings’ Challenge #160 closed.  That’s OK.  Can’t rush barbecue.
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Pic-Word-Challenge-160_840x531

© Patrick Jennings | Contemplation ~ Pic and a Word Challenge #160

Waves #1
|Waves wash things ashore:
|bouyant trash from far away,
|driftwood, and sea weed.

Waves #2
|Synchronize your breath
|with the ebb and flow of waves.
|Feel the ocean’s pulse.

Waves #3
|Contemplate them all:
|driftwood, sea weed, even trash.
|Insights ride the waves.

 

fiction, humor, photography

Wondrous Weirdness — Why Am I Here?

The first edition of a new yearly Writers’ Co-op anthology is a little like a great surrealist painting by René Magritte, and that helps answer the question posed by the subtitle.
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The subtitle’s question is rhetorical, not an ancient conundrum.  Nearly all of the prose I read or write is nonfiction.  Why am I posting (for the third and final time) about a book of weird stories rather than about something in the endlessly fascinating Real World?

The tweetable answer begs the question.  Sure, I wrote one of the 35 stories.  (Click here to see blurbs for some of them.)  But why did I get involved in a substantial fiction project?  The answer is some nonfiction weirdness.

The call for submissions grabbed me in 2 ways:

  • Contributors could opt (as many indeed would) to have their shares of any royalties donated to the Against Malaria Foundation.
  • While weird things are often disturbing (when not merely weird), the call was emphatic about the possibility of being weird and funny (or even weird and funny and disturbing, all at once).

Hmmm.  Could some of the stories in this anthology be simultaneously weird and funny and thought-provoking?  Could they be a little like some of the best surrealist paintings?  The following photo doubles down on the idea behind a great painting by René Magritte:

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Seduced by the call for submissions, I took up the challenge of revising a fragment of weird fiction from a discussion of several poems (and comments) that involved various people, so as make a standalone short story that would be broader and even weirder.  After another revision in light of helpful comments from one of the editors (Atthys Gage), I believe that my story is good as well as weird.  It is also just 2 pages long, so even those who dislike it may still be glad they bought The Rabbit Hole for $2.99 as an e-book or $12.50 as an ink-on-paper book.

Do U have 0.5% of your Amazon purchases donated to a charity by Amazon Smile?  Thru 2018-11-02, the percentage will be 5% instead.

BTW, gecko lizards really can climb straight up hard, smooth walls.  Weird.  But they don’t speak with an Australian accent or tout insurance.  Not in this universe, anyway.

Providing a brief writer’s bio for the anthology prompted me to revise this blog’s grossly outdated About page.  The revised page has a new joke, a few links, and a nice photo.  A nice photo of me would be really weird, so the photo is of something else appropriate.

My other short forays into fiction are also weird.  Both are about an ancient Greek (but written in modern English): Plato watches baseball and copes with a hangover.

haiku, history

Motion in Haiku: Another Surprise

Like still photos, many haiku capture a moment in time.  My first foray into capturing motion in haiku yielded 2 surprises.  Here comes another, in time for the centennial on 2018-11-11 of the armistice that ended the fighting in World War I.
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Let’s start by summarizing the older surprises that I posted in response to a CDHK episode.  Credits for the images below are at the end of this post for readability.

The first surprise was that that so much motion could fit in a haiku:

Redemptive Trickle
|A shell exploded!
|Water slowly filled the hole
|and held the whole sky.

Of course, my haiku that is like a movie was inspired by this classic World War I haiku that is like a still photo:

© Maurice Betz
|A shell hole
|In its water
|Held the whole sky.

The second surprise was that I did not have a stable preference between these haiku.  Like someone viewing the classic ambiguous image that can be seen as a duck facing one way or as a rabbit facing the other, I flip-flopped between the still photo by Betz and the movie by me.  So did at least 2 readers of my old post.

Here is the new third surprise.  After writing yet another shell hole haiku, I finally have a stable preference.  My preferred haiku is like a movie that starts after the explosion:

Healing Trickle
|Water slowly filled
|the shell blast’s muddy crater.
|It held the whole sky.

Image Sources

Unable to find appropriate and affordable period images, I used contemporary images: a generic explosion and a puddle that looks much like the water-filled shell hole.  The puddle photo has been cropped to be more nearly square.

fiction, humor

Wondrous Weirdness — Worried Wabbit

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Rabbit-Hole_Worried-Rabbit
Our little friend is worried.  Mistaken for Bugs Bunny by Elmer Fudd’s hired hit man, (s)he was on the run for a while.  There was no chance to pause for rational thought about whether to get the prerelease discount on The Rabbit Hole by ordering the e-book before 2018-11-01.  Yes, being big on rationality is weird for a rabbit.  Some weirdness rubbed off when (s)he posed for the cover of the book, but there is still plenty inside.

The upside of ordering early is that (s)he could save $1; the downside is that (s)he would be trusting promotions like my previous post.  Should (s)he wait for a chance to use something like [Look Inside] on Amazon?  After release, the e-price would still be low at $2.99, and the ink-on-paper version would be an option at $12.50.  Decisions, decisions.

Maybe our little friend will feel better after reading blurbs for some of the 35 stories, ordered as in the book:

  • Foggy
    A father and daughter’s boating trip is ambushed by a mysterious, underwater tormentor.
  • I Should’ve Known Better
    There’s just one thing wrong with his beautiful luxury apartment: it’s a transdimensional portal.  Will the Flying Demon Things get him before he gets one of the centaur Babes?
  • The Scroll and the Silver Kazoo
    You never know who (or what) will show up at an open mic event.
  • Quicksilver Falls
    A mysterious phenomenon puts the future of the world in the hands of a simple Indiana farmer and sparks the world’s strangest writing competition.
  • Satori from a Consulting Gig
    Management consultant Frank Dow has a new client: God.
  • The Adventures of Conqueror Cat
    Herr Trinket (a sharp-eyed and even sharper-tongued shelter cat) traverses an interdimensional rabbit hole into poochlandia to explore the enduring dog-cat dichotomy.
  • Eggs On End
    Claudia had a secret: she was ordinary – agonizingly, mind numbingly ordinary.  But all that was about to change.  And it would all begin with eggs.
  • Life Changing
    Lawrence decides to exercise his brain to avoid his Alzheimer-stricken mother’s fate, but when his life twists beyond recognition, he can’t escape the possibility that lost minds must be somewhere.
  • Carolina Brimstone
    The passion of the zealot is proportional to the power of the demon inside.  Constance Hennfield’s fervor knows no bounds.

 

humor, philosophy, photography

Novice Philosopher Meets Old Yankee

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The novice bloviates.  Maybe people he has not met yet will try to set him straight.  They might say pretty much what the Yankee says, while making the points in ways that are gentler, longer, and subtler.  But not as funny.

… Why are we here? …

‘Cuz wer nawt theyah.

… What is the meaning of life? …

Wehrds need meanings; life don’t.

What happens when an irrestible force meets an immovable object?

We lehrn who was lyin’: the fellah sellin’ a fawhrs or the fellah sellin’ an awbject.
Hmmm.  Coulda been both.

Certainty is not exclusive to math and logic.
For example, no squirrel can get past the baffle on my bird feeder.

Ehyah??

squirrel_840x636

 

fiction, humor

Wondrous Weirdness — Prerelease Discount

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The first volume in a new Writers’ Co-op anthology series will be released on 2018-11-01:

Rabbit-Hole_840x1267

An e-book version can be preordered now by clicking on the image and then clicking on the button for your platform.  On the release date, the e-price will rise from $1.99 to $2.99.  There will be good news then also: oldsters like me will be able to buy the physical ink-on-paper version from Amazon.

For 3 of the 4 platforms reached from the link to The Rabbit Hole, the platform’s page has a nice summary of the contents and spirit of the anthology:

How do you like your weirdness?  A subtle nudge towards the untoward?  A quick zap of zany?  Or a full-on assault of aberration?  Whatever your taste, you’ll find it here, and many more strains of strange that you didn’t suspect existed.  From magic rain to a talking (severed) head, extraordinary eggs to belligerent birds, the stories in this collection enter the rabbit hole to explore its hidden corners and winding ways.  Through all the variety, what they have in common is originality, creativity and fine writing.

While I will wait for hard copy before reading the whole thing, I really have read several of the stories (not just the one I contributed).  I solemnly swear (or affirm) that the following paragraph is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

The Rabbit Hole‘s first edition has 35 diverse selections by 35 authors.  Anybody with a taste for weirdness has a good chance of finding some things they like.  Moods are as varied as lengths, which run from 1 to 17 pages (with 7.6 as the average).  There is humanity and humor as well as some darkness and much weirdness.

(reblog), haiku, photography

Pastel Synergy

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This post ends with 2 haiku, each inspired by a photo of clouds imitating clams.  I took the calm photo; Sue Ranscht took the dramatic one.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Pastel Colors

Tho I usually prefer deeply saturated colors, I love the pastel pink and green sometimes seen in a cloud, when the angles are just right in the triangle formed by the cloud and the sun and the viewer.  At my latitude, it is a rare sight.  I have had just one chance to photograph the elusive synergy of pastel pink and green:

IMG_2199_CSTC_less-blue_800x414


Dramatic photos of pink and green in clouds can be seen by searching online for

[mother-of-pearl clouds] or [nacreous clouds].

There is also the marvel by Sue Ranscht that appears below.  Fair warning: the image credit links to a post in a series, with a striking image for each episode in a fantasy epic.  The series is so addictive that it hooked me despite my aversion to fantasies and impatience with epics.

elliot-275a-s-t-ranscht_800x403

© Sue Ranscht | Space, Time, and Raspberries

Clams in the Clouds #1
|Serene clouds
|give mother-of-pearl
|to old eyes.
Clams in the Clouds #2
|Molten pewter clouds:
|some are tinted pink or green.
|Abalone shell.

flowers, humor, photography

Vibrant Synergy

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Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Vibrant Colors

I like the synergy when a few good things up their game by working together, as with peanuts and chocolate.  When they do not clash, bright colors can work together in vibrant synergy.

Pink and Green:

IMG_2223_840x592

Magenta and Yellow (with a bee):

purple-yellow_840x825

With help from blue and green, the pink and yellow flowers in the following photo team up to illustrate a deep truth about statistics.  Really.

Outside of CFFC, I posted the photo along with a beautiful image found on the web that espresses the same deep truth in another way.  Both ways have no equations, no jargon, and no saturated fat.  Click on the photo to see the details.

daff_pink-rebel._Yellow-10_840x960

 

(reblog), flowers, haiku, photography

Calm, Cool, and CollectING

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Carpe Diem’s Quest For A (New) Masterpiece
#3 the quest continues

My latest haiku came quickly when I saw a superb photo by Cee Neuner.  While I gave the haiku a title to make it intelligible w/o the photo, I also requested and received permission to share the photo in a post.

red-yellow-dahlia_bee

© Cee Neuner

Red and Yellow Dahlia
|Amid swirling flames,
|pollen and nectar beckon.
|Bee stays calm and cool.