The Lighter Side of JzB

Here you will find photos, poetry, and possibly some light-hearted foolishness. For the Heavier Side
of JzB
see my other blog,
Retirement Blues. (There be dragons!)

I claim copyright and reserve all rights for my original material of every type and genre.

Every day visits*
From Moose, Goose, and Orb Weaver
All seized by Haiku

"Why moose and goose?" you may ask. Back on 2/04/13 Pirate wrote a haiku with an elk in it, and I responded with
one with a moose and then included him every day. A few days later in comments Mystic asked "Where's the goose?"
So I started including her with this post on 2/07. A week later on the 14th, Mark Readfern
asked for and received a spider. The rest is history.

*Well, most days, anyway. Grant me a bit of poetic license.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Carpe Diem #675

I'll admit that sometimes - OK, often - poetry baffles me.  So it was with yesterday's CD entry.  I simply could not wrap my head around it.  The inspirational poem was totally opaque to me, and I couldn't find any way to relate.  Today, the painting, as odd as it is, gives me something to grab onto. 

My impression: I do find this picture to be quite illusionary, evocative, and perhaps even elusive.  Where does one house end and the next begin?  How many structures are there?  The roof lines in particular seem almost surreal, the perspective is weirdly off kilter, and the lighting seems unnatural.

None of this is intended as criticism - it's just an accounting of how the picture strikes me. 

amid the lush fields
of the sunny countryside
a shadowed manor


this old rambling house
what mysteries does it hold
in its shadowed halls


under the thatched eaves
in the deep purple shadows
orb weaver's secret


who would imagine
van gogh as a house painter
what a big surprise


all those stars and fields
why did van gogh never paint
a moose and a goose


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

L.A. Times Crossword puzzle Blogging

 Wednesday, February 25, 2015  Jeffrey Wechsler

Theme: ROLE PLAYING IN A WELL STAGED PUZZLE.  Common movie or theater roles are humorously recast [so to speak] as belonging to people in appropriately considered occupations.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Carpe Diem Haiku Writing Techniques #8

I love this example:

just one leaf
struggles with the wind
like Basho

© Chèvrefeuille


My thoughts:

shining green gecko
between the tree and the grass
hunting the cricket


learn about the rose
ponder its lovely blossoms
ponder its thorns


the secret ingredient
in light beer

 © JzB


The 2/24 Tuesday Platform


On 50 Shades

I had 50 hot cups today
Of milky and sweet Earl Grey,
‘Cuz that’s what it took

To get through this book.
Now babe are you ready to play?

On 50 Shades of Gumby

I’d say it’s nifty and keen
To get kinky with someone who’s green
But I’d prefer a fuzz muppet 
To a clammy clay puppet
It’s more cozy, ya know what I mean

On and on

The cat couldn’t hack up his fur ball
After he swallowed the gerbil
He gets no relief
As he struggles to breath
And he’s turning 50 shades of purple

Summa Appoligica

These modern times most poets won’t
Object to rhymes made on a slant
Keep everything right 
With rhythm that’s tight
And rhyming can be nicely bent

On learning the word "doggo"

My doggie avoids every fight
‘Cuz fights give him such a bad fright

So he’ll always try
To carefully lie
Doggo in the still of the night

On trading verses with Mad Kane on Facebook

I’m dancing with Maddie Begun
Kane and we’re having such fun
Tripping light and airy
With vocabulary
Now that the beguine has begun

That's all folks

Imaginary Garden With Real Toads

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Carpe Diem # 672 and Imaginary Garden Play It again #14

If any of my Imaginary Garden peeps are interested in haiku I highly recommend Chèvrefeuille's Carpe Diem Haiku Kai.   This month we are exploring impressionist paintings, and today's selection is “Sonce” (Sun) by Slovenian impressionist Rihard Jakopič (1869-1943).

Obviously, the I G archive challenge I've chosen is Grace's Old Pond from 2/15/12.  
The key idea this painting is chosen to illustrate is Summer.  I am keying on the sun as a summer kigo.  Also, I'll point out a couple of other haiku techniques.  In English language haiku the cutting word is often implied by what is known as phrase and fragment structure.   With this approach, between the phrase and fragment is an implies caesura, and grammar, as such, is not particularly important.  In fact, a specific goal is to avoid a 17 syllable run-on sentence.  Another goal in an elegant haiku is first-third line interchangeability.  The idea is that if you read the lines in reverse order, the ideas and images persist.   I'll try to illustrate that with my group of three examples.  A haiku should also suggest a deeper meaning.  I'm not sure I've achieved that.

Here's a remarkable summer song that I'll pay homage to along the way.

Here are three haiku with very different takes on the summer sun.

in the cotton fields
black men stooped under the sun
work does not make free


as the bright sun proves
sumer is icumin in
sing lusty cuckoo


sun’s bright morning light
over blooms and my window
lazy bee hovers


Friday, February 20, 2015

Carpe Diem Time Machine #4

This prompt is from November, 2012.

Paloma gives us a painting by Van Gogh.

Vincent Van Gogh.  Langlois Bridge at Arles with Women Washing, 1888. Wikimedia.

 My inspired haiku doesn't quite work, I think.   Maybe I still want nudes.

by yellow bridge arch
on the water round ripples
shoreline lady’s curves


There is a clump of yellow crocuses that emerges in our yard every spring, with one purple interloper.  In keeping with the Time Machine concept, here's a picture I took in March, 2012.  These blooms are so fragile and transitory, I'm concerned that March, 2015 will be very rude to them.

 Do you see the honey bee?

  these ephemeral blooms
shining in their brief beauty
  a bee hovers near

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Imaginary Garden February List

From grapeling:

I got to thinking how close yet how far some words are, and started thinking of pairs that share a root, as it were, but not necessarily a sense. So not tense/intense, which are closely related, but... well, these:

miss / remiss
deem / redeem
wager / dowager
pulse / repulse
file / defile
peat / repeat
sent / absent

Your challenge is to select at least 2 of these pairs - or come up with a pair of pairs of your own, words that share common spelling but not common meaning - and weave them into a *new* poem, however you please.


Well, I'm in limerick mode.  I hope weaving them into two separate, unconnected verses doesn't violate the terms too severely.


The snake thought that he'd be remiss
To not tempt the lovey young miss
So he did his foul duty,
Enticed with things fruity;
And she gave Adam's apple a kiss


The dowager wanted to gamble
So to the casino she’d amble
And wager on red
Till her coin purse was dead
Then beat it home in a mad scramble


Carpe Diem Special #133

From Paloma:

For today, we return to our featured poet, Fuyuko Tomita. Here is a wonderful tanka I think we can all relate to:


Sansan to/ sosogu asahi no/fuzukue ni/ nokosu mikan no/ uta zo samishiki

How lonely I would be
left behind on my desk
an unfinished poem
in the glorious morning sun  

© Fuyuko Tomita 


I do have an unfinished poem haunting me, but that is not likely to be resolved any time soon.  And that is not what this poem makes me think of.  Instead it's the idea of loneliness itself.

My mother-in-law passed away in January two years ago.  She spent the last few months of her life in a nursing home.  It was not a happy place.   My lovely wife made a round trip of about 150 miles almost every other day to see her, and check on her situation and care.   There were many people there living out their last days who never had a visitor.  

she sits on her bed
nurses coming and going
making duty rounds

one more sunday afternoon
 nobody comes to visit


My other thought was of a loveless marriage.  Ever have one of those?  I did once.  It is the most exquisite agony.

the worst loneliness
feeling left out and ignored
when you’re with someone

in the cold hard marriage bed
two people with their backs turned


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Tree Word Wednesady #415

Today's Words:


In my view, all of human history displays two overarching themes:
1) warfare,
2) the desire of a small privileged elite group of leeches to dominate the rest of the population.

These both result from greed.  To the greedy, no amount is ever enough.  Whatever you have, they want, and they are coming to get it.

sober assessment
when will we evolve enough
to be content

Carpe Diem #671

~~ my impressions ~~

girl with a bouquet
among the pleasure seekers
thinking about love


in the tree shadow
under the umbrellas
shades of meaning


ignoring others
in the colonnade of trees
two lovers walking


at the water's edge
on this sunny afternoon