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.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

L. A. Times Crossword puzzle Blogging

Wednesday, March 8, 2015  D. Scott Nichols & C.C. Burnikel

Theme - THE WEARIN' O' THE GREEN.  Nope - nothing to do with St. Pat - that was last month. In fact, this puzzle, for reasons that will soon become clear, is much more timely than that.  I'm referring to the iconic item of apparel given to the winner of a sporting event which will be identified shortly.

17 A. Hold banned in amateur wrestling : FULL NELSON.  This hold is more easily pictured than described.

Byron NELSON was the winner of the subject event in 1937 and 1942, the latter in a playoff with Ben Hogan - before my time.

24 A. Premier League athlete : SOCCER PLAYER.  The English Premier League is where professionals play a sport known as "football" most everyplace except here in the U.S.  Gary PLAYER, from South Africa was the winner in 1961, 1974 and 1978.

40 A. Innocents : BABES IN THE WOODS.  This is the title of a gruesome traditional childrens' tale, first published in 1595, then passed into every-day speech to indicate any inexperienced or unwary persons thrust into hazardous situations.  Tiger WOODS is perhaps more famous now for his adventurous personal life that his sporting feats; but he once dominated his sport, and won the subject event in 1997, 2001, 2002, and 2005. Looks like he will participate this year.

52. Influential teams : POWER COUPLES.  From the Urban Dictionary: "A couple who seems to have a fairy tale romance. Also, both parties involved in the power couple have tremendous influence over people around them because of their devastating good looks* and seemingly perfect relationship with their significant other. 

*the most common type of power couple is between a male athlete and an actress and/or singer."

Fred COUPLES, the only one-time winner in the puzzle, took the prize in 1992.

It should be obvious by now that the the sport is golf, and the unifier gives us the event.  65A. April golf tournament, four of whose winners appear in 17-, 24-, 40- and 52-Across : THE MASTERS tournament, an event held every April at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, GA.  It is the first of golf's four major championships held in 2015.   Each year the winner is awarded the iconic green blazer.

This year's MASTERS starts tomorrow, so the puzzle is right on time. And did you notice the constructors?  Our own fearless leader and prolific puzzle maven C.C. along with Monday-Tuesday blogging stalwart, Santa Baby.  More feathers in the corner cap.   Yay team!

Let see if our friends have given us a rough time or treated us in a fair way.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Carpe Diem #699

Kristjaan tells us that in the Bhagavad Gita:

"Arjuna stood in the middle of the both armies and had a conversation with Krishna about life and death.

Arjuna becomes sad and depressed as he sees the enemy armies in which his friends, family-members and teachers are gathered. And he becomes anxious ... how can he fight against his best friends and family?

Having thus spoken in the midst of the battlefield, Arjuna, casting away his bow and arrow, sat down on the seat of the chariot with his mind overwhelmed with sorrow."

Krishna councils Arjuna on why he must stay and fight.

Krishna asserts that only one who has the capacity to be balanced in pleasure and pain alike is fit for immortality. Krishna goes on to tell Arjuna that if he refuses to fight and flees from the battle, people will be justified in condemning such action as unworthy of a warrior.

~  and  ~

Arjuna is eager to know the characteristics of a man who has a stable mind. Such a person, Krishna tells him, will have no desires at all. Since he is content within, having realized the Self, he is entirely free from desires. The consciousness of the Atman and abandonment of desires are simultaneous experiences.” 

For me, the last paragraph informs the preceding one in a way that is certainly not intended.

If Arjuna is wise, he will understand that the battle is antithetical to being in balance - it is all about desire - either for conquest or to avoid being conquered, to be alive and whole at the end of the day, or - worst of all - for honor, which is a manifestation of pure ego.  Further, he will realize that those who would condemn him for not acting as a warrior is expected to act are imposing their desires on him.

So - what is the balanced man to do? 

krishna has it wrong
battle is out of balance
and fraught with desire 


arjuna's wisdom
not caring what people think
he leaves the battle


Thursday, April 2, 2015

C D Special #140

"The goal is to write/compose an all new haiku inspired on the given haiku and in the same sense, tone and spirit as the given verse/haiku."

morning prayers
the rising sun between
my hands

© Kala Ramesh


westering sun falls
beneath the dense cloud blanket
michigan sunset

© JzB

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Carpe Diem #698

The chariot is a means of rapid conveyance, with it's use dedicated mostly - but not exclusively - to warfare.  It was also used for sports like hunting and racing, and also as a means of rapid, uncomfortable transport.

But I think of the chariot as a war machine; and in my view war is always about expropriation - the greed of one people to take away what another people have, be it land, material wealth, resources, or a population that can be reduced to slavery.

So I see the chariot as an instrument of evil.

charging quick as wind
these horses men and weapons
death and destruction


sons fathers brothers
all dead now ravaged by war
horses smell of blood


all that we had
gone with that wind blown malice
and now we are slaves


Carpe Diem Ghost Writer #41

The challenge is to use the given hokku as a springboard in writing a no renga of no more than 12 stanzas, with alternating 3 and 2 line form.  This should be based on associations that connect the stanzas in some way.  "The last link has to make the 'circle complete' and in that way has a link with the first verse. That last verse is called 'ageku'."


such a malice
cherry blossoms in full bloom
the Spring wind!

© Chèvrefeuille


such a malice
cherry blossoms in full bloom
the Spring wind!

pink petals in wild flight
a wonder to observe

destructive wind gust
incomprehensible blast
such force of nature

in the pink blossom glow
first touch of new lovers

in the swirling wind
trees uprooted - seeds scattered
the circle of life

under the swaying branches
the tickle of soft petals

birds on the wing
struggling against the wind
return to their nests

in the shelter of the trees
shudder of entwining limbs

calm after the storm
a spray of broken blossoms
pink petals scattered

at that quiescent moment
pink blossom glow - no malice

© JzB


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Carpe Diem #697

The Druids associated the willow with both water and the moon - enhancements for intuitive and psychic abilities, and therefore symbolic of inspired imagination than can lead to a clearer and deeper understanding of the world we live in.

The willow is also remarkably flexible and adaptable.  It's example reminds us to "keep growing and reaching higher, no matter where we're planted."

leafy arms outstretched
seeking both moon and water
what dreams can you bring


tested under stress
to bend but never to break
flexible willow


forlorn lover sighs
shelter me in your branches
willow weep for me


Sunday, March 29, 2015

Carpe Diem #696

dripping wet and nude
in a shower with no soap
a dreamy rain dance


plump sweet nudity
such voluptuous beauty
it’s only human


nobody i know

naked once again
remember long years ago
i was born this way


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

L. A. Times Crossword Puzzle Blogging

Wednesday, March 25, 2015  Carol Lachance

Theme: What makes you think my SPRINGs are dirty?  The theme answers all begin with things used in washing SPRINGS or possibly other things.

16 A. Like some watches : WATER RESISTANT.  Able to withstand some degree of immersion or soaking, because WATER PROOF is too difficult or expensive to achieve.  WATER - the source of all life, and most cleaning solutions.

22 A. Bath floater : SOAP BUBBLE.   As illustrated.   SOAP is the emulsifier that allows non-polar substances to mix with WATER, so you can CLEAN them up.

35. Patchwork plaything : RAG DOLL.  The cloth used for wiping up is often an old tee shirt or some other kind of RAG.  Alernatively, DOLLS can be made from them.

No extra charge for this musical interlude.

Four Seasons includes Spring

47 A. Running a marathon may be on it : BUCKET LIST.  Things to do before your time runs out and the bucket must be kicked. 

It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World  

Running a marathon - or anything else - is not on mine.  A BUCKET can hold all the rest of the theme entries used in the unifier --

53. Project suggested by the starts of 16-, 22-, 35- and 47-Across : SPRING CLEANING.  Annual ritual of brightening up the home after the dreary shut-down months of winter.

Or this

Hi gang, JazzBumpa here to remind you that the calendar says it's SPRING, no matter what is going on outside your window.   Let's see if this puzzle is well seasoned, and whether we can clean it up.


1. Visits : STOPS AT.  

8. Legal test, familiarly : THE BAR.   Qualifying examination for prospective lawyers.

14. Reporter's needs : SOURCES.  People with information.

15. Punk rock surname : RAMONE.  A pseudonym adopted by all the band members. I never paid much attention.  Here is a rather innocuous example of their style.

California Sun

18. Cost-of-living fig. : CPI.  Consumer Price Index.  A relative measure of the prices paid by typical consumers for retail goods and other items, used to indicate the level of inflation. Denialists claim the the CPI grossly understates real inflation, but the independent Billion Prices Project actually tracks very well with it.

19. Feed in a bag : OATS.  Horse feed and cereal grain for humans.

20. "Am __ the right track?" : I ON.   Inquiry by one who is uncertain about how to proceed.  If you're cleaning, straightening and simplifying, I'd say yes.

26. Gumbo veggie : OKRA.  And crossword staple.

27. Nylons, fishnets, etc. : HOSIERY.  Leg coverings.

28. Petty squabbles : SPATS.

29. Penny-__ : ANTE.  Low stakes poker game, and by extension anything of little value.

30. "I'll have another" responder : BARKEEP.   Not the bar we spoke of earlier.  Libation provider in a tavern.

34. Neon, or fuel for a Neon : GAS.   Clever clue.  Neon is the GAS, i.e. vapor, in eponymous lamps, and GASoline is the fuel for the Neon, a now defunct Chrysler Corp. vehicle

36. Public image, briefly : REPutation.

39. Freaked out : GONE APE.  Lost it

40. One-eighties : UEYS.  U-turns - sharp turns into the opposite direction.

41. Freak out : SPOOK.  Frighten or startle - I suppose I could be spooked by a freak, but not by this clecho.

44. Shows proof of : EVINCES.  Provides evidence for.

46. Player with a record 14 100-RBI seasons : A-ROD.  He sat out last season, suspended for violating the MLB drug use policy.  Looks like he's back this year.

50. '90s "SNL" regular Meadows : TIM.

51. "__ Jim" : LORD.  Joseph Conrad novel from 1900.

52. Knack for snappy comebacks : WIT.   Quick and clever.

59. River through Toledo : MAUMEE.  The Muddy MAUMEE.  I've crossed this river thousands of time, twice as recently as Saturday.

60. Hall who won on "Celebrity Apprentice" in 2012 : ARSENIO.

61. Linen closet stack : SHEETS.  Bed coverings.

62. Jones with a diary : BRIDGET.  Played in the movie by Renee Zellweger, who, post surgery, no longer resembles herself - thus no picture.  I haz a sad.  


1. Cincinnati-to-Nashville dir. : SSW.

2. Shelley's "__ Skylark" : TO A.  Hail to thee, blithe Spirit! Etc, Etc  .  .  .

No extra charge for this musical interlude.


3. Pariahs : OUTCASTS.   Those who are socially shunned.  Derived from the lowest population caste in Southern India.

4. Private school student : PREPPIE.  Prep School attendee.

5. Parchment user : SCRIBE.   Record keeper.  Now it's all electrons.

6. Atmo- kin : AER-.  Prefix that denotes having to do with the air or the atmosphere.  Pretty Literal.

7. "Ash Wednesday" poet's monogram : TSE. Thomas Stearns Eliot [Sep 26, 1888 - Jan 4, 1965] American essayist, playwright, social critic and poet.

Because I do not hope to turn again
Because I do not hope
Because I do not hope to turn

8. __ by fire : TRIAL.  An ancient judicial practice to determine guilt or innocence by subjecting the accused to an arduous and dangerous task.  In these more enlightened times, merely the ability to perform well under pressure.

9. Speed : HASTE.  Be quick about it, now.

10. Ambulance VIPs : EMTS.  Emergency Medical Technicians are trained to respond quickly to emergency situations regarding medical issues, traumatic injuries and accident scenes.

11. Fluffy scarf : BOA.

12. Golfer Sorenstam, who was among the first women to become honorary members of St Andrews golf club in February 2015 : ANNIKA.   To the best of my knowledge, she is not related to Luke Skywalker.

13. Comeback : RETORT.  A witty reply.

17. More than sniffle : SOB.  Degrees of crying.

21. "One Mic" rapper : NAS.    Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones [b Dec 14, 1973]

22. Carpet type : SHAG.  With deep pile.

23. The last Mrs. Chaplin : OONA.  [May 14, 1925 - Sep 27, 1991] Charlie's fourth wife, and daughter of Nobel and Pulitzer prize winning playwright Eugene O'Neill.  Her Granddaughter, named for her, is an actress with many film and TV credits, including the part of Talisa Maegyr Stark in HBO's Game of Thrones.

24. __ renewal : URBAN.  Redevelopment in a city, often by removing slums.

25. How some wines are sorted : BY AGE.

26. Facing: Abbr. : OPPosite

28. Pommes frites sprinkling : SEL.   French salt for French fries.

31. Nutritional stat : RDA.  Recommended Dietary Allowance.

32. Coin for Putin : KOPEK.  One one-hundredth of a Ruble.

33. École attendee : ELEVE.    I suppose this is French for student, though I can't get Google translate to admit it.

35. Korean soldier : ROK. For Republic Of Korea.

36. Speaking from memory : RECITING.

37. Spud sprouts : EYES.    These can be cut from the tuber and planted to grow plants that are clones of the parent.  New varieties are grown from seeds.  Why eyes?  I'd know if I were wise.

38. Furtive attention-getter : PSST.

39. Saturn, for one : GOD.  Roman equivalent of the Greek Cronus.  Complex mythology.

40. Like sketchbook paper : UNLINED.  Blank.

41. Collected dust : SAT.  Was idle.

42. Rainbow makers : PRISMS.   They divide light according to wavelength, due to a refractive index difference from air and the angles a which the light enters and exits.

43. Big brass output : OOMPAH.  Tuba speak

Probably not what you're expecting

45. Formal admission : IT WAS I.  

47. Lisa of "Enemy of the State" : BONET.   Even after all these years, probably still better known as Denise Huxtable, though.

48. They can be hard to fight : URGES.   Those things you want to do.

49. Atlanta-based health agcy. : CDC.  Center for Disease Control.

51. Sherbet flavor : LIME.  Citrus fruit.

54. Repent : RUE.  

55. Photo __ : LAB. Place where photographic negatives are developed. Rather retro.  These days, it's SHOP.

56. Throw too low, say : ERR.  A mis-played baseball. 

57. Merkel's "never" : NIE.  German.

58. Captured : GOT.  Obtained.

Well, that puts it all away.  Hope you got through it without chapped hands.  Now I have to go do some tidying up.

Cool regards!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Tuesday Platform - Windmill in the Garden

The Garden

My lovely wife is leading the charge to simplify and get rid of old, unneeded stuff. Tucked away somewhere she found a program from an event we went to in November, 2005, that I had forgotten about.  We were invited by our neighbors and didn't know what it was going to be until we got there.  Turns out, it was a variety show put on by special needs people, with assistance from a couple of very prominent Detroit area professional musicians.

At this late date, my recollections of that evening are quite vague.  But I was deeply moved at the time.  Most of the performers were autistic, though there may have been some with other difficulties as well.

Stuck in the program was something I wrote when we got home.  It's actually more of a song than a poem.  One of the acts was called HEART TO HEART, and I might have been specifically reacting to that.  I have the tune in my head, standard A-A-B-A song form, but no simple way to share it with you.  Feel free to sing it your own way.


Don't tell me what you think I can't do;
Sing me a song, teach me something new.
Show me the way to make a new start -
I have it all right here in my heart.

Don't tell me that my way is wrong
If it's not your way of singing this song,
We both have ways of playing our part,
If we have it right in our heart.

It's true, I'm different from you,
Or maybe you're just different from me.
But we're the same in our hearts -
Together now, what could we be?

If I'm racing now from pole to pole
Flying to fast to find the goal;
Let's bring it back to music and art -
I have it all right here in my heart.


Accompanying haiku, freshly composed for Carpe Diem

Image found here

in my mind and heart
all of these thoughts and feelings
windmill in a storm

Imaginary Garden With Real Toads

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Pi Day in the Garden

"The prompt, should you choose to accept it, is to write something inspired by a breakfast, lunch, dinner, tea, coffee, snack eaten out, at the local diner, cafe, restaurant, fast food joint, even, if you wish, camp site.

Well - not exactly.  I'm choosing Pi day, which at least partially commemorates a snack. 

We bought the pie at Kroger and took it to my sister's house, so that's eating out, of a sort. The pie looked wonderful, but the bottom crust was soggy and the peaches were crunchy. 

Peaches shouldn't be crunchy BEFORE you bake them.  Something is definitely not right here.

Lovely looking store-bought pie that disappointed on every other possible level

But Pi day is still worth celebrating, though this particular pie was not.

I filled my lovely Pi-day pie
With tasty fruit and spices,
But no matter how I try
I can’t get three point one four slices.

Imaginary Garden With Real Toads