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, September 17, 2014

Carpe Diem #563, River

Black River, Michigan, July 2014

From Siddhartha, by Hermann Hesse:

[...] "It is this what you mean, isn't it: that the river is everywhere at once, at the source and at the mouth, at the waterfall, at the ferry, at the rapids, in the sea, in the mountains, everywhere at once, and that there is only the present time for it, not the shadow of the past, not the shadow of the future?" [...]

 Siddhartha's lesson
the river is without time
yet the sea beckons

L.A. Times Crossword Puzzle Blogging

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 Gareth Bain

Theme: COCONUT - what else?  The first word of each two-word theme answer relates to something derived from the fruit - which botanically is a drupe, not a nut - of the COCONUT tree, cocos nucifera.

 16. *Butcher's appliance : MEAT GRINDER.   A device used make big chunks into small chunks for burgers and sausages.  COCONUT MEAT  is the rich white lining that is contained within the shell of a coconut.

 24. *Prankster's balloon : WATER BOMB.  You can get your friends as mad as wet hens.  Here are instruction for making one out of paperCOCONUT WATER is the clear liquid inside young, green coconuts.  It has been marketed as a natural energy drink.

50. *Allowance for the cafeteria : MILK MONEY.  Literally, money to be spent on MILK, or figuratively for the entire lunch.  COCONUT MILK is a rich, high fat liquid extracted from grated COCONUT MEAT.

 57. *Monet work : OIL PAINTING.  Made with oil based rather than water based paints.

COCONUT OIL, derived from dried COCONUT MEAT is used as a cooking oil and flavoring in South-east Asian cooking, and in beauty products. 

And the unifier -- 36. Fruit that can be the source of the starts of the answers to starred clues : COCONUT.  So many uses for this versatile, healthful and nutritious tropical fruit.

Hi gang, JzB here, once again united with Gareth on a Wednesday.  Seems like old times. Let's see what he has in store for us.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Carpe Diem's "Remember This Music?" #1

Nate gets a hit, June, 2014

In August 2002, my daugher Karen had her first baby, My grandson Nathaniel.  We call him Nate.  While Karen was pregnant, an ultrasound revealed that Nate had transposition of the great arteries - his pulmonary artery and aorta were hooked up in reverse.  So instead of having a complete circulatory system, he had two closed loops.  Life expectancy with this condition is only a few hours.  But it is correctable, so Nate was born at Mott's Children's Hospital at the university of Michigan.  The neo-natal cardiac staff was on high alert, and as soon as he was born performed a radical procedure - opening a hole in the wall between the ventricles to allow mixing of the two blood streams - that stabilized him temporarily.

When he was a week old, he had open heart surgery to reverse the misplaced piping.  Everything went well.  He is now a smart, healthy 12-year old.

When he was very little, I wrote this song for him, and arranged it for big band.  Since he was tiny and turned blue, it's a minor blues.  The melody has two motifs.  Each is played, then repeated upside down - the reversal.  In the middle, the melody is taken apart and passed around the band - that is the surgery.  Then the recovery, and we take it on home.  The bass riff at the beginning and ending represent a heart beat.

That's me on the trombone solo.

This is too emotionally intense for me to write a good renga, but here it is anyway.

a child is born
not built according to plan
little boy blue

in the first hours of life
they must pierce his tiny heart

oxygen revived
he lives to see the dawn
waiting surgery

at one week pipes reversed
all is well now go and live

Carpe Diem's "Remember This Music?" #1

Carpe Diem's "Time Glass" #2 a time-challenge "Buddha"

 © Chèvrefeuille

seeking nirvana
in the lap of stone buddha
a fallen flower

Carpe Diem's "Time Glass" #2 a time-challenge "Buddha" 



Sunday, September 14, 2014

Carpe Diem #561, Harvested Fields

In theory, the ideal haiku captures an instant in time, not a scene that might endure for a week or a month.

But with some topics - such as today's prompt - that restriction cannot hold.

autumn blooms
soft white cotton balls
a harvest field

brown harvest field
the balls of white cotton
polka dots

These cotton balls and brown stalks will endure until they are hidden by snowfall or scattered by the winds, a time of finite but unknowable duration.

 harvested fields
lie in wait for next year's crop
but first the winter

Carpe Diem #561, Harvested Fields

Carpe Diem Sparkling Stars #5, Kishu's "a crow passes"

Inspirational haiku

aki no kure  karasu mo nakade  tori keri

an autumn evening;
without a cry,
a crow passes

© Kishu

 The goal of CD's "Sparkling Stars" is similar to our regular CD-Specials: write a haiku inspired on the given one and in the same mood, sense and spirit as that given one. So to write an all new haiku ... you need to become one with the scene and the feeling it gives you ... be part of the scene ... live the scene and become inspired.

my response

after the battle
autumn crows busy at work
no time to cry out

Carpe Diem Sparkling Stars #5, Kishu's "a crow passes"

Friday, September 12, 2014

Carpe Diem Tan Renga Squared #2, Björn Rudberg's "Loon is calling"

Bjorn has composed a truly wonderful haiga to be used in this Tan Renga Squared challenge.

The goal is first to write a two line continuation (Tan Renga,) and then follow up with two more stanzas of 3 and 2 lines.  The last stanza should have a connection to the first.

The deeper meaning that Bjorn's haiku evokes for me is sadness as I consider the tragic fates of people I have known who slipped into dementia.


evening mist
memories are fading
loon is calling                                                    (Björn)

across the once placid lake
a slowly fading ripple                                  (JzB)
ancient songs of love and want
deeper darkness falls                                   (JzB)

into the gathering mist
loon flies never to return                         (JzB)

OK.  This is melancholy.  But I think I came close to capturing my own emotional reaction.


Carpe Diem goes "Full Circle" #3, Mirror

The challenge is to write four haiku with the given words, one per line, in the order presented

Here are the 12 (twelve) words for this new episode:

1. mirror
2. leaves
3. rain
4. butterfly
5. chrysanthemum
6. breeze
7. stars
8. clouds
9. ocean
10. daisies
11. cow shed
12. secret
I'm also trying to achieve vivid images, a brief moment in time, 1st-3rd line interchangeability, and maybe even a deeper meaning, with variable success.


orb weaver's mirror
a puddle in the wet leaves
reflecting the rain


butterfly quivers
in chrysanthemum petals
could it be the breeze


stars sneaking a peek
through thin wind-tattered clouds
moon spies the ocean


bliss in the daisies
behind the old cow shed
farm hand's secret


Bonus - I got out of sequence, so this:
 aim of autumn breeze
with moon and stars revealed
clouds scutter past

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Carpe Diem's "Little Creatures" #4

I wrote about toads just a few days ago.   But last night when I arrived home from rehearsal, I saw another little one, about half the size of my thumb, trying to hop under my car.  I shooed him out of the garage so the door wouldn't crush him.

black toadling pauses
pondering in the doorway
safety or freedom

Carpe Diem's "Little Creatures" #4

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Carpe Diem #558, dragonflies

purple dragonfly
lacking both stinger and fire
insect's death angel


through fragile membranes
i view the darkening sky
dragonfly wings


deft insect eater
suddenly gone from the sky
bat's appetizer