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, October 31, 2012

Sensational Haiku Wednesday

Of course I linger
In graveyardsWhere else would I
Meet a sexy witch? 


Shadows are growing
As clouds engulf the sad moon;
Do I hear foot falls?

Do you hear that sound?
What could that weird creature be,
Howling at the moon?

Why do the possessed
Always have the limited
Diet of pea soup?

Join the fun!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sunday Wordle #80

A shot at minimalism: the 12 target words all used in a 17 word 
sentence Dedicated to Red State Republican Legislators.

We men think of a way - or wish for that power: women bound within a single damaged thread.

~    ~    ~

Twelve Haiku
First lines extracted from
 A RECOLLECTION by John Peale Bishop

Shadow Shot Sunday - Mellow Yellow Monday

Last week at the Falcons game, it was "Cheer for the Cure."

Go, go, go Falcons!

Final score: Undefeated Falcons 35 - Orioles 16
On to the Super Bowl!

Link to SSS II


Friday, October 26, 2012

Three Word Wednesday . . .

.  .  .  on Friday.

GRAPES, with Gratitude

DANGLE on the vine;
By LABOR transformed; NEATLY
Bottled for my use.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Five Sentence Fiction

Originally, I had no intention of writing a serial story, and now I have two of them going.  Each has character named Marci, since I was simply going to use that as a stock character name from central casting.   This has since become confusing, even for me.  I haven't yet discovered if they are the same Marci. [UPDATE: Yes I have, and yes, they are.]  One story line is real world based and the other is a weird fairie tale; but I'm not sure that pre-empts anything.

On to this week's installment.  I wrote this a while back, since Gil and Marci were bugging me. OK - it's a bit of a stretch on the prompt, perhaps, but I still think it fits, in a way.

The [real world] story of Gil and Marci continues.

Part 1   Devotion

Part 2  Detour

One evening when Gil's wife is out of town on business, he runs into Marci in the wine section of the market near her apartment. 

She gestures toward a bottle of imported Chardonnay, saying, "My boyfriend Rob is quite fond of this." 

But she reaches for a bottle of Gil's favorite Pinot Noir and looks at him in a way he understands very well. 

Gil suppresses a nervous laugh and blurts out, "I get kind of unpredictable when I drink that." 

"I know," Marci says, as she slips the bottle into her basket and heads for the checkout line.

Update: This is the first time Marci has appeared on stage, and I'm getting to know her better.  Now I believe it is the same Marci in both story lines.  Her back-story is starting to take form, too.  She's not an evil person, by any means, but she rejects conventional ideas of morality, and very much lives in the moment.  'Nuff said, for now.

Lillie McFerrin

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

L.A. Times Crossword Puzzle Blogging

 Wednesday, October 24, 2012  Gareth Bain

Theme ALL ABOUT A's.   I sometimes worry that constructors might someday use up all the theme ideas, but perhaps there is no bottom to that well.  Today, Gareth came up with a new twist - each theme entry, indicated with a starred clue, has two or more words, and contains exactly three vowels - all of which are A's.  A bit on the abstract side perhaps, but as far as I know, it's quite original.

17 A. *"Ditto!" : BACK AT YA.   A slangy response.

19 A. *1955 Communist defense treaty : WARSAW PACT.  Back in 1955, at the height of the cold war, this was a Russian organized and dominated military alliance involving the Soviet Union, Albania (withdrew in 1968), Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany (withdrew in 1990), Hungary, Poland, and Romania.

 37 A. *"I can answer your questions" : ASK AWAY.  Would you like to debate me?

 58 A. *Momentarily forget : DRAW A BLANK.  Maybe I shouldn't have had this debate.

But wait, there's more:

 10 D. *"Wheel of Fortune" host : PAT SAJAKHe loves baseball.  Who knew?

 36 D. *Space cadet's home? : LALA LAND.  Someone who's "out there" and the place he might be from.  I always wondered if this was a reference to Los Angeles.

 And the unifier --  60 A. Like the best bonds, and a hint to the answers to starred clues : AAA RATED.   From the world of high finance.   Or were you thinking of Barry, James, and Ward?

Wow - 6 stacked or crossing theme entries, plus a unifier in an unusual, rather open grid with horizontal and vertical 6-stacks in two corners.  Hi Ho, gang, JazzBumpa here.  Let's see if Gareth's effort is AAA RATED.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Sunday Whirl - Wordle 79

Taking a cue from Mystic*, I've decided to use each of this week's wordle words in a haiku, and start each haiku with a phrase extracted from a poem.  The poem I've selected is one of my own original sonnets (all rights reserved.)  Thus, a restrictive form based on restrictive inputs.  I think the results seem not only solipsistic, but a bit forced - and perhaps that is the point.

Thirteen Wordle-based Haiku

Force of destiny:
All the universe condensed
in a single FERN.

There are those whose lives
Have simply HAPPENED. Have they
no living Purpose?

Two curves in perfect
Alignment - goblets in my
Cocktail CABINET.

Their closed circumference:
Is it their SHELTER from harm,
Or are they hermits?

In each cycle once,
Then fasten the next widget;
My JOB is my life.

Born a decade late
For my destiny - now what

The distant echo
Of an unseen FACE - and now
Who would take her place?

Who will be the one
This Halloween to bring me
My Circus PEANUTS?

If in the vast span
Of time we might meet, would it
Be in a CAFE?

The farthest corner
Would not seem so far if you
Would just be my GUIDE.

Choice and fate converge.
You are the apex. But can
You HANDLE this truth?

Meant to be entwined,
We FACE life's vagaries armed
Only with our love.

Love's sweet spiral bind
is built not just of spirit,
But our STURDY limbs.

Shadow Shot Sunday - Mellow Yellow Monday

This is the flower garden in our front yard displaying the last of its fall colors.

Clustered  marigolds,
What ancient secrets do you 
Learn from that old rock?

Link to SSS II.


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Six Word Saturday

Played a Senior Community last night.

They really enjoyed our music program.

And I enjoy an appreciative audience.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Friday Memes

'Cuz a day without a meme is like a day without another arbitrarily selected unnecessary obligation.

So here we go.

Book BeginningsPlease join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author's name.

"We should start back," Gared urged as the woods began to grew dark around them.  "The wildings are dead."
"Do the dead frighten you?" Ser Waymar Royce asked with just the hint of a smile.

Thus begins the prologue to A GAME OF THRONES, the opening volume of George R.R. Martin's epic A Song of Ice and Fire.  I'm far long now in my second reading of this book, having made the long journey through the extant five volumes in a couple of years.  Martin shows us a great deal in the prologue, and even these two first sentences give us quite a bit.  These men are uncomfortably located in the woodlands where the wildings - whoever or whatever they may be - are.  The title "Ser" tells us Waymar is of high station, and his attitude tells us he is arrogant.  His question will resonate throughout the five volumes, and beyond.

Friday 56:   Grab a book, any book.  Turn to page 56 or 56% in your ereader  Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it) that grabs you.

I'm not sure what "don't spoil it" is getting at.  The entries I've looked at identify the book being quoted.  I'll stick with AGoT.

"Too hot, too noisy, and I'd drunk too much wine," the dwarf told him.  "I learned long ago that it is considered rude to vomit on your brother.  Might I have a closer look at your wolf?"


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Five Sentence Fiction

Last week I was happy to get a prompt that allowed me to continue a story that wouldn't let me go.  This week, I have the same good fortune with the other story that stayed with me.


Not often - once in two or three months - I'll encounter a man who has the mark.

As our eyes meet, his hand goes up to his cheek, and I find myself mimicking the motion; then, knowing, he turns and hurries off.

Some of these men must be married - what stories do they tell their wives?

[I don't have that problem - Marci is just an occasional girl friend, with her own dark, unexplained secrets.]

Two or three months - that's how long the mark lasts from those pointy, piercing teeth, and as it fades the yearning gets stronger, deeper, more urgent for another tryst with my inhuman paramour.

Update, 10/18, just before midnight:  Since first posting, I've made a couple of slight editorial changes so that it will be clear [I hope] that Marci is the protagonist's occasional human lover, and not the antecedent of the final sentence.

Update II, 11/19, mid afternoon:


Behold all of our greatest achievements.

Bask in the aural glory of our symphonies.

Delight your eyes with visions of our art, architecture and sculpture.

Gaze in wonder at the sophistication of our technical accomplishments.

Every bit of it is the work of human hands.

Lillie McFerrin

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Mad Kane's Limerick Off Of 10/14

Refined Limerick

A gal who was very refined
Met a man with a sweet tooth who pined
For a sugary treat

As the best thing to eat
And asked if she was so inclined.

Raise Kane here.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Shadow Shot Sunday - Mellow Yellow Monday

When we went to Black Lake in July, Nate and his dad went salmon fishing in the Straights of  Mackinac.

Nate caught this one

Back on shore - I think dad got this one

A summer highlight
Remembered now and for life:
A boy and his fish.


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Six Word Saturday

Played a magnificent concert last night.

 Overture to Zampa and Dvorak's Eighth.

Going to the Wolverine's game today.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Five Sentence Fiction

My original intent was to have each of my FSF entries be self contained.  But my last two have haunted me to the point where I wrote an FSF follow-up for each of them.

I was looking forward to today's prompt with almost frantic eagerness, hoping I could use one of them without too much of a force fit.  I think this works.


With a smile and a contented sigh, Gil's wife comments on how much more ardent his love making has become.

She doesn't realize that at those most intimate moments, when Gil gazes deep into the beauty of her doe-like eyes, he is haunted by thoughts of Marci.

She isn't aware that, since that chance encounter at the pharmacy, Gil's thoughts keep returning, unbidden, to long-ago memories of Marci's moist lips, subtle curves, and tender moans.

She doesn't know that in the midst of their seemingly perfect marriage, Gil is now conflicted.

She must never find out that Gil sometimes goes miles out of his way, and drives past Marci's apartment, just hoping to get a glimpse of her.

Lillie McFerrin

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Sensational Haiku Wednesday


Ah - the kiss was sweet;
A welcome surprise, he thought.
Until she slapped him.

Ah - the kiss was sweet:
And flavored with her mint gum,
Now lodged in his mouth.


Ah - the kiss was sweet;
Snow flakes fell on her pert nose:
First sign of Winter.

Ah - the kiss was sweet:
What's more fresh than new-found love?
Then they kissed again.

Join the fun!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Shadow Shot Sunday - Mellow Yellow Monday

Hines Drive Colors

The Lovely Wife and I took a little jaunt down Hines Drive, near Nankin Lake on Thursday.  I got a few pix, then we had a nice lunch at the Senate, and drove out to Parmenter's for cider and donuts.

 Fall Color

 A Leafy Canopy

 Autumn Leaves

Winter is Coming

The colors of Fall
Warn us of blizzards and sleet:
Winter is coming


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Five Sentence Fiction

UPDATE 10/09 -- And, Behind the Curtain Flash Fiction Contest.  Scroll past the story and the FSF Badge, below the fold

This week marks the first anniversary of FSF, and Lilly invites us to chose any word from the past year's prompts. I chose --


Now that she is naked, I can she how different she is, with her over-long, lithe limbs and a narrow waistline that would be impossible on a human girl.

But everything important is there, in the right place, and wonderfully functional; it's the extra things that make her so - not just different, but special.

Her wings flutter as she hovers so close above me, her slender hips undulating in an exquisite defiance of gravity.

Yes, now I am so close, as her face leans into mine; eyes the green of spring grass, long narrow nose, delicate elven ears, thin lips in a conquering smile - and her teeth, glistening white, pointed, sharp.

Oh, sweet Jesus, so very, very sharp .  .  .

Link to FSF Central

Lillie McFerrin

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Sensational Haiku Wednesday


Lovely spot the world
Is in.  Whom do we credit,
And whom do we blame?

I have to give some
Credit to all those people
Who owe me so much.

My scores are all high
And I never carry cash.
Give me some credit!

Join the fun!