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, January 31, 2013

Carpe Diem # 110 - Verdant

In the verdant meadow
She arrives on fairy wings
Blossoms in her hair

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

See the fairy queen
Clothed in leaves and soft fern fronds
Her eyes flashing green

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Verdant for a while
Learned things at a lawn party
Splendor in the grass.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

My verdant front yard
Strangely still green in Winter
Now Hides under snow

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Green fields are resting
Under a blanket of snow
To waken in Spring 

~  ~  ~  ~  ~


But wait - there's more!
I just learned here of the Fibonacci haiku derivative, or "Fib"

So, here is a shot at that form. 

Field Grows
Rich and lush
Over the dark soil
Deep layers of organic dirt

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Carpe Diem # 109 - Early Blossom


Back when we were twelve
The first girl to have nice curves
Lived across the street

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

I was a shy lad
Mothers of early blossoms
Had nothing to fear

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Those early bloomers
I wonder how they aged - are
They withered flowers

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Carpe Diem # 108 -- Birdsong

Birds rising early
Sing aloud - we have no need
For an alarm clock

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

First robin of Spring
Arrives in January
Too cold for singing

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Cuckoo calls at night
Robin and sparrow take note
Stare hard at their mates

~  ~  ~  ~  ~ 

 Hear the caged bird sing
It's song unlike the free bird's
It sings of freedom

~  ~  ~  ~  ~ 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Carpe Diem Special #19 -- Shiki's Evening Sun

On my street, looking east at sunset, Oct 28, 2012

Clouds float over us
The setting sun sneaks beneath
Lighting their bottoms

On my street, looking west at sunset, Oct 28, 2012

 The Last light lingers
Clouds blush at the setting sun
Soon we will see stars

My lovely wife took the most awesome sunset picture EVER
Straights of Mackinaw, July 28, 2012

 Ship flees quickly east
Before the setting sun can
Set the sea on fire

~  ~  ~  ~  ~ 

 As the sun sets west
Even the tiny sand mice
Cast long dark shadows

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Carpe Diem # 107 -- Children

Our Grandchildren, taken 4/13/12

My lovely wife and I have a blended family.  Her two sons and my son and daughter have blessed us with the eleven grandchildren you can see in the picture.  We've been taking kids-on-the-couch pictures since there were only three of them, over a decade ago.  Now they spill off on all sides.

On the couch, from the left: Rebekka, Ryan, Nate, Abby, Josh, Amanda, Danny and Alexa.  On the floor: Samantha, Emily and Lauren.

We have eleven
Beautiful, smart talented
Grandchildren to share

~  ~  ~  ~ ~

Dancers and athletes
Thespians and musicians
They fill us with pride

~  ~  ~  ~ ~
I am thankful for
Our children - and that they brought
Us these grandchildren

 ~  ~  ~  ~ ~

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Carpe Diem # 106 -- Wolf Moon


For tonight's prompt, Kristjaan tells us this about the wolf:

The Wolf is regarded as one of the most powerful spirit guides of all, and it's presence is a message of guidance. If the Wolf spirit has appeared to you, seek wisdom from those you respect and pause to learn about the subject that faces you. Once the Wolf spirit equips you with knowledge you may take action with confidence.

In January
Stark Moonbeams shine on the wolves
Winter has now come

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Full moon in winter
First bright orb of the new year
Frost forms on wolf fur

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Powerful spirit
Guide me  ~  Teach me  ~  Light my path
Bring me your wisdom

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

If you fear the wolf
Do not enter his domain
Under the moonlight

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The grey light beckons
Siren to Wulfsarkergang
I howl at the moon

 ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

* Couldn't resist a Game of Thrones Reference

Carpe Diem #106

Six Word Saturday

Wife's Mother:
Only a Memory

Passed away
Last Sunday Morning

May you
Rest in Peace

Friday, January 25, 2013

Carpe Diem #105 -- EYES


When I look at you
I see the love that we share
When you look at me

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Eyes can be windows
Peering into someone's soul
They can be mirrors

~  ~

Eyes can be weapons
Piercing like spears; or caress
With a velvet touch

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Eyes can be faucets
Giving release to sorrow
Water for the dead

~  ~

Great grandmother's eyes
They once sparkled with her love
Now closed forever

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Carpe Diem #103 - Heath

I spent a frustrating half hour vainly searching for information on North American heathlands, and have tentatively concluded that there aren't any.  So this offering is a bit generic.  Still, I'm rather pleased with it.

South Stack Cliffs RSPB Nature Reserve – Anglesey, North Wales

Sunrise warms the heath
Bees stir in gorse and heather
A wild bird calls out

From the image link I learned that among the birds you might hear calling out from the heath at South Stack Cliffs are peregrin falcons and chough, an increasingly rare member of the crow family.

Sensational Haiku Wednesday + 3WW CCCXIII

Only one day late.

The SHW theme is a traditional nature themed haiku.

Though the sun shines bright
The cold is biting today
Winter has arrived

It's unusal to see a haiku in upside down pyramid geometry.  Somehow, that shape pleases me.

And for 3WW

Icy and polite
Old lovers meet in Winter
And brag in silence

~  ~

In January
It is not polite to brag
Of icy feelings

Join the fun!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Carpe Diem #100 - Angels

My wife's mother passed away early this morning after several months in a nursing home.  We were deeply impressed with the love and care shown by the staff there.  Today is also her youngest great grandchild's 5th birthday.  I got the idea for the 2nd haiku from the lady at the funeral home.

I'm not a religious person, but I do find ANGELS to be an appropriate subject for today

At the end of life
The angels have all come here
To carry her home

~  ~  ~  ~ ~

On a boy's birthday
The plan is that he has his
Own special angel

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Nurses, care givers
Helping people through life's end
God's angels on earth

Friday, January 18, 2013

Carpe Diem # 99 -- Love Story

My haiku relates not to the movie, but to my own life.

Two lovers parted
Years later found each other
Old love new again

A different, longer poem I wrote about it ended this way

What great surprise to find I loved you still
And greater still that you loved me

Yesterday was our 22nd anniversary.
It's been the best third of my life.

Now you know.

Carpe Diem #99

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Carpe Diem Special # 17 Cold Winter Blast

An Alberta Clipper is a winter storm that originates in the region of Alberta, Canada and travels like a fast moving 19th century clipper ship into the great lakes region.


Alberta clipper
Sailing in a fleet of clouds
Temperature falls

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Temperature falls
My breath makes a stormy cloud
On a long walk home

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

On a long walk home
Cold winds redden my ear lobes
A warm fire awaits

~  ~  ~  ~  ~
A warm fire awaits
I rush through the biting wind
Alberta clipper

~  ~  ~  ~  ~
~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Snowy innocence
Whiter than the winter's clouds
Scoured clean by the wind

Three Word Wednesday



Feeling if not dismal then at least minimalist, I do not waffle in offering you these luscious, though brief thoughts.  [Wow, was that lame!]

To waffle at the
sight of a luscious waffle
Is indeed dismal

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Maple? Blueberry?
Dismal syrup waffling
Luscious treat grows cold

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Pancake or waffle
I waffle. They're luscious.  I
Get dismal oatmeal

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

She is so luscious
So then why does he waffle
E. D. is dismal

Five Sentence Fiction - Inspire

I'm very late to this one.  Well, sometimes life aint easy.  But there are still over 13 hours left - so  .  .  .


When she woke from the dream, Marci felt drawn to her easel.

Usually she would carefully strategize and then sketch out a drawing; this time the paints almost seemed to spontaneously fly to the canvas, as if the brush were guiding her hand.

Eventually, it dawned on her that he hadn't yet had breakfast, so she set the brush down and stepped back for a moment.

Yes - the likeness was almost perfect; she had captured the dreamy beauty of that long oval face, though her eyes weren't quite the exact shade of green.

Now - to get the angle just right on her wing  .  .  .

~  ~  ~  ~  ~ 

Reduced to a haiku

Image from a dream
Brought to life on a canvas
With green eyes and wings 

~  ~  ~  ~  ~ 

Marci's Thread

L. A. Times Crossword Puzzle Blogging

 Wednesday, January 16, 2013 Jean O'Conor

Theme: All in a year's work or As ye sow, so shall ye reap.  Four common two-word phrases not specifically with agriculture in common usage, the first word of which is a verb in context, and figuratively an agricultural reference.  In its literal sense, each of these agri-words can be used as either a noun or a verb.  Collectively, they represent phases of the growing season, and a portion of a farmer's labor throughout the year.

 17 A. Deal with, as a stack of dull paperwork : PLOW THROUGH  Chug, plug and grind until the task is done.  Then it's Miller time, I suppose.  A plow is an implement for breaking up the soil in preparation for what follows.  As a verb, to plow means to use a plow for its intended purpose.

 24. Investor's initial support : SEED CAPITAL  The initial funding used to get a new business going.  A seed is a flowering plant's unit of reproduction, or, more formally, "a ripened plant ovule containing an embryo."  As a verb, it means to sow the land by spreading seeds.

 33. Create an incriminating trail : PLANT EVIDENCE  Place [false?] evidence in a place where it is likely to be found.  A plant, according to the Free Dictionary, is "Any of various photosynthetic, eukaryotic, multicellular organisms of the kingdom Plantae characteristically producing embryos, containing chloroplasts, having cellulose cell walls, and lacking the power of locomotion."  Evidently, whoever wrote this definition knows nothing about Triffids.  As a verb, "plant" means to stick on of these organisms in the ground in hopes that  it will grow.

 55. Autumn lunar phenomenon : HARVEST MOON.  This is the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox.  These nights it might have romantic implications, but in the not so distant past, farmers took advantage of this bright moon to work long hours bringing in their crops.  The product of this labor is the HARVEST, and as a verb describes this action.

Hi gang, JazzBumpa driving the combine today.  Let's see what Jean's fertile mind has sprouted for us today.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Carpe Diem #97 -- Crocus

Crocuses in my yard - March 2009

I wrote the first two haiku in 2009 when I first posted this picture.  
~  ~  ~
My wife's mother is now near the end of her life -
Which has me thinking about mortality

One purple crocus
Aloof from all his cousins.
We blame the squirrels.
 ~  ~  ~  ~  ~
In late afternoon
Long shadows linger over
Spring's first crocuses
 ~  ~  ~  ~  ~
A fragile flower
Impatient in early Spring
Lives fast and dies young
 ~  ~  ~  ~  ~
Early Spring bloomer
 First bright flower to emerge
Alas - then it croaks
 ~  ~  ~  ~  ~
Can the crocus be
A metaphor for humans
Quickly loved then gone

Monday, January 14, 2013

Carpe Diem #96 -- Embers


Embers still glowing
In the chill of midwinter
Ashes are warm snow

~  ~  ~

A fire's last remnant
Glowing in the still darkness
When night has fallen

~  ~  ~

The faint glow smolders
If fire leaves a memory
Those thoughts are embers

~  ~  ~

The fire still endures
And the warm glow yet remains
We are old lovers

 ~  ~  ~

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Carpe diem #95 -- Blues


 Down in the delta
Them black folk singin' the blues
Through the cotton fields

 /  ~  /

Through the cotton fields
Work songs born in Africa
To Chicago bars

/  ~  /

To Chicago bars
From Kansas City brothels
Workin' folks' music

 /  ~  /

Workin' folks' music
From the depths of the black soul
Wails of deep blue pain

/  ~  /

Wails of deep blue pain
People's lives owned by masters
Cry out for freedom

/  ~  /

Cry out for freedom
Sing a song of slavery
Blue in many shades

/  ~  /

Blue in many shades
 Sky, water, black skin bruises
Down in the delta

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Friday, January 11, 2013

"Wine Rack" Limerick

I was unaware of this amazing invention.

If you click the link, also click the "larger picture" button when you get there, so you can see in a series of 4 photos exactly how it works.

Of course, Mad Cane doesn't let things like this slip by unnoticed.

My thought:

I have to agree it's the best
Device to enhance someone's chest
Made just for sipping
(also known as nipping)
If you've liquid assets to invest

Carpe Diem #94 - Jazz


That's ME on the trombone solo


 Cool swinging rhythms
A saxophone wailing high
Trombones supporting

~ | ~

Trombones supporting
Trumpet riffs in a cascade
Wild man thumps the bass

~ | ~

Wild man thumps the bass
Wide eyed kid pounds the keyboard
The drummer hangs loose

~ | ~

The drummer hangs loose
In a dim-lit smokey bar
Toking between sets

~ | ~

Toking between sets
Getting ready to soar high
On cool swinging jazz

~ | ~

On cool swinging jazz
In a haiku that holds my name
Feel syncopation

~ | ~

Feel syncopation
An old trombonist speaks out
Cool swinging rhythms

 ~ | ~

Carpe Diem #94

Carpe Diem #93 -- Cave


What would Sigmund say
About spelunking all night
In my vivid dreams

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Let's go spelunking
There in the deepest dark cave
We'll find adventure

A home for hobbits
Under the ground - or is it
A home for Gollum

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

A forlorn halfling
Riddles for a gold ring with
A poor doomed creature

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Home to trolls and worse
Is this hole in the ground a
Storehouse of treasure

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

VisDare 2

Leon's Great Adventure
[119 words]

Leon was one spaced-out kid.

I never realized how much until he actually did it.

He told me this was a trick he'd been working on, but I never believed him.  You wouldn't 've either.  You know that.

"By the big ol' pine tree, down at the corner," he told me, "That's the spot.  That's where it's gonna happen."

Ever the showman, he popped up on one wheel, slowed to a coast [I could never keep my balance like he did] and as he drifted past the tree, he followed his front wheel out of our space into some strange other place where I couldn't follow.

I hope it's better for him there. 

It was a one way trip.

Sensational Haiku Wednesday

 Near Black Lake - Summer 2011


On the path of life
You need the right companion
Can you picture that

~  ~

Two kids wandering
Never quite out of the woods
We're much older now

~  ~

Can a mere picture
Capture the drama of our
Once and future love

Sensational Haiku Wednesday is Powered by Jenn
Join the fun!

Three Word Wednesday CCCXI

 Three words for TWW CCCXI:


A Vignette [or is 
It a morality play?]
Told in Haiku Form

Into the vacant
House crept the pair so focused
On the physical

~  ~

Yes she drank too much
He was focused on her pair
Her eyes were vacant

 ~  ~

Focused on the wrong
Target this vacant pair missed
A chance to find - what

~  ~

A pair of strangers
Now they pass focused on the
Distant horizon

~  ~

Why have I focused
On this pair of vacant souls
What is their message

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Carpe Diem #91 - Seahawk


Seahawks soar above
The water's churning surface
Fish soar under waves

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Fly closer to me
Pandion haliaetus
Bring me your message

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Bring me your message
Lend your wings to my spirit
Noble predator

A Totally Different View

Maybe you non-trombonists out there won't think this is as cool as I do.  But it's COOL.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Carpe Diem #90 - Tulips


Delicate blossoms
Beautiful for a few days
'Till ruined by rain

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

If I share tulips
When bulbs turn into blossoms
Will you share two lips?

 ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Made for each other
As if it were destiny
Tulips and kissing 

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Petals like kissed lips
Beautiful convexity
Arrayed for delight

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Deep within those lips
An eager wanderer probes
Questing for nectar

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Shadow Shot Sunday

One of my Christmas presents

New Year Begins

For happy new cheer
A fine peaty single malt
To start off the year

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Carpe Diem #89 - Tomorrow


When tomorrow comes
One more opportunity
One more step through life

 ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

What is it bringing
Only tomorrow can say
What is it taking

 ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

When it arrives here
Today becomes yesterday
Tomorrow is now

 ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The first future step
From today to tomorrow
The last of the past

I can't say I'm especially pleased with this set. It all seems trite and obvious.

Carpe Diem  # 89

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Some Poetic Lunacy

Visiting the FSF Midnight entries, I found a very ambitious entry by ninotaziz, where she composed a haiku that also fits the form of Collom's lune structure. I had no idea what this was, but she provided a link to Thursday's dVerse Poets post, where all is explained.

In short, named for the poets who devised them, we have two varieties of lune, English language haiku derived verse forms.
- a 5-3-5 syllabic Kelly lune, and
- a 3-5-3 word Collom lune.

Here a some attempts at both forms.  Kelly lunes are deliberately crescent shaped, while Collum lunes seem to my eye to be gibbous.

Update: Belatedly I see, alas, the link widget expired yesterday.   Oh, well.

                        There are two kinds of
Lunes I see
                         Let us share them both

~  ~

Lune and Lune
They're an oddly mismatched pair
For our sharing

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

                At midnight lunar
Crescent shines
                Light with no color

~  ~ 

The midnight moon
Now waxing gibbous far above
Casts gray light

VisDare #1

This picture strikes me as being pretty much intractable.  I've pondered it for a few days, and this is not only the best I can come up with, it's ALL I can come up with.

And I usher in the new and improved 150 word limit by using a paltry 45.

Lo siento.

Sure, and I've had some bad dates before.

And maybe this isn't even the first time I've been left out on a ledge by one of 'em.

But I never thought I'd ever get stood up by some flighty girl what calls 'erself Mary Poppins!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Carpe Diem Special #15 - Winter Trees


Shorn of their raiment
These proud ladies stand naked
Waiting for first Spring

~  ~

Waiting for first Spring
In cold shimmering moonlight
Their long arms reach up

~  ~

Their long arms reach up
Leafless to the Winter sky
Silhouettes on clouds

~  ~

Silhouettes on clouds
Tracery of bare branches
In the gray moonlight

~  ~

In the grey moonlight
Searching limbs reaching skyward
Shorn of their raiment

Carpe Diem Special #15

100 WCGU #71

Somehow, I missed the 12/31 prompt until just now.

.  .  .  as midnight struck  .  .  .

I had already recast this FSF MIDNIGHT story as a haiku, but here is another take using the prompt, coming in at a very economical 13 words.

On midsummer's eve
As midnight struck she went out
To find a fairy

Carpe Diem #87 - Yesterday

Four thoughts on Yesterday

Just one day ago
Before these problems surfaced
A much simpler time

~  ~  ~  ~  ~
Then I was alone
Nor was I even searching
Now I am with you

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

That road lies behind
Never to be trod again
Now forget the past

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The road we've traveled
We are in between that and
The road yet to be

Carpe Diem # 87

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Three Word Wednesday - CCCX

This week's three words:


Here they are in a perverse limerick.

A racy girl's pace was to sidle
Up to a jock lounging idle;
Mock him with nagging face
Till he went to her place
And had fun with a whip and a bridle.

[Sometimes I can't resist horsing around]

Five Sentence Fiction - Midnight

Lillie McFerrin

A prompt with so many possibilities  .  .  .

It took me back a couple of decades to Marci's childhood, where I discovered this event.   The challenge was to tell of it in five only moderately run-on sentences.


Like many 10-year-old girls, Marci believed in Fairies; and unlike most she had good reason to - so midnight at mid-summer seemed like the best time to go find one.

She sneaked out of the house and ran the five blocks to the little neighborhood park - the perfect place at the perfect time - and just then a connection to their world opened, and she stepped across.

Soon she came across a real fairy, the size of a grown woman with a wing-span at least twice her height, awesome and terrible in her austere beauty, who was not at all happy to see her.

She spoke strange words in her melodious voice, rippling like the fast water in a shallow brook*, but somehow Marci understood their meaning: "Go home child, you were not invited here - and you are not yet ready."

When Marci woke the next morning she thought it might just have been a dream, but years later she discovered it was all true.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Reduced to a haiku 

In search of fairies
A little girl at midnight
Is she just dreaming?

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

* It sounded more or less like this:  Mene kotiin lapsi, sinun ei kutsuttu tänne - ja et ole vielä valmis.

Marci's thread