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 28, 2013

Carpe Diem #133, Risshun (coming of Spring)


early in Springtime
sunlight bursting at first dawn
old snow glistens


tulips open
cherry blossoms undisturbed
first bees


two lips open
absent parents undisturbed
first kiss


icicles melt
drip from moose's antlers
cold drink for goose


crocus opens
busy spider undisturbed
weaving her round web


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Carpe Diem Special #24, Butterfly by Chiyo-Ni

Inspirational Haiku:

In mid-flight
the butterfly returns
to the pines of Shiogoshi Shrine

Monarch Migration Map
Source: MonarchWatch

Picture from Point Pelee National Park of Canada

Monarch butterflies really do migrate, between Mexico and Canada.  Where I live, not far from Lake Erie, which straddles the U.S. - Canada border, Monarchs are a common sight in the last half of Summer.   For a few days in Autumn, when the Monarchs cluster to start their long trip from Point Pelee, a peninsula jutting far into Lake Erie from the north, it's a great tourist attraction and photo-op.

No. 2 is a real incident that happened about 50 years ago.

~ 1 ~

from Point Pelee
monarch crossing Lake Erie
dreams of Mexico

~ 2 ~

monarch butterfly
lands on my finger tip
I do not crush it

~ 3 ~

beautiful insect
a colorful visual
as you flutter by

~ 4 ~

butterfly haven
safety with both moose and goose

~ 5 ~

emerge from silk
fly free on the wind
avoid the silk web

~~ :|: ~~

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Carpe Diem #132 -- Strangers

just walk on by
do not nod smile nor wave
strangers when we meet


wild adulterer
searching always on the prowl
for sex with strangers


divorce court
two who once shared a bed
now strangers


he was a soldier
she was running from her fate
strange bedfellows


I'll never meet you
people from around the world
my internet friends


fado memory
even friends like moose and goose
were strangers once


mating spiders
no time to get to know her
she has him for lunch


Monday, February 25, 2013

Carpe Diem #131 - Caterpillar

Monarch Caterpillar Picture Source

fat ugly worm
lies down in a bed of silk
wakes up beautiful


winged mother
flits among my tomatoes
leaves terrible tot


ravenous youth
after a long silken sleep
lives only to mate


slips into rouge flower's cup
drowns in nectar


in pale moonlight
green worm saunters on antlers
goose sees lunar moth


cocoon spinner
twirls along side weaver's web
just out of reach


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sunday Whirl -- Wordle 97


I'm still working on
The discipline of patience
Always reaching out too soon
For what might on its own
Fly to me if only I would wait

But, no - I would be heroic
And spurn the wise prophets
Who council reticence, restraint
Tell me refrain from stealing pieces
Of what tears when clutched too tight

So I am still left alone gazing
Upon those rare happy couples
Who define their sphere of influence
By the limits of his yang, her yin
At that sublime moment of love

Carpe Diem #130 -- Full Snow Moon

grey light
limns bare ancient branches
Icicle shadow


full moon looms high
sparkling snow crust reflects
world in black and white


crystal moonbeam
shattering icicle prism
stark winter light

coldest moon
harsh light illuminates
bones in the snow

moose and goose
under the full snow moon
hungry together


bright orb above
illuminating web work
orb weaver below


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Carpe Diem # 129 - Forsythia

wild blonde 
beautiful in springtime
autumn memory


queen of spring
golden garlands in your hair
deposed by roses


pruning moose
bush shaped into golden wings
for posing goose


yellow orb weaver
web deep in forsythia
perfect camouflage


carpe diem # 129

Friday, February 22, 2013

Crpe Diem #128 - Castle

Pictures At An Exhibition, originally written for piano, is one of my all-time favorite compositions.  I was thrilled to have an opportunity to perform the meaty bass trombone part in Ravel's brilliant orchestration a couple of years ago.  There are no trombones in The Old Castle section, but I absolutely love it.  Strangely, it features an alto saxophone.

Leaving nothing to chance, I'll point out that this is NOT the orchestra I play in

Within this moat
Rock hard I will not yield
Instead I'll starve


The old castle
Moss and tumbled broken stones
Ghosts left long ago

Rock pile
Once a proud fortress
Cold rain falls

Moose opens King Pawn
Goose plays odd Sicilian
Castles on Queen side

Orbital web
Strands stronger than steel
Weaver's castle


Carpe Diem # 128

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Carpe Diem Special #24 -- Rouge Flower

Inspirational Haiku by Chiyo-Ni:
the dew of the rouge flower
when it is spilled
is simply water

What you get from me:

Rouge flower
Plucked from its bed
Sticky fingers


Simple water
From a flower's cup


Only water
From a flower's cup
Wet and flat


Plucked flower
Turned upside down
Wet spot


Short poems
On the subject of dew
Condensed verse


Rouge Flower dew
Moose and Goose share a cup
Wish for nectar


Dewdrops on the web
Spider spills them to the ground
Drinks fly fluids


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Carpe Diem # 127 -- Courage

      "Robb says the man died bravely, but Jon says he was afraid."
      "What do you think?" his father asked.
       Bran thought about it.  "Can a man still be brave if he's afraid."
      "That is the only time a man can be brave," his father told him.
                                    ---  Game of Thrones, First Bran Chapter

     ~ : ~

Career threatened
Challenging vice-presidents 
My proudest moments

~ : ~

Keep advancing
Unseen goal lies ahead
Fear be damned

~ : ~

Sitting by the phone
Fingers stay entwined
No first date

~ : ~

Dial the phone
Stammer out the words
She says yes

~ : ~

Goose on the wing
Gun sights focus on her heart
Moose charges hunter

~ : ~

Stalks from behind
Deposits his spider sperm
Treats her to lunch

~ : ~

Carpe Diem # 127

3WW CCCXVII and Sensational Haiku Wednesday

This weeks words for 3WW:


This week's haiku theme:

The Love Song of Phil Anders

First adultery
Jalapeños in raw sugar
Deep breaths heave between sighs

Time to ponder
The grip of other thighs
Memory and strange scent carried home

New adventures

Sense to hide the evidence
That makes each succeeding conquest valid

~ : ~ : ~


Adulterer's quest
Variety in partners
Evidence to hide

Join the fun!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Carpe Diem #126 -- Hope

Who is in your dreams
When your heart takes you to bed
Could I be the one

~  :  ~

First robin's cold song
Daffodils rise from the mud
Now Spring is coming

~  :  ~

Cherish a desire
Anticipate fulfillment
You must practice well

~  :  ~

Goose soars overhead
Moose meets a fine looking cow
Hope springs eternal

~  :  ~

Weaver spins her web
A new home for all her nits
Now she sits and waits

[I think I am in error here
I thought spider eggs/young
were called "nits" but can't 
find anything that verifies it]

~  :  ~

Carpe Diem #126

Monday, February 18, 2013

Carpe Diem # 125 - Wisdom

Sources of wisdom
Knowledge and experience
If you're not a fool


Not automatic
You have to think these things through
Leave out prejudice

Look to the real world
Contemplate the human mind
Not your own navel


I have a smart mouth
All this glib-tongue wise-guy stuff
From my wisdom teeth


Abode of the wise man
High upon the great mountain
Where the air is thin


On the mountain top
You can find the wise old moose
Silly goose stays home


In garden flowers
wise spider spins her silk web
Nowhere near my broom



Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Līgo Haībun Challenge - Flowers

Background:  Here is a little slice of real life.  My lovely wife's mother passed away not quite a month ago.  There are always a lot of things for the survivors to sort out.  This entry relates some of that experience.  The LW posted a pic like this on Facebook today, and with a little bit of prompting composed the haiku the follows my text.  The haiku that I composed to go with this pic back in Nov. 2010 seems strangely appropriate also, so I'll end with that, making the total word count 226, and this a collaborative effort.

 View along the foundation, later in Spring


Progress is slow clearing out the old house where mom lived alone for so many years, getting it ready to sell after she passed away. 

 Every closet is full of old clothing and older memories. Boxes from the attic hold pictures of her first communion, her wedding, her parents, older ancestors in stiff, starched collars, mementos of dad's experiences in WW II. 

The work isn’t hard. Clear the closets, open the boxes, identify things to go to Good Will, things to keep or distribute, things to throw away.  The decisions aren't so hard either. But the past, and yearning for the past has so many distractions. That is what is slow and difficult. 

We asked 6-year-old great-granddaughter Emily what she wanted. After a few false starts, she decided on a refrigerator magnet, and any of her drawings, if there were any left. There weren't, but there was a multi-colored heart-shaped magnet that she will love. 

When we left the house after a long day, we found that the daffodils along the foundation were peeking up out of the ground, just like they do every February. In a world of endless and sometimes painful change, they remind us that some things are constant.


My favorite flower
Full of the promise of Spring
Reminds me of Mom


Flowers in Springtime:
Not so long ago, now a
Fading memory


Ligo Haibun: Flowers

Carpe Diem # 124 - Iceberg

Spawn of a glacier
Swimmer in Northern waters
Dangerous beauty

~  :  ~

Sneaky ice hazard
Ninety percent is submerged
Its reach is unknown

~  :  ~

When the glacier calves
Icebergs roam the sea waters
Cold hard and fatal

~  :  ~

Fresh iceberg lettuce
Arugula and spinach
Make a nice salad

~  :  ~

Stranded on iceberg
Moose looks longingly for land
Goose goes with the floe

~  :  ~

Spider avoids floe
Walks my salad plate instead
Spins web in Iceberg

 ~  :  ~

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Carpe Diem # 123 - Bells

Blue Bells of Scotland

Blue Bells of Scotland 
Old song of woodland flowers 
From a trombone bell 

~  :  ~  :  ~

 From a high tower
Bells ring for us a signal
New joy or sorrow

~  :  ~  :  ~

 Hear ye - Hear ye well
On the Main Street of our town
Crier rings his bell

~  :  ~  :  ~

Moose looks familiar
His sad long face rings a bell
Goose goes in disguise

~  :  ~  :  ~

In an old brass bell
Clapper bound up in silk threads
Spider spins its web

 ~  :  ~  :  ~

The Sound of Bells 

 Dancing on the strings
La guitarista's fingers
Spider on silk thread

~  :  ~  :  ~

Carpe Diem #123

Friday, February 15, 2013

Carpe Diem Special # 22 - Chiyo-Ni's Morning Glory

Inspiration Haiku:
morning glory!
the well bucket-entangled,
I ask for water


In beauties strong fist
I am captured forever
By its strong tendrils

~  :  ~  :  ~

Morning Glories climb
Grasp and tie up in a snare
Like jealous lovers

~  :  ~  :  ~

Save me from beauty
It has me in a death grip
I need room to breath

~  :  ~  :  ~
Moose stopped to smell them
Now his antlers are entrapped
Goose asks for scissors

 ~  :  ~  :  ~

Amid the tendrils
Spider weaves her own deft trap
Snare within a snare 

~  :  ~  :  ~

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Carpe Diem # 122 - Jealousy

Famous Photo - I found it here

I say "I love you"
The thing you must never know
I want to OWN you

~ : ~ : ~

She has eyes on Bob
Wants to catch him in her snare
She flirts with Charlie

~ : ~ : ~
He checks out the blonde
Then gets angry and pouts when
She checks out soldier

~ : ~ : ~

I check her e-mail
Is there a cyber affair?
She checks my e-mail

~ : ~ : ~

I love you so much
If we are not together
I'll have to kill you

~ : ~ : ~

Moose has a long face
Best cow has flown with the elk
Goose flies with cuckoo

 ~ : ~ : ~

Update: per Mark's request

Unjealous Spider
Infidelity - no chance
Has her mate for lunch

 ~ : ~ : ~

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

VisDare 7 - Secret

This is not a follow-up to last week's effort.  Just a simple little stand-alone in 149 words.

Surprise - the lock made no sound when I turned the bulky key.

Nor was there a screech from the hinges as the ancient door swung effortlessly open.

The moonlight streaming through the open doorway was all I needed to survey the vast riches in this crypt.

A jeweled brooch.

A golden cup.

A Mithril dagger worth more than even I could imagine.

They all went silently into my pouch.

The residents here had no more need of them.

Soon I would be like a King – one of these ancient Kings, whose crypts are supposedly protected by powerful curses.

What’s this?  Aha - a purse of gold coins.

There was no sound but the slight whisper of the wind, like an old lover’s sigh.

Then it caught the door, and slammed it shut with a crash that would wake the dead.

Oh great gods  .  .  .  the DEAD.

~  :  ~  :  ~   

As a haiku

 Stealing from the dead
Risky business any time
Then an ill wind blows

Sensational Haiku Wednesday - CRISIS

New crisis each day
Manufactured for headlines
A crisis crisis

~  : ~

Oh my what to do
Maybe I should just panic
 My hair is on fire

~  : ~ 

Another crisis
Yet another comment lost
Hazel's spam filter

SHW is powered by Jenn
Join the fun!

Carpe Diem #121 -- Greed; Plus 3WW CCCXVI

Our three words are

Our Carpe Diem prompt is Greed - one of the 7 deadly sins

 Cumbersome this load
I acquired in my rampage
Morbid I still yearn

 $$  :  $$

Root of all evil
Acquisitive by nature
Moral dilemma

$$  :  $$

STUFF - what's mine is mine
I love THINGS like Smaug loves GOLD
[What's yours is mine too]

$$  :  $$

How much do I need?
A question for the ages
How much stuff is there?

$$  :  $$

Money and power
Fungible if you have them
While most go hungry

$$  :  $$

I'll have another
More - I'm still not satisfied
So I'm taking yours

$$  :  $$

Greed for chocolate
There's only one morsel left
Would I share with you?

$$  :  $$

Some say greed is good
As Moose ponders his next move
Goose lays Golden Egg

$$  :  $$

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Carpe Diem #120 - Vanity

Image Source [though I can't find it there]

We have a similar - but not identical - piece in our bedroom
A hand-me-down from my lovely wife's grandmother

A triple mirror
To see my best from all sides
Lovely furniture

~  :  ~

At her vanity
She asks, "Who is the fairest?"
In her vanity

~  :  ~

Among all people
I like me - who do you like?
Of course it's "me too"

~  :  ~

Who else could love me
As well as I love myself
Vain love not in vain

~  :  ~  :  ~  :  ~

In triple mirror
Moose admires his own fine rack
Goose preens like pin up

~  :  ~  :  ~  :  ~

Monday, February 11, 2013

Carpe Diem #119 - Windmill

Dutch Windmill in Sakura, Japan
Wikipedia Commons

 Windmill waves to me
Across a field of tulips
Every day a grind

~  :  ~

On a windy day
While frolickers fly their kites
Windmill plies its trade

~  :  ~

Blind date at windmill
Not terribly romantic
Plus they're going Dutch

~  :  ~

Moose tilts at windmill
Antlers raking through the sails

Wise Goose ducks his head

 ~  :  ~

Carpe Diem #119

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Carpe Diem # 118 - Stork

It seems that only a few places in North America are home to storks.  But we still have the legend of storks bringing babies.  I suppose that traveled over from Europe with our ancestors.  Or maybe the stork brought it.

What the stork brings
Can be a blessing from God
Or a rude surprise

~  :  ~

When the stork brought me
It was icy December
Dropped me on my head

~  :  ~

When the stork plays games
And parents are so flustered
The cuckoo gets blamed

~  :  ~

Stork in the arctic
Delivers a parrot egg
A Tern for the worse

~  :  ~  :  ~  :  ~

Goose flies with the stork
Moose broods beneath his antlers
What will come of this

~  :  ~  :  ~  :  ~

Saturday, February 9, 2013

VisDare 6: Emerging

I've been away from VisDare and Marci's story for a while.  It was a combination of life getting in the way, other distractions, and perhaps a soupçon of negligence.   I had at least three different not-wholly-satisfactory ideas on what to do with this picture, and finally chose this route.  My first draft weighed in at exactly 150 words, so that is what you get.

Marci found the gilt-framed painting behind Great Uncle Albert's desk - another curious artifact.  The family resemblence was obvious, and she speculated that it might be her grandmother, as a young woman.  That would place it in the mid fifty's, though the hairstlye, dress and oil lantern were not of that era.

She hung it in her bedroom, and soon it became a familiar feature, easily overlooked.  At times, though, Marci thought she noticed a slight change in position or expression. But that seemed too weird, and how can you be sure about these things?

A few months later, when the full moon streamed through Marci's window at midnight, she woke to find the woman striding out of the picture frame.  She placed the lantern on a side table, sat on the edge of Marci's bed and stroked her hair.

"There is much I need to tell you," she said. 

~ : ~ : ~

As a hiaku

Mystery woman
Product of moonbeams and dreams
What is your message

 ~ : ~ : ~

Marci's Thread 

~ : ~ : ~

Carpe Diem Imagination #2 - Morning Glory

Morning Glories stretch
High above the picket fence
Greet the rising sun

~  :  ~

Glory of morning
Brightness of a dawning day
Blue petals smiling

~  :  ~  :  ~

Glorious morning
Moose stops to smell the flowers
Goose soars to the sun

~  :  ~  :  ~

Gloria's morning
First sight as my eyes wake up
Is my lovely wife

~  :  ~  :  ~

Friday, February 8, 2013

Carpe Diem # 117 - Sakura

Sweet song of cherries
Fragrant blossoms fill the air
Music fills my soul

 ~ : ~ : ~

Sakura drummers
Dancing with both hands and feet
Make a joyful noise

~ : ~ : ~

Exotic rhythms
Mallots flying through the air
Call me to the East

 ~ : ~ : ~

 Pink petals falling
On the just and the unjust
Sweet and sour cherries*

~ : ~ : ~

Goose draws with his quill
Emakimono of moose
Drumming with his hooves

~ : ~ : ~

* Per Lolly's recommendation

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Līgo Haībun Challenge -- Melt

Yer Pirate, and some other Wordpress Users -

If you should read this, I want you to know that I am unable to comment on any of your blog posts including the one for this challenge.  These comments must be stuck in your spam filter.  Please release them.

~ : ~ : ~

I saw this new challenge at KZ's blog and was inspired by what she wrote.  So much so that this is a direct response to it.  A failure of originality, perhaps, but you know what they say about imitation.  Anyway, here goes, at exactly 220 words.


My Dearest Jocelyn -

The handkerchief you made for me is perfect. Would you be surprised that I still keep it close to my heart?   I do so admire your skill with needlepoint, your touch at the harpsichord, the beauty of your singing, your way with words, and the quiet confidence with which you handle the servants. My father bought his way into our social class, and you saw how I was never accepted there.  That by itself is enough to make our love impossible.

You know that I have always loved you, and certainly in a way that your husband never could.  But Willoughby's was so long ago.  Still, I remember that first kiss, the touch of your soft hands, and all else that we did that night.  The memory gives me such a warm glow.

My husband has been able to thaw me.  Or maybe I was never frozen.  But even now, with oceans between us when I am in his arms I think of you.  Perhaps it would help if you would think of me.

I memorized your beautiful letter before I burned it in the candle that you gave me.  You know what to do with this.

Sent with all my love,


~ : ~ : ~

Love that never wanes
Though the candles are burned low
Nevermore to wax

 ~ : ~ : ~ 

Carpe Diem #116 - FADO

Fateful sailor's song
Of his saudade and woe
Sting of salt water

~ : ~

Sad song of longing
All things flow to the ocean
Rest there in the depths

~ : ~

When I lost my love
I took my boat out to sea
Drowned there in my tears

~ : ~

Fado guitar strings
Plucked like the strings of my heart
Then I lost them all

~ : ~ : ~ : ~

Song of lost antlers
When the sea drowns the forest
The goose will not fly

~ : ~

When moose sings fado
Then the elk stares in wonder
Goose plucks the guitar

 ~ : ~ : ~ : ~