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, June 26, 2013

Carpe Diem #232, Semi (Cicada)

~ 1 ~

cicada's sad song
brings no comfort to children
summer's almost done

~ 2 ~

at sunset
i hear the cicada's song
find an empty husk


~ 3 ~

buzzing reminder
goose considers migration
moose thinks solitude

~ 4 ~

cicada's song
no comfort for orb weaver
just an empty husk

~ 5 ~

split-back husk
cicada outgrows it
and then moves along

~ 6 ~
bold crescendo
cacophonous orchestra
plays bug symphony


Carpe Diem #232


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Carpe Diem #229, Hanabi (Fireworks)

I am not a fan of fireworks. Oh, the colors and the occasional quasi-floral displays are pretty and might even be impressive, but I really don't like the noise. Here in the U.S. the 4th of July [Independence Day] is a big fireworks extravaganza, with big cities and little villages all putting on their loud, bright, shows. Many private citizens get into the act as well, and anticipate 7/04 by quite a few days. I heard fireworks in my neighborhood just last night. Fireworks displays are also common after baseball games. Both the Detroit tigers and Toledo Mudhens have them after Friday night games.

The U.S might lag Japan in fireworks enthusiasm, but I think we do our part.

~ 1 ~

kids running bases
under the exploding blooms
after the ballgame


~ 2 ~

after the ballgame
loud bright colored sky blossoms
over Monroe Street

~ 3 ~

fire works display
old man watches with wide eyes
and fingers in ears

~ 4 ~

moose and goose see
stars explode over the lake
they just don't get it

~ 5 ~

fire works flower
the only one guaranteed
to be spider-free


For a completely different take on fireworks, see here.


Carpe Diem #229

Friday, June 21, 2013

Carpe Diem's Tan Renga Challenge #3 "the rainy season"

The challenge, explained here with detail and background, is to add a second two-line stanza to a haiku provided by Kristjaan, this time from the pen of Buson.

the rainy season  
a paper lantern in hand  
I walk along the verandah   

in the damp gathering gloom
my long shadow follows

~ or ~

the rainy season  
a paper lantern in hand  
I walk along the verandah   

moose and goose walk in the woods
under the dark dripping leaves

~ or  ~

the rainy season  
a paper lantern in hand  
I walk along the verandah   

in a dry ceiling corner
spider awaits moist insects

~ and, oh, what the hell ~

the rainy season  
a paper lantern in hand  
I walk along the verandah   

in the damp treetop
a lonely cuckoo calls

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Carpe Diem #226, Hototogisu (Little or English Cuckoo)

~ 1 ~

cuckoo bird's song
like a black forest clock
measuring your days

~ 2 ~

cuckoo the loner
under clouds or in bamboo
always sings solo


~ 3 ~

little cuckoo
lays eggs in other bird's nests
inspires adulteress

~ 4 ~

moose is confused
what strange goings-on when
goose flies with cuckoo

~ 5 ~

cuckoo and spider
despite all their best efforts
we still have bugs


Carpe Diem #226

L.A. Times Crossword Puzzle Blogging

Wednesday, June 19, 2013 Gareth Bain.

Cross-posted at The Corner.

Theme: WEIRD TALES - The first word of each theme answer is an anagram of TALES.  Weird is used to indicate that the letters of TALES have been morphed into some strange new form - a typical trick often used in crossword clues where a verb is used to indicate that the letters have been mixed, altered, ot otherwise tampered with.

17 A. Get closer to home? : STEAL THIRD.  Our first WEIRD TALE, and a bit of baseball, too.

25 A. Electrical device named for its inventor : TESLA COILThis plaything, invented by Nikola TESLA looks like it belongs on The Forbidden Planet.  Tesla was a brilliant engineer and inventor, and might have been a bit Weird, even without the COIL.

36 A. Chestnut : STALE JOKE.  I googled "world's oldest joke" and actually came up with it

51 A. Dress pants shade : SLATE GRAY.  Perfect with a classic navy blue blazer

And the unifier, 62 A. Classic horror magazine, and a literal hint to the beginning of 17-, 25-, 36-, and 51-Across : WEIRD TALES.

Hi gang, JzB here.  Just home from rehearsal and ready to see what sort of adventure Gareth will lead us on today.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Carpe Diem #225, Kawasemi (Kingfisher)

~ 1 ~

fish in the river
think that they are safe but then
a kingfisher dives

~ 2 ~

little kingfisher
does he ever dream to be
a cormorant

~ 3 ~

moose and goose
watch kingfisher from the shore
munching on leaves

~ 4 ~

can be active or passive
kingfisher . . . spider


Carpe Diem #225


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Carpe Diem #223, Hasu (Lotus)

deep lotus meaning
just accept the flower
as a flower


lovely lotus
a glamorous blossom
with feet in the mud


Carpe Diem #223

Friday, June 14, 2013

Carpe Diem #221, Hotaru (Firefly)

Bassman Paul Keller with his quintet and big band were regulars at The Firefly Club in Ann Arbor.  Obviously, this is a different venue.

~ 1 ~

the firefly
erstwhile ann arbor jazz club
now sadly defunct

~ 2 ~

fireflies strobing
with the cool syncopations
on a hot night

~ 3 ~

flying lanterns
help me in my search
for an honest man

~ 3 ~

in the depth of night
with no light but fireflies
illicit lovers

~ 4 ~

in the deep summer
a blinking constellation
for moose and goose

~ 5 ~

orb weaver cares not
for whom the firefly beckons
eats him anyway


Carpe Diem #221

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Carpe Diem #219, Samidare (midsummer rain)

I've lived my entire life in an area about 75 miles N-S and 10 miles E-W.  One weather phenomenon we frequently observe here - and I've noticed it for much of my adult life - is the sun coming out just in time to set.  This occurs because, with or without rain, heavy overcast is common here.  But sometimes, as day goes on, the sun moves far enough west to peek underneath the clouds and scatter a few beams in our general directions before disappearing below the horizon.

~ 1 ~

at day's end
the sun moves far enough west
to shine on wet grass

~ 2 ~

midsummer rain
moose and goose can stay cool
without a pond

~ 3 ~

drops of warm rain
glisten on orb weaver's web
silk and diamond net

Carpe Diem #219

Monday, June 10, 2013

Carpe Diem #218, Suzushi (cool, coolness)

~ 1 ~

a state of temperature
or a state of mind


~ 2 ~

hot summer night
time to take note of some
cool jazz

~ 3 ~

in summertime
i drink cool tea
served over ice

~ 4 ~

moose and goose
know how to keep cool
in a flowing stream

~ 5 ~

in a shady spot
orb weaver plays it cool
waits for a hot bug

~ 6 ~

and a bit of silliness

if you suzushi
like i suzushi oh oh

~~ :: ~~

Carpe Diem #218

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Carpe Diem Special #41, Kikusha-Ni's 'lost in the woods'.

Inspirational haiku by Kikusha-Ni.

lost in the woods
only the sound of a leaf
falling on my hat

I get a variety of feelings from this haiku, not all consistent with each other: foreboding, hope, oneness with nature, isolation from nature, new beginning, possibly even end of life.

 Inspired haiku by JzB

~ 1 ~

alone in the woods
beyond the arching boughs
storm clouds gather

~ 2 ~

alone in the woods
old man finds a fallen branch
new walking stick

~ 3 ~

in the deep still woods
even moose and goose
remain silent

~ 4 ~

alone but not lost
in the depth of the woods
spider spins her home

~ 5 ~

For Arya Stark

deep in the woods
dire wolf gathers her pack
warg Nymeria


Carpe Diem Special #41

Carpe Diem's Tan Renga Challenge

See Kristjaan's post for a description and some examples of Tan Renga

scattered in sand
embers of a saltwood fire
face to face with stars   
                  (Jane Reichhold)

tide slowly rises 
clouds of smoke and salt                 (JzB)

I just glanced at Mystic's blog, and can't resist doing another Tan Renga.  The enigmatic haiku/senryu I found there speaks to me, because three of our granddaughters performed in a dance recital this evening.  The entire event was spectacular, and our girls were awesome.

Oranges ripen
far from the bamboo gardens—
will the dancers come?  
                   (Magical Mystical Teacher)

scent of orange blossoms
in the dancers' hair                                   (JzB)

If anybody wants to continue the game with one of mine, please feel free to do so, and link back here in comments.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Carpe Diem #216, U no Hana (Deutzia flower)

Just a single haiku from me today, but I'll admit I'm rather pleased with it.

drift of white flowers
remembering winter
after snow has gone

Carpe Diem #216


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Carpe Diem #215, Botan (peony)

When I was growing up, my mother had peonies in the back yard along the fence, and our neighbor did too.

I have vivid memories of ants crawling over the new, tightly closed buds.   When the flower opens, the ants lose interest.

We kids thought the ants eating the sweet sap was necessary to help them open, but I guess that turns out not to be true.

~ 1 ~

sweet peony sap
ants can never resist it
till the bloom opens

~ 2 ~

tightly clasped blossom
i know you hold love's secret
open up for me

 ~ 3 ~

wide open flower
with your many layers
what secrets you hold

~ 4 ~

roses without thorns
moose and goose admire their blooms
not good for munching

~ 5 ~

spreading peony
many leaves and branches
secret spider home

~ : ~ : ~

Carpe Diem #215

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Carpe Diem #214, Hatsugatsuo (first Bonito) - Plus Sensational Haiku Wednesday

Kristjaan explains:
During the Edo period, Kamakura was famous for the first bonito to be fished at the beaches of the inlay. The very first ones were offered at Hachimangu with prayers for a good fishing season.

In newer years, the first fish of the year landing on the beach of Kamakura was called hatsugatsuo and offered to the deities.

The SHW prompt for today is Marine Life.
I'll double up on memes this time with entries 1 and 3.

~ 1 ~

early bird gets worm
worm on hook gets bonito
first things first

~ 2 ~

first things highly prized
that's why virgins get tossed
into volcanoes

~ 3 ~

moose and goose
sit by the river side
watch the salmon run

~ 4 ~

first summer spider
in our house - my wife calls me
to come and kill it

~ 5 ~

sacrificed spider
she doesn't pay the mortgage
moment of non-zen


* in fairness i should point out that i could reach it and she couldn't
this is what chivalry comes down to
in a time without dragons

Carpe Diem #214


Join the fun!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Carpe Diem #213, Tango (Boys' Day or Boys' Festival)

My grandson Nate (left) and his team won their first baseball tournament

~ 1 ~

no samurai swords
these boys go to battle
with balls and bats

~ 2 ~

i fly one carp kite
so too does my daugher
my son can fly two

~ 3 ~

what young boy
doesn't love dinosaurs
castles and knights

~ 4 ~

young moose calf
dreams of his first set
of fuzzy antlers

~ 5 ~

gosling looks around
takes a gander at the goose
tries to egg her on

~ 6 ~

brave young male spider
plucks his way across her web
hopes to hit and run

~  :  ~  :  ~

Carpe Diem #213

Monday, June 3, 2013

Carpe Diem Special #40, Kikusha-Ni's 'in the teabowl'

Inspirational Haiku, by Kikusha-Ni

tenmoku ni koharu no kumo no ugoki kana

in the teabowl
this motion of the clouds
of 'Little Spring'

Plus, I am delighted by Kristjaan's effort

in the rain puddle
the beauty of moving clouds
beneath my feet

I am taking this prompt as an invitation to pause and reflect, not just on nature, but on myself.  I see many people find comfort in religion.  But I am an agnostic and a secular humanist, and have rejected religion as a key to either understanding or enlightenment.  So I do not see haiku as the fulfillment of any religious ideal.  Rather, to me, it is a minimalist intellectual exercise attempting to capture in words some small but meaningful aspect of life or nature.  I appreciate the discipline imposed by the limits of the form, and see that as part of the challenge.

Often, I fail in my attempts to write real haiku - or even senryu - and opt instead for some small bit of structured cleverness.  Such is my ego.  And thus my scattershot responses to the prompts, and reliance on animal props. Sometimes they oonch up the challenge, but they also provide focal points. 

I am in awe of nature, humbled by the universe, and actually do have a spiritual side - though I cannot claim to understand it. Thus my humility. I am a part of the universe, and might even be connected to all things in it.

But it remains beyond my comprehension. 

~ 1 ~

am i a haijin
or just a glib old man
playing with words

~ 2 ~

i please myself
with little word images
are they something more

~ 3 ~

virtual image
on the surface of my tea
universe reversed

~ 4 ~

reflect on nature
emulate the moose and goose
living ego-free

~ 5 ~

moving clouds
seen in dew on spider's web
do not move her


Carpe Diem Special #40

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Carpe Diem #212, Shincha (New Tea)

~ 1 ~

new tea served up
in very tiny cups
young man's first taste

~ 2 ~

spring tea
delicate soft and sweet
as bamboo music

~ 3 ~

neither moose nor goose
is an eager tea drinker
but might try the leaves

~ 4 ~

tea oil repels her
but orb weaver gladly lives


Saturday, June 1, 2013

Carpe Diem #211, koromogae (changing or switching clothes)

Today's kigo is koromogae, the seasonal change of wardrobe.  Here in Michigan we know it well.  The big questions are: "When will it happen?" and: "Is it for real?" You never can be too sure about these things, either here or in neighboring Wisconsin..

~ 1 ~
now's the time of change
of course just this morning
i changed my socks

~ 2 ~

here in michigan
we need two set of clothes
not so Florida

~ 3 ~

old man is ready
to see signs of the season
short skirts bikinis

~ 4 ~

odd koromogae
mom and dad exchange clothes
become trans-parents

~ 5 ~

beast koromogae
moose grows new antlers all spring
goose molts at solstice

~ 6 ~

wool for winter
lighter fabrics for summer
spider sticks with silk


Carpe Diem #211