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.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Carpe Diem's Tan Renga Challenge #12, Southard's "the swing of the gate".

I must admit, I don't get what is going on with this haiku.  What do the phrase and fragment have to do with each other?  I can't make sense of any of it.  Given that, I do like Kristjaan's 2nd Stanza, and will attempt one of my own.   Wish me luck.

First stanza (5-7-5):

Just the cellarpit;
only the catbird recalls
the swing of the gate                                                    (Southard)

Second stanza (7-7):

and high in the catbird seat
swings to its squeaky rhythm                                       (JzB)

[Is there any other English language two-syllable word that contains only a single vowel?]

Carpe Diem's Tan Renga Challenge #12

Carpe Diem #285, The Peace Within

~ 1 ~

how the poet writes
to purge those soul-bound daemons
finds the peace within

~ 2 ~

for MMT

 how anguished poets
emit those long plaintive wails
and then rest in peace


Carpe Diem #285

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Carpe Diem #284, Endless Skies

deep down in texas
blue skies reach eternity


through endless blue
goose soars toward the setting sun
moose grazes on greens


through serene blue
fly buzzes unaware - finds
its end in a web


and with a hat tip to MMT

how the old haijin
though an imperfect human
keeps reaching skyward


Carpe Diem #284

Five Sentence Fiction – Thunder


It's been building in me all day, this gloomy dark brooding mood.

Now the negative ions cluster thicker, swirling a bit, and darker, ever darker.

Here comes another - just like me, he thinks - into my air space.

Rubbing me the wrong way.

"Hey," I say to him, "you want to rumble?"

Lillie McFerrin Writes

Five Sentence Fiction  - Thunder


Carpe Diem #283, Hidden Places

deep recesses
of my mind -- secret home to
moose goose orb-weaver

Carpe Diem #283 

For another look into my fevered brain click here


Wednesday, August 28, 2013


The Words:


Something I wrote:

i so eagerly
anticipate her coming
even changed the sheets


never fearless though
what if she changes her mind
or loves someone else


later much later
she sleeps serene in my arms
between twisted sheets



Carpe Diem Special #54, Kikaku's "The beggar!

Inspirational haiku by Kikaku

the beggar!
he has Heaven and Earth
for his summer clothes

I'm not religious, but this immediately made me think of Matthew 6:28.

no need for raiment
be like flowers in the field
who never spin

Carpe Diem Special #54


L.A. Times Crossword Puzzle Blogging

Wednesday, August 28, 2013  Pancho Harrison

Cross-posted at The Corner

Theme: Most telling put downs.  Each two-word answer consists of a noun preceded by a two-syllable verb that indicates a negative action or feeling, and whose second syllable connects with the noun to yield an in-the-language phrase.   

17 A. Put down toddlers? : DECRY BABIES.  To DECRY is to publicly denounce.    CRY BABIES complain, whether they have a reason to or not.

28 A. Put down formal education? : DEGRADE SCHOOL.  To DEGRADE is treat or regard someone with disrespect.  GRADE SCHOOL is the designation for grades 1 through some number between 5 and 8, depending on whether your district has middle school and what year it starts.

48 A. Put down thoroughfares? : DEMEAN STREETSDEMEAN means to cause a severe loss of dignity or respect.   MEAN STREETS, besides being a 1973 Martin Scorsese movie, means a part of town known for violence and crime.

64 A. Put down a rock genre? : DEBASE METAL.   DEBASE means to reduce the value or quality of something.  BASE METAL is something other than a precious metal.  Copper, tin and zinc all qualify.

Hi gang, JazzBumpa here.  Rather a brilliant theme, IMHO.  But I love word play of all sorts.  This kind of involuted pun is somewhat akin to the old Tom Swifty.  Kinda, sorta, maybe.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Carpe Diem's Distillation #1, A poem by Otomo Miyuki (Manyoshu)

The challenge is to reduce to a haiku this poem, by Otomo Miyuki, who, as Kristjaan explains "wrote it after the Jinshin conflict (672), in which Emperor Temmu in 673 moved the capital of Japan back to Yamato Province on the Kiyomihara plain, naming this new capital Asuka."

I've been reducing my own stories and longer poems to haiku form for well over  a year now, so this is right up my alley.

Our Sovereign, a god,
Has made his Imperial City
Out of the stretch of swamps,
Where chestnut horses sank
To their bellies.

© Ōtomo Miyuki


My distillation

sovereign city
fitting capital for god
with feet of clay

Carpe Diem's Distillation #1

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Carpe Diem's Little Ones #3,

This time Kristjaan introduces us to SIJO an ancient Korean short poetry form.  He explains:

The lines average 14-16 syllables, for a total of 44-46. There is a pause in the middle of each line, so in English they are sometimes printed in six lines instead of three. Most poets follow these guidelines very closely although there are longer examples. Either narrative or thematic, this lyric verse introduces a situation or problem in line 1, development (called a turn) in line 2, and a strong conclusion beginning with a surprise (a twist) in line 3, which resolves tensions or questions raised by the other lines and provides a memorable ending.

A different structure, but very much the same esthetic drive as the sonnet.  Kristjaan tells us: "Sijo is, first and foremost, a song."  And Sonnet, of course, means "little song."  Is it a stretch to find a match at the souls of these two forms?

Once, in a stroke of smart assery, I reduced Shakespears' Sonnet 12 to a haiku - or at least a haiku-shaped word cluster.  The sonnet can be found here.    My quasi-haiku here, but I'll reprint it below, as well. 

All ages,  withers,
Dies.  You too. Now - you look fine!
Let's make a baby.

I think [hope] I'm a better haijin than that now.

Here are two Sigo, the first is another restatement of Sonnet 12, the second comes from the deep recesses of my own fevered brain.


soon enough the clock strikes twelve
and all the brightness fades to gloom

you my young sweet beauty too
shall fade into tarnished silver

so now before time steals us
let us join and make a new life


a blushing pink flower opens
with fruit so ripe as to burst

here comes the sly wonton boy
his hunger never satisfied

now the cherry gets consumed
is the flower's beauty spoiled


And now a cinquian, inspired by Bjorn and  Chèvrefeuille.

but not for long
fallen between white sheets
but now they are stained red
just like cherries


Saturday, August 24, 2013

Carpe Diem #280, The Conversation

~ 1 ~

conversing converse
obverse communication
no conversation

~ 2 ~

moose and goose
communing together
with no common tongue

~ 3 ~

spider won't converse
with those who visit her web
but she makes her point

~ 4 ~

after all these years
sometimes a smile or a nod
says more than mere words

~ 5 ~

i've said i love you
more than ten thousand times
it never gets old


Carpe Diem #280

Friday, August 23, 2013

Carpe Diem #279, Calling Wisdom

~ 1 ~

whence comes wisdom
information and knowledge
plus experience

~ 2 ~

i tried to call wisdom
but it left neither number
nor forward address

~ 3 ~

slightly off target
wanted to be a wise man
wound up a wise guy


Carpe Diem #279

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Carpe Diem Special #53, Kikaku's "a flock of swallows"

above the sea
a rainbow, erased by
a flock of swallows

(c) Kikaku

In this haiku I sense conflicting feelings.  A flock of swallows shouldn't represent ugliness, but here they destroy a thing of beauty.  Is this irony, a chance observation, or a comment on the sometimes cruel indifference of nature?

~ 1 ~

beside the pavement
a roadkill carcass consumed
by vultures

~ 2 ~

in the stormy sky
a flying chevron of geese
erased by lightning

~ 3 ~

lovely butterfly
a rainbow color riot
wrapped in sticky silk


Carpe Diem Special #53

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Carpe Diem's Tan Renga Challenge #11, "cricket silence" Jane Reichhold

The tan renga is two stanza form in which the first stanza is written by one haijin - in this case the famous Jane Reichold - and the 2nd is added by another haijin. Here, of course, that would be me. 

cricket silence
between scraping sounds
autumn begins                                 (Jane Reichhold)

season changing counterpoint
the sad moan of cicadas                  

I should explain that a characteristic of counterpoint is to have one voice active while the other is briefly silent.  The silence between the cricket's scrapes gave me this idea.

Carpe Diem's Tan Renga Challenge #11



Reading Mystic's Blog put me in a desert frame of mind.

in the desert
that distinct image you see
is just a mirage


in the desert
my thoughts aren't irrational
i hallucinate


in the desert
i'm as sullen and prickly
as a saguaro



VisDare 34: Fearless


guests for my dinner
looks like they weren't expecting
wolf in sheep's clothing

VisDare 34: Fearless

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Carpe Diem #277, Magic Fields

Today I'm tired, unispired and I have a totally undeserved headache.

This is the best I can do

Lo siento

mysterious life
blooms and dies each passing year
magic or science

Carpe Diem #277

Sunday, August 18, 2013

VisDare 33: Indifferent

I haven't played Visual Dare for a while.  

Probably not.

I'll go the haiku/senryu route.

wet sad and confused
displaced in the modern age
ancient godesses

these three muses
so much more charming
without their rain gear


VisDare 33



Carpe Diem #275, Longing for the Unknown

This prompt reminded me of the haibun I wrote last Tuesday.

So today's first senryu is a companion piece to it.


those many sad years
i knew not what i longed for
then i found you


tonight i sleep
and dream about tomorrow
bring it on 


inspired my MMT [not Modern Monetary Theory]

 the seeker goes blind
to mysterious places
the desert beckons


Carpe Diem #275


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Carpe Diem #274, Silent Heart

I feel a quiet longing in this music that never quite reaches the level of desperation, though perhaps it should.  Here is a trio of "silent heart" responses.

 ~ 1 ~

the silent heart
love that dare never speak
its name

~ 2 ~

i watch you
so pure and chaste from afar
but not in my dreams

~ 3 ~

its language
not so hard to understand
if you listen


Carpe Diem #274, Silent Heart

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Carpe Diem Special #52, Kikaku's "a white crane from Fukei"

 Usually I jump right into Carpe Diem prompts, but I had to let this one ferment for a few hours.

Inspirtional Haiku by Kikaku

How I wish to call
A white crane from Fukei,
But for this cold rain

My inspiration

i should take a walk
by the pond with my mother
to see the white cranes

Mom is 92.  You can see her here

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Carpe Diem #272, Blessings Rain

After writing the haiku
I was quite amazed to find this picture

In a thunderstorm
we cling close to each other
struck by our lightning

Haiku Heights # 270 - Late


~ 1 ~

i promised my friends
 i'd return by moon rise
but i met this girl

~ 2 ~

on a moonless night
my key slips into her lock
did she miss me

~ 3 ~

under the full moon
i wait in the pale gray light
still alone at dawn

~ 4 ~

clouds cover the moon
on the cold stone of her grave
i place a red rose

Inspired by the theme at


Today's words:


I was going to let this go, then I saw Mystic's wonderful White Egrets post.  
That prodded me into action.

old man looks around
distraught in his solitude
where's the old woman


moose and goose finding
comfort in meadow and stream
habitual playgrounds


orb weaver's work
a sticky trapping net
to regulate flies



Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Carpe Diem Kamishibai #4

An Autobiographical Haibun

At the end of my junior year in high school I met a girl, but didn't get to know her.  She was only a freshman.  After Summer passed and the new school year started, we met again and this time I did get to know her.  We fell in love. [Note the out-of-control spin that expression implies.  Nobody ever climbs into love]  It was sweet. We dated for two years, in a very chaste, early 60's all-too-Catholic way [this was before the sexual revolution] then drifted apart.

No.  That's not quite right.  It all came unraveled.  We were young. There were distractions.  Love isn't always easy.   We moved on, married other people, had families.  I thought we had forgotten about each other.  Eventually, though, we found ourselves living a few blocks apart on the same street.  Fate had brought us not exactly together again, but at least into the same space.  By this time, my marriage was pretty much a disaster.  In fact, it had become quite ugly.  I wound up divorced.

A year later, so did she.  Then we were able to get together again.  I discovered something that I had hidden from myself for many years - I never stopped loving her.  The great amazing surprise was that she loved me.

We've been together ever since - I and the one great love of my life, now growing old together.  I have a son and a daughter.  She has two sons.  Together we share 11 smart, beautiful, talented grandchildren.

Getting here wasn't easy. But now I can truly say that life is good.

Bumpa's 11

fate or destiny
who knows - but what a great gift
is a second chance


Carpe Diem Kamishibai #4

Carpe Diem #271, Morning Celebration


another new day
invest the time wisely
it's all you have


another new day
if it is filled with love
cherish each moment


another new day
bones and bed springs creak
as old man rises


another new day
moose grazes in the meadow
while goose takes wing


another new day
orb weaver's spun creation
glows in the sun light


Carpe Diem #271

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Carpe Diem #266, Follow your Heart (instead of Siddhartha)

following my heart
i found myself on the street
where you live

[But we also call this "The Stalker Song."]

Carpe Diem #266

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Carpe Diem Tan Renga Challenge #9, free like a bird

Today's initial verse is from Kristjaan.  This is how it works:

"The goal of this Tan Renga Challenge is to write a second stanza (7-7) to complete the Tan Renga which I started. Tan Renga is very similar with Tanka, but Tan Renga is written by two poets. It's a short form of the Kasen Renga or the Renga (chained verse)."

This made me think of granddaughter Amanda, just back from a week in New York with the Rockettes.  I know what dream she wants to catch.

fly like an eagle
as free as a bird in the sky
be a dreamcatcher 


and what great heights you might reach

One of my dreams is to be able to play great music with a competent ensemble.  I'm delighted that it comes true so frequently - most recently just this last Sunday.

Carpe Diem #265, Eagle's Flight

We actually saw an eagle over black lake on our recent vacation.  The nest is somewhere on the south shore, and we were on the south west shore where the lake is widest.  Early one evening it came soaring out over the water.  It looked and moved so different from the water birds we had been seeing, and made quite a striking image in the low sun's steep rays.  Then it looped around and headed for home, before I had a chance to pick up my camera.

white head and tail
dark wings shredding the blue sky
an eagle soars

Carpe Diem #265 


  A propos of nothing, here is a video from a performance I was a part of over the week end.  I'm out of sight, behind the trumpets. 

I LOVE Diane's singing.


Saturday, August 3, 2013

Carpe Diem Special #50, Kikaku's "Kagura Dance at night "

inspirational haiku by Kikaku

Kagura dance at night
the performer's breath white
inside his mask

my inspiration

who can say
what moves the dancer's spirit
moves her body too

another inspired by maggie

night dancing angels
draw forth eternal light
defeating daemons

Carpe Diem Special #50 


Carpe Diem #262, Moon in the water

We were blessed with an awesome full moon on our vacation last week.  
Here one of the better moon-on-water shots.

yellow moon
rippling on black water
sun's re-reflection

Carpe Diem #262 


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Carpe Diem's Tan Renga Challenge #8, JRB's "inspiration flows"

For the Tan Renga challenge, the first stanza [formally 5-7-5] is supplied, and the second stanza [formally 7-7] is written in response, relation or contrast to it.

Our inspirational provided stanza comes from JRB.

My response follows.

gently fluttering
on shimmering wings of blue
inspiration flows

inspired by the wings' flutter



Carpe Diem's Tan Renga Challenge #8


Carpe Diem #261, Dervish Dream

Today, I'm thinking not so much about the music of Karunesh, but more about a whirling dancer, and what her dreams might be.

The dervish specifically seeks a heightened spiritual awakening.  But even a secular dancer [or musician, poet, artist or artisan] can strive for an experience outside the ordinary that might, from the application of serious discipline, have a spiritual component.

Our oldest granddaughter, who will be sixteen next month, is a serious dancer.  In addition to her regular dance studies, she has participated in several summer intensives with the Cicchetti Council of America, The American Ballet Theater, and she is currently in New York spending a week with The Rockettes.

Here is a video where you can see some of her twirling, specifically at 0:55 and 1:50. 

Who knows where she will go, if she follows her dream.

~ 1 ~

serious dance
body and spirit moving
in cosmic rhythm

~ 2 ~

the earth always whirls
moose grows antlers at each turn
goose flies home again

~ 3 ~

silken dervish
orb weaver does the 8 step
whirling a web


Carpe Diem #261