"When the Ainu go salmon fishing they always provide a thick willow stick about
two feet long with which to strike the salmon's head and kill it. This stick is
called isapa-kik-ni, "the head-striking wood" .... The Ainu say that
the salmon do not like being killed with a stone or any wood other than good
sound willow, but they are very fond of being killed with a willow stick.
Indeed, they are said to hold the isapa-kik-ni in great esteem. If anything
else is used, the fish will go away in disgust."
~ 1 ~
to my boat - i will kill you
~ 2 ~
placid salmon happy to be put to death with a willow stick
~ 3 ~
eating pink shake the clear sake in my cup whacks like willow wood
I used this picture of the chrysanthemums at my doorstep just a few days ago. It's from Nov. 1, last year. I just took a look at the plant a few minutes ago. There are three or four blossoms open now, and dozens of buds that are not yet ready to pop.
I'm quite taken with the idea of chrysanthemums and a long life.
chrysanthemum dew sipping the fountain of youth for life eternal
My wife's mother died earlier this year. Both of her parents are buried next to her aunt and uncle. Their son, her cousin, died of cancer a couple of months ago. He was a great guy, a wonderful father to his kids, and a loving nephew for my mother-in-law. He is buried just a few feet away. My wife placed pots of white chrysanthemums at their graves. So this haiku is tinged with sadness.
Theme: My mom is one - TWINS. Each starred clue is answered by one of a brace of famous real or mythical twins. The crossing theme answer is the other twin of the pair. Further, one of these twins is indicated by a two-word answer in which the second word is a red herring, while the other is a simple one-word name, clued in a way that should specifically identify the specific set of TWINS in question.
17 A. *Edward Cullen's rival for Bella's hand, in the "Twilight" series : JACOB BLACK. I haven't watched this series, so it took a lot of perp help.
2.D. *Biblical birthright seller : ESAU. JACOB's TWIN. Isaac's non-identical twin sons are both frequent crossword denizens. You know the story.
23 A. *She played Michelle on "Full House" : MARY KATE. Tricky, since the roll was shared by both of these TWINS.
11. *"High Crimes" actress : ASHLEY JUDD. As this point, having only half sussed the theme, I'm thinking - wait! The Judd sisters aren't twins! But MARY KATE and ASHLEY Olsen are. They have since grown up, or at least gotten older.
45 A. *Brother of Helen of Troy, some say : POLLUX. I did not know that.
28 D. *Source of an age-old medicinal oil : CASTOR BEAN. CASTOR OIL, of course. I don't recall ever being subjected to this cure. CASTOR and POLLUX in Greek mythology, present a confusing case. Per Wikipedia: "Their mother was Leda, but Castor was the mortal son of Tyndareus, the king of Sparta, and Pollux the divine son of Zeus, who seduced or raped Leda in the guise of a swan (Greek myths concerning divine sex are often vague on the issue of female consent)." That's more than I can comprehend. Better still, Helen also had a TWIN, the unfortunately named Clytemnestra. CASTOR and POLLUX are also the brightest stars in the constellation Gemini, and a pet products brand.
59 A. *Beach Boys title girl : BARBARA ANN. This takes me back to my ute. But back in the day  this was a hit recording for the Regents. The Beach Boys cover came later.
44 D. *"Today" correspondent __ Bush Hager : JENNA. BARBARA and JENNA are the daughters of former President George W. Bush, and clearly non-identical TWINS. They also got older. Here they are with their mom, former first lady Laura Bush.
And the unifier: 64 A. Target Field team, and each pair of intersecting names in the answers to starred clues : TWINS. C.C.'s home baseball team is not having a good year. They play three games against the Tigers next Mon.- Wed.
It took me quite a while to find C.C.'s wavelength. But wow - eight paired, crossing theme entries, with the horizontal elements in perfect symmetry, plus a unifier stacked below the last horizontal theme fill. Also, two TWIN sets are male and two are female. I don't even want to think about what it took to put this together.
Hi gang, a very impressed JazzBumpa here. Let's see what else C.C. has in store for us the rest of the way.
At that time our granddaughter Rebekka has just landed a role as one of the apple trees in The Wizard of Oz, if you remember that scene. [If not, you can see it and some of my doggerel at the link above.]
My scarecrow ideas for today:
~ 1 ~
to scare a scarecrow the wicked witch need only produce a small fire
~ 2 ~
i am not a crow so why does that stick figure scare me so
~ 3 ~
when i'm in a field after that hitchcock movie the crows scare me
Today, a haiku/senryu distilled from a poem I wrote several years ago, and posted on my other blog in 2009. Rereading it today brought tears to my eyes.
The date stamp on the file for this poem is August, 2000, so I suppose
that's when I wrote it. It is the narrative of a real incident, just as
it happened. My wife and I were driving around one day, rather
aimlessly, and went into a park. There was a lake, and we took our
shoes off, and waded along the shore line. It wasn't crowded, but there
were quite a few people there, in the water, and along the beach.
I am not a religious person, but this was a deeply moving event. Here is how it happened.
Such a simple thing, to lift a child. Hands grasp her sides, a second pair of ribs Beneath plump arms, and swing her high: Inconsequential weight on angel's wings.
Farther down the beach a gathering: Mexican Pentecostal Church of God All clad in white and black, their Sunday best, With angel voices raised in Spanish hymns.
That little girl, no taller than my knee Has not yet mastered walking on dry land. In childish guile she flees her family's eyes Makes her way to water's edge, and in.
Senor Juan Baptiste strides chest-deep Into the lake. The others, arms raised high, Invoke God's power as he grasps behind the neck, Supports each penitent beneath the waves.
When no one else was looking at this girl I saw her falter, fall, then float face down. Two splashing steps, hands on her ribs, I raise her out and draw her to my chest.
We could have driven past this lake today, Or lazed another minute on the shore, Or turned our wading walk the other way, Instead, I found myself above this child.
Juan Baptiste mouths a Spanish prayer, Lifts his new-found brother from the lake, As I lift and hold this child close to me, Saved, as by the very hand of God.
what strange twist of fate brought me to the lake that day to save a small child
My twisted brain wanted very much to make something obscene from this week's words. But I reined in the beast and came up with this, instead.
We were close to her place when the storm hit. But the rain fell so fast and hard that her flyaway hair was quickly plastered wet onto the sides of her head. In the gathering dark, her feathery locks were transformed into an oiled-looking mat.
We heard shouts from the other surprised pedestrians when sparks flew from a nearby transformer, and the gathering darkness suddenly deepened into inky gloom.
Finally, on her porch, she groped in her purse for the key, then exclaimed, "I've lost the key hole - oh, here it is."
When we were inside, she lit a few candles. I watched the scarlet flames flicker and sway while she examined herself in a mirror. Then she turned to me, wet, bedraggled and full of doubt.
"I am a sight," she said.
"No, my dear," I said, sweeping her into my arms, "You are a vision."