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, September 27, 2013

Carpe Diem Special #59, Southard's "widening rings"

Inspirational Haiku by O. Mabson Southard:

a patter of rain ...
the lily-pad undulates
on widening rings

I'm not sure this is in the spirit of Southard, but it's the image that came to me:

see her undulate
on the dance floor - hips moving
in widening rings

[but please - no twerking]

Carpe Diem Special #59

Carpe Diem #308, Sake (salmon)

From Krisjaan we learn:

"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 ~

salmon come
to my boat - i will kill you
with respect

~ 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


Carpe Diem #308, Sake (salmon)

Carpe Diem's Tan Renga Challenge #16, Jazzbumpa's "cold raindrops falling".

I'm honored and delighted that Krisjaan has selected one of my haiku for this Tan Renga challenge.  It's great to be a part of the globe-spanning Carpe Diem community.

I added a second verse when I first posted it, making it a tanka.  Doing so here will make it a tanka again, but I'm not going to let that stop me.

green leaves turn orange
amid the colors we see
cold raindrops falling

from silhouettes in the clouds
the mournful call of a goose

Carpe Diem's Tan Renga Challenge #16 


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Carpe Diem #306, Chooyoo (Chrysanthemum Festival)

Mum's the word

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

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.

white chrysanthemums
placed at her cousin's grave side
too late for long life


[with a nod to Wabi]

 moon reflection
white chrysanthemum bouquet
lunar perfume scent


let's drink together
for a long and happy life
chrysanthemum tea


Carpe Diem #306 


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Carpe Diem #304, Yanagi Chiru (Willow leaves fall)

~ 1 ~

willow leaves fall
after the cold solstice night
sunrise comes sooner

~ 2 ~

forlorn willow
naked in the winter night
shall i weep for you


Carpe Diem #304

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Carpe Diem #303, Tonbo (Dragonfly)

Image Found Here

~ 1 ~

sleek airborn bodies
dragonflies mating
on the wing

~ 2  ~

do the crickets sing
love songs for dragonflies
on hot summer nights 

~ 3 ~
[9/22 Update: with a nod to Wabi]

summer memories
carried off into the past
on dragonfly wings

~ 4 ~
[and a nod to MMT]

last sunbeam glints a
rainbow on dragonfly's wing
remains of the day


Carpe Diem #303 


Friday, September 20, 2013

Carpe Diem's "Little Ones"#4, Tanka

Having just completed the tan renga challenge, my mind stays in the same vein for the tanka.

hear the cricket song
the prostitute sings for me
beautiful chirping
tomorrow i must send her
tanka written on a fan

Another effort in a slightly different vein

in the pale moonlight
i find my way to her house
no one else at home
we share our illicit love
tomorrow we are strangers

Carpe Diem's "Little Ones"#4, Tanka

Carpe Diem's Tan Renga Challenge #15, Managua Gunn's "Cricket's last song"

The challenge is to write a companion 7-7 verse for the presented 5-7-5 provided by regular CD contributor and world-wise traveler Managua Gunn, aka "Yer Pirate."  

Cricket's last song
even the prostitute hears -
stops waving her fan

if we scrape legs together
will she sing her song for me

Carpe Diem's Tan Renga Challenge #15 



Carpe Diem Special #58, Southard's "This morning's rainbow".

Inspirational haiku 

This morning's rainbow
shares its deep violet edge
with the misty moon.

In my attempts, I'm going for vivid images

~ 1 ~

beautiful moon fairy
descends the rainbow staircase
in morning's first light

~ 2 ~

through moose's antlers
i see the wild goose take wing
over the rainbow

~ 3 ~
[with a nod to Kristjaan]

raindrops form a prism
in an array of silk strands
argiope rainbow

~ 4 ~
[UPDATE: with a nod to Mystic]

arizona monsoon
the desert springs to life with
cactus and rainbows


Carpe Diem Special #58

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Carpe Diem #302, Nowaki (windstorm, field dividing wind)

~ 1 ~

shutters blown open
through the window i see them
rapt in their passion

~ 2 ~

could you sail the beautiful
moon fairy to me

~ 3 ~

too much wind
broken kite tangled strings
the birds are on foot

~ 4 ~

straight line wind
threshing grain before its time
farmers dismay

~ 5 ~

all you haijin
write again of nowaki
re-gale me


Once I lost a tree in my yard to the wind

You can see it here and here


Carpe Diem #302

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


The three words:

Three three-word entries in the form of haiku-shaped word clusters

~ 1 ~

the sad fact is that
easygoing handsome man
smells like a sewer

~ 2 ~

easygoing holms
not especially handsome
has a nose for facts

~ 3 ~

a sly handsome man
easygoing with facts
spins seductive tales



Carpe Diem #301, Meigetsu (Harvest Moon, the full moon of September)

 Moon - One Night Past Full - 7/23/13

For the harvest moon, a lunar fairy tale in haiku form.


in the ripe field
under the bright harvest moon
the lunar fairy


rapt in her beauty
i reach out but she tells me
you are not the one


for four long weeks
i long for her return
clouds cover the moon


each full moon
i get a brief glimpse of her
as she departs


this exquisite pain
my love for the lost fairy
i take to my grave


Carpe Diem #301

L.A.Times Crossword Puzzle Blogging

 Wednesday, September 18th 2013, C.C.Burnikel

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 [1961] 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.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Carpe Diem #300, Matsuyoi (Waiting Evening)

I didn't get a picture of the waiting moon, so here is a shot of the full moon we saw in July at Black Lake.  The clouds make it a striking image.

~ 1 ~

i bare my soul
to the not-quite-full moon
longing for you

~ 2 ~

when kooga appears
gratefully i must tell her
moonlight becomes you

~ 3 ~

antlers silhouette
against the autumn moon
goose soars to the south

~ 4 ~

cloud filtered moonlight
glints on orb weaver's silk strands
she waits for fresh flies


Carpe Diem #300

Monday, September 16, 2013

Carpe Diem #299, Kakashi (scarecrow)

We also had scarecrow as a prompt for CD Special #12 on Dec. 18, 2012, which I believe was my very first Carpe Diem entry.

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

~ 4 ~

abandoned scarecrow
a cow nibbles on its straw
magpies caw in scorn

~ 5 ~

dressed in an old shirt
moose stands upright hooves outstretched
goose is not frightened

~ 6 ~

flies ignore scarecrow
orb weaver spins her web
safer to be scared

~ 7 ~

innocent straw man
neither traitor thief nor god
still crucified


Carpe Diem #299

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Carpe Diem's Distillation #2, A poem by Genji, from the wellknown Japanese novel "The Tale of Genji"

After the funeral of Yuugao, Genji is looking at the smoke from the pyre, and recites this poem:

mishi hito no
keburi o kumo to
yuube no sora mo
mutsumashiki ka na

The evening sky itself
becomes something to cherish
when I gaze at it,
seeing in one of the clouds
the smoke from her funeral pyre

My distillations


reduced to ashes
the body of one i loved
her soul takes the sky


at the nexus of
the passions of love and hate
a funeral pyre


I'm also reminded of this extraordinarily intense scene - the final moments of the first season of Game of Thrones.

from drogo's pyre
she emerges not alone
mother of dragons



Carpe Diem's Distillation #2

Carpe Diem Special #57, Southard's "the cry of a loon"

Inspirational haiku by O. Mabson Southard (1911-2000)

across the still lake
through up curls of morning mist -
the cry of a loon


My attempts

from across the lake
a white form breaks through the mist
now a swan appears


tea party conclave
fog swirls in their hate-filled minds
nattering of loons


in the morning mist
the mournful low of a moose
honking goose answers


morning dewdrops form
on the orb weaver's taut web
she waits in silence


Carpe Diem Special #57

Friday, September 13, 2013

Carpe Diem #297, Kiku (chrysanthemums)

bright chrysanthemums
reflecting the sun's orange
last flowers of fall

Carpe Diem #297

Carpe Diem goes back to it's roots #1

leaves fall in the north
goose migrates to mexico
moose sheds his antlers


green leaves turn orange
amid the colors we see
cold raindrops falling 

2nd verse inspired by Maggie Grace

in the japanese tea house
orange leaves swirl on my cup


Carpe Diem goes back to it's roots #1

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Carpe Diem #296, Susuki (Pampasgrass)

 Pampas Grass (Susuki)

my little green lawn
dreams about the pampas grass
i dream of the stars


exotic dancers
swaying on the pampas
 in grass skirts


Carpe Diem #296

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Haiku Heights #281 ~~ Garland

Granddaughters Amanda and Samantha are the 2nd and 4th dancers in this line

island dancer
graced with tropical blossoms
tell me your story

Haiku Heights #281 ~ Garland

Friday, September 6, 2013

Carpe Diem #291, O-Bon Festival (Bon Festival)

~ 1 ~

the path i walk
a trail blazed by many
over centuries

~ 2 ~

my lost ancestors
lived hard lives of poverty
may their spirits rest

~ 3 ~

not just japanese ~
my wife places flowers
on her family's graves


Carpe Diem #291

Haiku Heights No 279 - Teacher

school of hard knocks
the most effective teacher
but the price is high

Haiku Heights #279 ~ September Heights Day 06 ~ Teacher

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Carpe Diem #290, Tooroo (lantern)

~ 1 ~

no lantern illuminates
ancestors' dark past

~ 2 ~

bright lantern in hand
i continue my vain search
for an honest man

~ 3 ~

frogs and crickets
have no need for lanterns
they sing in the dark


Carpe Diem #290

Haiku Heights #278 ~ Ballet

A chance to do a little bragging

sugar plum vision
a fairie on tiptoes our
granddaughter on stage


tedious to stretch
but keep those muscles limber
detonate in dance


Here is a poem Amanda's middle sister Rebekka wrote 4 years ago
when she was 9


I know a girl
Who loves to loves to dance.
When she dances,
It's almost like she is floating on air.

I know a girl who loves to swim.
When she swims,
It seems like she's flying under water.

I know a girl who likes to dream big dreams.
When she dreams,
She goes to her own land that will always be hers . . .

This girl is . . .
Sweet and,

No girl in the whole world can ever be even close,
Ever be even similar to her.


~ Rebekka


Haiku Heights #278

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


This fellow - or someone very similar to him just crashed into the window of my family room, about 4 feet from where I'm sitting.

By the time I got outside, he had flown into the neighbor's tree, then soared over to another tree, evidently OK.

I didn't get a good close-up look.  The one I pictured at the link above is almost certainly an immature Cooper's Hawk.  

I thought it was a haiku moment.

always seeking battle
belligerent little hawk
crashes my window


Carpe Diem #289, Hatsu Arashi (First Storm)

Today's haiku-shaped word cluster is a distillation of the vignette I wrote for Sunday's Wordle.

her hairdo is shot
wet clothes plastered on all wrong
she's still beautiful

Carpe Diem #289

By all means check out the photos at Pirate's Tea House and his magnificent haiku.  H/T to Carol in comments.


Our words:

watch her feign disgust
pretending to pout as she
snaps her wad of gum


Haiku Heights #277 - Shepard

with sheer diligence
he protects his gentle flock
till time for slaughter

Haiku Heights #277 ~ September Heights Day 04 ~ Shepherd

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Carpe Diem #288, amanogawa (Milky Way)

streak of distant stars
skybound world tree reminds us
just how small we are

Carpe Diem #288 


100 Word Challenge - Silence


Frost traces a frigid fern on the window pane.  Outside, the snow wafts down, glinting bright in the moonlight, dancing on the occasional air current.

Across the room she lays with her back to me, a barrier as resolute as Hadrian's wall.

Still awake, I can tell from her breathing, as she ignores me.

Outside the snow continue its graceful mocking ballet.

So quiet.

So cold.

[66 words]

Haiku Heights - Silver

This is the King 2B Silversonic my father bought for me in 1963.  The bell section is Sterling Silver, with a 24 karat gold wash inside.  For a small horn, it's quite heavy.

MMT reminded me of the first haiku I wrote in this post.  Today's entry is inspired by him and me.

crickets cicadas
play end of summer duet
i add silver notes

Haiku Heights #276

Carpe Diem's Freestyle #3

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


Carpe Diem's Freestyle #3

Monday, September 2, 2013

Carpe Diem Special #55, O. Mabson Southard's "chanting, the pond's frogs ..."

Inspirational haiku

Chanting, the pond's frogs ...
among the lilies' dark pads -
the twinkle of stars

brown spotted toad  - denizen of my yard

~ 1 ~

Here is a 5-7-5 I wrote for this little guy three years ago

this Amphibian
moved from grass to patio
saved from lawn-mower's bite

~ 2 ~

after the rain storm
thunder fades and croaking starts
the music of frogs

~ 3 ~

dead amphibian
padded under starry skies
tell me why he croaked


Carpe Diem Special #55 


Sunday, September 1, 2013

Carpe Diem's Imagination #6, Pablo Picasso's "The Seated Man".

The Seated Man - Picasso

Off on wild tangents I go

~ 1 ~

on the iron throne
the psychopathic child king
speaks cruel justice*

~ 2 ~

from his wheel chair
the ancient artist captures
a moment of fate

~ 3 ~

forlorn last wish
robert gleason junior
selects his own doom

~ 4 ~

guitar on his knee
the master thrills us with notes
from his homeland


*   King Joffrey (Lannister) Baratheon, in case you were wondering.

**  As of this date, Gleason, a compulsive murderer even while in prison, was the most recent criminal to be executed by the electric chair, which he chose over lethal injection.


Carpe Diem's Imagination #6


Carpe Diem #287, Shinryoo (new coolness)

~ 1 ~

how we long for nights
without air conditioning
those breezy windows

~ 2 ~

passing on the street
he sees his new ex-girl friend
ice on her shoulders


~ 3 ~

never quite with it
following last year's fashion
chasing the new cool


Carpe Diem #287

Sunday Whirl - Wordle 124

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."


Carpe Diem #286, Risshuu (coming of autumn)

My Hero

~ 1 ~

the mournful music
of cicadas playing taps
at summer's demise

~ 2 ~

among autumn leaves
old man takes time to ponder
his loss of color

~ 3 ~

in mating season
proud moose displays his antlers
goose escapes southward

~ 4 ~

in mating season
male spider is on the prowl
hopes to not get snared

~ 5 ~

yes mating season
for both moose and spider
falls in autumn


Carpe Diem #286