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.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Carpe Diem #551, abandoned

Sunset on my street - Nov 28, 2012

shorn of green raiment
bare limbs raised to the pale sky
grasping emptiness

Sunday Feature Artist ~ Kelly Letky

Today's challenge from The Garden is to write a poem inspired by the art photography of Kelly Letky.

I chose this one, and my thoughts took a rather grim turn.

rabbits voles squirrels
seek shelter in the thickets
death stalks from on high

Imaginary Garden With Real Toads

Thursday in the Park - SSS2

Concert audience
Kellogg Park, Plymouth, MI
Thursday, July 3, 2014
Trombone's eye view


the crowd assembles
for music and merriment
but we blow hot air


Saturday, August 30, 2014

Carpe Diem #550, beggar

From "Sand and Foam" by Khalil Gibran. 

[...] "We are all beggars at the gate of the temple, and each one of us receives his share of the bounty of the King when he enters the temple, and when he goes out. But we are all jealous of one another, which is another way of belittling the King". [...]

Inspired haiku/senryu

will work for food
i see these signs all summer
but i never stop


no breakfast
at the end of the day
an empty bowl


summer not so cruel
to a man who has no roof
winter is coming

Six Word Saturday

Friday, August 29, 2014

Transforming Friday with Nature's Wonders

Jumping off a mountain.

Long day in the saddle - 611 miles covered today from south-east Pennsylvania to south-east Michigan.

But we did encounter one semi-interesting point along the way.


Just today I drove over
The highest point on I-80
[East of the Mississippi]
One hundred eleven miles from Ohio.

Twenty-two hundred and fifty feet
above the level of the rising sea.

You are not impressed.

There is no sheer drop off
No three foot wide path
perched on a wind-swept ridge.


Instead, four lanes of asphalt
With a grassy median
Surrounded by gently rolling hills
And trees; a dense infinity of trees.

Home to deer and foxes
Slinking in the underbrush
Rabbits, song birds, voles
All avoiding the keen eyes of hawks

Who soar at heights unattainable
Unimaginable and undesired
By timid flat-landers pretending
To fly in their four wheeled metal boxes.

reduced to a quasi-haiku

one more road wrinkle
in the pennsylvania flounce
asphalt furbelow

Imaginary Garden With Real Toads

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Carpe Diem #545, Tolerance

From Kalil Gibran's Sand and Foam:

[...] " Tolerance is love sick with the sickness of haughtiness". [...]

Even with Kristjaan's explanation, I'm pretty sure I don't understand this.

But I won't let that stop me from writing relevant senryu.

i'm intolerant
because i won't tolerate
your intolerance


No person is perfect.  So my lovely wife and I share what might be a little conceit.  When one of us feels that we might be a bit hard to live with, we'll say, "Thanks for putting up with me."  And the other will say, "It's not putting up with."

with the love we share
i embrace not ~ tolerate ~
every bit of you


[Hmmmm - upon further review, maybe I do understand.]

Typical [Six Word] Saturday

To Toledo
For Mom Maintenence

Friday, August 22, 2014

List List Liszt List

From Fireblossom in the Imaginary Garden: "Today, let's make a list. Not a word list. Let's write a poem with a list in it, or a list that IS a poem."  She elaborates here. 

My response to the challenge:

inventory roll
of jousting field enclosures
leaning to one side


females in my life
wife mother daughter sister
seven granddaughters


of compositions by Franz
the Liszt list


counting this one
the list of quasi-haiku
totals up to four


Imaginary Garden With Real Toads

Carpe Diem Special #103, Jim Kacian's "city morning"

city morning
a crane lifts its shadow
up the wall

© Jim Kacian

I saw the title of this entry and immediately wrote the two haiku found below, without reading further.

It was surprising to find I was rather close to Jim Kacian's wavelength.

no rooster call
wakes the city dweller
honk of a semi



old man wakes up
on a cardboard shrouded grate
shambles down the street


duty beckons
 people places things to do
no time for roses


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Carpe Diem #544, Mask/Masque

Today's quote from Kalil Gibran's Sand and Foam:

 "Even the masks of life are masks of deeper mystery"

two lovers naked
except for the masks they wear
and neither one knows


the face of a cat
but someone might be lion
thereby hangs a tale

behind my mask
is beauty or ugliness
what you will find


moose with his antlers
goose preening her down and quills
still no masquerade


Carpe Diem #544, Mask/Masque

Carpe Diem's "Little Creatures" #2, "I dreamed I was a butterfly" (Soshi)

In the following haiku Wafu was inspired by a piece of poetry by Soshi (Chuangtse) who says the following:

 [...] "Long ago I, Chuangtse, dreamed I was a butterfly, flitting about lightly on if I were really one, happily following my fancies. Suddenly awakening, again I was in the form of Chuangtse. Was it a case of Chuangtse dreaming he was a butterfly, or is it now that a butterfly is dreaming that it is Chuangtse? I do not know". [...]

cho kiete tamashii ware ni kaeri keri

 the butterfly having disappeared, 
my spirit 
came back to me 

© Wafu 

This is true, though:

on my fingertip
the soft touch of a monarch ~
many years ago


~ I see the butterfly as a symbol of finding once again that which was lost ~
~ And I see the echoes of this in my own life ~

 in the wilderness
wandering for many years ~
now a butterfly


in butterfly dreams
i soar through space and time ~
spirit regained


[Moondust inspiration]

i in butterfly
or butterfly in me ~

Carpe Diem's "Little Creatures" #2, "I dreamed I was a butterfly" (Soshi)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Bits Of Inspiration ~ Spirit Nature

UPDATE:  I'm going to use the first haiku in this series that I did for another prompt [vide infra] as my WALL entry for CD.

Kristjaan gives us two quotes on WALLS from Kalil Gibran

[...] "After all this is not a bad prison; but I do not like this wall between my cell and the next prisoner’s cell; Yet I assure you that I do not wish to reproach the warder not the Builder of the prison".[...] 

[...] "Sadness is but a wall between two gardens". [...]

Kristjaan then presents us with a wonderful positive example.  Mine is a bit darker

tearing down the walls
giving room to wild flowers
to color the earth

ʩ Chèvrefeuille

On our visit to the garden today, Suzie Clevenger asks us to "stop, breathe, and focus on things that are positive."  She has chosen some Native American aphorisms for our consideration and inspiration.

 I found the inspiration, but, alas, have not succeeded in focusing on the positive.


"We are all one child spinning through Mother Sky." – Shawnee

all men are brothers
living in the same tepee ~
big family fight


"The soul would have no rainbow if the eye had no tears." - Tribe Unknown

from deepest valley
the far away mountain tops
appear the highest


"Listen, or your tongue will make you deaf." - Tribe Unknown

my wisdom is best
hear it from my silver tongue
why don't you listen


"To touch the earth is to have harmony with nature." - Oglala Sioux

i have touched the earth
with my bulldozer and crane
one more shopping mall


"The frog does not drink up the pond in which he lives." – Sioux

This one brings to mind Matsuo Basho's famous haiku

the old pond ~
a frog jumps in
sound of water

but still ----

moose goose and mankind
two find forest harmony
one soils his own nest


Imaginary Garden With Real Toads

Carpe Diem #543, Wall

L.A. Times Crossword Puzzle Blogging

Wednesday, August 20, 2014 Amy Johnson

Theme:  PUZZLING PROVERB PARTS.  Portions of proverbs are clued with slightly askew hints at their missing segments.  I went on a quest to determine what the differences are among the PROVERB, aphorism and adage, and found nothing definitive, or even worth a link.  They all are various pithy, often quip-like sentences that literally or figuratively capture some bit of truth, wisdom or belief.  

17. Proverbial flying companions? : BIRDS OF A FEATHER flock together.  You can judge them by the company they keep, on land or in the air.

24. Proverbial pavers? : GOOD INTENTIONS.  The road to hell is paved with them, it's said.  This can either suggest that “The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men, Gang aft agley,” or be an admonition not to let your good intentions languish due to lack of action.   Which meaning do you take?

42. Proverbial loser? : HE WHO HESITATES is lost.  On the other hand, look before you leap.  So - who ya gonna believe?

56. Proverbial pyrite? : ALL THAT GLITTERS is not gold.  This could be interpreted as meaning that gold does not glitter.  As a child, I found that to be confusing.  In German, IIRC, it's Alles ist nicht Geld was gl√§nzt, or all is not gold that glitters.  Not so easy to misinterpret.  Pyrite, iron sulfide, is a yellowish glittery mineral, called fool's gold.

Hi gang, JzB here.  Let's boldly plunge into this puzzle.  After all, nothing ventured, nothing gained., and fortune favors the bold.  So onward - there's no time like the present.  I've included some pictures and videos, thereby saving thousands of words.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Carpe Diem Ghost Writer #22, Odilon an artist for your inspiration

Today's inspiration

Diane Hura with the Dearborn Big Band
Dearborn Homecoming  Aug 3, 2014


inspired by the clouds
she chanced to be next to me
and we fell in love

Carpe Diem #542, Tapestry

The warp and woof of my life has been a product of random events - some of them highly improbable.

Here's one example.  Many years ago, things took a very bad turn at my job.  A new management team had come in and for some reason they needed a scapegoat.  My head was on the chopping block.  I was in despair.  After many years of working in the glass industry, I had developed a narrow skill set, centered around automotive glass applications.  Where could I find another job?

That very Sunday in the paper was a job add from one of the major car companies, and the qualifications read like my resume.  I couldn't believe what I was reading.  Well - after some further adventure - I got the job and went on to a career that was far more successful and rewarding than I would have ever had at the glass company.  No planning - it was just exactly the right thing at exactly the right time.

a snag in the plan
when tapestry unravels
find a new thread

I see now that with my preamble I have written another haibun.

That wasn't planned either.

And I'm struck that a random accident lead to this prompt.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Carpe Diem's Kamishibai #10, "departing summer"

Plus - as an afterthought, and at no extra charge - Open Link Monday from The Imaginary Garden, where Magaly shares a slice of her life, so now I will share a quite different slice of mine.

Back to regularly scheduled programing.

Kamishibai is storyteller in Japanese.

For today's theme we each tell our story as a haibun - a two part written form consisting of a prose section and an accompanying haiku.
The rules:
1. A maximum of 100 words;
2. the haiku has to follow a few of the the classical rules:
       a. 5-7-5 syllables;
       b. season word;
       c. cutting word (interpunction);
       d. interchangeable first and third line


For two days every week this summer we have had my daughter's two kids, and usually one or more of their cousins with us.  This is the last week, and today is the next to last day. The cousins have enjoyed being together, and having them around has made these days more fun for us as well.

But now school will be starting soon, and everyone will be back in a different routine.  This reminds me of my own childhood, and how the whine of cicadas announced that summer was ending and soon we would be back in school.  [99 words]

Cousin Samantha, Nate and Emily

cousins' last play day
bittersweet experience (-)
whine of cicadas


Imaginary Garden With Real Toads

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Indian Head Point

Indian Head Point 
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Near Munising, MI along Lake Superior

Photo by me

His jaw is along the water
The outcropping is his nose
The shadow defines his profile
The trees along the top are his head dress


o great father
what joy and sorrow you've seen
over the long years


 that challenge of life
to live long enough to know
the wisdom of stone


Six Words:
The Great Face Faces The West 


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Carpe Diem #539, Trees

Old Horse Chestnut in my Yard 
it will be coming down soon

Only mid-August, but the leaves have been brown and falling for weeks

Cracks in trunk and branch, and a sad face I never noticed until just now

Bark split and peeling

this sad old tree 
not dead yet but on the way 
getting the mercy


why do you frown at me
the old gods weep


{Mystic inspiration

what fallen angels
lurk in that tangled thicket
hiding from the light

[one more time]

 those who ate the fruit
of the tall tree of knowledge
regretted the taste

Five Sentence Fiction - Maps

"How much farther is it, Maud?"

"We should be getting close," she said.

They got off their bi-tryke, sat at the roots of a bramblewood tree, and studied the old map.

"Still so far," Glyness said with a longing sigh, "but he swore it would be worth our while"

They remounted the bi-trike and pedaled deeper into the gathering fog.

Lillie McFerrin Writes

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Carpe Diem Sparkling Stars #1, "Frogpond"

 An all new feature at CD Haiku Kai

These new haiku, inspired on a given 'masterpiece', have to follow the classical rules of haiku:

1. 5-7-5 syllables
2. a kigo (or seasonword)
3. a kireji (or cutting word, in Western languages mostly interpunction)
4. a moment as short as the sound of a pebble thrown into water
5. a deeper meaning (could be Zen-Buddhistic or other spiritual or religious thought)
6. and the first and the third line are interchangeable.


Inspirational haiku by Matsuo Basho

the old pond (-)
      a frog jumps in
            sound of water


My inspiration

on the silken strands
     sad fly plays a minor chord (-)
          orb weaver's delight

1) Basho's in translation does not follow 5-7-5, but Kristjaan assures us that in the Japanese Onji it does.
2) Since cicadas and mosquitoes can be summer kigo, I think it's fair to assign the fly a similar role. UPDATE:  Yes, the fly is vindicated. [Thanks to Jen at Blogitorloseit]
3 In English haiku the cutting "word" is often an implied caesura.  I made it explicit with (-).
4) A moment as short as a plucking a string.
5) I'm thinking a lot this week about the circle of life, and it's inherent indifferent cruelty.  YMMV.
6)  Just so.

orb weaver's delight (-)
     sad fly plays a minor chord
          on the silken strands

Carpe Diem Sparkling Stars #1, "Frogpond"


O He! O Death!

Today's real challenge from the imaginary garden, inspired by the Robin William's movie Dead Poet Society is to compose something using at least three of these words taken from the dialog of the film.

 worm, verse, dreams, suck, rout, daring, caution, seize, dead, desperation, barbaric, noble

Apparently, Williams was bipolar, and the demons he battled in his imagination were very real.  In the end they won.

And  now I'm thinking of someone else.  The daughter of one of my friends, a talented singer and musician, committed suicide just before her 22nd birthday. Both parents were deeply involved in trying to help her, and she was receiving professional care.

She promised to call her father before doing anything drastic

Yet, when the moon was darkest, instead of reaching out, she picked up a gun.

Such pain for everyone.


o desperation
you suck the dream from my life
the life from my dream


caution be damned
the noble barbaric fight
ends in a rout


daring the worm earth
now with no more days to sieze
so ends the verse


Imaginary Garden With Real Toads

Carpe Diem #538, Paradise

I have always been appalled by the concept of original sin.  Even as a small child I realized that tainting me and everyone else alive today because of the alleged mythical actions of someone who lived at the dawn of time was profoundly unfair, and completely incompatible with the idea of a just and loving god.  This was my first step toward unbelief. 

With that as preamble, today's prompt is PARADISE, with these quotes from Kalil Gibran.  

[...] "Paradise is there, behind that door, in the next room; but I have lost the key. Perhaps I have only mislaid it". [...]

[...] "He who would share your pleasure but not your pain shall lose the key to one of the seven gates of Paradise". [...]

mythic garden
folly of adam and eve
paradise lost

with his temptation
god knew that they would fail
human nature


test of mankind
by a just and loving god
or a set-up for failure


what mark do you leave
on other peoples' lives
paradise is love


in my garden
amidst the echinacea
one happy toad 


UPDATE: after reading Bjorn's

don’t seek
for you shall not find
only wait


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Garden Songs

i come to open link monday on tuesday 
with certain garden thoughts


songs from my garden
each night of love and want
voice of a toad


garden silence hides
death throes and agony 
in orb weaver's web


Carpe Diem Ghost Writer #21, Hamish Gunn's Imagination GW-post

Our assignment is to write haiku inspired by the photo provided by Hamish.  I also looked into rowan lore and mythology.  My last of these three humble offerings belongs in an imaginary world that you might recognize.

leaf and berry
relic of an eagle's strife
still the tree grows old



rowan wood staff
stranger to knife's edge
my ward and guide


weeping carved face
on the sacred weirwood tree
how will you judge me


UPDATE after reading Bjorn's

 silly waxwings
under berry influence
flying high.


Monday, August 11, 2014

Carpe Diem #537, Truth

This month at CD we are exploring concepts extracted from Khalil Gibran's "Sand and Foam."

Today's prompt is TRUTH, and here are some of Gibran's relevant aphorisms.

[...] "I am ignorant of absolute truth, but I am humble before my ignorance, and therein lies my honor and my reward". [...]

[...] "Many a doctrine is like a window pane. We see truth through it, but it divides us from truth". [...]

[...] "Should you care to write (and only the saints know why you should) you need to have knowledge of the art and magic of the music of words, the art of being artless and the magic of loving your readers". [...]

[...] "When you reach the heart of life you shall find beauty in all things, even in the eyes that are blind to beauty". [...]

I'm not at all sure I've connected with the notion of truth as it appears to Gibran.  But here are my thoughts, humbly presented for your consideration.

ignorance wins
protecting false dogma
denying the truth


peer deep
to the core of my soul
do you still love me



moose and goose
in a lake by the woods
that is their truth


honest webbing
trap for the unwary
in plain sight


UPDATE after reading Ese's

 in the mirror
looking for myself
i see my father


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Carpe Diem Special #101, Jim Kacian's 2nd "after snow"

 Today's assignment is to compose a new haiku in the same sense, tone and spirit as the model by this month's featured haiku poet.

after snow
the faint yellowness
of the white house

© Jim Kacian


a fall of fresh snow
perfect blanket on the earth
marred by my footprints


bright sun after rain
in the fresh scrubbed atmosphere
grass shines green-yellow


Carpe Diem Special #101, Jim Kacian's 2nd "after snow"



Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Carpe Diem #533, Forest

in the forest wind
rustling leaves scent of nectar
 i talk to the trees


pine needle scent
crisp cold sharp and bracing
dry martini


L. A. Times Crossword Puzzle Blogging

 Wednesday, August 6, 2014 Jeff Stillman

Theme: OUT OF THIS WORLD.   The unifier says it all.  55 A. What 20-, 33- and 40-Across begin with : NASA PROGRAMS.  Since 1958, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration has been responsible for the civilian space program, as well as for aeronautics and aerospace research.

20. Car that replaced the Marquis : MERCURY SABLE.  The Mercury Marquis was produced from 1967 to 1986.  The SABLE ran from 1986 to 2005, then reappeared in the '08 and '09 model years as the rebranded Montego.  NASA's MERCURY program ran from 1959 - 63, playing catch up after the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1 in 1957, and went on to put Yuri Gagarin in orbit in April, 1961, 9 months ahead of John Glenn, thus beating NASA in this leg of the space race.

33. 1981 Moody Blues hit : GEMINI DREAM.

Project GEMINI included 10 manned flights in 1965 and '66, with the goal of developing space travel techniques to be used in the APOLLO program.

40. Rocky Balboa foe who became his friend : APOLLO CREED.  This character is loosely based on Muhammad Ali, fought Rockey in the first two movies, and didn't become his friend until the third.

The APOLLO project ran from 1961 through '72, and included 6 moon landings.  The first of these was APOLLO 11.  On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed in the Sea of Tranquility and walked on the lunar surface, while Michael Collins remained in orbit.  They returned with 47.7 pounds of samples.

This theme demands a theme song -- so, obviously:

Hi gang.  JzB here, flying rather high at the moment.  Let's launch into today's puzzle and see if we can soar.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Carpe Diem Ghost Writer #20, Jen's "The Scent of Poetry"

The last thing Jen mentioned in her delightful  Scent of Poetry "Ghost Writer" post at C. D. was the smell of rain, but petrichor [the aroma, not the word, though, I just now learned it] was the first thing I thought of while reading.

Can I do it justice?

dirt turns into mud
a soggy worm emerges
plus for petrichor 


a pair of old socks
 dangling sweaty unwashed feet
too much like wet dog



Bedtime in the summer - I'd go to sleep with this in my nostrils from the Hunt's canning plant.

 catsup factory
east toledo memory
cooking tomatoes

Monday, August 4, 2014

Carpe Diem Special #100, Jim Kacian's "chopping wood "

the model:

 chopping wood-
someone does the same
a moment later

© Jim Kacian

Here is my first ever performance of this old Tommy Dorsey classic.

Not perfect - I warbled a few notes.  But overall, I'm pleased with it.

that song tommy played
so many decades later
i played it too

Carpe Diem’s Tackle It Tuesday #1, Serenity

alone together
fingertips touch fingertips
no need for words 


alone in the woods
a moose observing me
 the call of a goose

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Carpe Diem #532, Movement

movements wrapped in time
tapped out in perfect timing
flowing dancers' feet


choice and fate converge
when we meet  in space and time

Carpe Diem #532, Movement

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Carpe Diem #531, Sweetness

such a sweet blessing
in the toil of daily life
a granddaughter's smile


tiny black hopper
seeks safety in my garden
juvenile toadling


the taste of a bug
sharp and acrid on my tongue
sweet to orb weaver


Carpe Diem #531, Sweetness

Friday, August 1, 2014

Carpe Diem's Little Ones - Shadorma

Shadorma is a syllable-counted six-line stanza.  The form is (3/5/3/3/7/5) You can read about it at the link below.

On Sunday, I'll be performing this famous Tommy Dorsey song for the first time.

It's a touchstone for trombonists.  I have the right horn and even the right glasses

If all goes well, I'll post a video.

liquid gold
from a golden bell
perfect sound
from the heart
and what i strive to achieve
when i play trombone

Carpe Diem's Little Ones #12, Shadorma

Carpe Diem #530 - MIST

I will not gainsay anyone's religious beliefs.

I will say that I do not share them.


the palm of god's hand
no matter how hard i peer
i see naught but mist


early morning mist
droplets form on moose antlers
the honk of a goose


Photo Source

drops gather on silk
shining gems as the mist lifts
weaver's veil of pearls 


Carpe Diem #529 Footprints

I have no reason, nor even an excuse for my long hiatus from Carpe Diem, and certainly, I'm out of practice.

I have been busy, and making a lot of music, but that's nothing new.  Anyway - here I am.  For at least one day.

Our oldest granddaughter, Amanda, spent a week in New York with the Rockettes, then the following two weeks at the Cecchetti Ballet Council of America Summer Intensive at Hope College here in Michigan.

But all that is in the past now, so I wonder .  .  .

in quiet darkness
does the stage floor remember
feeling dancers' feet


with every new step
an implicit decision
to turn or go straight


in damp forest leaves
a scurrying brown squirrel
startles moose and goose


a thin strand quivers
at the touch of six small feet
orb weaver's delight