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.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Carpe Diem # 660

This guitar rendition of John Coltrane's modal composition Impressions has a nice dreamy feel

Claude Monet, Haystacks (Sunset)

I was just looking at this collection of Arya Stark gifs snipped from the new Season 5 Game of Thrones trailer.  I guess it made an impression on me.

under the haystack
in the sun's last slanting rays
looking for needles

Friday, January 30, 2015

Carpe Diem #659

Servant's Day (Yabu-iri)

"On about the sixteenth of the first month, servants and apprentices were allowed to go home for a short visit."

After the holiday, of course, it's back to the daily grind. 

These are a bit off the wall.

resting her flat feet
for tomorrow's big event
the dance marathon


resting in the weeds
brief respite for moose and goose
when hunters depart


see how the time flies
each new day another web
no rest for spider

Five Sentence Fiction - 1/30

The nightlight is on in the bathroom.

I check my closet, making sure there is nothing lurking there.

Quickly now, up onto the sheet and under the covers, eyes pressed tight shut, breath held.

“Are you ready?” asks the voice from under my bed.

“I’m coming out now.”


Reduced to a haiku-shaped tercet

now it is bedtime
all my preparations made
wish i were alone

Lillie McFerrin Writes

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Carpe Diem #658 and Imaginary Garden

I found myself at quite a loss trying to cope with the Carpe Diem First Dream prompt.  My dreams are ephemeral and I haven't had any notable ones recently.   So I visited Mystic's page seeking inspiration, and was overwhelmed.  It made me feel like I was going to try writing a fugue [something I've actually done a few times] after listening to Bach's WTC.

So I went to the Imaginary Garden in hope of coming up with a new angle.  And I found one.  The prompt there today is lavender.

On a color tour in Oct. '13 we visited the Lavender Hill Farm and met these lovely people.

 We learned that the scent of lavender is calming and can help promote restful sleep.  Since I'm a poor sleeper, I thought it would be worth a try.

beside my pillow
a sachet of lavender
to bring sweet dreams

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Carpe Diem #657

waga io ya ganjitsu mo kuru zooni uri

to my hut too
New Year's arrives...
the zooni vendor

© Issa (1817)

A superstition I learned from my shanty-Irish mother is to eat pork and avoid chicken on New Year's day.  The idea is that a pig roots forward with it's snout, while a chicken scratches backwards with its feet - and on New Years day we should always be looking and moving forward.   Sauerkraut is part of the deal, too, but I don't have an explanation for that.

My lovely wife made a pork roast with sauerkraut and brown sugar with potatoes for New Year's dinner.  I tossed in some caraway seeds.  It was delightful.

I'm not superstitious, but it's a nice tradition and we eat plenty of chicken on other days.

This picture of my mom is a couple years old.  She'll be 94 this Spring and looks a bit more frail than that now.

pork and sauerkraut
following my mom's advice
on new year's day


another year turns
do moose and goose pay it heed
foraging for stalks


another new year
mom has pork and sauerkraut
to bring good luck


just like any day
orb weaver makes her meal
on a trapped fly

L. A. Times crossword Puzzle Blogging

Wednesday, January 28, 2015 Jeffrey Wechsler

Theme - On EDGE in the OUTER Zone.  The word EDGE is broken to form bookends around the theme answers, thus representing the OUTERmost letters of the fill.

17. Fraternal meeting place : ELKS LODGE.   From their website:  Elks invest in their communities through programs that help children grow up healthy and drug-free, by undertaking projects that address unmet need, and by honoring the service and sacrifice of our veterans.

27. "The Cask of Amontillado" writer : EDGAR ALLAN POE.   Certainly not his most famous work.   Nice to see the entire name spelt out, though

41. Where to read candidate endorsements : EDITORIAL PAGE.   And those hilarious letters to the editor.

54. Periphery ... and, literally, the periphery of 17-, 27- and 41-Across : OUTER EDGE.   As far out as you can get without leaving, spilling out or otherwise departing.

 Hi Gang, JazzBumpa here.  There are 3 ways to break EDGE and Jeffery found them all.  Are you on EDGE?   Let's see how edgy the rest of this puzzle is

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

CD Haiku Writing Techniques #4

I guess this is that "AHA! moment, or the epiphany.   I notice in the example an obvious kigo, and phrase plus fragment structure, but the absence of 1st-3rd line interchangeability.  I guess you can't have everything every time.  Should the surprise be the entire moment captured by the haiku, or the 3rd line in the context of the first two?  I'm not sure that question has an answer.  What do you think?

autumn wind
trying to keep myself
under my hat

© John Stevenson

Here, at least part of the surprise is the humerous idea of staying under the hat, rather than keeping the hat from blowing away - a clever twist. 


Maybe these are senryu

looking at her
so lovely across the room
she looks back at me


 stealing that first kiss
what will she think of me now
the tip of her tongue


on a winter night
she brings me her best gift
sweet cherry blossom


We have a wooden front door with a glass storm door facing south.  As I write this, it is 19 degrees outside (-7 C) with bright sun.  On days like this, if I don't open the wooden door to let the heat escape into house, the door will get so hot I can smell the rosin vaporizing from the wood.

the deep snow blanket
glistening white in my yard
glare of winter sun


Monday, January 26, 2015

Carpe Diem Special #129

". . . this CD-Special it's all about haiku by Iio Sogi and this one is just wonderful and I hope it will inspire you all to write an all new haiku in the same sense, tone and spirit . . ."

Now that they end
There is no flower that can compare
With cherry blossoms

© Iio Sogi


sweet cherry blossom
gift to give only one time
gone forever now


that cherry blossom
my true love gave to me
i gave a daisy

 © JzB

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Carpe Diem Time Glass #18

"I only give you an image, but you have to write/compose a haiku in which there are more than one senses found. For example you write a haiku in which you describe something you see and hear."

bright balloons drifting
over an abandoned house
the smell of charred wood


moose and goose look up
from amidst the tasty weeds
floaters glide above

[They're behind the house, out of sight.  Trust me on this.}

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Carpe Diem Little Creatures #16

"In the Victorian age, [the daisy] meant innocence, purity, and loyal love.  It also means that you’ll keep someone’s secret.  You’re saying that “I vow never to tell anyone” - when you give someone a daisy."

"For the Celts, daisies were thought to be the spirits of children who died when they were born.  It’s God’s way of cheering them up when He created the daisies and sprinkled them on the earth.  This has a big connection to daisies symbolizing innocence."

after our tryst
i give my love a daisy
none will ever know


white daisies blooming
in the old stone-lined grave yard
spirits of innocence

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Carpe Diem Special #128

The goal of this CD-Special is to write/compose an all new haiku inspired on the one by Sogi and try to touch his sense, tone and spirit

life in this world
just like a temporary shelter
from a winter shower

© Iio Sogi (1424-1502)

Well, I like this one a lot.  The deeper meaning is elusive, and I like that, too.  I don't think I want to pin it down.


I also think Kristjaan's is a gem

in just one heart beat
the sunlight breaks through the mist
revealing the meadow

© Chèvrefeuille

My attempts:

between the snowfalls
in a brief sunshine moment
a chance for love


orb weaver's web
temporary fly catcher
built anew each day

© JzB

Carpe Diem - Techniques #3


I have to admit that I'm more taken with the idea of repetition within a haiku than I am with the examples given.  Though I am quite pleased with the striking image of this one. 

Full Moon Over Black Lake 7/23/13

the river
the river makes
of the moon 

© Jim Kacian (1996) 


when keeping still
we can still hear the sounds
of still smaller things


in just a moment
such a meaningful moment
with so much moment


in the deep weeds
as goose honks deep low of moose
deep in the weeds


when the flies fly
orb weaver casts her net
for flying flies


[h/t to Mystic]

clouds grace the sky
under the sheltering sky
we gaze up to the sky

 © JzB (2015)

Monday, January 19, 2015

Carpe Diem #651

Kristjaan tells us --

On the morning of January 7, or the night before, people place the nanakusa, rice scoop, and/or 
wooden pestle on the cutting board and, facing the good-luck direction, chant "Before the birds of the continent (China) fly to Japan, let's get nanakusa" while cutting the herbs into pieces. The chant may vary.

 tōdo no tori to,
nihon no tori to,
wataranu saki ni,
nanakusa nazuna,
te ni tsumi-ire te,
kōshitochō to naru       

China-land's birds and
Japanese birds,
earlier than bring on their coming,
seven species wild herb,
I pluck them to the hand and
it becomes Neck, Turtle Beak, Dipper and Extended Net.

By the way "Neck", "Turtle Beak", "Dipper" and "Extended Net" are all Chinese constellations.


for long life and health
constellations in my bowl
sprigs of seven herbs


before birds arrive
in spider’s extended net
seven fresh green flies


seven types of weeds
wildly growing in the marsh
food for moose and goose

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Carpe Diem Time Glass #18

"I will explain the goal of this Time Glass to you. You have to write an all new haiku (classical or non-classical) inspired on the prompt and the image and submit it within 24 hours. Why such a short time? Well haiku are moments caught in three lines as short as the sound of a pebble thrown into water."

lighter than air sweets
served on a jet airliner
high tea


sweet juicy fly
served on a silken platter
orb weaver's high tea

[h/t to debi]

childhood memory
my little sister serving
tea to her dolls

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Carpe Diem #649

Burning Ornaments (Sagichoo)

Sagichoo is a Fire festival and it's a kind of closure for the New Year's season, by burning ornaments the deities are bound to a new year. This Sagichoo takes place during Little New Year (around January 15th).

I found just one haiku themed with this Sagichoo it's by Issa:

foot of the mountain--
without a cheer
my New Year's bonfire

© Kobayashi Issa

Ideas of 1) impermanence and 2) a new beginning


I am not a follower of the Red God R'Hllor, but this made me think of his priestess Melissandre from GRRM's A Song of Ice and Fire.  ["Inflames" was a typo for "in flames," but a bit of serendipity worth keeping.] 

old things keep in ice
while blessed fire purifies
life renewed inflames


But for this prompt I think spider shows us the way.

as midnight draws near
orb weaver consumes her silk
new web tomorrow

Friday, January 16, 2015

Carpe Diem Sparkling Stars #16,

The goal is to write an all new classical haiku inspired on the one given.

kaerimireba yuki-aishi hito kasumi keri

when I looked back,
the man who passed
was lost in the mist

© Masaoka Shiki

I have an almost surreal quasi-zen notion of perception vs reality, the virtual vs the concrete.  That is what I'm attempting to capture.

I don't see a kigo in Shiki's example, so I'll let myself get away without one, in my first attempt anyway.    Otherwise, I think I've met the classical requirements.


the man i see there
when i leave the mirror
does he stay behind

 © JzB 


image in the weeds
behind the orb weaver's web
shadow of a fly

 © JzB

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Carpe Diem #648

Little New Year (Koshogatsu)

 A lunar calendar event

The first full moons of 2015 fall on Jan 4 and and Feb 3.

The new moon this month falls on Jan 20 - only a few days away.

That night, there will be no moon at.

as clouds dissipate
the dark night fills with wonder
there's no moon at all 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Carpe Diem Special #127

 Inspirational haiku:

Both grasses and trees
waiting for the moon
dewy evening

© Iio Sogi

"The goal of this CD-Special is to write an all new haiku trying to touch the same sense, tone and spirit as the one given. And for this episode I love to challenge you a little bit more. Try to write a haiku in the same sense, tone and spirit and use that haiku to write a Troiku"

The spirit I sense is is one of anticipation - eagerly waiting for, in this case, the moon.   That's what I'm going for with my haiku.   But I'm off on a tangent, inspired by this onomatopeoia entry from kanzensakura.  It reminded me of the Legend of the Night's King from "A Song of Ice and Fire."  So, here is my entry.

the sleigh

in winter moonlight
the ice maiden comes to me
waiting i shiver

horse 1

in winter moonlight
i thrill at her cold beauty
she covets my soul

horse 2

the ice maiden comes to me
i rush to her pale cold  arms
my love and my doom

horse 3

waiting i shiver
she arrives in frosty mist
dawn is so far off


L.A. Times Crossword Puzzle Blogging

Wednesday, January 14, 2015 Harald Hornung

Theme: BLOODY HELL!   Common two-word adjective-plus-noun phrases are re-imagined in such a way that the adjective is used as a British pejorative.  Clever use of alternate meanings.  The word "confounded" in all the theme clues had me on the wrong track right away, thinking that the modified word would be mixed up rather than a cause of anger or annoyance.   So this additional use of an alternate meaning in the clue confounded me from the get go.

20 A. Confounded British illumination? : BLINKING LIGHTS.  Lights that flash on and off or lights that cause consternation. You decide

40 A. Confounded British posies? : BLOOMING FLOWERS.  Who could be annoyed by these buds opening up and showing off their beauty?  Someone with a pollen allergy, perhaps.

56 A. Confounded British residences? : FLIPPING HOUSES.   To flip a house is an attempt at real estate arbitrage: buying it for a [presumed] cheap price and then selling it quickly for dear.  During the bubble a decade or so ago, properties could be flipped repeatedly in the same day.  Not so much any more.  After the crash [pro tip: bubbles ALWAYS crash] FLIPPING those FLIPPING HOUSES got a lot harder, more risky and less profitable.

Hi gang, JazzBumpa here.  Maybe Steve should have had this one.  I'll admit, solving it was not a doodle for me.  Excellent theme, with a grid-spanner and two 14's.  Also, some impressive long downs.   Let's see if I can get through this write up without making a dog's dinner of it.


1. Monday Night Football regular until 1983 : COSELL.  Howard.  He was a good announcer - for boxing, and by all accounts a fine human being who did a lot to promote the appreciation of black athletes in all sports.   Sadly, though, he knew bugger all about American football and his presence in the press box on Monday nights was a flipping embarassment.  

7. Gobbled, as a turkey : ATE.  An American tradition is to gobble the gobbler and fall asleep on the couch watching football.

10. Site with a "Buy It Now" option : EBAY.  Etail pioneer.

14. Mecca's peninsula : ARABIA.  Geography

15. In the bath : WET.  Or in car wash.  Soapy, too. 

16. "__ Rock" : I AM A.  Feeling no pain.

17. Hires a new crew for : REMANS.

18. Styled after : A LA.

19. Shot up : GREW.  Quickly.  Not to be confused with launched, did drugs, or filled with bullets.

23. Jamaican genre : SKA.

24. Walkway material : SLATE.  Alternative to concrete.  It has a very smooth surface that can be hazardous in winter.

25. Meter or liter : UNIT of measurement.

29. Med. plan option : HMOHealth Maintenance Organization.

31. "Twin Peaks" co-creator David : LYNCH.    It's coming back next year. 

34. White House maiden name between Pierce and Welch : RODHAM.  Recent first ladies.  One of these ladies could also be the first at something else.

37. Dr. J hairstyle : AFRO.   Julius Erving was a basketball star in the 70's and early 80's.

39. Lone Ranger and Tonto, e.g. : DUO.  Like Batman and Robin.

43. First __ : AID.  Amateur medical treatment for minor injuries.

44. Horner's find : PLUM.  Jack in a corner, with pie.

45. Have a strong desire (for) : STARVE for attention, maybe.

46. Things to fulfill : NEEDS.  Or wishes.

48. It's on the streets : TAR.   Macadam pavement.

50. Flanders river : YSERMap.

51. Vinegar vessel : CRUET.  A flat bottom, narrow-necked vessel, often with an integral spout and handle.

53. Dangerous snake : ASP.  The infamous Egyptian cobra.

62. Actor Bean of "Game of Thrones" : SEAN.   Lord Eddard Stark, like every character SEAN Bean plays, dies on screen.  Mercifully, you will not see it in this clip from season 1.   Embedding disabled.  You can see it here.

63. Aegean __ : SEA.  Between Greece and Turkey.47. Round components : DRINKS.   Steps toward getting loaded.

64. Give one's word : ASSURE.

65. Stock options, e.g. : PERK.   Short for perquisite, an extra prize given to someone due to their position.  Note that there is no consideration of merit.

66. WWII intel agcy. : O. S. S.  Office of Strategic Services.

67. Look through partially open curtains, say : PEER IN.   Peer out and peep in seem more likely.

68. Round components : ALES.  Rounds of drinks.  Nice deception.  Also making the rounds:
11 D. Round servers : BARTENDERS.   A round is one drink for everyone in the party.
47 D. Round components : DRINKS.   Steps toward getting loaded.
It's a clecho-go-round.

69. Vague degree : NTH.  Yes, it is not specified, but it means to whatever degree is necessary, generally assumed to be a very high degree indeed.

70. Flowed in circles : EDDIED.   You can see it happening early in the video taken where the pacific Ocean meets the Sea of Japan.


1. Prep for a marathon, with "up" : CARB.  Carbohydrate loading to boost the energy reserve.

2. N.L. Cy Young Award winner three years after Dwight : OREL.  In 1985 Dwight Gooden of the N. Y. Mets went 24-4 with an amazing 1.53 ERA and 269 K's.   That's Earned Run Average, and stikeouts, for the uninitiated.  In 1988 OREL Hershiser of the L. A. Dodgers went 23-8 with a 2.26 ERA and 178 K's.  He also recorded 1 save.  Since 1967, 5 N. L. relief pitchers have won the award.  Among N. L. starters, only Hershiser recorded a save.

3. Nordic language : SAMI.  The SAMI people, speakers of this language, also known as Lapplanders, are the northernmost indigenous people of Europe.

4. "Voice of Israel" author : EBAN.    This book by Abba EBAN was published in 1969.

5. Rory McIlroy's milieu : LINKS.   Famous for McIlroy's sweet 'n' spicy maple chipolte sausages.  No, wait - he's a golfer.

6. Big name in vision correction : LASIK.   Laser eye surgery.

7. Like an excited puppy's tail : AWAG.  The dreaded a- word.  I'm not cheesed off, nor am I chuffed.  A bit of meh! perhaps; not my cup of tea.

8. Takes to task : TELLS OFF.  Scolds

9. Web business : ETAIL.  Electronic retail portmanteau.

10. San Francisco-to-Teaneck interstate : EIGHTY.   I-80 includes the OH and PA turnpikes.

12. Iowa State city : AMES.   Iowa State University is in AMES.

13. Swerve from a course : YAW.   An unwanted right or left off-course deviation.

21. "I'll pass" : NAH.   Informal, slangy negation.

22. Clumsy sort : GALOOT.  I picture a rather large, nice but socially awkward guy in a western movie.

25. Citified : URBAN.  Ironically clued the other day as country singer Kieth.

26. "Cross my heart" : NO LIE.  Declaration of honesty

27. "Bless my soul!" : I DO DECLARE.   Gor blimey! An exclamation of surprise.

28. Howe'er : THO.  But, but, but . . . abbreviated.

30. Molten rock : MAGMA.  While underground.  Above ground it's lava.

32. Bend : CURVE.  An arc.

33. Car wash employee, at times : HOSER.   Hose operator.

 35. Excites : AMPS UP.   Amplifies anything, so I guess excitement could be included.  Not a rock solid connection, though.

36. Wire thickness unit : MIL.   Thousandth of an inch.

38. "Kidnapped" author's monogram : RLS.   Did Robert Louis Stevenson have restless leg syndrome?

41. Most eccentric : NUTTIEST.   Bonkers!

42. Manner : WAY.  Behavioral norms.

49. Cloth remnant : RAG.

52. HP competitor : EPSON.  Printers

54. Configure : SHAPE.

55. Prepared for a shot : POSED.  Like this.

56. Texture : FEEL.   The tactile quality of a surface or object.

57. "I don't mind eels / Except as meals / And the way they feels" poet : NASH.  A texture thing, I suppose; from Ogden NASH, who also gave us "Candy is dandy/ But liquor is quicker.

58. Previously driven, say : USED.  Cars

59. TomKat's daughter : SURI.  Modern couple portmanteau construction mashes the two names together, thus Tom and Katie give us TomKat, even long after they have split.   Katie comes from my home town, along the shore of  .  .  .

60. Lake at one end of the Niagara River : ERIE.

61. Final email step : SEND.   Once you push that button, it's too late to say, "Ooops!"

62. Place for a pedi : SPA.  Pedicure at a commercial establishment offering health and beauty treatments.

Well, there it is.  Not easy peasy by any means.  I thought the theme was brill, the whole puzzle was ace, and Bob's your uncle.

Cool regards!

P. S.  If you want to brush up your British slang, it can be found here.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Carpe Diem #647- Lion Dance

when the lions dance
other shishi* may frolic
moose and goose ballet

* "different Kanji characters also pronounced shishi can mean beast, deer or wild boar,"

Carpe Diem - Techniques 2 - Onomatapoeia

Visiting CD again after a long haiku hiatus.

Today's assignment is to build a haiku using onomatopoeia.  I have my doubts about the first one, also filled with alliteration and finishing with an unhaiku-like pun.  But it is a vivid image, captures a moment in time, and meets the assignment requirement.  Numbers two and 3 bring back my old friends.

With a little effort, I also got a caesura and first-third line interchangeability in each of them.  It feels pretty good.   You can decide if there's a hint of a deeper meaning.

growling and gnashing
the gnarly ancient guard dog
gathering cur-age


the distant goose honks
counterpoint to lowing moose
in gathering fog


delicate plunking
as fly plucks the spider's web
music to her feet