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.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Carpe Diem #697

The Druids associated the willow with both water and the moon - enhancements for intuitive and psychic abilities, and therefore symbolic of inspired imagination than can lead to a clearer and deeper understanding of the world we live in.

The willow is also remarkably flexible and adaptable.  It's example reminds us to "keep growing and reaching higher, no matter where we're planted."

leafy arms outstretched
seeking both moon and water
what dreams can you bring


tested under stress
to bend but never to break
flexible willow


forlorn lover sighs
shelter me in your branches
willow weep for me


Sunday, March 29, 2015

Carpe Diem #696

dripping wet and nude
in a shower with no soap
a dreamy rain dance


plump sweet nudity
such voluptuous beauty
it’s only human


nobody i know

naked once again
remember long years ago
i was born this way


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

L. A. Times Crossword Puzzle Blogging

Wednesday, March 25, 2015  Carol Lachance

Theme: What makes you think my SPRINGs are dirty?  The theme answers all begin with things used in washing SPRINGS or possibly other things.

16 A. Like some watches : WATER RESISTANT.  Able to withstand some degree of immersion or soaking, because WATER PROOF is too difficult or expensive to achieve.  WATER - the source of all life, and most cleaning solutions.

22 A. Bath floater : SOAP BUBBLE.   As illustrated.   SOAP is the emulsifier that allows non-polar substances to mix with WATER, so you can CLEAN them up.

35. Patchwork plaything : RAG DOLL.  The cloth used for wiping up is often an old tee shirt or some other kind of RAG.  Alernatively, DOLLS can be made from them.

No extra charge for this musical interlude.

Four Seasons includes Spring

47 A. Running a marathon may be on it : BUCKET LIST.  Things to do before your time runs out and the bucket must be kicked. 

It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World  

Running a marathon - or anything else - is not on mine.  A BUCKET can hold all the rest of the theme entries used in the unifier --

53. Project suggested by the starts of 16-, 22-, 35- and 47-Across : SPRING CLEANING.  Annual ritual of brightening up the home after the dreary shut-down months of winter.

Or this

Hi gang, JazzBumpa here to remind you that the calendar says it's SPRING, no matter what is going on outside your window.   Let's see if this puzzle is well seasoned, and whether we can clean it up.


1. Visits : STOPS AT.  

8. Legal test, familiarly : THE BAR.   Qualifying examination for prospective lawyers.

14. Reporter's needs : SOURCES.  People with information.

15. Punk rock surname : RAMONE.  A pseudonym adopted by all the band members. I never paid much attention.  Here is a rather innocuous example of their style.

California Sun

18. Cost-of-living fig. : CPI.  Consumer Price Index.  A relative measure of the prices paid by typical consumers for retail goods and other items, used to indicate the level of inflation. Denialists claim the the CPI grossly understates real inflation, but the independent Billion Prices Project actually tracks very well with it.

19. Feed in a bag : OATS.  Horse feed and cereal grain for humans.

20. "Am __ the right track?" : I ON.   Inquiry by one who is uncertain about how to proceed.  If you're cleaning, straightening and simplifying, I'd say yes.

26. Gumbo veggie : OKRA.  And crossword staple.

27. Nylons, fishnets, etc. : HOSIERY.  Leg coverings.

28. Petty squabbles : SPATS.

29. Penny-__ : ANTE.  Low stakes poker game, and by extension anything of little value.

30. "I'll have another" responder : BARKEEP.   Not the bar we spoke of earlier.  Libation provider in a tavern.

34. Neon, or fuel for a Neon : GAS.   Clever clue.  Neon is the GAS, i.e. vapor, in eponymous lamps, and GASoline is the fuel for the Neon, a now defunct Chrysler Corp. vehicle

36. Public image, briefly : REPutation.

39. Freaked out : GONE APE.  Lost it

40. One-eighties : UEYS.  U-turns - sharp turns into the opposite direction.

41. Freak out : SPOOK.  Frighten or startle - I suppose I could be spooked by a freak, but not by this clecho.

44. Shows proof of : EVINCES.  Provides evidence for.

46. Player with a record 14 100-RBI seasons : A-ROD.  He sat out last season, suspended for violating the MLB drug use policy.  Looks like he's back this year.

50. '90s "SNL" regular Meadows : TIM.

51. "__ Jim" : LORD.  Joseph Conrad novel from 1900.

52. Knack for snappy comebacks : WIT.   Quick and clever.

59. River through Toledo : MAUMEE.  The Muddy MAUMEE.  I've crossed this river thousands of time, twice as recently as Saturday.

60. Hall who won on "Celebrity Apprentice" in 2012 : ARSENIO.

61. Linen closet stack : SHEETS.  Bed coverings.

62. Jones with a diary : BRIDGET.  Played in the movie by Renee Zellweger, who, post surgery, no longer resembles herself - thus no picture.  I haz a sad.  


1. Cincinnati-to-Nashville dir. : SSW.

2. Shelley's "__ Skylark" : TO A.  Hail to thee, blithe Spirit! Etc, Etc  .  .  .

No extra charge for this musical interlude.


3. Pariahs : OUTCASTS.   Those who are socially shunned.  Derived from the lowest population caste in Southern India.

4. Private school student : PREPPIE.  Prep School attendee.

5. Parchment user : SCRIBE.   Record keeper.  Now it's all electrons.

6. Atmo- kin : AER-.  Prefix that denotes having to do with the air or the atmosphere.  Pretty Literal.

7. "Ash Wednesday" poet's monogram : TSE. Thomas Stearns Eliot [Sep 26, 1888 - Jan 4, 1965] American essayist, playwright, social critic and poet.

Because I do not hope to turn again
Because I do not hope
Because I do not hope to turn

8. __ by fire : TRIAL.  An ancient judicial practice to determine guilt or innocence by subjecting the accused to an arduous and dangerous task.  In these more enlightened times, merely the ability to perform well under pressure.

9. Speed : HASTE.  Be quick about it, now.

10. Ambulance VIPs : EMTS.  Emergency Medical Technicians are trained to respond quickly to emergency situations regarding medical issues, traumatic injuries and accident scenes.

11. Fluffy scarf : BOA.

12. Golfer Sorenstam, who was among the first women to become honorary members of St Andrews golf club in February 2015 : ANNIKA.   To the best of my knowledge, she is not related to Luke Skywalker.

13. Comeback : RETORT.  A witty reply.

17. More than sniffle : SOB.  Degrees of crying.

21. "One Mic" rapper : NAS.    Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones [b Dec 14, 1973]

22. Carpet type : SHAG.  With deep pile.

23. The last Mrs. Chaplin : OONA.  [May 14, 1925 - Sep 27, 1991] Charlie's fourth wife, and daughter of Nobel and Pulitzer prize winning playwright Eugene O'Neill.  Her Granddaughter, named for her, is an actress with many film and TV credits, including the part of Talisa Maegyr Stark in HBO's Game of Thrones.

24. __ renewal : URBAN.  Redevelopment in a city, often by removing slums.

25. How some wines are sorted : BY AGE.

26. Facing: Abbr. : OPPosite

28. Pommes frites sprinkling : SEL.   French salt for French fries.

31. Nutritional stat : RDA.  Recommended Dietary Allowance.

32. Coin for Putin : KOPEK.  One one-hundredth of a Ruble.

33. École attendee : ELEVE.    I suppose this is French for student, though I can't get Google translate to admit it.

35. Korean soldier : ROK. For Republic Of Korea.

36. Speaking from memory : RECITING.

37. Spud sprouts : EYES.    These can be cut from the tuber and planted to grow plants that are clones of the parent.  New varieties are grown from seeds.  Why eyes?  I'd know if I were wise.

38. Furtive attention-getter : PSST.

39. Saturn, for one : GOD.  Roman equivalent of the Greek Cronus.  Complex mythology.

40. Like sketchbook paper : UNLINED.  Blank.

41. Collected dust : SAT.  Was idle.

42. Rainbow makers : PRISMS.   They divide light according to wavelength, due to a refractive index difference from air and the angles a which the light enters and exits.

43. Big brass output : OOMPAH.  Tuba speak

Probably not what you're expecting

45. Formal admission : IT WAS I.  

47. Lisa of "Enemy of the State" : BONET.   Even after all these years, probably still better known as Denise Huxtable, though.

48. They can be hard to fight : URGES.   Those things you want to do.

49. Atlanta-based health agcy. : CDC.  Center for Disease Control.

51. Sherbet flavor : LIME.  Citrus fruit.

54. Repent : RUE.  

55. Photo __ : LAB. Place where photographic negatives are developed. Rather retro.  These days, it's SHOP.

56. Throw too low, say : ERR.  A mis-played baseball. 

57. Merkel's "never" : NIE.  German.

58. Captured : GOT.  Obtained.

Well, that puts it all away.  Hope you got through it without chapped hands.  Now I have to go do some tidying up.

Cool regards!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Tuesday Platform - Windmill in the Garden

The Garden

My lovely wife is leading the charge to simplify and get rid of old, unneeded stuff. Tucked away somewhere she found a program from an event we went to in November, 2005, that I had forgotten about.  We were invited by our neighbors and didn't know what it was going to be until we got there.  Turns out, it was a variety show put on by special needs people, with assistance from a couple of very prominent Detroit area professional musicians.

At this late date, my recollections of that evening are quite vague.  But I was deeply moved at the time.  Most of the performers were autistic, though there may have been some with other difficulties as well.

Stuck in the program was something I wrote when we got home.  It's actually more of a song than a poem.  One of the acts was called HEART TO HEART, and I might have been specifically reacting to that.  I have the tune in my head, standard A-A-B-A song form, but no simple way to share it with you.  Feel free to sing it your own way.


Don't tell me what you think I can't do;
Sing me a song, teach me something new.
Show me the way to make a new start -
I have it all right here in my heart.

Don't tell me that my way is wrong
If it's not your way of singing this song,
We both have ways of playing our part,
If we have it right in our heart.

It's true, I'm different from you,
Or maybe you're just different from me.
But we're the same in our hearts -
Together now, what could we be?

If I'm racing now from pole to pole
Flying to fast to find the goal;
Let's bring it back to music and art -
I have it all right here in my heart.


Accompanying haiku, freshly composed for Carpe Diem

Image found here

in my mind and heart
all of these thoughts and feelings
windmill in a storm

Imaginary Garden With Real Toads

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Pi Day in the Garden

"The prompt, should you choose to accept it, is to write something inspired by a breakfast, lunch, dinner, tea, coffee, snack eaten out, at the local diner, cafe, restaurant, fast food joint, even, if you wish, camp site.

Well - not exactly.  I'm choosing Pi day, which at least partially commemorates a snack. 

We bought the pie at Kroger and took it to my sister's house, so that's eating out, of a sort. The pie looked wonderful, but the bottom crust was soggy and the peaches were crunchy. 

Peaches shouldn't be crunchy BEFORE you bake them.  Something is definitely not right here.

Lovely looking store-bought pie that disappointed on every other possible level

But Pi day is still worth celebrating, though this particular pie was not.

I filled my lovely Pi-day pie
With tasty fruit and spices,
But no matter how I try
I can’t get three point one four slices.

Imaginary Garden With Real Toads

Friday, March 13, 2015

Carpe Diem #685

This clump of crocuses has been coming up every spring for years.   The lone purple one is in a slightly different spot very year.  I took this picture and wrote the haiga in mid-march 2010.   The other two haiku are new today. 

This part of our yard was under at least 8 inches of snow until this week.  A few relatively warm days cleared it away.  I just checked, and the crocus shoots are poking above the icy ground about an inch.  I was worried they might get frozen out this year, but now I think they'll be OK.

one purple crocus
aloof from all his cousins
we blame the squirrels


ephemeral buds
earliest spring time flowers
pop up just in time


afternoon shadows
 casting their dark omen
on delicate blooms


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Haiku Writing Techniques #10

Write a classical 5-7-5 haiku, with a kigo, a kireji, and first-third line interchangeability.

I'll repeat a story that I posted last September.  

Grandson Nate and a miniature toad

I have a great fondness for amphibians.  There is no reason for it that I can identify.  Something about their squat lumpiness and agile leaping simply pleases me and soothes my soul.  My yard is a haven for toads.  They live in the garden and under the bushes.  I've seen tiny toadlings, smaller than your fingernail, galumphing across my lawn.

Earlier in the Summer, I went walking in a wetlands area near my house with a few of my grandchildren.  As we crossed the street to get there, we saw dozens of miniature toads bouncing on the pavement.  Sadly, many of them must have perished there.  As we walked the gravel path around the ponds, we had to watch our footsteps carefully to avoid stepping on the many miniature toads moving along there.

There were hundreds of these little toads everywhere along the path, and who can say how many thousands were hidden among the wild flowers.  We did our best not to harm them, but I doubt that many live to be adults.

thousands of toadlings
scurrying to the roadside
smell of car exhaust


I G Tuesday platform

~ or ~



I never thought that I would be
Moldering beneath a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is pressed
Against what used to be my chest;

A tree who sends its roots down deep
To draw on my eternal sleep;

And up above its branches grow
Nourished by my limbs below.

Poems are made by food like me.
Who might end up feeding a tree.


Imaginary Garden With Real Toads

Monday, March 9, 2015

C D Special #136

in the ceaseless sound
of the water
there is Buddha
© Santoka Taneda

"The goal of this CD-Special is to write/compose an all new haiku in the same sense, tone and spirit as the one given ... and because Santoka Taneda was a fore stander of the 'free-style' haiku you don't need to count syllables or use kigo or one of the other "classical rules" of haiku. Maybe that makes it easier, but I am not sure of that."

the pond near my house
still topped with ice and snow
silent water

© JzB


Sunday, March 8, 2015

Carpe Diem Time Glass # 24

"I love to challenge you to write/compose an all new haiku (or tanka) in response on that haiga ... and if you think you can make a haiga yourself within 24 hours than you may also submit a haiga."

Granddaughter Samantha a few years ago

this little girl
under her blue umbrella
has no need for rain


Saturday, March 7, 2015

Carpe Diem #682

We like to take a color tour in the upper part of Michigan's lower peninsula in the fall.  This time it rained almost constantly, and the color we saw the most of was grey.

Petoskey Lighthouse in the Rain,  October 3, 2014

on lake michigan
raindrops are irrelevant
in the wind and surf

Friday, March 6, 2015

CD Tan Renga Challenge #76

in the space between the trees
only emptiness
without emptiness no forest

no forest means no wood
and then what would we do

 that's a bit too glib and facile

in the space between the trees
only emptiness
without emptiness no forest

we need forests for the moose
just as the goose needs wetland

 more in the right spirit i think but preachy -  i'm not delighted


in the space between the trees
only emptiness
without emptiness no forest

echoes in the tree spaces
as moose and goose converse

 that might be what i'm looking for 


CD Time Machine #5

wikipedia commons

a kite soaring high
gravity defier till
eaten by a tree


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Carpe Diem #681

Sadly, I don't have a puddle picture to use in a haiga, so I went out and found on the internet.  This is haitech haiga, I suppose.

such little water
in such a great big puddle
making a big splash

Margaret's Garden of Artistic Interpretations

Today we strive for original poetry inspired by the artist's work.

"Run With Me" 18 x 24

Dark silhouettes lurking 
Among intoxicating red poppies:
Are they shadows or illusions?

Supple swaying dancers
Heed the music of the wind
Under klieg of summer sun.

Shall we run there; or stay awhile, sway with them and sleep?


Imaginary Garden With Real Toads

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Carpe Diem #680

A wetland near my house

in the green meadow
amid the buds and insects
lurking orb weaver


in a sea of green
the bright glow of yellow blooms
bees cannot resist


L.. A. Times Crossword Puzzle Bogging

Wednesday, March 4 , 2015 Don Gagliano

Theme:  SECRET SUPPORT.  The cheering word "RAH!," presumed to be shouted by the fans - e.g. SUPPORTers - of a sports team, is hidden in three theme entries.  So maybe in this instance RAH is whispered, not shouted.

17 A. Seeking lodging : LOOKING FOR A HOME.   I was thinking of overnight lodging, but this is more permanent.  In this answer RAH is divided, or SECTIONED twice.

27 A. Pulling away : FURTHER AHEAD.  Figuratively increasing the gap between the leader and the also-rans.  If it were literal, it would be FARTHER AHEAD.

45 A. More at dinner : EXTRA HELPING.  Refilling your plate, as if one plateful weren't enough.  I do this all too often. 

And the unifier -- 60 A.  Stadium supporters, and a hint to their cry hidden in 17-, 27- and 45-Across : CHEERING SECTION.   Not the architectural elements that buttress the arena's structure.  Instead, this is an area of the grandstand reserved for the SUPPORTers of one of the teams in an athletic contest.  And it also indicates that the cheering word RAH has been SECTIONed, or divided, across two or more words in the theme fill.  The ever-meticulous Don G has made sure that the word RAH has been sectioned in every possible way.  In a different sense, an athletic supporterer is any sports professional with a family.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

C.D. Special #135 and Techniques #9

Timing!  I wrote a reflection poem for yesterday's prompt.

After reflecting on the model haiku, I came up with this cascade

on the water 
cascading ripples


cascading ripples
the traveler's staff poked 
into the water


into the water
the traveler's gaze cast


Imaginary Garden Tuesday Platform

Keeping it Weird

"I would like for this moment to be for that kid out there who feels like she’s weird or she’s different or she doesn’t fit in anywhere. Yes you do. I promise you do. Stay weird. Stay different, and then when it’s your turn, and you are standing on this stage, please pass the same message along.
                                         - Graham Moore

I can certainly relate.  In grades 6 through 8, I was a social outcast at my Catholic grade School.  Being genetically shy did not help matters at all.  I've gotten over the shyness in the ensuing decades, but not my oddity, and have learned to revel in my uniqueness.  

"We all put ourselves out there--sometimes way out there--and sharing and exposing oneself can be difficult.
                                     - Marian

None of which has anything to do with the poem I'm about to present.  Except, maybe that it's on the weird side.   Mama Zen put herself out there with a little quatrain about a cricket and a gecko on 2/17, and I responded in comments with a 2 verse poem, of a sort.  I'm presenting a slightly edited version of it here as my entry.

           FOWL FATE

gecko gecko shining green
in the spaces there between
tree trunk pillars, leaf mulch rug
hunting for a cricket bug

cautious now for safety’s sake
eschew the lizard chewing snake
but sadly there’s a fate that’s fowl
swallowed by a great horned owl

Monday, March 2, 2015

Carpe Diem #679


in the dark of night
reflecting on reflections
sunlight from the moon

Image Source

lighting one candle
a better alternative
than cursing the dark

[rephrased catholic aphorism remembered from my youth]


Sunday, March 1, 2015

Carpe Diem Time Glass

watching bamboo grow
faster than my grandchildren
the song of a flute


the song of a flute
harmony with moose and goose
a nature trio


a nature trio
moose goose and the orb weaver
watching bamboo grow 


Flash 55 Plus

"The first Sunday of a new month is upon us again, and it is time for Flash 55. The rules of this prompt have not changed: Write a piece of poetry or prose on a subject of your choice in precisely 55 WORDS."

.  .  . 

"The optional extra for this challenge is to add a single colour to your poem."

I accept.


 He rode into Amarillo
A callow fellow

Discolored by desert dust
Determined that he must

Challenge the hottest local gun
But he was not the one who won

Losing in this way was no disgrace
And despite the pale dust cover on the face

Of this lead loaded dying caballero
They saw he wasn’t yellow


[I have no idea where this came from]

Imaginary Garden With Real Toads